Upper-air soundings

From Glossary of Meteorology
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upper-air sounding

(Also called upper-air observation.) A measurement of the vertical profile of the thermodynamic and kinematic state of the atmosphere.

A radiosonde makes an in situ point measurement of the atmosphere that it passes through. In contrast, a radar or lidar profiler makes a remotely sensed volumetric measurement of the atmosphere above the profiler location.
See also radiosonde observation, rawinsonde, rocketsonde, sounding.