Thursday, August 25, 2011

Radiosonde Ascent Rates

The NWS RRS sounding systems allow detailed computations of the balloon ascent rate. Bill Blackmore has noted that significant oscillations in balloon ascent rate are often observed near severe thunderstorms - usually in the stratosphere but sometimes in the troposphere. An example is shown below.

This plot is for a sounding taken at Springfield, Missouri, near the time of the tornado at Joplin. Bill and Ryan Kardell have produced a report on these findings: "Observations of Significant Variations in Radiosonde Ascent Rates Above 20 Km - A Preliminary Report." Bill would welcome comments concerning these data and the report. It can be found at:

NOTE - This is a large PDF and will take awhile to download.

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