The ASAP in its present form began in the mid-1980s. It involves the generation of upper air profile data from data sparse ocean areas using automated sounding systems carried on board merchant ships plying regular ocean routes. The profile data are all made available in real time on the GTS, for use by operational centres. ASAP is of vital importance to both the World Wether Watch (WWW) and the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). Several National Meteorological Services operate ASAP units, and the programme is coordinated through the ASAP Panel (ASAPP), a component of the JCOMM Ship Observations Team (SOT). Most of the soundings are presently from the North Atlantic and North West Pacific Oceans, but the programme is also expanding into other ocean basins. ASAP Status and information on data quality is regularly provided in the SOT Annual Report.
(page last updated 2 June, 2009 )
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