Assessing Atmospheric Stability 

  • The bottom line - compare an air parcels temperature (Tp) with the environmental temperature (Te) at a given altitude

    • if Tp > Te, parcel rises
    • if Tp = Te parcel does not move up or down
    • if Tp < Te parcel sinks
  • So, to assess stability, what two pieces of information do we need?  ANSWER

  • Vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature are collected at 12, 00 UTC every day at select NWS offices by launching balloon soundings: