The boundary layer structure measured by 402 pairs of approximately collocated radiosonde and dropsonde temperature profiles over the Arctic Ocean during the period 1957–61 is examined. The radiosonde profiles were obtained at the Russian drifting ice camps “North Pole 7” and “North Pole 8,” and the dropsonde profiles were measured during the United States Air Force “Ptarmigan” series of weather reconnaissance flights. The boundary layer structure is characterized by the features of the low-level tropospheric temperature inversion.

The results indicate that the dropsonde soundings, although containing relatively few measurement levels, contain sufficient vertical resolution to characterize the temperature inversion. Systematic differences were noted in wintertime inversion features and near-surface temperatures as measured by dropsondes and radiosondes. These differences are attributed to contrasting temperature lag errors accompanying ascending and descending sensors.

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