Global Atmospheric Research Program/First Garp Global Experiment (GARP/FGGE)

Project Description
Science Objectives:
-Understanding atmospheric motion for the development of more realistic
models for weather prediction.
-Assessing the limit of predictability of weather systems.
-Designing an optimum composite meteorological observing system for routine
numerical weather prediction of the large-scale features of the general
-Investigating the physical mechanisms underlying climate fluctuations and
to develop and test appropriate climate models.
Project Description:
GARP (Global Atmospheric Research Program) was organized by the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Council of
Scientific Unions (ICSU) to study the dynamics of atmospheric behavior
with the goal of improving the accuracy of weather forecasting. The
First GARP Global Experiment (FGGE) which is also known as the Global
Weather Experiment (GWE) was carried out under this joint program.
The experiment began 1 December 1978 and ended 30 November 1979. This
venture involved over 140 countries and was the largest international
atmospheric experiment of its time. The FGGE also encompassed the
summer and winter Asian Monsoon Experiments (MONEX) and the West
African Monsoon Experiment (WAMEX) designed to study monsoonal
circulations. The FGGE was designed to observe and measure the
development of global weather systems and to accumulate an enormous
data set for investigating the physics and dynamics of the global
atmospheric circulation and for understanding the mechanisms governing
changes in weather and climate.
Data Sources:
The FGGE observing system consisted of the World Weather Watch (WWW)
surface/upper-air network and voluntary observing ships, commercial
aircraft, polar orbiting and geostationary satellites, drifting
meteorological buoys mainly in the southern hemispheric oceans.
During special observing periods (SOP) 5 January - 5 March 1979 and 1
May - June 30 1979, additional observing systems comprised of tropical
wind observing ships, meteorological reconnaissance aircraft and
stratospheric constant-level balloons were deployed. The WWW
observing system consisted of 1030 upper-air stations, 2390 surface
stations and surface synoptic reports from Mobile Ship Stations.
Flight level data were supplied by 80 commercial aircraft equipped
with the Aircraft Integrated Data System (AIDS) providing temperature
and wind measurements, along with 17 commercial aircraft equipped with
the Aircraft to Satellite Data Relay (ASDAR) system providing
identical data. The three polar orbiting satellites, NOAA-5, TIROS-N
and NOAA-6 contributed temperature and humidity profiles, sea surface
temperature (SST) data, high resolution pictures of clouds, surface
wind speed over the oceans, total atmospheric water vapor and
stratospheric soundings (NIMBUS-7). TIROS-N and NOAA-6 also supported
the ARGOS data collection and platform location system associated with
the Southern Hemisphere Buoy System and the Tropical Constant Level
Balloon System. The five geostationary satellites, METEOSAT,
GOES-Indian Ocean, GMS, GOES-WEST and GOES-EAST provided upper-air
wind vectors from cloud motions, SST and communication support for
ASDAR. The Southern Hemisphere Drifting Buoy System consisted of 301
buoys transmitting SST and pressure data to the TIROS-N/ARGOS system
with additional buoys distributed by aircraft as gaps developed. The
Tropical Wind Observing Ships (TWOS) totaling 40 in SOP I and 43 in
SOP II were equipped with upper-air sounding systems and wind-finding
radar. The Aircraft Dropwindsonde System (ACDWS) consisted of a fleet
of long-range aircraft flying daily during the two SOP's along six
tracks in the equatorial tropics, three in the Pacific, one in the
Atlantic and two in the Indian Ocean. Flight level data was obtained
while 5091 sondes yielded temperature, pressure and humidity
observations from below the flight altitude (200-400mb) to the
surface. The Tropical Constant Level Balloon System (TCLBS) utilized
313 balloon launches at the 140mb level (above ACDWS) from Canton
Island and Guam in the Pacific, and Ascension Island in the Atlantic
to provide wind observations.
Data Products:
The GARP/FGGE data are identified as Level-I, II and III corresponding
to raw data (primary data), observations (meteorological parameters)
and analyzed data (initial parameters). The Level-II and III data are
subdivided into 'a' (data collected operationally in near-real time,
'b' (data collected in both real and delayed time to obtain the most
complete data set) and 'c' (data collected for climate research).
1. Main Level II-b Data Set, prepared by the Level II-b Space-Based and
Special Observing System Data Center (SPSOSDC-Sweden). This data set
contains the majority of all routine weather observations from
satellites, aircraft, buoys, ships and balloons globally observed.
2. Level II-b Restructured Data Subsets (from Main), prepared by WDC-A
(USA). Subset 1 contains all data except satellite radiances and
soundings, Subset 2 contains land surface data, Subset 3 contains
marine data, Subset 4 contains flight level data, Subsets 5 and 6
contain upper-air profiles (the only satellite soundings are from
3. Final Level II-b Data Set, prepared by the Level II-b
Space-Based and Special Observing System Data Center
(SBSOSDC-Sweden). This data set was prepared to correct
systematic errors found in the Main Level II-b Data Set
and contains specially collected data for Winter and
Summer MONEX and the African WAM.
4. Final FGGE II-b Data Set edited by the Goddard Laboratory for
Atmospheres (GLA). This data set contains edited Final Level II-b
data such as latitude/longitude corrections, deletions of
measurements from TIROS-N due to precipitable water contamination,
deletion of erroneous USSR wind reports, corrections of certain
ASDAR data.
5. Level II-b Restructured Data Subsets, prepared by WDC-A from Final
Level II-b Data Set. Subsets are the same as in above (2.) except
for Subset 6 which is not contained.
6. LIMS/FGGE Level II-b Data Set produced by NCAR for the USA
Experimental Satellite Data Producer, NASA/GSFC. This data set
contains stratospheric temperature profiles from the Nimbus-7 Limb
Infrared Monitor of the Stratosphere (LIMS).
7. Special Level II-b Data from FGGE Drifting Buoy System. This data
set which was originally prepared by the Canadian Department of
Fisheries and Oceans, contains buoys numbered by geographic
8. Level II-c Data Sets. These data sets include the Surface Based
Ozone Data Set from the World Ozone Data Center in Canada, the FGGE
Level II-c Cloudiness Data Set prepared by WDC-A using the Air
Force Global Weather Central's (AFGWC) operational 3-dimensional
cloud analysis (3DNEPH), the FGGE Level II-c Snow Cover Data Set
prepared by the United States Air Force Environmental Technical
Applications Center (USAFETAC) using the AFGWC Snow Depth Analysis,
the FGGE Level II-c Precipitation and Snow Data Set produced by the
Level II-c Precipitation and Snow Data Center at the National
Climatic Center.
9. Level III-a Data Sets, prepared separately by the World
Meteorological Centers in Washington, Moscow and Melbourne. These
data sets include the WMC Washington Level III-a Operational
Analyses providing initial state parameters for geopotential
heights, temperatures, u and v wind components, relative humidity,
sea level pressure, tropopause temperature and pressure along with a
snow cover field representation and a sea surface temperature
analysis; WMC Moscow Level III-a Operational Analyses provide
geopotential heights at six mandatory levels (1000, 850, 700, 500,
300 and 100); WMC Melbourne Level III-a Operational Analyses
provide initial state parameters in the Southern Hemisphere for
geopotential heights, temperatures, u and v wind components, dew
points and sea level pressures.
10. Level III-b Data Sets, produced separately by the European Center
for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) (Reading, England) and
NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). These data
sets include the ECMWF Level III-b Global Experiment Analyses Data
Set containing geopotential height, mean sea level pressure, u and
v wind components temperature, relative humidity and vertical
velocity; the GFDL Level III-b Global Experiment Data Set provide
analyses of u and v wind stress components, vertical velocity,
relative humidity, geopotential height, mixing ratio, temperature,
u and v wind components, sea level pressure; the Goddard Laboratory
for Atmospheres (GLA) Level III-b Reanalysis uses the Final Level
II-b data, the GLA Fourth Order Model and satellite temperature
1. FGGE Level II-c Solar Radiation and Radiation Balance Data Set
prepared by the Level II-c Surface-Based Radiation Data Center
(USSR). This data set consists of monthly summaries which contain
the following tables: (a) daily and monthly values of global solar
radiation, monthly values of sunshine duration; (b) hourly, daily
and monthly values of radiation balance and global radiation; (c)
monthly means of global radiation at hourly intervals.
Project Archive Contact:
A. L. Shumbera
WDC-A for Meteorology
National Climatic Data Center
Federal Building
Asheville, NC 28801
(704) 259-0395
Dr. V. I. Smirnov
Molodezhnaya 3
Moscow 117296, USSR
Project Technical Contact:
Mr. Robert Williams
WDC-A for Meteorology
National Climatic Data Center
Federal Building
Asheville, NC 28801
(704) 259-0370
FTS 672-0682
Ms. Lola Olsen
NASA's Climatic Data System
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Code 634
Greenbelt, MD 20771
(301) 286-9760
Dr. Wayman Baker
National Meteorological Center
World Weather Building, Room 204
5200 Auth Road
Camp Springs, MD 20746
(301) 763-8005
Mr. Roy Jenne
National Center of Atmospheric Research
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307
(303) 497-1215
FTS 320-1215
World Meteorological Organization, GARP Publication Series Number 26,
Vol. I and II, April 1986.
NASA Climatic Data System (NCDS) Catalog Information System.