Doppler radar quick-looks from 2:00 PM P-3 flight into Hurricane Cristobal, 27 August 2014

As Hurricane Cristobal picked up its northward motion while passing east of Wilmington, NC a NOAA P-3 collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating model guidance (section 1) during an Ocean Winds and Rain experiment (section 4).  Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 300 km of Cristobal sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 aircraft during the evening of 26 August 2014. These images are at three altitudes (1 km, 3 km, and 6 km) and are a composite of winds from a figure-4 P-3 Doppler pattern around Cristobal. These analyses show that Cristobal had a little more symmetric distribution of precipitation at all altitudes with the bulk of the precipitation beyond 100 km from the center shifted to the west-northwest of the storm. The shift of the precipitation to the north and west of the center was also apparent in satellite imagery suggesting that the extra-tropical transition of Cristobal was beginning. There is a clear indication of a circulation center at all altitudes, with stronger winds 35-40 km southeast of the circulation center at 1-km altitude, rotating around to the south-southeast of the center at 6-km altitude. From 1-6 km altitude the circulation center was tilted 5-10 km to the west indicative of changing horizontal wind shear since the last mission. The rotation of the wind maximum upwind, and the tilt of the center toward the west with altitude are likely caused by the storm interaction with a trough to the north.

All the Cristobal radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at

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