Large variations in balloon ascent rate over Hawaii

Academic Article


  • A sequence of nine weather balloons were launched recently over the island of Hawaii during the nights of 12, 13, and 17 December, 2002, providing measurements of ascent rate, horizontal wind speed and direction, temperature, and other quantities. The measurements show short intervals of altitude with a large increase in ascent rate, occurring only near the tropopause, indicating regions of strong upward air velocity at this location. The large ascent rates correlate well to the strength of a jet stream, and with the presence of a local critical level, indicating mountain waves as the primary cause. No corresponding decreases in ascent rate were measured, suggesting strong three‐dimensional effects.
  • Authors

  • McHugh, John
  • Dors, I
  • Jumper, GY
  • Roadcap, JR
  • Murphy, EA
  • Hahn, DC
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • August 14, 2008
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)


  • 113
  • Issue

  • D15