By World Meteorological Organization

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However, it should be realized that the mean rate of ascent of a balloon, especially in the first few hundred metres, may differ appreciably from the assumed rate of ascent owing to vertical currents, the shape of the balloon, precipitation and turbulence. Balloons should not be used for clOUd-base height measurements in moderate or heavy precipitation. 5 This method is rather time-consuming and prone to errors and for aeronautical use should normally be regarded only as a supplement to basic instrumental methods.

1 The sensor consists of a thin metallic mirror of small diameter (1-2 mm), which is thermally regulated using a cooling assembly (and poss ibly a heater) an d a AERODROME OBSERV ATIONS temperature sensor (thermocouple or resistance thermometer) embedded beneath the mirror. In order to guarantee adequate response the mirror must have a high. thermal conductance. Suitable metal s include silver, copper, gold, stainless steel and their alloys. The mirror should be free from any atmospheric contaminants: water-soluble ones tend to lower the apparent dew point (Raoult effect), while hydrophobic ones tend to raise the apparent dew point (Kelvin effect).

Th e use of 28 CHAPTER 2 insLIuments is limited to measurements of cloud-base height at selected locations. Vi , ual observations, usually made from one observer position only, include cloud amount and cloud-type observations as well as the measurements of height of cloud base by use of balloons and light projectors. The combination of vi sual observations and instrumental observations involves the interpretation of ceilometer records with regard to the visually observed characteristics of the cloud and precipitation conditions.

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