The Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) tasked NOAA’s P-3 aircraft to investigate Tropical Depression Eta as the circulation slowly propagates back into the western Caribbean.
The P-3 took off from Lakeland, Florida at 1 PM EDT on November 6 for its 8-hour-long mission into the system.
AOML scientists both onboard the aircraft and remotely will process measurements to ensure th4e high quality of the data transmitted and guide the mission as the cyclone evolves over the warm ocean water.
The mission’s objectives include determining the strength and extent of the surface winds and assessing the system’s precipitation structure. Measurements obtained will be used to initialize numerical simulations in real-time to improve the performance of operational forecast models.
Flying at an altitude of 20,000 feet, the aircraft instrumentation will collect observations in a lawnmower pattern, allowing for complete coverage of the storm and its environment. The orientation of the pattern will likely be adjusted to account for differences in Eta’s position relative to the Central American landmass.
The National Hurricane Center expects Eta to strengthen and expand in size over the weekend while tracking to the northeast.
Depending on the presentation of Eta’s structure, additional science goals defined in AOML’s hurricane Intensity Forecast Experiment (IFEX) may be performed.
Given the potential for intensification, an increase in convection will likely occur, providing the appropriate environment to conduct a Convective Burst Module.
NOAA anticipates subsequent P-3 reconnaissance through the weekend to evaluate the development of Tropical Depression Eta.
>> Scientist K. Ryan
>> Edits by: R. Kravetz
For details about reconnaissance aircraft missions, please see NOAA’s official Plan of the Day.
For the latest information about tropical cyclones and other weather systems, please visit the NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center.
For information on numerical prediction of tropical cyclones, please visit NOAA/NCEP/Environmental Modeling Center.
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