6B.2 Enhancements of the data set of sounding parameters derived from the integrated global radiosonde archive

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 3:45 PM
609 (Washington State Convention Center)
Imke Durre, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and W. Yin
Manuscript (33.7 kB)

This presentation will provide a brief summary of enhancements to the data set of sounding parameters derived from the Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA) which is maintained at the National Climatic Data Center and serves as a vehicle for providing information about the climate of the lower troposphere. Parameters were chosen based on user feedback on the previous version of this product as well as their potential utility for climatological analyses of the vertical structure, convective stability, and moisture conditions of the lower troposphere on the regional to global scale. The methods for calculating these quantities are selected based on techniques accepted in the peer-reviewed literature, sensitivity to the varying vertical resolution of the sounding data, and applicability to a wide range of atmospheric conditions. Specifically, the newly added variables include virtual temperature, virtual potential temperature, and the refractivity index at each available level; commonly used indices of convective stability (e.g., the K-index, Lifted index, and Totals index); surface-to-500-hPa column integrated water vapor; convective available potential energy; as well as the heights of the warmest temperature in the sounding, the top of the mixed layer, lifting condensation level, and freezing level. Examples of the utility of the parameters for climatological applications will be presented, and their limitations will be discussed.
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