The spatial evolution of acoustic waveforms produced by a laboratory-scale Mach 3 jet are investigated using both 1∕4 in. and 1∕8 in. pressure field microphones located along rays emanating from the postpotential core where the peak sound emission is found to occur. The measurements are acquired in a fully anechoic chamber, where ground or other large surface reflections are minimal. Various statistical metrics are examined along the peak emission path, where they are shown to undergo rapid changes within 2m from the source region. An experimentally validated wave-packet model is then used to confirm the location where the pressure amplitude along the peak emission path transitions from cylindrical to spherical decay. Various source amplitudes, provided by the wave-packet model, are then used to estimate shock formation distance and Gol’dberg numbers for diverging waves. The findings suggest that cumulative nonlinear distortion is likely to occur at laboratory scale near the jet flow, where the waveform amplitude decays cylindrically, but less likely to occur farther from the jet flow, where the waveform amplitude decays spherically. Direct inspection of the raw time series reveals how steepened waveforms are generated by rogue like waves that form from the constructive interference of waves from neighboring sources as opposed to classical cumulative nonlinear distortion.