How many radiosonde sites are in the US?
92 Radiosonde stations
Upper-air Program staff oversee the operation of 92 Radiosonde stations in North America and the Pacific Islands.
Where are radiosondes located?
Radiosondes are routinely launched twice a day from about 92 stations across the US by the National Weather Service. Of the 92, stations, 69 are located in the conterminous United States, 13 in Alaska, 9 in the Pacific, and 1 in Puerto Rico. NWS also supports the operation of 10 other stations in the Caribbean.
What is upper air data?
Upper air data are meteorological data that are measured in the vertical layers of the atmosphere. Upper air data are usually measured by twice daily radionsonde soundings, taken at 00 and 12Z (Greenwich time).
How high can radiosondes go?
about 115,000 feet
A typical NWS “weather balloon” sounding can last in excess of two hours. In that time, the radiosonde can ascend to an altitude exceeding 35 km (about 115,000 feet) and drift more than 300 km (about 180 miles) from the release point.
How much does a radiosonde cost?
Each individual radiosonde costs about $200. The cost of establishing a radiosonde ground station makes it difficult to increase the spatial extent of the radiosonde network, which is particularly deficient in vast regions of the Southern Hemisphere.
How are upper air maps are created?
Weather observations above the ground are collected by weather balloons. Data from one a single site are plotted on a sounding, but an upper air chart can show information from multiple observation sites. Most upper air charts are plotted in pressure coordinates instead of height coordinates.
What are upper air maps?
Upper-air weather maps differ from surface weather maps. Whereas surface weather conditions are plotted on a map of constant altitude (normally sea- level), upper-air weather conditions are plotted on maps of constant air pressure. The altitude at which the particular pressure is located is reported on these maps.
What does a radiosonde do?
The radiosonde is a small, expendable instrument package that is suspended below a six foot wide balloon filled with hydrogen or helium. As the radiosonde rises at about 1,000 feet/minute (300 meters/minute), sensors on the radiosonde measure profiles of pressure, temperature, and relative humidity.
Are radiosondes recovered?
According to Weather Service, only 1 out of 5 radiosonde released are recovered. However, if you do find one, please return it because they can be reconditioned and used.
How long do weather balloons last?
The balloon flights last for around 2 hours, can drift as far as 125 miles away, and rise up to over 100,000 ft. (about 20 miles) in the atmosphere! Weather balloons, which are made of latex or synthetic rubber (neoprene), are filled with either hydrogen or helium.