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IFEX daily log

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Today N43RF and the NRL P-3 flew another test flight to test the communications of radar imagery from the NOAA to the NRL P-3. The flight worked well today. Radar imagery was successfully transferred at about every four minutes from the NOAA P-3 to the ground and the NRL flight track was superimposed on the LF image and transmitted back to the NRL P-3. The RAMSDIS satellite upload test was not successful, however. There were some problems with the scripts on N43RF, and more work will be performed tomorrow when both N42RF and N43RF will be in the hangar.

Conditions were rapidly evolving today. The broad circulation north of Hispaniola, containing the remnants of T.D.#10, showed signs of better organization today, with convection occurring within the broad circulation in the morning hours (Fig. 23). An air force reconnaissance aircraft entered the system in the afternoon and found a circulation north of Cuba. As a result NHC declared this system a tropical depression, the 12th of the season. The track forecast guidance suggests two possible solutions (Fig. 24): one where the system tracks toward the west-northwest, into the Florida Straits, and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. The other scenario involves the system moving predominantly northwest, making landfall along the southeast coast of Florida, and tracking west across the state and entering the Gulf from there. The system is still very disorganized, and the likely intensity at closest approach to the Florida mainland is a moderate to strong tropical storm.

There is a possibility of a Frequent-monitoring mission into this system using N43RF, if it takes the southerly track of the two scenarios outlined above. The first mission would not likely be until Thursday in this case. It would be followed by a follow-on mission on Friday. There will not be a 12-h staggering in this case because N42RF is still undergoing integration of the Ocean Winds instruments and the system has too many other complicating factors to make for a clean data set to warrant tasking an extra crew going on night duty. If N43RF does fly on Thursday, the NRL P-3 will likely accompany it as an intermediate-level test for the coordination of the NRL P-3 with N43RF in and around convection. N42RF is scheduled to have a test flight on Thursday as well, takeoff 14 UTC. If the other two P-3's fly, there is the potential of having N42RF participate in a pattern after completing the Ocean Winds objectives, if the system is strong enough and there is enough space over open water to conduct a three- plane pattern. If the system moves more slowly than this, the mission could be delayed a day. If the system continues into the open Gulf, then it could very much become a target for a RAINEX/Frequent-monitoring experiment.

Elsewhere, the only other system of interest is a broad cyclonic circulation centered at about 17 N 35 W (Fig. 25). While there is a clear circulation in the cloud pattern, most of the deep convection is located on the east side of the system. Most of the track guidance curves this system toward the northwest and north by the time it reaches 50 W.

Rob Rogers
HRD Field Program director

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