Inner Core Structure of Hurricane Patricia Observed During TCI-2015

Tuesday, 19 April 2016: 1:45 PM
Miramar 1 & 2 (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Michael M. Bell, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI; and J. Martinez, J. D. Doyle, and R. F. Rogers

Hurricane Patricia (2015) rapidly intensified from a tropical storm to an estimated 175 kt intensity in 36 hours, making it the strongest tropical cyclone in the western hemisphere on record. Four high-altitude research flights with the NASA WB-57 aircraft were conducted into Patricia as part of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsored Tropical Cyclone Intensity (TCI) field experiment from 20 to 23 October. The WB-57 was equipped with a new high-density sounding system (HDSS) developed by Yankee Environmental Systems, enabling full-tropospheric profiling of temperature, humidity, and winds throughout Patricia's inner and outer core. A total of 257 dropsondes were released from the HDSS over the four day intensive observing period, spanning the development from a tropical depression to category 5 intensity. Doppler radar observations were obtained by the NOAA WP-3D aircraft reconnaissance from 21 to 23 October, allowing for complementary observations of the precipitation and kinematic structure during the rapid intensification period. Additional dropsonde observations from the Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS) and in situ instrumentation aboard the NOAA WP-3D and USAF C-130 aircraft are also used to complement the HDSS observations. Preliminary integrated kinematic and thermodynamic analyses of the full-tropospheric structure derived from dropsonde, radar, in situ, and satellite observations using a variational spline-based mesoscale analysis technique will be presented. The evolution of Patricia's inner core structure during the extreme rapid intensification period will be discussed.
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