On Sept. 1, 2008, Hurricane Gustav made landfall near Cocodrie, LA. Prior to this the hurricane had made landfalls in Haiti, Jamaica, the Caymans, and Cuba, leaving a trail of destruction throughout the Greater Antilles. This rampage left over $6.5 billion in damage and 153 dead.
Beginning on Aug. 28th, HRD flew a series of seven research missions into the Gustav, alternating between Tail Doppler Radar (TDR) and Ocean Wind experiments, and followed by an Ocean Response mission to measure post-storm changes in Gulf of Mexico waters a few days later. It was during one of the TDR missions that, for the first time, Doppler radar observations were transmitted from the aircraft and assimilated into a high-resolution hurricane model run by Fuqing Zhang’s research group at Pennsylvania State University. This work ultimately led to the operational assimilation of Doppler radar data into HWRF during the 2013 hurricane season. This work is detailed in
Zhang, F., Y. Weng, J. F. Gamache, and F. D. Marks (2011), Performance of convection-permitting hurricane initialization and prediction during 2008–2010 with ensemble data assimilation of inner-core airborne Doppler radar observations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L15810, doi:10.1029/2011GL048469.
Some other papers which came out of HRD flights in Hurricane Gustav:
Dietrich, J. C., J. J. Westerink, A. B. Kennedy, J. M. Smith, R. E. Jensen, M. Zijlema, L. H. Holthuijsen, C. Dawson, R. A. Luettich Jr., M. D. Powell, V. J. Cardone, A. T. Cox, G. W. Stone, H. Pourtaheri, M. E. Hope, S. Tanaka, L. G. Westerink, H. J. Westerink, Z. Cobell, 2011. Hurricane Gustav (2008) Waves and Storm Surge: Hindcast, Synoptic Analysis, and Validation in Southern Louisiana. Mon. Wea. Rev., 2488-2522.