Doppler radar quick-looks from 5:00 AM P-3 flight into Hurricane Gonzalo, 16 October 2014

As Gonzalo continued its northward motion southwest of Bermuda a NOAA P-3 collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating the HWRF model, and as part of an Ocean Winds and Rain experiment. Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 300 km of Gonzalo sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 aircraft during the early morning of 16 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 Gonzalo. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Gonzalo still had a symmetric distribution of precipitation around the storm center at all altitudes. 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 were as high as 16-km altitude, and a distinct “bright band” extending radially outward from the center denoting the altitude of the 0° isotherm. There is a clear indication of a circulation center at all altitudes, with stronger winds 15-20 km east-northeast of the circulation center at 1-km altitude, rotating upwind (clockwise) with increasing height, indicative of increasing southwesterly flow with altitude. From 1-6 km altitude there is very little tilt of the circulation center with height.

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


Radius-altitude reflectivity cross-section to the northwest of the center of Gonzalo. Aircraft altitude is denoted by the white line near 3-km altitude.