earl trackEarl: (1-2 September 1998)

The tropical wave between those that formed Bonnie and Danielle slipped into the Gulf of Mexico and triggered a lot of deep convection. On 1 September it was upgraded to tropical storm Earl, bypassing the depression phase, and the forecasters and AFRES aircraft had a hard time finding the disturbance center, repositioning a number of times in the initial twelve hours. A NOAA G-IVSP surveillance mission was conducted on 1 September indicating a short wave trough was sweeping in over TX and should overtake TS Earl in the next 24 h.

During the morning of 2 September Earl became a hurricane as it raced ENE toward the FL panhandle with landfall near Panama City. The Texas Tech Univertity (TTU) tower was in Panama City and the University of Alabama/Huntsville (UAH) profiler was in Tallahassee, FL. WP-3D (N43RF) took off at 1900 UTC for a landfall and storm surge mapping mission at 15,000 and 8,000 ft, while the DC-8 and ER-2 took off at 1930 UTC for a TRMM/Landfall mission at 35,000 and 65,000, respectively. AFRES WC-130 did reconnaissance and the University of North Dakota (UND) Citation participated in the TRMM mission.

GPS dropsonde (HSA) data format

Storm/Date Aircraft (Duration) Altitude Experiment Comments (expendables)
1 September  G-IV (9 h)
GPS dropsondes
 41 kft  Synoptic Surveillance  31 GPS sondes
2 September

 N43RF (8.5 h) mission summaryPDF(644 Kb)
1 minute listing
GPS dropsondes

AXBT zipped data


DC-8 (9 h) mission summary

ER-2 (7 h)

Citation (5 h) mission summary


7-14 kft


5 kft


35-37 kft


65 kft


18-25 kft

Hurricanes at Landfall

Fig 4, zig-zag in major rainband with legs toward KEVX and KTLH, SRA runs along Appalachie Bay for storm surge

AFRES recon.

DC-8, ER-2 and UND Citation

TRMM patterns working with KEVX and KTLH

©1998 NOAA/AOML Hurricane Research Division

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For information about NOAA Hurricane Field Program marks@aoml.noaa.gov

Updated Tuesday, 15 September 1998Mac made