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Hightlights of Missions into
Hurricane Barry 2019

  • Five NOAA P-3 missions were flown into pre- and developed Barry in the Gulf of Mexico. The missions were flown as taskings for the NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Prediction/Environmental Modeling Center (NCEP/EMC) to provide airborne data collection (tail Doppler radar, dropsonde, Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer [SFMR], and flight level observations), to initialize the operational Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) Model. The five missions were flown every 12 hours, operating out of Lakeland, FL, with takeoffs at 4 AM (0800 UTC) and 4 PM EDT (2000 UTC) between 10 and 12 July. The five missions were:
  • Several HRD scientists participated as crew onboard the P-3 (NOAA42): Rob Rogers, Frank Marks, Paul Reasor, Sim Aberson, Kathryn Sellwood, Steve Diaz, Trey Alvey, and Jon Zawislak. In addition, AOML/HRD summer interns and visitors flew aboard the P-3, including Addison Alford (visiting from Univ. of Oklahoma), Kelly Nunez Ocasio (NERTO from Penn State University), and Nicholas Johnson (Hollings, Univ. of Alabama at Huntsville).
  • John Gamache, Nancy Griffin, and Joe Griffin provided ground radar science support for the P-3. The ground support assist in the transmission of the Tail Doppler Radar (TDR) analyses from the aircraft to EMC and NHC (for visualization in their AWIPS-II environment).
  • A total of 101 dropwindsondes were launched over the five P-3 missions into Barry (24 in 20190710H1, 18 in 20190711H1, 20 in 20190711H2, 24 in 20190712H1, and 15 in 20190712H2). Many of the sondes were launched from altitudes above 20 kft, which were critical to providing mid-tropospheric measurements of humidity of Barry. Flight above altitudes of 10-12 kft are atypical of the P-3 EMC missions, therefore datasets collected for this storm are particularly unique and represent a potential new strategy for sampling the early stages of storms (i.e., pre-storm, tropical depression, and tropical storm).
  • A total of 10 AXBTs (Airborne EXpendable BathyThermographs) were launched from the P-3 into pre-Barry (5 in 20190710H1, 5 in 20190711H1). These were targeted at a cold ocean eddy along the forecast track of Barry to supplement Argo float data located in a warm eddy just to the west of its formation location.
  • Although the primary mission of the P-3 flights were to meet operational tasking requirements for NCEP/EMC, scientifically the observations obtained over the 3 days will also greatly benefit the science goals within experiments in the Genesis and Early Stages of the HFP science plan. Sampling of this storm is unique in the historical HFP database, as not only did missions capture intensification of a tropical storm, but also observed the formation of the storm and the pre-storm environment. Flights captured the genesis of Barry, with measurements consistent with the strategies outlined in the Precipitation Mode (PMODE) and Pouch Experiments. Observations in later missions will also directly benefit the Analysis of Intensification Processes Experiment (AIPEX) objectives to understand intensification processes of storms in moderate shear.
  • During the first mission (20190710H1), one short north-south leg on the southwest portion of the lawnmower pattern was coordinated as an ADM-Aeolus Satellite Validation Module, one of the Satellite Validation experiments of the HFP plan. Aeolus is the first spaceborne wind lidar and the goal is to validate the wind profiles obtained from the satellite. The flight leg was timed for the satellite overpass and located to the east of the satellite track (two extra dropsondes were released; four total), which is intended to be offset given Aeolus' characteristics.

    Fig. 1 ADM-Aeolus satellite validation module flown during 20190710H1, showing Aeolus (satellite symbol) and the location of the P-3 (airplane symbol) flying the planned lawnmower pattern. The "D"s on the flight track are dropsonde locations from the P-3.
  • Convective burst modules , part of the Early Stage in the HFP Plan, were flown on 3 of the missions (20190711H1, 20190711H2, and 20190712H1). The goal was to observe the evolution of the targeted convective region through repeated flight legs.

Fig. 2 Flown pattern for 20190710H1

Fig. 3 Flown pattern for 20190711H1

Fig. 4 Flown pattern for 20190711H2

Fig. 5 Flown pattern for 20190712H1

Fig. 6 Flown pattern for 20190712H2

Fig. 7 Sequence of P-3 TDR analyses showing composite reflectivity at 2 km, for: 20190710H1, 20190711H1, 20190711H2, 20190712H1, and 20190712H2

Fig. 8 Sequence of P-3 composite TDR analyses showing wind speed at 2 km (shading), as well as streamlines at 2.0 (black) and 5.0 km (grey) for: 20190710H1, 20190711H1, 20190711H2, 20190712H1, and 20190712H2
Last updated: August 05, 2019
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