NOAA43 took off at noon from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL to fly into Tropical Depression Nine (TD9). Their plan is to collect data inside the system. The data will help determine if TD9 is gaining strength or weakening. The data will also go into the weather forecast models to improve the future prediction of TD9’s track and intensity. The P3 isn’t alone in the goal of collecting data and improving the science behind these tropical systems. The Global Hawk, an unmanned aircraft has been flying TD9 as well. That flight took off yesterday at 6PM from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA. Below is an image of the flight tracks for both aircraft superimposed over a GOES satellite visible image of TD9. The red line is the NOAA P3 flight track, and the blue line is the Global Hawk track.