Doppler radar quick-looks from 2:00 PM P-3 flight into Tropical Storm Kate, 10 November 2015

As Tropical Storm Kate continued to accelerate northeastward 500 km southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC a NOAA P-3 mission collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating model guidance. The figure below depicts the P-3 flight track superposed on a visible satellite and lower fuselage radar image.

P-3 flight track
P-3 flight track

Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 180 km of Kate sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 during the evening of 10 November 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 Kate. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Kate had a relatively asymmetric distribution of precipitation at all altitudes, with the bulk of the precipitation south and east of the storm center. There is an indication of a circulation center at all altitudes, with a very asymmetric wind field. The strongest winds were 50-60 km southeast of the circulation center at 1-km altitude, and 75-100 km east and south of the center  at 3- and 6-km altitude, respectively. The circulation center appeared to slope 20-25 km to the north-northeast with increasing altitude from 1- to 3-km altitude, and 50-60 km to the north-northeast between 3- and 6-km altitude. The northward tilt of the circulation center with increasing altitude suggest increasing southwesterly vertical shear of the horizontal wind over the storm.

All the Tropical Storm Kate radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/kate2015/radar.html