In 1987, the
Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology (OFCM) assumed responsibility
for preparing and maintaining Federal Meteorological Handbooks. The task of
accomplishing preparation and coordination of handbook No. 3
(FMH-3)--Radiosonde Observations and associated handbooks #4, 5, and 6, was
assigned to the Ad Hoc Group for FMH-Upper Air (AHG FMH-UA) through the Working
Group for Upper Air Observations under the Committee for Basic Services (CBS).
This edition of FMH-3, "Rawinsonde and Pibal Observations," concludes a 5-year effort by the AHG/FMH-UA to meet the objectives outlined in giudance issued by CBS. Specifically, the CBS directed that the new FMH-3 should: (1) reflect our Nation's commitments to international organizations (i.e.,WMO,ICAO) ; (2) integrate conventional and automatically observed data by adopting new standards for automated, augmented, and manual observations; (3) allow agencies to prepare and issue agency-specific procedures and instructions for taking and reporting upper air observations; and (4) combine FMHs 3,4,5, and 6 into a new FMH-3. In previous editions of the Federal Meteorological Handbooks, all procedures and internal agency instructions pertaining to upper air observations were described in FMHs 3 through 6. Beginning with this edition, FMH-3 will contain only Federal standards; it will not contain agency-specific procedures and practices.
I would like to acknowledge the efforts put forth by members of the AHG/FMH-UA, past as well as present, who diligently labored and persevered to produce this document. Interagency coordination, especially the establishment of new standards which have impacts on policies and procedures, is an extremely difficult task and worthy of special recognition. I commend the AHG/FMH-UA members for their efforts.
Julian M. Wright, Jr.
Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services
and Supporting Research
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