Good morning folks! I just got back on the ground from our first flight into Florence. It was an uneventful flight and we found the storm to be pretty unimpressive. But during the time that we were in the storm it did show signs of increasing in intensity. We made two passes through the center. The first pass found the center about 83 miles southeast of where NHC thought it would be. That exemplifies why we fly these missions. The sondes I dropped reported a minimum pressure of 998MB on the first pass (at 12:04am EDT) and 993MB on the second pass (at 2:35am EDT). 5MB in 2 and a half hours is pretty respectable. Maximum flight level winds recorded were about 61 knots in the NE quad (as expected). General motion between the two fixes was about 300 degrees at 15kts. Radar presentation of the storm and overall structure was still pretty ragged.
The storm is still expected to turn north and northeast over the next 12-36 hours as it rounds the western edge of a ridge in the Atlantic. And with shear nearly gone, the storm has a small window of opportunity to gain some stregnth before the trough on the west coast catches it and starts to shear it as it pushes it north.
The pictures below we're taken during the flight this morning. Since it ws dark the whole flight I couldn't get any outside shots.
Aircraft track as we flew TS Florence overnight on Friday night
Our Aerial Weather Recon Officer, John, adjusts his instruments as we enter Florence.
Here I am monitoring the sonde data as it falls to the surface.
A shot of the aircraft radar. This is outbound to the NE right after the first fix. The north side of the storm is where we found the most convection and turbulance.
A shot of the aircraft radar. This is outbound to the SE right after the second fix. Convection had increased somewhat around the east side of the storm by our second pass through the center