As Hurricane Patricia intensified rapidly 400 km south of Manzanillo, Mexico a NOAA P-3 mission collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating model guidance and a Stepped-Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) high-incidence angle module 75-80 km to the northwest of the storm center to compare with the HIRAD measurements from the WB-57. 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.
The figure below depicts the P-3 flight track superposed on lower fuselage radar and visible satellite imagery.
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 22 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 that Patricia was much better organized and stronger than the day before, with the strongest winds 15-20 km north of the circulation center at 1-km altitude, and 15-20 km northeast and east of the center at 3- and 6-km altitude, respectively. The circulation center was nearly vertical from 1- to 6-km altitude. The upwind rotation of the wind maximum with increasing altitude suggest a slight southeasterly vertical shear of the horizontal wind over the storm.
All the Hurricane Patricia radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/patricia2015/radar.html