Doppler radar quick-looks from 2:00 PM P-3 flight into Tropical Storm Kate, 9 November 2015

As Tropical Storm Kate was developing east of Grand Bahama 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 lower fuselage radar image.

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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 9 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 symmetric distribution of precipitation around the center of the storm at all altitudes. There is an indication of a broad circulation center at all altitudes, with a very asymmetric wind field. The strongest winds were 45-50 km east-northeast of the circulation center at 1-km altitude, and 50-60 km east and north of the center  at 3- and 6-km altitude, respectively. The circulation center appeared to slope 20-25 km to the east 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 eastward tilt of the circulation center with increasing altitude suggest 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

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