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National Weather Service Portland-Gray Maine

Upper-Air Program Virtual Tour
National Weather Service Forecast Office
Gray, Maine


Introduction Equipment Inflation Baseline Launch RRS Conclusion


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After the launch, the observer secures the building and returns to the RRS computer workstation in order to lock onto the balloon. The observer must also quality control the data and correct any errors that may be present throughout the sounding flight. Typical errors that need to be corrected include super adiabatic lapse rates off of the surface and relative humidity errors near the surface as well. The observer has a number of graphical displays and data readouts at their disposal to quality control the data during the typical 90 to 110 minute flight. At select intervals throughout the flight, radiosonde data is transmitted to the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) to be quality controlled and ingested into the various forecast models.

RRS Data Readouts and Graphical Displays

RRS Data Readout and Graphical Display



Detailed plot of Raw Temperature, Corrected Temperature, and Dewpoint Temperature

A Detailed plot of Raw Temperature, Corrected Temperature, and Dewpoint Temperature



Detailed Plot of Wind Speed and Direction

A Detailed Plot of Wind Speed and Direction



Balloon Trajectory Plot

Balloon Trajectory Plot

Once the sounding reaches its termination level, typically 90,000 100,000 feet as mentioned earlier, the flight is terminated and the remaining data is transmitted to NCEP. The observer collects data from the flight summary screen and uploads the flight data to the National Climate and Data Center (NCDC) for archiving. The flight data is also entered into a standard form which is sent to the National Weather Service Headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area monthly.

Here is an example of the coded messages sent to NCEP and NCDC:
 TTAA 75121 74389 99013 10936 29505 00226 07557 32012 92836 07361 34009 85491 09960 29009 70985 12378 28516 50547 29129 29530 40703 40543 29038 30892 56558 29050 25006 59958 29049 20147 56159 29030 15331 54362 29043 10589 57364 29033 88255 61358 28555 77999 31313 58708 81108 51515 10164 00016 10194 32009 29517
 TTBB 75120 74389 00013 10936 11006 08957 22998 07157 33985 06959 44970 05361 55903 08761 66858 09560 77829 10960 88820 10761 99812 10367 11768 08590 22715 12178 33688 12976 44654 16173 55646 16962 66637 17764 77633 17757 88626 18139 99595 20328 11420 38539 22403 40539 33395 41150 44381 43357 55316 54158 66287 58358 77255 61358 88251 59958 99228 57958 11223 55958 22217 55359 33195 56360 44185 53960 55179 54761 66164 53162 77144 54763 88137 56363 99129 55363 11113 57364 22109 58363 31313 58708 81108 41414 10937
 PPBB 75120 74389 90012 29505 32512 35010 90346 33508 30510 29021 90789 29017 30517 29018 91246 27021 29024 29022 9205/ 29530 29040 93027 29049 28555 30039 9389/ 29030 28543 9424/ 28534 29547 950// 28533  TTCC 75121 74389 70815 57566 29514 50028 56969 24015 30353 56975 19007 20610 56782 22507 10053 54982 28010 88999 77999 31313 58708 81108
 TTDD 7512/ 74389 11907 55765 22827 57365 33788 56166 44616 57967 55581 55168 66551 57168 77536 55769 88502 56969 99458 54771 11432 55971 22400 54574 33362 56573 44307 56176 55291 57775 66271 55379 77240 55781 88230 57379 99154 58181 11144 54583 22127 51184 33098 55182 31313 58708 81108
 PPDD 75120 74389 96012 29014 25026 26530 96345 28514 25005 20511 9689/ 26020 29510 9706/ 31005 01501 9801/ 22513 24014 99012 27505 09501 20520 99479 22508 26524 29002 100// 28513

If you would like to learn more about the coded messages and how to de-code them please click here .



Flight Sounding Data and Summary

Flight Sounding Data and Summary

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