Geopotential Height Errors in NWS Rawinsonde Data at Denver

View More View Less
  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
  • 2 NOAA/Environmental Research Laboratories, Weather Research Program, Boulder, CO 80303
© Get Permissions
Full access

A recent examination of Denver National Weather Service radiosonde data has revealed an error in the procedure used to establish the surface baseline pressure for Denver soundings obtained between 14 April 1983 and 2 March 1988. As a result of this error the baroswitch was improperly set on each sounding, resulting in geopotential heights that average from 16 to 30 m too low. This article alerts users of the Denver data to the existence and nature of this problem and shows the effect that such subtle bias errors in radiosonde height data can have on derived quantities such as geostrophic vorticity.

1 The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation

A recent examination of Denver National Weather Service radiosonde data has revealed an error in the procedure used to establish the surface baseline pressure for Denver soundings obtained between 14 April 1983 and 2 March 1988. As a result of this error the baroswitch was improperly set on each sounding, resulting in geopotential heights that average from 16 to 30 m too low. This article alerts users of the Denver data to the existence and nature of this problem and shows the effect that such subtle bias errors in radiosonde height data can have on derived quantities such as geostrophic vorticity.

1 The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation

Save