Importing Data (from the net)

There are several formats of winds aloft data out there. Naturally, you can only import data in a format that Balloon Track recognizes. I've built several new decoder/importers for this. You need only go to one of these web sites and save the plain text of the data. Then using the [File/Open] command from the main screen point to the file you saved. Balloon Track will examine the file to determine its format, and if it is one of those below, it will import the data into the program and save it to Balloon Track's regular format.

I've included samples of each format. You can use them to test the program if you like.

I'm not promising anything here, but if you have a reliable weather source and want decoders included for it, send me the URL and instructions and I'll see what I can do. I'm working up to decoding the raw (coded) rawinsonde stuff.

University of Wyoming's

The format I first found and used on the web is generated by a suite of programs called Weather Processor. The specific program that generates a decoded text file of the RAOB upper air data is called GRBSND. Balloon Track can read these files. They are available at:

An identically formatted file is also available at: 

Here is a WXP Sample File

There are forecasting variants of these files available at: 

These should be importable too.

NEW WYO format now supported too.

Florida State University Program

A new source (and format) was recently provided to me at: 

The formatting is different from the above files, but all the data is there to 10 millibars so you should be able to get good predictions from this data.

Here is an FSU Sample File

National Weather Service


The most generic form and least helpful but a good addition is the NWS winds aloft forecast for Pilots. A good source for this file is located at:

This is the only "tricky" format and will require a little user intervention. Balloon Track will handle recognition of the file type, but when this format is being imported you need to specify which of the many reporting stations in the file you wish to be imported. See "Import DF Data" for the details. It's no big deal.

Here is an FAA Sample File

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


Go to: 

and select decoded upper air observations. Save either the web page as text or, click on the "Click Here for Text" option. It makes no difference to Balloon Track.

Here is a READY Sample File

Another READY data type can be found at:

This is a prediction tool and the text output has very little station information, so the suggested name for this type of import is always in the format of "Profile_YY_MM_DD.txt" where the year month and day is that of your system time plus or minus your UTC offset to convert that time to UTC.

Here is a Profile Sample File

Unisys Weather

Unisys has the RAOB data too. It is in a format Balloon Track can decode.

Go to:

Select an upper air site, then when the SKEWT displays select the text option from the many choices on the menu bar at the top of the page. A usable upper air file will be displayed.

Thanks to Mark Conner, Ralph Wallio, Troy Campbell and Bill All for their contributions to this data source information.