Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 19:07:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Re: Winds aloft NASHVILLE 3 PM WINDS 24,000 ft

In a message dated 6/2/2006 1:13:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

The one thing I do see is on the 7th in Nashville we have a wind speed  of
20 and then 10, 10...not sure how this relates to altitude or if it does,
but it does pick up faster later (or higher?) so this may account for that
apparent STATIONARY report for a time so in two hours it would have covered
20 miles. If spotted first in Maysville then Ft. Knox area..., but again I
get temp, direction, spd, but geo_hgt and press_mb I am lost and don't know
how it interrelates.

Since the soundings from Nashville at 3 PM on Jan 7, 1948, cut off at 11,000 ft I looked at 3 PM on the days before and after to see what the general pattern was and to see if they got higher altitude readings.  (I should not have to explain why 3 AM soundings are IRRELEVANT to what was going on with the winds around Mantell's crash at 3 PM on Jna 7, as night weather is different from late afternoon for meteorology reasons I don't need to go into.  Of course 3 AM soundings will be relevant farther back up a Skyhook path to Minn. but not at NASHVILLE where Seyfert sighted a balloon-like object at 4:30-4:45 PM.)

Yup here it is Nashville on the 5th at 3 PM up to 24,000 ft:

#72327 19480105  159999  10
21100500B  177    28B-9999   40   10
10100000A  220B   18B-9999   50   10
10 85000  1519B   30B-9999  330  130
10 70000  3081B  -14B-9999  320  170
10 50000  5690B -172B-9999  320  260
10 40000  7324B -297B-9999  300  280

The last entry means 7,324 meters or about 24,000 ft wind at 3 PM on Jan 5, 1948, was from azimuth 300 degs or WNW at 28 m/sec or about 63 mph at Nashville.  The pattern was the same checking 3 PM on earlier days when they got 24,000 ft soundings (on the 3rd at 3 PM also 300 degs from WNW at 36 m/sec or 58 mph). 

That means that according to Nashville weather data a balloon at 24,000 ft at 3 PM that first week in Jan 1948 should have been blown to the azimuth 120 degs or ESE.

But astronomer Carl Seyfert saw his balloon at 4:30 PM in the SSE heading away from him to the SSE or about azimuth 160 degs not 120 degs, then it shifted direction to due W 270, the exact opposite of the prevailing winds to the E.  Also any balloon near Godman then S to Franklin to where mantell crashed then to Nashville has to be moving to the SSW or 200 degs azimuth just about on Mantell's 220 heading, not the winds blowing to 120 degs. 

We would need to see if other stations in the Mantell region and along the Skyhook path might have gotten upper winds above 25,000 ft on Jan 6-7, like Evansville, Lexington, Knoxville, St Louis especially, etc.  NCDC should be able to say who had upper air data on those dates in the whole region.