Mission Summary
20160901I2 Aircraft 43RF
Hurricane Hermine
RI / Landfall / Intense Rainband Module

Aircraft Crew (43RF)
Aircraft CommanderChristopher Kerns
Co-pilotAdam Abitbol
Co-pilotDidier
Flight EngineerPaul Darby
Flight EngineerJosh Sanchez
NavigatorTim Gallagher
Flight DirectorIan Sears
Flight DirectorJess Williams
System EngineerTerry Lynch
Data TechnicianMike Mascaro
Dropsonde OperatorTodd Richards
Scientific Crew (43RF)
LPS/DropsondeJon Zawislak FIU/UM/CIMAS/HRD
RadarBachir AnnaneHRD
RadarMatthew ApthorpBay News 9
RadarMelissa EichmanBay News 9


Final flight final

Mission Plan :

NOAA 43RF will conduct a research-tasked mission into Hurricane Hermine, with a focus on landfall and rainband structures. Altitude will be 10 kft for the entire mission. The storm steadily intensified from a tropical storm to a category 1 hurricane in the hours prior to the flight. Initial plan is to parallel a landfalling rainband to the north of Tampa in the Big Bend region of Florida where DOWs are deployed. We will track downwind behind the band, dropping 2 sondes. One sonde will be located offshore near the UF T5 tower deployed near N 29° 40' 24.478" / W 83° 23' 44.403". We will then proceed to fly a Fig. 4 for vortex context (N-S, then E-W), followed by an intense rainband module around a rainband of our choosing.

Mission Summary :

Take off Landing
MacDill AFB, FL 19:03 UTC MacDill AFB, FL 00:22 UTC

After takeoff, we were able to fly downwind, paralleling a rainband that had, in the hour before, come onshore in the Big Bend region of Florida; maintained a separation of 5-10 nm off the coastline. Although it appeared to be predominantly stratiform rain, we were able to sample a large extent of the band before reaching our northern endpoint. A sonde was dropped initially when we began following the band, as well as near as possible offshore of the UF T5 tower. We then proceeded from N to S across the center, dropping sondes at the turn points, maximum wind on the inbound, as well as at the center. On our down wind leg to the eastern point, we followed another rainband, keeping it to our west. Some deep convection was seen at times along this band. On reaching the eastern point, we made a pass of the center to the west, shortening the outbound on the W side. At this time, eyewall precipitation appeared to wrap completely around the center. Sondes were dropped at turn points and the center on this leg. We then reversed course, going through the center again, but this time dropping a sonde at the maximum wind on the SE side of the storm. We received direction from the ground to target a rainband oriented N-S just W and SW of Tampa. We flew the Intense Rainband Module with an initial point in the NW. The sequence was upwind along the west side of the band axis, cross the band axis to the east and follow downwind, ending at the NE point. We dropped sondes at the turn points and midpoints of the upwind and downwind legs (~60 nm in length). Precipitation along this band was a mix between convection and stratiform. 17 total sondes were dropped on this mission.

Jon Zawislak
Sept. 7, 2016


Mission Data :


High Density Ob plots

Flight Level wind plots

SFMR wind plots

Flight track

Temperature and Moisture

Wind and Atlitude

LPS log | Radar log | Drop log |

Flight Director's log | Flight Director's manifest | NetCDF data | 1 second data | serial data


Page last updated Oct. 2, 2016
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