Doppler radar quick-looks from 11:00 AM P-3 flight into Tropical Storm Patricia, 21 October 2015

As Tropical Storm Patricia was 400 km south of Acapulco, Mexico a NOAA P-3 mission collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating model guidance. This P-3 mission coincided with a WB-57 TCI mission into Patricia.

The figure below depicts the aircraft flight track (P-3: red line; WB-57: blue line) superposed on visible satellite imagery.

P-3 and WB-57 flight tracks
P-3 and WB-57 flight tracks

Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 180 km of Patricia sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 during the afternoon of 21 October 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 patterns around Patricia. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Patricia had a relatively symmetric distribution of precipitation at all altitudes. There is indication of a broad circulation center at all altitudes, with strong winds 25-30 km southeast of the circulation center at 1-km altitude, and 40-50 km east and north of the center  at 3- and 6-km altitude, respectively.The circulation center appeared to slope slightly to the south with increasing altitude from 1- to 3-km altitude, and hardly at all between 3- and 6-km altitude. The downwind rotation of the wind maximum and the southward tilt of the circulation center with increasing altitude suggest a slight easterly vertical shear of the horizontal wind over the storm.

All the Tropical Storm Patricia radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at: