NOAA P-3 and G-IV aircraft continued flights in and around Tropical Storm Zeta over the weekend at the request of the National Hurricane Center (NHC). AOML scientists supported missions by quality controlling and transmitting data from the Tail Doppler Radar and dropsondes. Data were used by NHC forecasters to understand the current structure of the storm. These data were also ingested into weather models to produce more accurate forecasts.
Tail Doppler Radar data revealed Tropical Storm Zeta making an attempt to align its low- and mid-level circulations. Analyses revealed the low-level center moving closer to the mid-level center located in the southern portion of the storm where the deep, persistent convection was located.
NHC forecaster Richard Pasch noted the NOAA P-3 found falling central pressures and increasing surface winds during the mission. NHC forecasts Zeta to continue strengthening steadily in the warm Caribbean waters. Zeta is currently nearly stationary but official forecasts predict it to move north towards the Yucatan and Gulf of Mexico in the next 24 hours.
>> Scientist L. Bucci
For details about reconnaissance aircraft missions, please see NOAA’s official Plan of the Day.
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