Legacy Atmospheric Sounding Data Set Project

Some of the boxes at NCAR containing archives of microfilm for GATE and CCOPE. Photo Courtesy Steve Williams.

For nearly half a century, field experiments have been conducted from the tropics to the polar regions involving intensive observations of atmosphere, ocean, and land processes over selected locations of interest around the globe. The atmospheric component of field program data sets that tends to have the greatest long-term value to the science community is that provided by atmospheric sounding systems. These observations are used most commonly for diagnostic studies for the development of cloud parameterizations for weather and climate models, and calibration and validation of independent data sets. Many of these data are also used in special model reanalysis efforts. Upper-air data sets from field programs are generally of higher quality because the large suite of instruments deployed in these field campaigns allows for cross-calibration that can greatly enhance data accuracy. With the passing of time, there is a danger that some of these datasets will be difficult to find.

Due to the usefulness and importance of these sounding datasets and in consideration to the enormous investment to collect them, a collaborative data stewardship effort involving the Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU) is underway to:

A 9-track tape.
  1. Identify past field programs for which central collections of sounding data do not exist,
  2. Track down existing holdings of sounding data for those field programs, to the extent they exist, at centers, laboratories, and universities,
  3. Extract sounding data that are found on old storage media (i.e., 9-track tapes, printouts, etc.), and place into a consistent, easily-read, digital format,
  4. Carry out standard quality control of the sounding data including objective gross limit and vertical consistency checks, and
  5. Prepare a catalog and a central, publicly accessible archive of the sounding data (probably at NCAR and/or NCDC).
Reports and documentation from the BOMEX project. Photo courtesy Steve Williams.

The table below is a lists of field programs with upper-air sonde datasets. This list is incomplete with missing entries and datasets that have not be located. A question mark in a table entry indicates that a dataset was known to exist but has not been located. The entry "digital" means the dataset has been located in an ASCII digital form, whereas "digital coded" means the dataset has been located in digital form which we have not yet been able to decode (e.g., binary EBCDIC). As additional information becomes available, this table will be updated and corrected with links provided to each dataset.

We are requesting the assistance of the atmospheric science community to help us in this process, and in particular, to locate missing datasets which are in ASCII digital form. Though our primary interest is in upper-air sonde data, as other supporting datasets and/or documentation are found (e.g., surface, aircraft, radar, ect) links will provided to these as well. An active link under the experiment name indicates that a web page has been set up with additional information on that field program.

Please use the information below this table to contact us.

Experiment Name Beginning Date Ending Date PIs Host Countries Location Upper-Air Sondes Surface Aircraft Radar Ocean Other
Marshall Is. 04/1958 07/1958 Yanai US West Pacific ? - - - - -
AVE 1 02/1964 02/1964 - US SE US digital - - - - -
Line Is. 02/1967 04/1967 Zipser US Central Pacific digital - digital - - -
FSU Barbados 07/1968 09/1968 Garstang US Barbados ? ? ? - ? ?
ATEX 02/1969 02/1969 Augstein Germany Central Atlantic ? - - - - -
BOMEX 05/1969 07/1969 Holland, Kuettner US West Atlantic digital - - - - -
ISMEX 05/1973 07/1973 - India, USSR India digital - - - - -
GATE 06/1974 09/1974 Kuettner US, USSR East Atlantic digital - - - - -
AMTEX 01/1975 02/1975 Lenschow US NW Pacific ? ? ? - - -
MONSOON77 05/1977 08/1977 - India, USSR India digital - - - - -
Experiment Name Beginning Date Ending Date PIs Host Countries Location Upper-Air Sondes Surface Aircraft Radar Ocean Other
Winter MONEX 12/1978 02/1979 Krishnamurti, Webster, Houze - Malaysia - - - - - -
FGGE 01/1979 12/1979 - US, many others - digital, coded - - - - -
AVE/SESAME-1, 2 04/1979 04/1979 - US central US digital, coded - - - - -
Summer MONEX 05/1979 08/1979 Fein, Kuettner, Krisnamurti US, India Indian Ocean digital, coded - - - - -
WAMEX 07/1979 08/1979 - Africa West Africa ? - - - - -
STREX 11/1980 12/1980 - US, Canada North Pacific digital, coded - digital, coded - - -
CCOPE 05/1981 07/1981 LeMone US Northern Great Plains ? - - - - -
ALPEX 03/1982 03/1982 - - Alps digital, coded - - - - -
HIPLEX 01/1985 06/1985 - US Great Plains digital - - - - -
PRE-STORM 05/1985 06/1985 Houze, Johnson, Rutledge US Great Plains digital - - - - -
Experiment Name Beginning Date Ending Date PIs Host Countries Location Upper-Air Sondes Surface Aircraft Radar Ocean Other
GALE 01/1986 03/1986 Hobbs, Dirks US North Atlantic ? - - - - -
AMEX 10/1986 01/1987 McBride, Frank Australia Northern Australia digital - - - - -
EMEX 01/1987 02/1987 Webster, Houze US, Australia Northern Australia digital - - - - -
TAMEX 05/1987 06/1987 Johnson, B.Kuo US, Taiwan Taiwan digital - - - - -
FIRE 06/1989 06/1989 Cox, Schubert US East Pacific digital - - - - -
SWAMP 07/1990 08/1999   US, Mexico SW US, NW Mexico digital ? ? ? - -
CaPE 07/1991 08/1991 Wakimoto US Florida digital digital digital digital digital fluxes
STORM FEST 02/1992 03/1992 Dirks, Hobbs US Central US digital digital digital digital digital fluxes
ASTEX 06/1992 06/1992 Cox, Schubert US Eastern Atlantic digital - - - - -
TOGA COARE 11/1992 02/1993 Webster, Lucas US, many others West Pacific digital - - - - -
Experiment Name Beginning Date Ending Date PIs Host Countries Location Upper-Air Sondes Surface Aircraft Radar Ocean Other
BOREAS_94 02/1994 09/1994 Sellers, Barr US, Canada Canada digital digital digital - - fluxes
BOREAS_96 02/1996 10/1996 Sellers, Barr US, Canada Canada digital digital digital - - fluxes
CASES-97 04/1997 06/1997 LeMone, Grossman US Kansas digital digital digital - - fluxes
GAME 05/1998 06/1998 - Japan Asia digital - - - - -
SCSMEX 05/1998 06/1998 Johnson, Ding, Lau US, China, Taiwan South China Sea digital - - - - fluxes
TRMM/LBA 11/1998 02/1999 Halverson, Rutledge US, Brazil Amazon digital - - - - -
BOBMEX 07/1999 08/1999 Bhat India India digital - - - - -
KWAJEX 07/1999 09/1999 Yuter, Houze US Kwajalein digital digital digital digital - -
CASES-99 10/1999 10/1999 LeMone, Grossman US Kansas digital digital digital digital - fluxes
EPIC 09/2001 10/2001 Rutledge, Esbensen, Raymond US East Pacific digital digital digital digital digital satellite
Experiment Name Beginning Date Ending Date PIs Host Countries Location Upper-Air Sondes Surface Aircraft Radar Ocean Other
SALLJEX 11/2002 02/2003 Vera, Douglas US, many others South America digital - digital - - satellite
IHOP 06/2002 06/2002 Weckwerth, Parsons US Great Plains digital digital digital digital - satellite
ARMEX 06/2002 08/2002 Krisna Moorthy India Arabian Sea digital - - - - -
ARMEX II 03/2003 04/2003 Krisna Moorthy India Arabian Sea digital - - - - -
NAME 07/2004 08/2004 Johnson, Higgins, Gochis US, Mexico NW Mexico digital digital digital digital digital fluxes, satellite
RICO 11/2005 01/2006 Rauber, Stevens US Caribbean digital digital digital digital digital satellite
TWP-ICE 01/2006 02/2006 Jakob US, Australia N. Australia digital digital digital digital digital fluxes, satellite
AMMA 06/2006 09/2006 J-L Redelsperger France, Africa Africa digital digital digital digital digital fluxes, satellite
NAMMA 08/2006 09/2006 Kakar US Eastern Atlantic digital - digital digital digital satellite
MISMO 10/2006 11/2006 Yoneyama Japan Eq. Indian Ocean digital - - digital digital satellite, fluxes
Experiment Name Beginning Date Ending Date PIs Host Countries Location Upper-Air Sondes Surface Aircraft Radar Ocean Other
TiMREX 05/2008 06/2008 B. Jou, W-C. Lee Taiwan, US Taiwan digital digital - digital - satellite
PALAU08 06/2008 08/2008 Yamada Japan West Pacific digital - - ? ? ?
MC3E 04/2011 06/2011 Peterson, Jensen, Rutledge, Zipser US Central Plains digital digital digital digital - digital
DYNAMO
CINDY
AIME
10/2011 03/2012 Zhang
Yoneyama
Long
USA, Japan Indian Ocean digital digital digital digital digital satellite, fluxes

 

To contact us with information regarding the above table (e.g., corrections, additions, providing datasets), please send an email to: eol-archive@ucar.edu.