Doppler radar quick-looks from 2:00 AM P-3 flight into Tropical Storm Erika, 27 August 2015

As Tropical Storm Erika approached Guadalupe (see the black lines outlining the island in the center left of analyses) a NOAA P-3 mission collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating model guidance. This P-3 mission coincided with the end of the first SHOUT Global Hawk mission into Erika.

The figure below depicts the aircraft flight track (P-3: red line, Global Hawk: blue line) superposed on the real-time lower fuselage radar and infrared satellite imagery.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27I1Included below you see images of the horizontal winds within 180 km of Erika sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 aircraft during the early morning of 27 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 Doppler pattern around Erika. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Erika maintained a very asymmetric distribution of precipitation at all altitudes, with the bulk of the precipitation primarily in the eastern semicircle of the storm at all altitudes. There is slight indication of a circulation center at 1-km altitude just southeast of Guadalupe, with the strongest winds 70 km northeast of the circulation center, and with strong winds extending to 180 km to the north and east of the center. At 3-km altitude there is slight indication of a circulation center 40-50 km south-southeast of the 1-km altitude circulation center with strong winds over the low-altitude center. At 6-km altitude there was an indication of a circulation center in the heavy precipitation 100-125 km east-southeast of the 1-km altitude circulation center, indicative of very strong west-northwesterly shear of the horizontal wind over the low-level center.

All the Tropical Storm Erika radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/erika2015/radar.html.