National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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MISSION FLIGHTS
N42RF WP-3D Orion
N43RF WP-3D Orion
N43RF WP-3D Orion
Gulfstream IV

N42RF Lockheed WP-3D Orion
Kermit

N43RF Lockheed WP-3D Orion
Miss Piggy

N44RF Lockheed WP-3 Orion
TBD

N49RF Gulfstream IV
Gonzo

Site cannot be updated on weekends or Holidays
Site cannot be updated on weekends or Holidays
Site cannot be updated on weekends or Holiday
Site cannot be updated on weekends or Holidays
Aircraft in Maintenance.


8/19/09: The plans for today have been muddied a bit due to the surveillance tasking of the G-IV for tomorrow afternoon. The P3 schedule remains the same, 1600L take off followed by the 0400 on Thurs. morning. There is a possibility of a Thurs. afternoon mission that would complete the planned 5 flt cycle. Since the above scenario has not totally jelled, please stay flexible.

AircraftThe time is not to gloat but to be happy because we were able to launch 2 aircraft at the same time, have them both fly successful missions and both return tonight with no aircraft or instrumentation discrepancies. With our run of bad luck we consider this a minor miracle.  Both Ms Piggy and Gonzo had trouble-free, on-time departures at 1600L this afternoon for Hurricane Bill. The GIV completed its mission and returned to Barbados after 7 hours while the P3 flew slight over 8 hrs. HRD reported that exceptionally good science was accomplished. The P3 concentrated mostly on the TDR pattern, with the scientists producing a couple of super-obs which were then transmitted via satcom for inclusion in some of the experimental models being developed by NCEP and the research community. In addition the aircraft and crew completed an   

8/18/09:This morning's flt on N43 was canceled due to a problem with #3 engine. At this hour the maintenance crew are troubleshooting the problem.

AircraftBoth 43 and 49 had successful take offs this afternoon for flts into and around Hurricane Bill. Mission times are on the order of 7.5 to 8.5 hours depending on # of in-storm modules. Next up will be the early morning and afternoon missions on Wednesday.

8/17/09: Both aircraft (N43 & 49) are scheduled to fly the first of a series of flts into Hurricane Bill beginning tomorrow morning, Tues. The next set of flts will be tomorrow afternoon.

8/16/09: At this time, the plan for Sun. remains the same. Two flts at 1600 this afternoon. There are several complications: 1. The GIV returned last night with a broken APU alternator. 2. The P3 situation is better since we at a minimum have a work-around in order to get a flt off this afternoon. 3. Not sure whether a flt on the P3 is desirable by HRD if the jet is unavailable. We have a meeting at 1100 to discuss such things.

AircraftMovement continues toward a 1600L mission on Ms. Piggy. The mission profile will be high altitude (simulating the GIV) but in no convection. The GIV has departed Barbados for Savannah. Should it be repared in time to return here for an 0400L mission, it and the P3 are scheduled to fly at that time. All 3 of these missions are associated with TS Ana. Beginning tomorrow afternoon our attention will turn to Bill.


Aircraft
In order to effectively segue into Hurricane Bill, taking into account P-3 flt time and hard down day requirements, we are canceling all missions planned for Mon. The first Bill mission will be flown Tues. morning. Round the clock missions will continue for the P-3 until its 50 hrs. are exhausted. Mon. will be hard down for all crews in preparation for the flts Tues. Today's Ana mission for the P-3 is a go.

8/15/09: What earlier today looked like an unraveling plan is now appearing to evolve in the right direction. Here's what we know and what we think we know. We know the P3 and GIV missions through early Mon. flts total 4 flts for each acft, P3 does a 50 hr inspection following the morning flt on Mon. in preparation for Bill flts unless it is tasked for a Mon. night mission. We think we know that the GIV flies surveillance Mon. and Tues. afternoons on Ana, the GIV may be called for a very early flt on Tues. morning, and down days likely will be Tues or Wed depending on schedule. Expect the unexpected. Stay tuned and talk to your crew mates about schedule changes.

AircraftFor morning P3 & GIV Crews: The scientific value of either a P3 or GIV mission into Anna tomorrow has been deemed as no longer desirable. Hence both flts have been canceled. To allow for more flexibility in our schedule during the upcoming week, we are making tomorrow a hard down day for both morning crews. Next scheduled flts will be the afternoon missions on Sun. followed by the morning flts on Mon.

8/14/09: The trade off between flying a weak system that may never become a storm or waiting to fly the following disturbance forecast to become a hurricane may become evident rather quickly as we move into the weekend. The P-3 crew will be hard down tomorrow in preparation for what comes. Still planning missions for both aircraft beginning at 1600L Sat. Standby for future developments.

8/13/09:
There has been a change to the flt schedule. There will NOT be a 0400L mission on Sat. Both 43 and 49 will begin back-to-back missions on Sat. afternoon followed by the morning missions on Sun. The plan at this time is to continue this cycle with two more rotations ending with the early morning flt on Tues. Tomorrow, Fri., will be a hard down day for the P-3 crew. As always, the weather will dictate how this plan unfolds.

8/12/09: No flt on either 43 or 49 prior to Fri. afternoon.

8/11/09
: Tentative Plans: We will start flying Thurs. on the tropical wave just east of Barbados, continuing into Fri. morning.  A tentative call will be made on this tomorrow morning. The final decision on the Thurs. PM flt will not come until later tomorrow afternoon.

8/10/09:
Miss Piggy and crew will depart on Wednesday en route to Barbados.

Aircraft Currently in Maintenance

8/19/09: The plans for today have been muddied a bit due to the surveillance tasking of the G-IV for tomorrow afternoon. That flight, which must depart at 1330L, would terminate at MacDill and be ready for a follow-on mission the next day, Fri. At this time the 1600 crew would be best suited for that assignment, but that would require a shorter mission this evening with wheels in the blocks NLT 2230L. The 0400L mission could also take place, but it would have to be back in time for the quick turnaround. Since the above scenario has not totally jelled, please stay flexible.

8/18/09: N49 is flying its 0400 mission and is due to return after an 8-hour mission.

Aircraft Both 43 and 49 had successful take offs this afternoon for flts into and around Hurricane Bill. Mission times are on the order of 7.5 to 8.5 hours depending on # of in-storm modules. Next up will be the early morning and afternoon missions on Wednesday.

8/17/09: Both aircraft (N43 & 49) are scheduled to fly the first of a series of flts into Hurricane Bill beginning tomorrow morning, Tues. The next set of flts will be tomorrow afternoon.

8/16/09: At this time, the plan for Sun. remains the same. Two flts at 1600 this afternoon. There are several complications: 1. The GIV returned last night with a broken APU alternator. 2. The P3 situation is better since we at a minimum have a work-around in order to get a flt off this afternoon. 3. Not sure whether a flt on the P3 is desirable by HRD if the jet is unavailable. We have a meeting at 1100 to discuss such things.

Aircraft Movement continues toward a 1600L mission on Ms. Piggy. The mission profile will be high altitude (simulating the GIV) but in no convection. The GIV has departed Barbados for Savannah. Should it be repared in time to return here for an 0400L mission, it and the P3 are scheduled to fly at that time. All 3 of these missions are associated with TS Ana. Beginning tomorrow afternoon our attention will turn to Bill.

Aircraft The G-IV is en route to Savannah for maintenance. It will return when that work has been completed. It's first mission will be Tues. and continue as required through the week.

8/15/09: What earlier today looked like an unraveling plan is now appearing to evolve in the right direction. Here's what we know and what we think we know. We know the P3 and GIV missions through early Mon. flts total 4 flts for each acft, P3 does a 50 hr inspection following the morning flt on Mon. in preparation for Bill flts unless it is tasked for a Mon. night mission. We think we know that the GIV flies surveillance Mon. and Tues. afternoons on Ana, the GIV may be called for a very early flt on Tues. morning, and down days likely will be Tues or Wed depending on schedule. Expect the unexpected. Stay tuned and talk to your crew mates about schedule changes.

AircraftFor morning P3 & GIV Crews: The scientific value of either a P3 or GIV mission into Anna tomorrow has been deemed as no longer desirable. Hence both flts have been canceled. To allow for more flexibility in our schedule during the upcoming week, we are making tomorrow a hard down day for both morning crews. Next scheduled flts will be the afternoon missions on Sun. followed by the morning flts on Mon. The GIV has been tasked for surveillance Mon. afternoon and Tues. morning.

8/14/09: The trade off between flying a weak system that may never become a storm or waiting to fly the following disturbance forecast to become a hurricane may become evident rather quickly as we move into the weekend. The G-IV will fly tomorrow evening as planned, but stand by for what follows. Still planning missions for both aircraft beginning at 1600L Sat. Standby for future developments.

AircraftCompleted transit to Barbados. The aircraft is departing today for Hurricane Research/ SALEX. Awaiting further tasking.

8/13/09: The G-IV will arrive in BGI tomorrow morning. It will fly a SALEX mission tomorrow afternoon. There will NOT be a 0400L mission on Sat. Both 43 and 49 will begin back-to-back missions on Sat. afternoon followed by the morning missions on Sun. The plan at this time is to continue this cycle with two more rotations ending with the early morning flt on Tues. Tomorrow, Fri, will be a hard down day for the P-3 crew. As always, the weather will dictate how this plan unfolds.

8/12/09: No flt on either 43 or 49 prior to Fri. afternoon.

8/10/09
: The GIV crew took off and is heading eastward. Gonzo and crew should arrive back to MacDill on Tues.

8/7/09
: The GIV has been tasked for a third mission Sat. evening.

8/6/09: After tonight's flt, expect no more than 2 additional missions ending with the Sat. flt.

8/5/09: Probability for this deployment has jumped to 99%. Depart for Long Beach CA for a Thurs. night mission around Hurricane Felicia in the Eastern Pacific. Recover Fri. in Honolulu HI. One or more missions can be expected from there.

8/4/09: 95% probability for GIV tasking in the Pacific out of California Thurs. night for Hurricane Felicia. Dep for the West Coast would be tomorrow afternoon. First flt would depart there at 2230L Thurs. night, terminating in Honolulu Fri. morning. Additional round-robin flts from there anticipated for Fri. and Sat. nights.

Terms to Understand

Hurricane: The storm has winds of more than 73 mph.

Hurricane Watch: Hurricane force winds of more than 73 mph are possible within 36 hours.

Eye: This is the hurricane's roughly circular center area where the winds are comparatively lighter.

Tropical Storm (TS) : These generate winds of 39-73 mph. Watches and warnings also are issued for these.

Landfall: The place where the center of a storm intersects with land. Because the storm's strongest winds are not in the center, an area can be greatly affected even if the storm doesn't make landfall there.

Storm Surge: The abnormal rise in sea level accompanies a hurricane or other intense storm. This dome of water (often 50 to 100 miles wide) sweeps the coastline near where the hurricane's eye makes landfall.

Category of a Hurricane

Hurricane AnimationCategory 1:

Wind: 74 to 95 mph

Storm Surge: 4 to 5 feet

Damage: Minimal

 

Hurricane AnimationCategory 2 :

Wind: 96-110 mph

Storm Surge: 9 to 12 feet

Damage: Moderate

 

Hurricane AnimationCategory 3 :

Wind: 111 to 130 mph

Storm Surge: 9 to 12 feet

Damage:Extensive

 

Hurricane AnimationCategory 4 :

Wind: 131 to 155 mph

Storm Surge: 13 to 18 feet

Damage: Extreme

 

Hurricane AnimationCategory 5 :

Wind: 156 mph plus

Storm Surge: Higher than 18 feet

Damage: Catastrophic

 

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