Doppler radar quick-looks from 4 AM P-3 flight, 26 October 2011

As Hurricane Rina passed north of Honduras (outlined in black across the bottom of the images) tracking toward the Yucatan Peninsula (outlined in black in the top left of the images) NOAA P-3 missions collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating model guidance. Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within the inner core of Hurricane Rina sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 early on 26 October 2011. These images are at three altitudes, 1 km, 5 km, and 10 km, using a composite of winds from all two legs oriented northeast-southwest, and southeast-northwest. The analyses indicate that Rina had a 15-nm radius of maximum wind at 1- and 5-km altitude with the peak rotating upwind from northwest at 1-km, to north at 5-km, to east-southeast at 10-km altitude indicative of increasing westerly winds aloft. There is a noticeable tilt toward the east-northeast in the center of the circulation from 1- to 10-km altitude, and the wind field is more asymmetric making the center harder to define above 5 km, suggesting that Rina is encountering steadily increasing vertical shear of the horizontal wind from the west-southwest. The north-south asymmetry is most pronounced  at large radii above 1-km altitude.

All the Rina radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at ftp://ftp.aoml.noaa.gov/pub/hrd/data/2011/rina.