Hurricane Hunter flight in 20 minutes ago.... flight path on the right
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 26th day of the month at 20:23Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 304)
Storm Number & Year: 18L in 2011
Storm Name: Rina (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 8
Observation Number: 17
A. Time of Center Fix: 26th day of the month at 20:05:20Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 18°08'N 85°54'W (18.1333N 85.9W)
B. Center Fix Location: 157 miles (252 km) to the ENE (74°) from Belize City, Belize.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 2,937m (9,636ft) at 700mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 76kts (~ 87.5mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 6 nautical miles (7 statute miles) to the W (279°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 33° at 76kts (From the NNE at ~ 87.5mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 8 nautical miles (9 statute miles) to the WNW (282°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 977mb (28.85 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 9°C (48°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,041m (9,977ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 16°C (61°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,060m (10,039ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 12°C (54°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Open in the southeast
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 17 nautical miles (20 statute miles)
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 700mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Maximum Wind Outbound: 79kts (~ 90.9mph) in the northeast quadrant at 20:10:40Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 79kts (~ 90.9mph) in the northeast quadrant at 20:10:40Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: 700mb
Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...
EYE DROP REPORTED SLP OF 981MB AND 24KT SFC WINDThe Lockheed WC-130J aircraft is a venerable workhorse. It flies directly into the hurricane, typically penetrating the hurricane's eye several times per mission at altitudes between 500 feet (150 m) and 10,000 feet (3,000 m). The 53rd WRS Hurricane Hunters operate ten WC-130J aircraft for weather reconnaissance.
The Lockheed WP-3D Orion aircraft flown by the NOAA Hurricane Hunters are heavily instrumented flying laboratories specifically modified to take atmospheric and radar measurements within tropical cyclones and winter storms.
The NOAA G-IV Gulfstream high altitude jet conducts hurricane surveillance flying upwards of 4,000 miles (6,400 km) each flight to document upper and lower level winds that affect the movement of tropical cyclones. The hurricane models (computer models predicting hurricane tracks and intensity) mainly utilize NOAA G-IV dropwindsonde data that is collected both day and night in storms affecting the United States.