If you are launching a High Altitude Balloon (HAB), it will be in the Jet Stream for a significant time during its flight. You had better know what the jet stream is doing. Predictions are good, but reality is the key. I have found a site that is perfect for this and the method of display is excellent.
Thanks to HAB enthusiast, Andy from Melbourne, for the link. In fact he launched a pico balloon flight (uses a foil balloon) that never got higher than 7,000m because he saw that the jet stream was running north from Melbourne. Before its transmitter battery failed or it ran out of range of the last tracking station it was nearing Bourke in NSW. Not bad for a foil balloon. That is nearly 1,000 kms. Below is a link to the Australian map for the jet stream.
Below is the track of Andy’s Pico Balloon flight. There is a small chance that the battery is not flat and it may get picked up by a remote APRS station – HAM radio tracking station. If it gets seen again, we will let you know.
You can clearly see from the Jet Stream map, that the flight was easily predicted visually.
Other countries will also have their Jet Stream maps – maybe on aviation websites. Search and you may be rewarded with a real tool. You will find many here:
Central America: http://weather.wvec.com/auto/wvec/global/Region/CA/2xJetStream.html
Southern America: http://weather.wvec.com/auto/wvec/global/Region/SA/2xJetStream.html