Clinger

Angola Balloons Aloft competition director Phil Clinger might be optimistic about the weather for this weekend’s event, but he’s not about to make any predictions for what conditions will be.

ANGOLA — After the last two years of Angola Balloons Aloft having limited flights because of unfavorable weather conditions, this year’s event looks promising, based on National Weather Service Northern Indiana forecasts.

For tomorrow’s media flight that kicks off the event, conditions are supposed to be sunny with a north wind of 5 mph. Friday night is supposed to be calm. Saturday is calling for more sunny conditions and winds in the 5 mph range.

But while Angola Balloons Aloft Competition Director Phil Clinger is optimistic, don’t ask him for any predictions until a short window before balloons are supposed to launch.

“I don’t make any claims or predictions more than six hours out,” Clinger said. “We look at trends and the trend is good. That’s kind of where I leave it.”

Clinger said he starts paying close attention to weather forecasts at about 2 a.m. prior to morning launches.

At Angola, Clinger is working his third ballooning event in the past three weeks. One of the festivals looked like all of their flights were probably not going to occur. Instead, the event held all six of its scheduled flights.

“That’s why I don’t make any predictions,” Clinger said.

The dry weather of the past few days has been helpful because wet conditions — the soils are still saturated — are not conducive to take offs and landings, Clinger said.

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