As Tropical Storm Isaac passed through the Florida Straits north of western Cuba (outlined by black lines along the bottom 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 Tropical Storm Isaac sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 late on 26 August 2012. These images are at three altitudes, 1 km, 3 km, and 6 km, using a composite of winds from four legs oriented north-south, east-west, southwest-northeast, and northwest-southeast. Also plotted on the 1-km altitude analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed (plotted using standard station symbols). Isaac’s circulation is much more organized than in the missions in the Caribbean Sea, with a clear circulation center at all altitudes shown, but still very asymmetric with the stronger winds north and east of the circulation center. The circulation center is tilted from south to north with increasing altitude from 1-km altitude to 6-km altitude indicating that Isaac is embedded in southerly shear. At 1 km the circulation from the Doppler analysis is close to latitude 24 degrees N, and at 6 km it is closer to latitude 26 degrees N, or a tilt of only more than 50 km. The circulation center at 6 km altitude appears embedded it the convective rain bands north of the low level center.
All the Isaac radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/isaac2012/radar.html.