NOAA’s P3 hurricane hunter aircraft takes off to fly into Tropical Storm Earl

NOAA’s P-3 hurricane hunter aircraft is in the air and on its way to fly into Tropical Storm Earl. The NOA43 aircraft departed at 2:00PM eastern from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL for an eight hour mission. The science mission is to gather data on the genesis of Earl and also collect data with the Doppler Wind Lidar instrument. This instrument is designed to collect wind data in areas that have thin or broken clouds. It complements well with the Tail Doppler Radar that can collect data in dense cloud regions. Below is the flight track. The dots on the flight track (shown in green) represent the aircraft turn points. The red dots in the figure show the locations that launch weather balloons twice a day while the purple dots are the locations that launch balloons once a day.