What Can You Learn from a Thermometer on a Rising Balloon?
ES1702  Wind Speed versus Elevation

You have been identifying the top of the troposphere by examining temperature data. Measuring changes in wind speed can also identify boundaries between atmospheric layers. This graph shows wind speeds encountered at different altitudes near Riverton, Wyoming on August 20, 2001 (12Z).

9. Make a general statement about what happens to the speed of the wind as the balloon rises through the atmosphere.

Data from National Weather Service

  !   Click the button at the bottom of the graph to switch between the wind and temperature profiles for this sounding.

10. How does the altitude at which the wind speed stops increasing and begins decreasing compare to the altitude of the change from troposphere to stratosphere?

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