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IFEX daily log

Thursday, July 7, 2005

On this day the airport was closed until 5 PM local time because of visiting dignitaries. The earliest possible launch time was 8 PM for the P-3's and 9 PM for the ER-2. Dennis had intensified into a strong Category 2, borderline Category 3, and was heading for the pass between Jamaica and Cuba. The plan was to conduct another coordinated mission at this time. However, one possible constraint was how far north Dennis would be at the time we would reach our IP. If it was north of 20 N, there would be no room for the ER-2 to fly since the Cuban airspace prohibits flying north of there. At around noon local time, satellite imagery indicated that Dennis had taken a turn toward the north, well north of Jamaica and approaching the southern coast of Cuba. With this motion it was apparent that the ER-2 would be unable to operate over any appreciable portion of the storm except for the southern regions. Such a close approach to Cuba would limit the P-3 pattern on the northeast side as well. At noon it appeared that the storm would be over land by the time we would reach the IP (at around 11 PM LT). For these reasons (ER-2 cancellation, anticipated Cuban landfall), the N43RF P-3 mission was cancelled for this day. N42RF had a tasked mission from Key West, takeoff at 05 UTC and arriving in the storm at 08 UTC, landing in San Jose. Thus, while there was no coordinated mission with the ER-2, there was another P-3 flight within Dennis approximately 30 h after the previous mission. Thus there have now been 3 separate missions into Dennis, each of them separated by around 24-30 h, and two of the three being coordinated with the ER-2. The lifecycle spanned by these missions is immediate post-genesis, strong tropical storm/hurricane, and borderline major hurricane.

N43RF has a hard down day scheduled for the following day (Friday).

Rob Rogers
HRD Field Program director

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