The section "Time Series and Monthly Means" in the PACS-SONET homepage had not been updated in the last two years or so. With the January 2004 monthly summary we have resumed a task that is essential for the project and serves several purposes, among them:
We are specially interested in having the observers review the statistics we will be presenting every month on the operation of the network so they feel motivated to do a better job during upcoming months. We are certain that the observers perform better when they perceive that the data are being used and that their work has a purpose. Also, we hope that the coordinators and other participants in the different countries see in this exercise a support to their daily activities.
For the identification of possible bias in the observations, we have generated maps with monthly averages of the wind data, using observations from the pilot balloon stations and from the regular radiosonde network. Although we are not displaying an analysis along with the maps, we hope that many participants will feel motivated to make their own analysis and to determine if the special PACS-SONET observations are good in quality and if these have a significant impact in the density of the regular upper-air network.
The time series graphs allow for quick assessment of daily changes in the atmospheric circulation. Furthermore, we can notice some errors that unfortunately still exist in the data, but we hope that displaying them will serve as a motivation to the observers so they will take greater care when reading the angles and processing the soundings. A few days or weeks after publishing the graphs, we will generate the maps again using a corrected version of the data.