84th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2004: 9:15 AM
New directions in the Pan American Climate Studies Sounding Network for Latin America
Room 618
Michael W. Douglas, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and J. M. Galvez, J. F. Mejia, and J. Murillo
Poster PDF (2.7 MB)
The Pan American Climate Studies (PACS) Sounding Network (SONET), comprised of some 20 pilot balloon stations, has been supported by NOAA since 1997 to measure and monitor aspects of the atmospheric circulation over Latin America for the purposes of improving our understanding of climate variability. This activity has been recently extended for an additional 3 years. However, the activity has not reached self sustainability, and there remain major obstacles to full development of a real-time in-situ monitoring of important atmospheric circulation features in the inter-tropical Americas. This presentation covers the current status of the network and discusses the future directions to employ radiosonde observations as part of the network. The challenges facing the sounding network, funded primarily for research objectives, parallel the problems facing many of the meteorological services in the region. The most serious problems stem from inadequate meteorological education activities throughout the region, which have limited the appreciation and utilization of the observations for either research or routine weather forecasting activities. Educational activities carried out as part of the project have had some impact, but have not been sufficient to meet the challenge. Finally, some of the advantages and problems in running sounding network that is parallel to the routine WWW network are discussed.

Supplementary URL: http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/projects/pacs/PACS-AMS04/