4A.6 Utilizing NOAA Products Validation System (NPROVS) to Analyze Radiosonde Data

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 4:45 PM
Conference Center: Yakima 1 (Washington State Convention Center )
Evan Keeler, CyberData Technologies, Herndon, VA; and T. Reale and J. Fitzgibbon
Manuscript (266.0 kB)

In the summer of 2016, NOAA’s Sterling Field Support Center (SFSC) began working with NOAA’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) in an effort to construct a new method for characterizing radiosonde data.  NOAA STAR has developed a centralized capability which routinely compiles collocated radiosonde and satellite observations called the NOAA Products Validation System (NPROVS).  This capability includes JAVA script applications to compare the collocated observations with numerous sampling options which facilitates a detailed statistical and visual analysis of both datasets.

The Sterling Field Support Center’s primary mission is to test, evaluate, characterize, and analyze data from meteorological instrumentation for use in the National Weather Service (NWS) network.   The paramount method used by the NWS for gathering upper air data is balloon-borne radiosondes.  By utilizing the satellite information from the NPROVS program as a qualitative and quantitative analysis tool, in addition to a multitude of other tests, SFSC is able to characterize untested radiosondes at an extensive level.

The statistics gathered from comparing currently operational radiosondes to satellite data serve as a baseline which SFSC is able to use for future characterizations.  Such information can help reveal underlying biases and low precision (noise) data when evaluating new radiosondes.  This data is extremely useful in portraying the quality of data that one can expect from a type of radiosonde prior to deployment in the field.  The comparison data process can also be applied to radiosondes, and eventually other observing platforms, outside of the NWS network to investigate potential observation improvements to the NWS network.

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