As Hurricane Danny intensified 800 nm east of the Leeward Islands a NOAA P-3 and G-IV mission collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating model guidance and to collect upper ocean observations ahead of the storm.
The aircraft flight track (yellow line) superposed on the real-time lower fuselage radar and visible satellite imagery are available for the first time.
Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 180 km of Danny sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 and within 350 km of Danny from the G-IV aircraft during the afternoon of 21 August 2015. These images are at three altitudes (1 km, 3 km, and 6 km) and are a composite of winds from the P-3 and G-IV Doppler patterns around Danny. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 and G-IV (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Danny had a slightly asymmetric distribution of precipitation at all altitudes, with the bulk of the precipitation surrounding the center and extending primarily in the northern semi-circle of the storm. There is indication of a very small but well defined circulation center at all altitudes, with stronger winds 10-12 km northwest of the circulation center at 1-km altitude, and extending to the north and east of the center at 3 and 6 km altitude, respectively. The G-IV analyses show that Danny’s hurricane force winds do not extend beyond 50-60 km from the center of the storm at 1-km altitude. From 1-6 km altitude the circulation center had very little tilt indicative of weak shear of the horizontal wind.
All the Hurricane Danny radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/danny2015/radar.html