CAMEX-3 Updates

CAMEX-3 Update: 9/21/98

Today's, Georges eyewall flight was a success. Georges showed many unique characteristics including large turrets, variable eyewall winds, and wind speeds up to 80 knots at FL 330. The eyewall pattern was also significantly displaced from the radar eyewall location unlike those seen with Bonnie, Danielle, or Earl.




CAMEX-3 Update: 9/22/98

Today's Georges synoptic / water vapor inflow flight was a success. The hurricane had already made landfall over Hispaniola and impacting the mountains there. Rarely seen lightning fields and sprites were noticed in the eye of the hurricane from the ER-2 altitude. This was the DC-8's last CAMEX-3 flight (Thanks to the crew for your excellent support!) The ER-2 could extend and even possibly divert to Robbins if required. Tomorrow will be a no-fly / pack day.




CAMEX-3 Update: 9/25/98

The ER-2 launched from Warner Robins, Georgia at 8:30 am (EDT) on September 25 to sample Hurricane Georges as it was moving through Key West and along the western coastline of Florida. Dee Porter, the ER-2 pilot, flew East/West legs through the hurricane eye as the storm headed north. He then headed to Melbourne, Florida to fly under the TRMM satellite and over the TRMM rain gage network and the S-POL radar.

The ER-2 pilot noticed the hurricane eye would appear and disappear between eye crossings. He also experienced considerable turbulence at 63,000 feet. He reported that the turbulence smoothed out once he increased his altitude to 65,000 feet. He described the clouds surrounding the eye as a "bubbling caldron." As comical sidelight, he also found that two pairs of Florida lovebugs accompanied him in the cockpit during the trip.




CAMEX-3 Update: 9/27/98

The NASA ER-2 aircraft took off from Warner Robins Air Force Base today (September 28) at 10:30 am (EDT) to sample the rainbands of Hurricane Georges north of the eye. Jim Barrilleaux, the ER-2 pilot, flew a triangular pattern from approximately Fort Walton Beach, Florida due west to Slidell, Louisana. After this point, he headed southeast to 28 degrees North latitude and 88 degrees West longitude which was should have been an area south of the forecast position of the eye. After passing through this point the pilot headed back to Fort Walton Beach. This triangular pattern was flown twice before the pilot broke off to fly under the TRMM satellite at 2:14 pm (EDT). He then returned to the triangular pattern for one more pass around. The total flight time was 6.5 hours.

The pilot observed a solid cirrus shield during the triangular manuever. He did not see any cloud feature resembling an eye until he approached the TRMM subtrack. At that point, he noticed a feature to the south of his track with bubbling cloud formations. His aircraft altitude during most of the mission was 65,000 feet. He did not experience any turbulence.

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