12th Conference on IOAS-AOLS


The West African pilot balloon network during the NAMMA-2006 and implications for the future of the African pilot balloon sounding network

Michael W. Douglas, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and J. Murillo, J. F. Mejia, J. M. Galvez, and R. Orozco

The pilot balloon network in West Africa has been in place for more than 50 years, and in the past the network was characterized by relatively frequent observations (often 4-times daily) and with high spatial density (more than 20 stations in West Africa). Such a network would be potentially very useful in helping to track the African waves that typically evolve into tropical storms over the Atlantic Ocean. However, the pilot balloon network has decayed in recent decades. The NAMMA (NASA-African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA)), involving a field campaign in 2006, afforded an opportunity to attempt to re-invigorate the pilot balloon network. One component of NAMMA involved strengthening the pilot balloon wind sounding network over west Africa to help describe the intensity of African waves exiting the continent. Four countries were the focus of this work and 10 stations were visited over the course of one month just prior to the NAMMA. Many technical problems were encountered and dealt with, but many problems were related to the personnel and the organization of the National Meteorological Services of the region. Some success was achieved in making the observations, but considerably less than was initially expected. This talk summarizes the main problems encountered, our short-term solutions, and our perspectives on how renovating this potentially-valuable network may be possible.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (1.1M)

wrf recording  Recorded presentation

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

Session 15B, Results from Recent Field Experiments and Their Potential Relevance to Operational Prediction
Thursday, 24 January 2008, 1:30 PM-3:15 PM, 205

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