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Dataset Collection


Met Office Global Radiosonde Data

Status: Not defined
Publication State: published


Standard resolution radiosonde data from worldwide upper air stations over the period 1997 - present (Some European stations are available from 1990). The dataset consists of vertical profiles of temperature, dew-point temperature, wind speed and wind direction from the surface to approximately 20-30 km. Data are reported up to four times daily. The data are provided by the Met Office.

Citable as:Met Office (2006): Met Office Global Radiosonde Data. NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, date of citation.
Abbreviation: Met, Office, -, Global, Radiosonde
Keywords: Not defined


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This dataset consists of radiosonde data from stations worldwide. Stations are categorised into 7 regions: Africa, Asia, South America, North and Central America, South-West Pacific, Europe, and Antarctica, respectively. A clickable world map is available to view worldwide radiosonde station lists.

UK radiosonde station details can be seen through the BADC MIDAS station search engine. The stations can be located by looking for Upper Air stations on the Interactive Map.

view guide How to find a weather station using the Interactive map.

The data comprise vertical profiles of temperature, dew-point temperature, wind speed and wind direction at standard and significant pressure levels. The standard pressure levels are 1000, 925, 850, 700, 500, 400, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 70, 50, 30, 20 and 10 mb. Significant pressure levels are calculated according to the Met Office criteria and constitute levels at which significant events occur in the profile, e.g temperature inversions.

The period of coverage is 1997 to present (some European stations are available from 1990), updated weekly. Stations conduct ascents up to four times daily at the synoptic hours of 00, 06, 12, 18 GMT.

Restricted Data Access

The Met Office wish to monitor the use of this data and require an acknowledgement of the data source if they are used in any publication. The online application for access to the Met Office Radiosonde data includes acceptance of the Met Office Conditions of Use. Please note that the Met Office data sets are available for bona fide academic research only (sorry no undergraduates), on a per person per project basis (i.e. all members on a same project who will be using the data must individually apply for access to the data). If you wish to access the Met Office data for commercial or personal purposes, please contact the Met Office directly.

Your application for accessing the Met Office Radiosonde data will be processed within a day of receipt and an email confirmation will be sent. Provided your application is complete and fully meets the Met Office conditions, a web account will be established and an email message including your account details will be sent to you. You will then be able to access the Met Office Radiosonde data directories via your login account from the BADC WWW Browse Archive pages.

Data availability and file format

The data held at the BADC, are now stored in in Nasa-Ames 2160 format.

The simple data ASCII file format used previously was dropped in 2006.

The BADC provides a comprehensive help file which contains background information to help you use the Met Office radiosonde station data held at the BADC.

Additional January and February 1997 Radiosonde data can be obtained from the FASTEX (Fronts and Atlantic Storm Track EXperiment) Central Data Archive via the web at

NOAA announces the availability of a new dataset consisting of monthly time series of homogeneity-adjusted radiosonde temperatures.
These new data, Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate (RATPAC), are now available online from the National Climatic Data Center. Data coverage is near-global from a limited network of 85 stations, beginning in 1958 and continuing to present.

High resolution radiosonde data (2 seconds interval data) is also available for a number of stations run by the Met Office, e.g. Aberporth, Camborne, Lerwick.

The Met Office maintains web pages on EUMETNET (Rawinsonde Network Information, Operational problems and Research and Development) and individual member countries.

Who to contact

If you have queries about these pages or about obtaining the radiosonde station data from the BADC then you should contact BADC Support. Your query should be answered within one working day. When follow-up work is required, the BADC support will carry out the work as quickly and efficiently as possible, and in any case, the user will be kept informed of progress.

Global Radiosonde data archive not updated since August 2013 - alternative data source available
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