Upper wind observing systems used for meteorological operations
Abstract. Methods of upper wind measurements used in operational meteorology have been reviewed to provide guidance to those developing wind profiler radar systems. The main limitations of the various methods of tracking weather balloons are identified using results from the WMO radiosonde comparisons and additional tests in the United Kingdom. Costs associated with operational balloon measurements are reviewed. The sampling and quality of operational aircraft wind observations are illustrated with examples from the ASDAR system. Measurement errors in horizontal winds are quantified wherever possible. When tracking equipment is functioning correctly, random errors in southerly and westerly wind component measurements from aircraft and weather balloons are usually in the range 0.5-2 m s-1.