Mission Summary
20031206I1 Aircraft 43RF
Extratropical Transition Experiment (ET) into Odette 2003

Scientific Crew
Lead Scientist Peter Dodge
Doppler Scientist Matt Eastin
Dropsonde Scientist Neal Dorst
AXBT Scientist Joe Cione
SFMR EngineerIvan Popstefanija
Aircraft Crew
Pilots CDR Phil Kennedy
LT Mike Silah
Navigator LT Devin Brakob
Flight Director Barry Damiano
Flight Engineer Steve Wade
Engineer Jeff Smith
Technicians Terry Lynch
Ray Tong
Damon SansSouci

Mission Plan :

This was planned as the second in a series of flights to capture the evolution of Tropical Storm Odette, possibly into an extra-tropical storm. Odette was forecast to be just making landfall during our flight so a simple truncated figure 4 was planned to once again sample the inner core. This pattern was adjusted so that we could deploy AXBTs in some of the same spots as yesterday, to look at changes in sea surface temperature and mixed layer depths.

Mission Summary :

NOAA 43 left Tampa at 1528 UTC, 6 October 2003, after a delay for some engine maintenance. We dropped our first sonde near Great Inagua at 1708. At 1802 we noted a crescent shaped echo ~ 350 km SE of our position, which was more echo structure than we had seen on Friday. A rough estimate from the radar display put the center at 17.2 N, 71.9 W, close to the 1500 UTC position in the NHC discussion. At 1910 we dropped a sonde at our southern most point, ~ 100 nm due South of the center. At 1930 we crossed a rainband as we tracked NE, ~90 nmi east of the center. After turning and heading back west, we dropped a sonde in the rain-band, where flight-level winds were 52 kts out of the SSW. At 1950 we passed just North of the center, which Barry estimated to be at 17.3 N, 71.8 W. The flight-level winds dropped twice as we crossed this region. After we finished the east-west leg we deployed 3 AXBTs in the same locations as on yesterday's flight. We dropped our last sonde S of Cuba at 2057. NOAA 43 landed at MacDill at 2318.


Tropical Storm Odette was better organized on this flight with circulation apparent at all levels and some weak rain-bands within 100 nmi of the center. We did not travel far enough east to sample the main line of convection that stretched from the east end of Hispañola all the way to the Colombian coast - but that would have required another 2 h of flight time that we did not have. Never-the-less the sonde and flight level-data should be sufficient to describe the storm structure before it passed over the Dominican Republic. The new pod-mounted SFMR winds agreed when compared with GPS dropsonde surface winds. However, comparing the rainfall rate and wind speeds between the old and new SFMRs reveal discrepancies that will have to be addressed before the new SFMR can be considered the "official" wind speed instrument. Matt Eastin is now fully trained in radar and GPS sonde processing.


Barry, Devin and the AOC crew once again dealt cheerfully with our flight modifications, although I imagine they would rather have spent their Saturday on the ground.

Problems :

  1. There was a problem getting the tracks again, this time because the Internet was down on the base. Sim solved this by faxing the tracks from the hotel to us.
  2. There were a few minor LF radar freezes, but the tail radar data looked good, except that the dBZ still seem low.
Peter Dodge
Lead Scientist

Mission Data

One minute listing

Flight Data

Flight track

Temperature and Moisture

Wind and Atlitude

Flight track detail

Table 1
GPS Sondes
Launch# ID Time (UTC)LatLon RAComments
102192518017:08:31.523.00240-76.009306106.7 mBahamas, clear below
201137806017:42:53.421.00020-74.008005948.5 m
301137812218:10:09.619.23060-73.705305941.9 mClear Below
403341517918:43:06.217.47120-73.430705951.2 m
502341808218:52:39.016.99000-72.743905940.1 m
602331806119:10:19.216.00040-71.908805948.8 m
702331807019:22:43.216.75000-71.118205940.1 mNo Winds
802353508719:24:16.616.84710-71.015405942.1 m
901124543419:36:04.217.55830-70.394105944.3 m
1003341517819:37:47.017.53390-70.521705938.3 m In Rainband
1101137811619:47:36.817.49310-71.290005923.3 m
1201137819419:53:48.017.49360-71.775505918.4 mCenter, No Winds
1300382801819:55:05.117.49320-71.882005912.4 m
1402331806320:08:19.617.75090-72.841005944.4 m
1500381530020:37:19.918.48630-74.713605948.6 m
1600381530220:57:03.219.50450-75.827006424.3 m

Note: Sonde time and location from launch records in raw GPS files, comments from HRD logs.

Table 2
Launch(UTC) LatLonSST (°C)

Note: Last 3 AXBT were deployed in same location as 021205 flight. Information from AXBT scientist logs.

Figure 1 Map showing launch positions of GPS sondes and AXBTs. Numbers correspond to entries in tables above.

Dropsonde plots at various levels
500 mb
700 mb
850 mb
925 mb
1000 mb

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