As Simon continued its northwestward motion southwest of Baja a NOAA P-3 collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating the HWRF model. Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 360 km of Simon sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 aircraft during the early afternoon of 5 October 2014. These images are at three altitudes (1 km, 3 km, and 6 km) and are a composite of winds from the P-3 Doppler patterns around Simon. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Simon had an asymmetric distribution of precipitation around the storm center at all altitudes with the majority of the precipitation in the northeast semicircle. A vertical cross-section of the radar reflectivity on the leg to the northwest from the center showed that the radar echo tops in the eyewall dropped significantly in 24 h with echo tops only reaching up to 8-11 km altitude, with a distinct “bright band” extending radially outward from the center denoting the altitude of the 0° isotherm. There is clear indication of a circulation center at all altitudes, with a very broad area of stronger winds 30-40 km east-northeast of the circulation center at all altitudes. There is also a slight indication of a secondary wind maximum 130-140 km northeast of the circulation center at 1- and 3-km altitudes, and in the vertical cross-section. From 1-6 km altitude there is a 10-15 km tilt of the circulation center toward the east with height suggesting increasing westerly shear of the horizontal wind over Simon at this time.
All the Simon radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/simon2014/radar.html