Previous atmospheric measurements during solar eclipses have shown evidence of gravity waves, eclipse wind circulations, and other phenomena, using a variety of ground based and airborne measurement techniques. Collecting measurements on a continental scale can pose difficulties, one of which being the use of different instruments to measure the same data. This can introduce error resulting from different measurement strategies, sensor technologies, or sensor specifications. To mitigate these errors, use of the same sensors allows for comparisons to be made.
As part of many atmospheric measurements taken during the Great American Eclipse, three Vaisala soundings teams performed upper air measurements using RS41-SG radiosondes. These atmospheric soundings were performed at times prior to, during, and after the solar eclipse from three different locations across the United States with varying eclipse magnitudes – Mack’s Creek Park, Idaho, (MCP; 43.61N, 115.94W; .994 Eclipse Magnitude), Vaisala Boulder (VBOU; 39.97N, 105.12W; .939 Eclipse Magnitude), and Vaisala Woburn (VBOS; 42.51N, 71.15W; 0.7 Eclipse Magnitude). Here we discuss our project, share the results of the soundings completed, and analyze how the differing eclipse magnitudes impacted the measurements.