Hurricane Research Division

Wheels up! NOAA’s P3 aircraft is up in the air and on its way to fly inside Hurricane Maria

NOAA’s P3 hurricane hunter aircraft took off at 1 PM ET (1700 UTC) from Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, in Lakeland, FL to fly into Hurricane Maria. In this mission, we plan to test and release an unmanned aerial system called Coyote. We also have a unique instrument called the Doppler Wind Lidar. This instrument uses laser and Doppler technology to derive a wind speed. For additional information on the flight plans and the science behind what we do, you can review this year’s field program plan. Below is the proposed flight pattern. The dots on the flight track below (shown in green) represent the P3 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.

Here’s a close up of the flight pattern.