Radiosonde Soundings

Usually accompanying each platform, MAPNet can support up to 6 sounding sites. Currently, SWIRLL has three mobile Intermet systems and three mobile Windsond systems. Data from the iMet systems contain GPS coordinates, time, height, pressure, wind, temperature, and relative humidity at 5-second resolution. A KML file is also provided that allows for sonde tracking. Windsonde data is provided at 1-second intervals and contains height, pressure, wind, temperature, relative humidity, GPS coordinates, and ascent rate. Because of the high-temporal resolution of the data, quality control processing is completed on the windsonde data which reduces systematic noise in the data.

During an average field deployment, a total of 12-24 personnel can support up 3-4 sounding teams can be deployed into to the field with each team responsible for launching 8-10 soundings throughout the entire deployment. The sonde frequencies are interchangeable which allows for frequent launches. Typical IOPs call for 30-45 minute launch intervals but can be more frequent if necessary. The Windsond system allows for tracking of multiple soundings at once which means several soundings can be launched within a very short time period.

Atmospheric soundings have been used for many years to record upper air data and are used in a variety of ways. Upper air data are measured by attaching a radiosonde to a weather balloon filled with helium or hydrogen and then released into the air. Using radio frequencies, data measured by the radiosonde are transmitted back to the ground and interpreted by forecasters and/or researchers. Soundings are most commonly used by The National Weather Service (NWS). NWS releases balloons twice a day to help understand current conditions, forecast upcoming weather, and to be used in weather prediction models. Universities and other research institutions involved in field work can use soundings for future and current research, as well as share their data with NWS forecast offices for nowcasting and increasing forecast accuracy.

Sounding launched on 25 March 2021 severe weather day. The sounding shows plenty of shear, but SWIRLL is North of the warm front which is limiting strong storms.

Sounding teams and instruments deployed across N AL and S TN.