On the quality of RS41 radiosonde descent data



Ingleby, B., Motl, M., Marlton, G., Edwards, D., Sommer, M., von Rohden, C., Vömel, H., and Jauhiainen, H.



by Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) at 2021-06-30 in review



Radiosonde descent profiles have been available from tens of stations for several years now – mainly from Vaisala RS41 radiosondes. They have been compared with the ascent profiles, with ECMWF short-range forecasts and with co-located radio-occultation retrievals. Over this time our understanding of the data has grown, and the comparison also shed some light on radiosonde ascent data. It has become clear that the fall rate is very variable and that it is an important factor, with high fall rates being associated with temperature biases, especially at higher altitudes. Ascent winds are affected by pendulum motion, on average descent winds are less affected by pendulum motion and are smoother. It is plausible that the true wind variability in the vertical lies between that shown by ascent and descent profiles. The discrepancy indicates the need for reference wind measurements.




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