NOAA CAPTURES THE EYEWALL OF HURRICANE JEANNE
Sept. 23, 2004 ó NOAA hurricane researchers flew into the eye of Hurricane Jeanne on Wednesday to gather data about the storm that is currently churning in the open Atlantic Ocean packing sustained winds near 105 mph. The scientists flew on the NOAA WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter aircraft at an altitude of 7,000 feet during the afternoon and early evening hours. The NOAA aircraft penetrated the eye of Hurricane Jeanne six times. (Click NOAA image for larger view of NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft flying inside the eye of Hurricane Jeanne on Sept. 22, 2004. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Scientists with the NOAA Hurricane Research Division said the large eye was remarkably clear aloft and well organized. Low clouds, most of which were stratocumulus below about 3,000 feet, filled most of the eye with an occasional cumulus extending up to or just above our flight-level.
NOAA scientists said an interesting aspect of the flight was the sea surface temperature field in the storm and to the west. SSTs in the eye and eyewall of Jeanne were about 79 degrees F (26 degrees C), probably a result of mixing from the slow-moving storm. The sea warmed to nearly 83 degrees F (28 degrees C) from 200-400 miles to the west of Jeanne's position Wednesday afternoon. (Click NOAA image for larger view of flying inside the Eye of Hurricane Jeanne taken Sept. 22, 2004. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)
The NOAA Hurricane Research Division scientists speculated that the cooler SSTs were keeping Jeanne from intensifying significantly, and the dryer air was being kept away from the inner core.
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