This is one of the upper air data sets developed for the Hurricane Rainband and Intensity Change Experiment (RAINEX).
This data set includes 39 high vertical resolution (2 second) soundings from St Maarten. (WMO 78866). Soundings were typically released twice per day (0000 and 1200 UTC) from 12 August to 31 August 2005.
All upper air soundings were converted to National Center for Atmospheric Research/Earth Observing Laboratory (NCAR/EOL) Sounding Composite Format (ESC). ESC is a version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) CLASS format and is an ASCII format consisting of 15 header records for each sounding followed by the data records with associated QC information.
The header records (15 total records) contain data type, project ID, site ID, site location, release time, sonde type, meteorological and wind data processors, and the operator's name and comments. The first five header lines contain information identifying the sounding, and have a rigidly defined form. The following 7 header lines are used for auxiliary information and comments about the sounding, and may vary from dataset to dataset. The last 3 header records contain header information for the data columns. Line 13 holds the field names, line 14 the field units, and line 15 contains dashes ('-' characters) delineating the extent of the field.
The five standard header lines are as follows:
|Line||Label (padded to 35 char)||Contents|
|1||Data Type:||Description of type and resolution of data.|
|2||Project ID:||Id of weather project.|
|3||Release Site Type/Site ID:||Description of the release site.|
|4||Release Location (lon,lat,alt):||Position of release site in the format described below.|
|5||UTC Release Time (y,m,d,h,m,s):||Time of release, in the format: yyyy, mm, dd, hh:mm:ss|
The release location is given as: lon (deg min), lat (deg min), lon (dec. deg), lat (dec. deg), alt (m)
Longitude in deg min is in the format: ddd mm.mm'W where ddd is the number of degrees from True North (with leading zeros if necessary), mm.mm is the decimal number of minutes, and W represents W or E for west or east longitude, respectively. Latitude has the same format as longitude, except there are only two digits for degrees and N or S for north/south latitude. The decimal equivalent of longitude and latitude and station elevation follow.
The seven non-standard header lines may contain any label and contents. The labels are padded to 35 characters to match the standard header lines. Records for this dataset include the following three non-standard header lines.
|Line||Label (padded to 35 char)||Contents|
|7||Baroswitch Number:||Sounding identification number|
|12||Nominal Release Time (y,m,d,h,m,s):||Nominal time of release, in the format: yyyy, mm, dd, hh:mm:ss|
The data records each contain time from release, pressure, temperature, dew point, relative humidity, U and V wind components, wind speed and direction, ascent rate, balloon position data, altitude, and quality control flags (see the QC code description). Each data line contains 21 fields, separated by spaces, with a total width of 130 characters. The data are right-justified within the fields. All fields have one decimal place of precision, with the exception of latitude and longitude, which have three decimal places of precision. The contents and sizes of the 21 fields that appear in each data record are as follows:
|Field No.||Width||Format||Parameter||Units||Missing Value|
|3||5||F5.1||Dry-bulb Temperature||Degrees C||999.0|
|4||5||F5.1||Dew Point Temperature||Degrees C||999.0|
|6||6||F6.1||U Wind Component||Meters / Second||9999.0|
|7||6||F6.1||V Wind Component||Meters / Second||9999.0|
|8||5||F5.1||Wind Speed||Meters / Second||999.0|
|10||5||F5.1||Ascent Rate||Meters / Second||999.0|
|16||4||F4.1||QC for Pressure||Code (see below)||99.0|
|17||4||F4.1||QC for Temperature||Code (see below)||99.0|
|18||4||F4.1||QC for Humidity||Code (see below)||99.0|
|19||4||F4.1||QC for U Wind Component||Code (see below)||99.0|
|20||4||F4.1||QC for V Wind Component||Code (see below)||99.0|
|21||4||F4.1||QC for Ascension Rate||Code (see below)||99.0|
Fields 16 through 21 contain the Quality Control information derived at the NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory (NCAR/EOL). Any QC information from the original sounding is replaced by the following EOL codes:
|99.0||Unchecked (QC information is "missing.") ("UNCHECKED")|
|1.0||Checked, datum seems physically reasonable. ("GOOD")|
|2.0||Checked, datum seems questionable on physical basis. ("MAYBE")|
|3.0||Checked, datum seems to be in error. ("BAD")|
|4.0||Checked, datum is interpolated. ("ESTIMATED")|
|9.0||Checked, datum was missing in original file. ("MISSING")|
The following is a sample record of St. Maarten RAINEX high resolution rawinsonde data in ESC format. The data portion is much longer than 80 characters and, therefore, wraps around to a second line. See section 2.1 for an exact format specification
Data Type: St. Maarten Sounding Project ID: RAINEX Release Site Type/Site ID: TNCM 78866 St. Maarten Release Location (lon,lat,alt): 063 6.00'W, 18 2.00'N, -63.100, 18.033, 5.0 UTC Release Time (y,m,d,h,m,s): 2005, 08, 11, 23:31:00 Ascension No: 206 Baroswitch Number: 849475750 / / / / Nominal Release Time (y,m,d,h,m,s): 2005, 08, 12, 00:00:00 Time Press Temp Dewpt RH Ucmp Vcmp spd dir Wcmp Lon Lat Ele Azi Alt Qp Qt Qrh Qu Qv QdZ sec mb C C % m/s m/s m/s deg m/s deg deg deg deg m code code code code code code ------ ------ ----- ----- ----- ------ ------ ----- ----- ----- -------- ------- ----- ----- ------- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 0.0 1016.1 28.4 22.8 71.9 -3.5 -0.0 3.5 90.0 999.0 -63.100 18.033 999.0 999.0 5.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 9.0 2.0 1015.4 28.9 23.1 70.8 -3.4 -0.1 3.4 88.3 3.1 9999.000 999.000 999.0 999.0 11.2 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 99.0 4.0 1014.7 29.5 23.6 70.8 -3.3 -0.2 3.3 86.5 3.1 9999.000 999.000 999.0 999.0 17.4 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 99.0 6.0 1013.9 29.3 23.5 71.0 -3.2 -0.3 3.3 84.7 3.5 9999.000 999.000 999.0 999.0 24.5 3.0 3.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 99.0 8.0 1013.6 29.5 23.6 70.9 -3.2 -0.4 3.2 82.8 1.3 9999.000 999.000 999.0 999.0 27.2 3.0 3.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 99.0 10.0 1013.5 29.6 23.8 70.9 -3.1 -0.5 3.1 81.0 0.5 9999.000 999.000 999.0 999.0 28.1 3.0 3.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 99.0
|TNCM||78866 St. Maarten||XX||-63.10||18.033||5.0|
This dataset underwent an automated QC process. The dataset underwent internal consistency checks which included two types of checks, gross limit checks on all parameters and rate-of-change checks on temperature, pressure and ascension rate. Some further information on the QC processing conducted by EOL can be found in Loehrer et al. (1996) and Loehrer et al. (1998).
These checks were conducted on each sounding and data were automatically flagged as appropriate. Only the data point under examination was flagged. EOL conducted the following gross limit checks on the RAINEX St. Maarten sounding dataset. In the table P = pressure, T = temperature, RH = relative humidity, U = U wind component, V = V wind component, B = bad, and Q = questionable.
|Parameter||Gross Limit Check||Parameter(s) Flagged||Flag Applied|
|Pressure||< 0 mb or > 1050 mb||P||B|
|Altitude||< 0 m or > 40000 m||P, T, RH||Q|
|Temperature||< -90 °C or > 45 °C||T||T|
|Dew Point||< -99.9 °C or > 33 °C
|Relative Humidity||< 0% or > 100%||RH||B|
|Wind Speed||< 0 m/s or > 100 m/s
> 150 m/s
|U Wind Component||< 0 m/s or > 100 m/s
> 150 m/s
|V Wind Component||< 0 m/s or > 100 m/s
> 150 m/s
|Wind Direction||< 0° or > 360°||U, V||B|
|Ascent Rate||< -10 m/s or > 10 m/s||P, T, RH||Q|
These checks were conducted on each sounding and data were automatically flagged as appropriate. These checks were started at the lowest level of the sounding and compared neighboring 2-sec data points (except at pressures less than 100 mb where 30-sec average values were used. In the case of checks ensuring that the values increased/decreased as expected, only the data point under examination was flagged. However, for the other checks, all of the data points used in the examination were flagged. All items within the table are as previously defined.
|Parameter||Vertical Consitency Check||Parameter(s) Flagged||Flag Applied|
|Time||decreasing / equal||None||None|
|Altitude||decreasing / equal||P, T, RH||Q|
|Pressure||increasing / equal
> 1 mb/s or < -1 mb/s
> 2 mb/s or < -2 mb/s
|P, T, RH|
P, T, RH
P, T, RH
|Temperature||< -15 °C/km
< -30 °C/km
> 50 °C/km (not applied at p < 250 mb)
>100 °C/km (not applied at p < 250 mb)
|P, T, RH
P, T, RH
P, T, RH
P, T, RH
|Ascent Rate||change of > 3 m/s or & lt; -3 m/s
change of > 5 m/s or < -5 m/s
St. Maarten is one of the Caribbean upper air sites that has had a known problem with erratic and inconsistent meteorological parameter reports in the high resolution data from the B-2 sondes used in conjuction with the 1500C.
To alleviate this known problem, the data were rederived from the raw data using a seven point traveling average to smooth these fluctuations that appeared in the raw data. The averaging used the previous three points, the current point, and the following three points to make the averaged record for the new current point. The first three points of the record were assumed correct since there were not three previous points to use in the average.
The measurments of pressure, temperature, relative humidity, and the U and V wind components were averaged. The remaining parameters were derived from the new averaged values. In the cases where there were missing values in the average, the average was not calculated and was set to the corresponding missing value instead.
Loehrer, S. M., T. A. Edmands, and J. A. Moore, 1996: TOGA COARE upper-air sounding data archive: development and quality control procedures. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 2651-2671.
Loehrer, S. M., S. F. Williams, and J. A. Moore, 1998: Results from UCAR/JOSS quality control of atmospheric soundings from field projects. Preprints, Tenth Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation, Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 1-6.