The TCI program was focused on observing hurricanes from the surface to 60,000 feet above the Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico using a NASA WB-57 aircraft that deployed nearly 800 dropwindsondes with an unprecedented horizontal resolution in four tropical cyclones and obtained high-resolution measurements of the surface winds using HIRAD. Observational highlights detailed dropsonde transects of 2-5 nmi spacing through the inner core of Hurricane Patricia on multiple flights including during the formation, rapid intensification and near-peak-intensity stages. Likewise, dropwindsondes deployed during Hurricanes Joaquin and Marty reveal strong spatial gradients in winds and thermodynamic properties with a rich spectrum of structure in the horizontal and vertical. Systematic measurements of the hurricane outflow layer were made at high-spatial resolution for the first time for a major hurricane.
We will show examples using high-resolution models (COAMPS-TC, WRF) that utilize the TCI observations in assimilation experiments, as well as using the TCI observations to evaluate the model simulations.