Some weather models bring Chinese balloon over Alabama

Published 5:07 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

A balloon claimed by China to be a wayward weather research device is making its way across America’s skies, and some National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spaghetti models bring it right over Alabama during its journey.

U.S. officials denied the balloon is simply an innocent device floating at the will of the wind, upping accusations Friday afternoon. The Pentagon and the Secretary of State both expressed concerns that the balloon is actually a spying device used to gather information.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was scheduled to travel to China today for a high-level meeting to help cool the escalating stakes between the two nations.

“In light of China’s unacceptable action, I am postponing my planned travel to China this weekend,” Blinken told the Associated Press.

It was reported by the AP that he told a senior Chinese official that the balloon, the size of two school buses traveling across the entire country, was seen as ““an irresponsible act and that (China’s) decision to take this action on the eve of my visit is detrimental to the substantive discussions that we were prepared to have.”

The U. S. had originally decided against taking actions to remove the balloon due to advice from the Pentagon that debris could be quite dangerous to people on the ground; however, the U. S. military is prepared to do just that if information changes. The AP reported the U. S. prepared fighter jets, including F-22s, to shoot the balloon down upon orders. Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, refused to say on Friday whether there was any new consideration of shooting the balloon down.

In contrast to what Chinese officials said Thursday, Ryder said the balloon can actually be controlled and is not at the mercy of wind currents. That’s why it’s so difficult to pinpoint its next destination.

Should model projections be correct, many of them have the balloon flying directly over northern Alabama over Florence to Huntsville into Georgia. Others have it flying over northern Alabama with a curved path towards Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, and Mobile.

Should the balloon fly over Alabama, the skies will be perfect for people to see. At 60,000 feet, the best view will be with binoculars or telescopes.

If the balloon travels over Alabama and one is able to get photos or video, please share it with us by emailing