Doppler radar quick-looks from 2:00 PM P-3 flight into Tropical Storm Erika, 26 August 2015

As Tropical Storm Erika was 350 km east of the Leeward Islands (see the black lines outlining one of the island in bottom left of analyses) a NOAA P-3 mission collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating model guidance.

The figure below depicts the aircraft flight track (P-3: yellow line) superposed on the real-time lower fuselage radar and visible satellite imagery.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26I2_1Included here 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 evening of 26 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 southeastern quadrant of the storm, particularly at 3- and 6- km altitude. There is indication of a circulation center at 1-and 3-km altitudes, with the strongest winds 50-60 km northeast of the circulation center, but with strong winds extending to 180 km to the north and east of the center. At 6-km altitude there was an indication of a circulation center in the heavy precipitation 125-150 km 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: