85th AMS Annual Meeting

Monday, 10 January 2005
Reasons for the failure of the Pan American Climate Studies Sounding Network (PACS-SONET) in Latin America.
Michael W. Douglas, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and J. Murillo
NOAA's Office of Global Programs has supported a network of pilot balloon stations in Latin America to provide wind measurements in areas where few observations previously existed. This network has existed since 1997 in various forms, with up to 20 sites providing daily or twice-daily observations. Although some success has been obtained, the network has not succeeded in obtaining self-sustainability within the host countries. This presentation will discuss some of the factors that have prevented a sustainable climate monitoring upper air network from being achieved. Many logistical factors have complicated the network's operation, but we feel that the main problem lies within the educational arena of the countries involved. The lack of meteorologically-educated personnel throughout the weather services and other institutions of the region has prevented and thorough understanding of the objectives of the network. In addition, the emphasis on inexpensive technology may have also generated the perception that the activity was not important because of the low overall cost. Some of these perception problems will be discussed in this presentation . A strategy for maintaining a self-sustaining activity will be outlined, though its feasibility may be in doubt.

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