Gas balloon race postponed, try again Wednesday - Albuquerque Journal

Gas balloon race postponed, try again Wednesday

The America’s Challenge gas balloon race was put on hold yet again Tuesday “due to a persistent wet and unstable weather pattern that’s pumping a lot of moisture into the state,” said race spokeswoman Kim Vesely. Eight teams representing five countries are scheduled to participate in the duration race.

Another race briefing will be held Wednesday at noon.

The window to launch closes at midnight Wednesday. If balloons are unable to launch by then, the rules require that the race be canceled, she said.

“We’ve been able to get breaks in the weather so that we could launch some of the (Tuesday) morning ballooning events, but with the gas balloons it’s a different scenario,” Vesely said. “You’re looking at greater distances, a longer time to set them up and inflate, and then they’re in the air for a longer duration and they generally fly higher.”

Unfortunately, more wet weather is in store for Wednesday with about a 70% chance of rain, said Clay Anderson, a meteorologist with the Albuquerque office of the National Weather Service. According to forecast models, there is a strong possibility for rain every day through Sunday, the last day of the 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

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