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IFEX daily log

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Yesterday was the coordination test flight with N43RF and the NRL P-3. Both aircraft conducted flight-level intercomparisons at 8000 and 12,000 ft. and then they each dropped a GPS sonde over a buoy just offshore (buoy 42013). Drops from both aircraft worked well. No organized convection was occurring over water, so the aircraft targeted convection occurring north of Tampa over land. A north-south line of convection was flown with the NRL P-3 trailing N43RF. Lower-fuselage imagery was transmitted from N43RF nearly continuously (with a few breaks in transmission) and received on the ground. Two images, with NRL flight track overlain, were processed on the ground and relayed back to the NRL P-3, demonstrating the capability of performing this transmission in near real-time. This was a critical test for RAINEX. There were a few glitches that will need to be tested on a possible test flight tomorrow between N42RF and the NRL P-3. There was also a test transmission of tail Doppler-radar analyses off the aircraft to the AOML ftp site that was successfully completed, and a test was performed of the ability to download satellite imagery from HRD’s RAMSDIS satellite server to the workstation on the aircraft. That RAMSDIS test will require some further work, but it is anticipated that it will be functioning soon.

Today is a down day. N43RF is ready to fly again, and N42RF is continuing to undergo IWRAP installation and testing. It is anticipated that N42RF will be available for a test flight tomorrow, possibly at 18 UTC. The NRL P-3 may or may not accompany N42RF. The primary purpose for the test flight for N42RF is to test the IWRAP instrument for Ocean Winds, but N42RF can transmit the LF data during the flight regardless.

In the tropics the environments of the western Atlantic and northern Caribbean continues to be dominated by a strong anticyclone in the lower levels (Fig. 6). This has suppressed convection over the Florida peninsula and prevented development along its eastern periphery due to vertical shear around the eastern edge of the anticyclone. The remnants of T.D.#10 remain disorganized. There is evidence that convection is continuing to develop within the circulation (Fig. 7), but the low-level circulation appears elongated from the northwest to the southeast and the convection is not organized. The vertical shear is fairly weak at the moment (about 10 kt; Fig. 8), but if the system continues to move toward the west-northwest it may encounter higher shear southeast of the Bahamas as it approaches the eastern edge of the anticyclone. Elsewhere there is convection in the southern and southwestern Caribbean (Fig. 9). This convection appears largely disorganized, though there may be some suggestion of a cyclonic turning in the southwestern system. Any development of this system would likely lead to a motion toward the north and then the northwest over the Yucatan peninsula.

There are no imminent targets at this time, though there is consideration of flying another test flight into T.D.#10, especially if it develops into a tropical storm near the Bahamas. Such a flight would not likely be until Sunday, however.

Rob Rogers
HRD Field Program director


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