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Hurricane Erin (10 September 2001)

The goal of this mission was to obtain coordinated multi-level in situ and remotely sensed observations to support the Surveillance objectives of CAMEX-4 under the USWRP. We hoped to sample the storm at two altitudes in the core with N42RF and the ER-2 to focus our remote sensing and in situ precipitation measurement capabilities on any major precipitation feature. Meanwhile the DC-8 was sampling the near environment of the storm with GPS sondes and the LASE to obtain environmental wind and thermodynamic fields for numerical model initialization

A very good mission! Good coordination with the ER-2 resulting in an excellent center drop from 65,000 ft ( a first!). Completed the pattern as briefed with a few wrinkles to maintain coordination with the ER-2 and flight safety. In the core there was an interesting variations in the radius of maximum wind at the surface and flight level were found on the north and east side of the storm. The maximum SFMR surface winds were at much smaller ra dii (8-12 km) than the maximum 14,000 ft winds. This difference was evident in the GPS-sondes in the eyewall. We also found two low-level circulation centers evident in the low-level cloud field (see Figure). The surface wind and pressure center appeared to be in the circulation closest to the west eyewall. There was only one apparent wind and pressure center at 14,000 ft, which was closer to the other surface cloud circulation. CN measurements indicated that the eye was relatively dirty with concentrations ~2000 l-1.

Storm/ Date Aircraft (Duration) Altitude Experiment/ Pattern Comments (expendables)
10 September N42RF (8.9 h) mission summaryPDF(636 Kb)
one minute listing
GPS dropsondes
DC-8 (9 h) mission summary
GPS dropsondes
ER-2 (8 h)


14 kft


37-39 kft

65 kft


3-plane SurveillanceExperiment.

N42RF, ER-2 within 100 nm radius in core. DC-8

does star pattern between 240-300 nm of center.

  • Erin Hurricane during mission.
    (18 AXBT, 19 GPS sondes)
  • N42RF recovers in Providence, RI to extend on station time. Returns to MacDill AFB on 12 September.
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