Mission Summary
20100707H1 Aircraft 42RF
Genesis/TDR flight into Tropical Disturbance AL96 2010

Aircraft Crew (42RF)
Aircraft CommanderAl Girimonte
Co-pilotCathy Martin
Co-pilotHarris Halverson
Flight EngineerGreg Bast
NavigatorDevin Brakob
Flight DirectorBarry Damiano
Lead El TechBill Olney
El TechCharles Lynch
Data TechBobby Peek
Data TechTerry Lynch
Scientific Crew (42RF)
Lead Project ScientistSim Aberson
Dropsonde ScientistKathryn Sellwood
Radar ScientistJun Zhang

Mission Plan :

The P-3 is tasked by HRD to fly a square spiral pattern around developing AL96 in the Gulf of Mexico to investigate genesis. Drops are to be released every 60 nm. Tail Doppler radar data to be collected, analyzed, and sent in real time as part of the Genesis/TDR mission. The aircraft will depart MacDill AFB, FL at 08:00 UTC and arrive back at MacDill by 16:00 UTC later in the day.

Mission Summary :

Take off Landing
MacDill AFB, FL08:02 UTC MacDill AFB, FL16:00 UTC

Before the mission, the SFMR was replaced on the aircraft as it was reporting incorrect data on the previous mission. Takeoff from MacDill at 0802 UTC. By 0925 UTC, the aircraft passed through an area of convection well northeast of AL96. The SFMR reported wind speeds of > 50 kt during this transect (Fig. 1). The LPS decided that this leg, before the regular pattern, should be analyzed by the Doppler scientist and sent off the plane. Descent into the pattern began shortly afterward, and the pattern began at 0947 UTC.

At the beginning of the mission, very little convection was seen around what was identified as the center of AL96. During the mission, convection increased greatly, with numerous high-dBZ cells firing throughout the area, seen on the aircraft radar as much as an hour before satellite. The greater coverage of convection allowed for good coverage of radar analyses during the flight.

Radar/dropwindsonde composites from the flight suggest a complicated pattern throughout the region.

At low levels (Fig. 3), a shallow, weak circulation is evident in the dropwindsonde data along 94W. By 2 km altitude, a weak circulation is seen near 22.5N 92W, within the area of convection. This circulation extended above the flight level where dropwindsonde data were no longer available. However, the Doppler radar data showed that this circulation likely extended to near 6 km altitude. Clearly, this circulation did not yet extend to the surface, nor was convection well enough organized to allow for the classification of this system as a tropical depression.

Problems :

Except for some minor deviations for Mexican airspace due to offshore coral reefs claimed by Mexico, the mission was completed as planned. Only one sonde was problematic (a fast fall), the radar remained up except for one short period during the beginning of the pattern, and other systems worked well.

Sim D. Aberson

Mission Data :

Flight track

Temperature and Moisture

Wind and Atlitude

Serial data | 1 Second data | SFMR | (NetCDF)

LPS log | Radar log | Dropsonde log |

Page last updated August 11, 2010
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