6B.3 Field campaign atmospheric sounding legacy data sets

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 4:00 PM
607 (Washington State Convention Center)
Paul E. Ciesielski, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; and R. Johnson and S. Williams

For nearly a half a century, field experiments have been conducted in the tropics and midlatitudes involving intensive observations of atmosphere, ocean, and land processes over selected locations of interest around the globe. The atmospheric component of field program data sets that tends to have the greatest long-term value to the science community is that provided by atmospheric sounding systems. These observations are used most commonly for diagnostic studies for the development of cloud parameterizations for weather and climate models, and calibration and validation of independent data sets. Many of these data are also used in special model reanalysis efforts. Upper-air data sets from field programs are generally of higher quality because the large suite of instruments deployed in these field campaigns allows for cross-calibration that can greatly enhance data accuracy.

A collaborative data stewardship effort involving the Earth Observing Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University is underway to: (1) Identify past field programs (e.g., ATEX, BOMEX, GATE, MONEX, and others) for which central collections of sounding data do not exist, (2) Track down existing holdings of sounding data for those field programs, to the extent they exist, at centers, laboratories, and universities, (3) Extract sounding data that are found on old storage media (i.e., 9-track tapes, printouts, etc.), and place into a consistent, common digital format, (4) Carry out standard quality control of the sounding data including objective gross limit and vertical consistency checks, and (5) Prepare a catalog and a central, publicly accessible archive of the sounding data (probably at NCAR and/or NCDC).

This project will require reaching out to the international community to locate and acquire data from a variety of sources. This will be accomplished with the use of surveys, questionnaires, personal contacts, e-mails, announcements at various conferences and meetings as well as collaborating with various Data Centers. When the project is completed, the community will be informed of these sounding data availability and access procedures through a common web site.

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