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Intercomparison of Humidity and Temperature Sensors:GTS1, Vaisala RS80, and CFH

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Citation:    Bian, J. C., H. B. Chen, H. VÄomel, Y. J. Duan, Y. J. Xuan, and D. R. LÄu, 2011: Intercomparison
of humidity and temperature sensors: GTS1, Vaisala RS80, and CFH. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 28(1), 139{146,
doi: 10.1007/s00376-010-9170-8.

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Abstract:   GTS1 digital radiosonde, developed by the Shanghai Changwang Meteorological Science and Technology Company in 1998, is now widely used in operational radiosonde stations in China. A preliminary comparison of simultaneous humidity measurements by the GTS1 radiosonde, the Vaisala RS80 radiosonde, and the Cryogenic Frostpoint Hygrometer (CFH), launched at Kunming in August 2009, reveals a large dry bias
produced by the GTS1 humidity sensor. The average relative dry bias is in the order of 10% below 500 hPa,
increasing rapidly to 30% above 500 hPa, and up to 55% at 310 hPa. A much larger dry bias is observed
in the daytime, and this daytime e®ect increases with altitude. The GTS1 radiosonde fails to respond to
humidity changes in the upper troposphere, and sometimes even in the middle troposphere. The failure of
GTS1 in the middle and upper troposphere will result in signi¯cant arti¯cial humidity shifts in radiosonde
climate records at stations in China where a transition from mechanical to digital radiosondes has occurred.
A comparison of simultaneous temperature observations by the GTS1 radiosonde and the Vaisala RS80
radiosonde suggests that these two radiosondes provide highly reproducible temperature measurements in
the troposphere, but produce opposite biases for daytime and nighttime measurements in the stratosphere.
In the stratosphere, the GTS1 shows a warm bias (<0.5 K) in the daytime and a relatively large cool bias
(¡0:2 K to ¡1:6 K) at nighttime.
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