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  • Five NHC-tasked reconnaissance NOAA P-3 missions were flown into Tropical Storm (Depression) Isaac between 12 and 15 September.
    1. 20180912H1 was St. Croix (STX) to STX, taking off at 5:30 AM local (0930 UTC).
    2. 20180912H2 was STX to STX, taking off at 5:30 PM local (2130 UTC).
    3. 20180913H1 was STX to Lakeland, FL (LAL), taking off at 6:00 AM local (1000 UTC). Recovery in LAL was necessitated by the possibility of St. Croix experiencing tropical storm conditions.
    4. 20180914H1 was LAL to STX, taking off around 9:30 AM local (1330 UTC).
    5. 20180915H1 was STX to STX, taking off around 10:30 PM local (0230 UTC).
    While flying these missions in support of NHC fix requirements, the storm continually weakened from a 50 kt tropical storm to an open wave (no tropical cyclone designation).

  • Participating HRD P-3 Crew on the first three missions Ghassan Alaka (Lead Project Scientist), Heather Holbach (Lead Project Scientist), Jon Zawislak (Radar Scientist, Field Program Director), Hui Christophersen (Radar Scientist), Kathryn Sellwood (Dropsonde Scientist), and Kelly Ryan (Dropsonde Scientist) were on the P-3 crews. Nancy Griffin, Joe Griffin, John Gamache, and Paul Reasor provided ground radar science support for the P-3 missions. Lisa Bucci was acting Deputy Field Program Director, and was responsible for logistics and crewing for these missions while FPD Zawislak was deployed in the field.

  • A total of 55 dropwindsondes were launched over the five P-3 missions into Isaac (19 in 20180912H1, 15 in 20180912H2, 9 in 20180913H1, 10 in 20180914H1, and 2 in 20180915H1). Most of the sondes were released from an altitude of 5000 ft and below.

  • Due to the resources required for Florence, EMC did not request, nor receive Tail Doppler radar (TDR) data from the first three P-3 reconnaissance missions into Isaac for assimilation; however, HRD did support transmission of TDR data to EMC on the final 2 missions, once requirements ceased on Florence. In all missions, TDR data were transmitted for visualization in AWIPS-II at NHC.

Sequence of P-3 TDR analyses showing composite reflectivity at 2 km (top row) and wind speed at 0.5 km (bottom row), for: 20180912H1, 20180912H2, 20180913H1, 20180914H1, 20180915H1, from left to right

Jon Zawislak
Field Program Director

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