EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Three Dimensional Wind and Rain Aircraft-Based Observations within the Hurricane Inner Core

Zorana Jelenak, Joe Sapp, Paul Chang, Clayton Bjorland, James Carslwell, and Stephen Guimond
Zorana Jelenak et al.
  • NOAA/NESDIS/STAR-UCAR, College Park, United States of America (

The three dimensional observations of wind and rain within the inner core of major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin were collected utilizing the Imaging Wind and Rain Profiler (IWRAP) on board a National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) P-3 aircraft during the 2020-2022 hurricane seasons. With 30 m vertical and 150 m horizontal resolution, these measurements represent the highest resolution hurricane boundary layer (HBL) observations collected to date with a remote sensing instrument. State of the art IWRAP radar control and data acquisition system collects both in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) signals for the entire observational profile. This allows for the full spectrum to be derived by utilizing a series of Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs) on every single range gate resulting in the availability of the observations within lowest 500 m of the HBL. Previously, these observations were only possible from drop sondes. High resolution reflectivity profiles are processed into both three dimensional wind and rain products utilizing Ku- and C-band microwave observations. Over the course of three hurricane seasons, observations of 9 major hurricanes were collected and processed.

            With its unprecidented resolution these measurements are providing insights into turbulant processes within HBL of the major hurricanes and can possibly lead into new HBL parametarization of the hurricane models. Validation of measurements were carried out with flight level aircraft measurements, Step Frequency Microwave Radiometer surface wind measurements and Tail Doppler Radar 3d Wind and Reflectivity data.

            The measurement technique, collected data, validation results and data availability will be discussed and presented.

How to cite: Jelenak, Z., Sapp, J., Chang, P., Bjorland, C., Carslwell, J., and Guimond, S.: Three Dimensional Wind and Rain Aircraft-Based Observations within the Hurricane Inner Core, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16737,, 2023.