As Tropical Storm Isaac passed into the central Gulf of Mexico 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 27 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 previous mission, with a clear circulation center at all altitudes shown, but still very asymmetric with the stronger winds east of the circulation center. This asymmetry increases with increasing altitude, and it is very pronounced at altitudes >6 km. The circulation center is only slightly tilted from south to north with increasing altitude from 1-km altitude to 6-km, much less so than the previous mission. However, the increasing asymmetry with increasing altitude suggests that the southerly shear Isaac is embedded in is still a factor in the slow development of the storm.
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.