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  Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS)

Gap-filling Upper Air Datasets


Gap-filling upper air datasets are NOAA's research efforts at determining cost effective methods for filling observational gaps that help improve the accuracy of forecasting high-impact events.

Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT)


The Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) project is part of the NOAA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program. The objectives of the SHOUT project are to:
  1. Quantify the significance of unmanned observations to high impact weather prediction through data impact studies using Observing System Experiments (OSE) based on unmanned observations collected during prototype operational field missions and Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSE) based on expected unmanned observing capabilities.
  2. Quantify the cost and operational benefit of unmanned observing technology for high impact weather prediction through detailed analysis of life-cycle operational costs and constraints versus scientific benefit.
The overall goal of the SHOUT project is to demonstrate and test prototype UAS concepts of operations that could be used to mitigate the risk of diminished high impact weather forecasts and warnings in the case of polar-orbiting satellite observing gaps.

The SHOUT project supported three campaigns from 2015-2017 that captured data for 6 hurricanes, one El Nino event, and two UAV ferry events.
  1. 2015 Hurricane Campaign
  2. 2016 El Nino Rapid Response Campaign
  3. 2016 Hurricane Rapid Response Campaign
The 2015 Hurricane campaign consisted of five flights, two of which were ferry flights (plane launch site moved between Edwards Air Force Base and Wallops Island) and three were for gathering information about Hurricanes, which resulted in data being collected from 107 dropsondes. 71 dropsondes for hurricane Erica (August 24-28, 2015) and 17 dropsondes for hurricane Fred (August 30 - September 6, 2015).

The 2016 El Nino Rapid Response Campaign consisted of 3 flights that captured data from 89 dropsondes between February 12 and February 22, 2016.

The 2016 Hurricane Rapid Response Campaign resulted in data being collected from 634 dropsondes that covered 4 hurricanes and 1 tropical depression that developed into hurricane Hermine. Data was collected from: 134 dropsondes for hurricane Gaston (August 22 - September 2, 2016); 89 dropsondes for tropical depression eight (August 28 - September 1, 2016) that developed into hurricane Hermine (August 28 - September 3, 2016); 87 dropsondes for hurricane Hermine; 159 dropsondes for hurricane Karl (September 14-25, 2016); And 165 dropsondes for hurricane Matthew (September 28 - October 9, 2016).


  • NOAA: AVAPS - Advanced Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System developed by NCAR. High vertical resolution measurements of the temperature, pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed and direction are collected from up to 88 dropsondes at altitudes ranging from 65000 ft.
  • NASA: HIWRAP - High-Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler, radar designed to examine the factors of storm intensity: formation, structure and intensification.
  • NASA JPL: HAMSR - High Altitude MMIC Sounding Radiometer an atmospheric sounder intended for aircraft deployment is a microwave temperature and humidity sounder instrument that looks at the microwave spectrum and was designed and built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • NASA GHRC: LIP - CAMEX-4 ER-2 Lightning Instrument Package consists of eight state of the art digital electric field mills and a dual-tube Gerdien conductivity probe; These field mills allow the determination of the vector components of the electric field to improve our knowledge of the electrical structure.

Geographic Coverage

Pacific, Arctic, and Eastern US coast.

Data Schedule

MADIS AVAPS data capabilities were implemented in September 2016 and data will be available for all SHOUT flights that occurred between 2015 and 2016. For any new misions, the MADIS system will be collecting AVAPS information in near-realtime. All AVAPS data is archived at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

As the SHOUT team selects the timing for implementing the remaining sensor type data in MADIS this page will be updated to reflect the implementation schedule.


Payload for the UAS will be determined by the impact studies and also based on the weather event to be observed. The Global Hawk is capable of carrying 88 AVAPS for a single mission each AVAPS would be sending over 40,000 observation sample points.


No restrictions. All observations are publicly accessible.


WISDOM Balloon Winds


The WISDOM program aims to improve the hurricane track prediction in the 3 to 7 day period before landfall by providing wind and atmospheric data in areas of the Atlantic basin that are poorly observed. NOAA, with major funding support from the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, conducted a successful initial feasibility test during the 2008 hurricane season with balloons reporting wind data in near real-time. WISDOM will conduct a Proof of Concept in 2009 to determine the long term hurricane track forecast improvements achieved by ingesting WISDOM data into global forecast models.

The WISDOM system is designed around the availability of small super-pressure balloons, and the availability of small (100 gram) electronics which include over the horizon Global Positioning System and satellite radio communications capabilities. The concept is that large numbers of WISDOM balloons with the GPS payload are released to optimize weather prediction at a future time for phenomena of interest.

Advanced techniques of assimilation and modeling are used to determine the release locations of the balloons to optimize their trajectories to improve future numerical weather prediction. A total of 88 WISDOM balloons were launched during the 2008 season - notably 57 balloons around Hurricane Paloma.

In 2009, with major funding support from DHS S&T, NOAA and the Air Force Weather Agency, the program will seek to quantify the forecast improvement provided by ingesting WISDOM data into numerical weather prediction models, including ESRL.s FIM model. Two major hurricanes threatening the US will be targeted for the WISDOM 2009 Proof of Concept deployments. In addition to providing wind data the 2009 WISDOM balloon system will also include termination devices and a pressure sensor. Up to 250 WISDOM balloon systems will be launched from up to ten sites in the continental US and overseas with the aim for improving numerical weather prediction. WISDOM balloons will be launched about 6-9 days in advance of the anticipated hurricane landfall at two altitudes, 12,000 ft and 26,000 ft. Two major tropical cyclones will be targeted for WISDOM launches during the operating season beginning on or about September 1, 2009 and ending on or about October 1, 2009. Data will be reported approximately every 30 minutes. The balloons will remain in the air for about 2-10 days.

MADIS users who request access to the WISDOM data will be sent an email when the launches occur. After the flights, the data will remain accessible from the MADIS archive of saved-real time data. The long term goal is to saturate the data void for every major storm with several hundred balloons in an attempt to measurably improve the 3 to 7 day hurricane forecast. Observations from these data void areas may significantly improve the 24 hour forecast, saving lives and property, conserve energy, and potentially save millions of dollars.

WISDOM data should be considered experimental.

Geographic Coverage

Launch locations for the 2009 Hurricane Season:
  • Atlantic: Barbados; Azores; Dakar, Senegal.
  • Caribbean: Islamorada, FL; Puerto Rico; Bermuda.
  • US East Coast: Tybee CGS, GA, Wallops Island CGS, VA.
  • US Gulf Coast: Waveland, MS, Corpus Christi, TX.

Data Schedule

Data will be available in 2009 only during yet to-be-determined tropical activity periods in September. Reports will be available approximately every 30 minutes.


Data volume is expected to be low.


No restrictions. All observations are publicly accessible.

Variable Details

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Last updated 28 March 2017