Atmospheric Profiles (Stüves) and Text Data for Selected Cities

Stuve chart for Nashville

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Sounding Data for BNA (72327)

12Z 26 OCT 2010

LAT =  36.25 LON =   -86.56 ELV =   210.0
980 210 23.6 18.6 74 190 13 14.0
1000 5 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0
976 244 23.6 18.6 74 190 15 14.1
933 610 20.5 17.9 85 195 40 14.0
925 684 19.8 17.7 88 200 42 14.0
901 914 17.9 16.8 93 205 54 13.5
500 5720 -7.1 -18.1 41 235 59 1.9

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Rawinsonde is the term for a radisonde instrument that is tracked to determine wind information. The radiosonde package directly measures the atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity at a series of levels while ascending through the atmosphere attached to a hydrogen or helium balloon. The data are radioed back to the launch station during the flight for immediate decoding. For more information, see

Left: Rawinsonde upper air soundings ("profiles") for individual stations can be plotted on one particular type of upper air diagram called a Stüve diagram. The Stüve heading is the year, month, date / hour (YYMMDD/HHHH UTC), World Meteorological Organization station identifier number, and 3-letter station code. The sounding for 1200Z (UTC) 26 OCT 2010 (101026/1200) for Nashville, TN (BNA, WMO #72327) is shown above.
   Additional information includes: the lifting condensation pressure level in millibars (LCLP), lifted index level in Celsius degrees (LIFT), and the "total totals" value (TOTL). These values provide information on atmospheric stability.

A Stüve diagram with sounding data contains:

  1. Temperature sounding data - black jagged line to right. The temperature scale is given in degrees Celsius along the bottom from -80 C to +40 C.
  2. Dewpoint sounding data - black jagged line to left. the dewpoint data are a measure of the water vapor content of the air, termed humidity, using the same temperature scale for the dewpoint.
  3. Temperature lines - vertical blue lines, in degrees Celsius.
  4. Pressure lines - horizontal blue lines, in millibars.
  5. Dry adiabats (potential temperature lines) - solid green lines sloping towards the upper left. They are lines depicting the temperature change of unsaturated air parcels when ascending or descending.
  6. Moist adiabats - dashed cyan lines are sloping curves toward the upper left. They represent the temperature change of saturated air parcels when ascending and releasing latent heat.
  7. Mixing ratio lines - dashed yellow lines which represent the saturation moisture content of the atmosphere.
  8. Wind barbs - to the right of the sounding grid, representing winds in station model format at altitudes indicated by the point of the wind barb. The top of the diagram represents north for wind direction. The winds at mandatory pressure reporting levels are plotted at their pressure levels, whereas winds at various height levels are plotted at their Standard Atmosphere pressure level.

Right: The abbreviated list of text data reported by the radiosonde ascent at Nashville on 12Z 26 OCT 2010 plotted to the left.

Heading of report:

For different levels in the atmosphere the upper air observation includes:

** If the surface station pressure is less than 1000 mb, the altitude of the missing 1000-mb level will be listed (less than station elevation) and other values shown as "0".

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