|Twice a day, seven days a week, hundreds of weather stations around
the world release weather balloons into the atmosphere. Under the helium
or hydrogen-filled balloon, an instrument package, called a radiosonde,
broadcasts continuous weather data back to the launch site. The National
Weather Service offices in Denver and Grand Junction do upper air
soundings in Colorado.
The radiosonde consists of a radio transmitter, temperature
sensor, humidity sensor, and a pressure sensor. The winds aloft can be
computed from the measured elevations and azimuth of the radiosonde at a
given pressure (recall that pressure decreases with increasing height).
So, from this instrument package, the complete temperature, moisture,
wind, and pressure profile of the atmosphere in the vicinity of the site
is obtained. Data for up to 100,000 feet up can be collected. The upper
air soundings from all over the country, and worldwide, are collected
and fed into the various NWS forecast models in high speed computers
near Washington, D.C.
for the latest upper air sounding from Denver.
for upper air soundings nationwide.
Air and Surface Maps for the US from the Storm Prediction Center
More about the
National Weather Service Upper Air Observation Program
New Automated Suface Observing Systems
(ASOS) are in use at nearly 1,000 locations across the nation. The ASOS
system serves as the nation's primary surface weather observing network.
ASOS is designed to support weather forecast activities and aviation
operations and, support the needs of the meteorological, hydrological
and climatological research communities. ASOS works non-stop, updating
observations every minute, 24 hours a day. Critical weather changes are
updated much more quickly with ASOS than in the past with manual
observations. Until ASOS technology improves even more, though, those
sites which were manned in the past will continue to be manually
ASOS sites in Pueblo's CWFA include Colorado Springs,
Bullseye (east of Colorado Springs in El Paso county), Pueblo, Alamosa,
Leadville, La Junta, and Lamar. More sites may be added in the coming
Click here for a picture of
information about ASOS