Catagory 5 Hurricane Felix

By: Randy Bynon , 12:30 PM GMT on September 03, 2007

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Good morning folks! My flight got back on the ground safe and sound.We didn't get quite the rough ride NOAA 43 had but we got bounced around enough.

Felix continued to intensify as we flew it. The pressure dropped from 936 mb on our first pass to 931 by our second pass and our sonde didn't quite the center so the pressure was probably a bit lower than that. It's tough to nail it when the eye is so small.

The eye was probably the best eye I have ever seen in a storm. Perfectly round, beautiful stadium effect. I didn't think we'd see much in the dark but the moon was just over the top of the eyewall cloud and there was more lightning then I have ever seen in a hurricane. So I got some cool shots. I'll post them!

One of our pilots captured some video during the first eyewall penetration. You can view that here

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In the Eye of Felix (LRandyB)
The first eyewall penetration was a bit rough but not too bad. The wind field was incredibly tight.We had winds less than 50 knots at flight until we got within a few milesof the eyewall. Once inside, the plane was surrounded on radar by a ring of high winds and rain.
In the Eye of Felix
In the Eye of Felix 2 (LRandyB)
Once in the eye, the view was breath taking even at night. The moon had just risen over the top of the eyewall and lightning lit up the eyewall all around us.
In the Eye of Felix 2
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162. stormhunter7
9:10 PM GMT on September 18, 2007
Hey Randy... were you on AF 306 mission, i think it was #3 mission flight into Humberto? Just got some questions about the system, especially right at around midnight the night it blew up... By the way Felix night pictures are AMAZING! plus the video!!!


http://stormhunter7.tripod.com

http://www.flhurricane.com
161. Raysfan70
10:50 AM GMT on September 15, 2007
Myspace Layouts
Myspace Layouts

Good Morning {{Randy}}.
Have a Great Saturday. :-)
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160. Raysfan70
11:32 PM GMT on September 14, 2007
Have A Good Time.
Enjoy yourselves.

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159. Raysfan70
9:46 AM GMT on September 14, 2007
Good Morning {{Randy}}!
img src="">
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158. Hairball
3:12 AM GMT on September 14, 2007
Bye Humberto... we hardly knew ye.

On to Ingrid... let's hope we don't get to know you either.
157. SBKaren
1:44 AM GMT on September 14, 2007
Wow Randy - what amazing photos from the eye of the storm. That's something I'll sure NEVER see with my own eyes!
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156. Raysfan70
9:59 AM GMT on September 13, 2007
Good Morning {{Randy}}.

:-)
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155. EmmyRose
1:53 AM GMT on September 13, 2007
we'll be okay hairball!
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154. Hairball
1:15 AM GMT on September 13, 2007
Emmy - I lived right on the water in Galveston during Alison, but for most of the island it really wasn't that bad. We had it easy compared to those of us to the north. I still can't believe the images of downtown Houston I remember seeing. Like a guy canoeing down 59 and the water was almost as high as the overhead bridge! And all those trucks under water on I-10. Crazy stuff!

It's not raining here at the moment. Humberto appears to be moving more to the NNE now I think. That's a good thing.
153. EmmyRose
11:11 PM GMT on September 12, 2007
Hairball - nah we aren't boarding up here - near Kemah - Galveston Bay - just sittin it out
Galveston is expecting 50mph winds and tons of rain depending on where Humberto decides to land - Houston is gearing up also.
This is a rain maker - were you here for Allison?
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152. cyclonebuster
10:09 PM GMT on September 12, 2007
NOW! JUST TO BE SAFE!
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151. Hairball
10:05 PM GMT on September 12, 2007
It's looking nasty here in TX. It's not raining (was earlier) but I don't like the way the sky is looking. I guess it's the outer bands of Humberto. I hope this thing doesn't amount to much!

I haven't boarded up and I notice none of my neighbors have either. At what point do y'all board up - TS, Cat 1???
150. cyclonebuster
2:39 PM GMT on September 12, 2007
Looks like a tropical storm already Randy. Start warming the engines up.

Link
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149. Raysfan70
9:49 AM GMT on September 12, 2007
Good Morning {{Randy}}.
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148. reeldrlaura
12:03 PM GMT on September 11, 2007
Thanks for all YOU do LRB....
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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147. Gatorxgrrrl
11:53 AM GMT on September 11, 2007
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146. Raysfan70
9:21 AM GMT on September 11, 2007

glitter-graphics.com
Good Morning {{Randy}}.

glitter-graphics.com

9/11/01
A Special Thank You to All The Men and Women of Our Military.
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145. cyclonebuster
6:16 PM GMT on September 10, 2007
Randy 16N 63W. Looks like a low level vort. there, also.

Link
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144. palmettobug53
5:00 PM GMT on September 10, 2007
Watched that video a couple more times this weekend. Each time, I spotted a little something more than I had seen previously.

After Rainman told me what the "soundtrack" was, I've had that song stuck in my head. Been trying to substitute something else but it hasn't worked so far! Man, as much as I like The Doors, this is gonna get real old real soon! LOL

Hope you guys have a great day!
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143. palmettobug53
4:56 PM GMT on September 10, 2007
Morning, folks!

thanks for clarifying that, Randy. I never had really thought about who did what, AF vs NOAA. Either way, awesome jobs!
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141. Randy Bynon , Dropsonde SysOp/AVAPS PM
4:41 PM GMT on September 10, 2007
Yes, recon is different than research. A recon mission is a tasked mission to collect data for NHC for forecasting a storm. A research mission is typically not for NHC directly but rather for various research projects that NOAA has been asked to perform for universities and research organizations. Quite often the data NOAA collects for research gets canned and is later used by scientists and researchers at a later date in the course of their project.

That somewhat helps to define too the difference between the primary mission that the AF Reserve Hurricane Hunters do and the mission that the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center does. Our job is primarily (and nearly exclusively) recon while theirs is primarily research though they do perform recon missions as well.
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139. Raysfan70
11:26 AM GMT on September 10, 2007
Good Morning {{Randy}}.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Uneventful.
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138. COHHunter
4:50 AM GMT on September 10, 2007
Well flight was pretty uneventful last night into this morning. Spent alot of time on the western portion of the storm. Basically we did modified Alpha patterns (shorter legs). The fact that the storm was so close to land made us spend quite a bit of time flying near the shoreline from Wilmington up to Cape Hatteras. That was where most of the activity was happening. I think the highest winds we got was a 51 knot gust at 2500 feet.
The pilots commented that the lighthouse on Harpers Island was pretty awesome to see.
Skyepony, from what I understand the weather officer's pallet on 5308 wasn't working properly which is why they came back early.
137. cyclonebuster
6:49 PM GMT on September 09, 2007
Zoom in Randy You can see it. 56W 18N.

Link
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136. Randy Bynon , Dropsonde SysOp/AVAPS PM
3:55 PM GMT on September 09, 2007
Dalite, the pilot from our flight who posted it on AirShowBuzz.com has the original video. I'm not aware that it is available anywhere else.
Member Since: July 17, 2001 Posts: 190 Comments: 2012
135. Dalite
3:21 PM GMT on September 09, 2007
If there is any place on the web that the full video of the flight into Felix can be downloaded, I would really like to get the link. I think it would make an excelent video to be shown for NWS Storm Spotter classes and for Emergency Responders to get a chance to view.

134. palmettobug53
1:28 PM GMT on September 09, 2007
Morning, Randy! Hope your flight finds nothing worthy of note. I'm still keeping fingers and toes crossed for a continued easy season on the East Coast.

From the webcams, I see that surf's up in NC. Didn't see any surfers out there but I'm sure there are some, despite the risk of rip tides. Remains to be seen just how much beach erosion we'll have. It really wouldn't matter, if no one lived out there on the barrier islands. You can try to fight Mother Nature but you can't win!
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133. cyclonebuster
1:19 PM GMT on September 09, 2007
Next one Randy! 56W 18N??

LinkLink
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132. oakland
12:53 PM GMT on September 09, 2007



Whatever the weather may be outside....Hope it truly is a beautiful day for you.
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131. Raysfan70
11:06 AM GMT on September 09, 2007
Good Morning {{Randy}}.


Have a Good Flight.
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130. Randy Bynon , Dropsonde SysOp/AVAPS PM
2:31 AM GMT on September 09, 2007
Hope ya had a good flight Jeff. I flew it yesterday as tropical trash.. actually I guess it was subtropical trash. I get to fly it again tomorrow afternoon. Save some for me! :-)
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129. Skyepony (Mod)
1:56 AM GMT on September 09, 2007
Hope your having a good flight Jeff. Why aren't we getting data? Cut out in the middle of the AF308 flight & no data from NOAA either:(
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128. Raysfan70
10:24 PM GMT on September 08, 2007
Have a Safe Flight tonight Jeff.
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127. COHHunter
10:19 PM GMT on September 08, 2007
Just another day in the life of a Hurricane Hunter! STS Gabrielle tonight :-)
126. palmettobug53
1:00 PM GMT on September 08, 2007
Morning, Randy!

Not this time, Rays! LOL

I'm not in the crosshairs of the Cone of Doom though we are under a TS Watch here on the SC coast. They're forecasting some possible rain and wind and, of course, the usual beach erosion/rip tides. Unless the track changes drastically or Gabby really strengthens, we'll get no more here than what a heavy summer storm front would bring.
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125. Raysfan70
11:24 AM GMT on September 08, 2007
GoOd MoRnInG {{Randy}}!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
HaVe A gReAt SaTuRdAy. :-)

NADA.

Watch out Bugg's going to have the Garbage Cans Flying. DUNK! :-)
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124. EmmyRose
3:37 AM GMT on September 08, 2007
Bug did you see that poster on my wall LOL
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123. palmettobug53
2:05 AM GMT on September 08, 2007
Been poking around the HH website. Neat YouTube video by Nola.com for Dean. This time I KNOW there was conversation. I could see mouths moving! And I spotted a familiar face, whilst the plane was cranking up. Wonder who that was? LOL
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122. StormJunkie
1:38 AM GMT on September 08, 2007
Randy, thanks for the great pics and video! Truly amazing.

Thanks again!
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121. palmettobug53
1:27 AM GMT on September 08, 2007
Worry about it tuhmarrah, Emmy!

Hee hee! You been watchin' Gone With The Wind again? LOL
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120. EmmyRose
11:47 PM GMT on September 07, 2007
hiya Randy. have a wonderful weekend.
looks like galveston bay will be without RAIN
a whole weekend of NO RAIN..what ever shall I do?
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119. Mesovortex
10:08 PM GMT on September 07, 2007
Randy, it looks like a Macromedia Adobe plugin is required for viewing that Felix Eyewall video on the AirshowBuzz web site. Tomorrow, I'll try to see if I can view on a friend's computer, and if so, save it to a CD. I realize you don't have much time missions to create videos, but when you do, please by all means continue to post them. They're great!!! Hope the 53rd will bring one of the C-130J's to our Wings Over Houston Airshow Oct 6-7. If you go the the NASA Hurricane Research web site, there's a great video of Hurricane Dean from orbit, as the International Space Station grountrack passed near it.

P.S. Was Felix near or past the end of an eyewall replacement cycle when you penetrated? Is lightning more frequent when tropical systems are rapidly intensifying?

Great job.
Thanks
118. palmettobug53
5:02 PM GMT on September 07, 2007
Oh, man! LOLOL Riders in the Storm! Perfect! I'll have to watch it again and hum along. I think I remember how it goes.

Nah, headphones don't help. Crank it up high enough for me to hear it, and it's all just staticky noise, no music. Haven't been able to listen to music in close to 10 years now. Sucks.

See where someone will be flying 99L today. Is that you or another crew?
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116. Randy Bynon , Dropsonde SysOp/AVAPS PM
12:28 PM GMT on September 07, 2007
Good morning Hurigo... I don't see much change from yesterday. 99L maintains a pretty impressive well defined low level circulation but it's sitting on the east side of a deep layer trough off the east coast of the US. The models are all in general agreement on a WNW motion of the surface circulation and the SHIPS intensity model brings it to just barely hurricane strength before moving just onshore in the Carolinas.

But as we all know, the models do not handle cyclogenesis well at all. They've been trying to develop this low for a few runs now and it's not happening.

I'm assigned to a crew scheduled to fly out there today and check it out but I suspect NHC will cancel the tasking for today and see if it looks any better tomorrow.
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115. cyclonebuster
12:19 PM GMT on September 07, 2007
The vort. won't quit Randy.

Link
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114. hurigo
12:15 PM GMT on September 07, 2007
Good morning, Randy.
Do you have time to comment on 99?
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113. Randy Bynon , Dropsonde SysOp/AVAPS PM
12:13 PM GMT on September 07, 2007
Yes Bug, the only thing you missed was the music and the background drone of the engines. If you listen very closely there are a couple of times in the background audio when the turbulence gets to it's worst where you can hear the computer make an "Autopilot" call letting the pilots know that the autopilot disengaged because of the turbulence, and then a "Check Altitude" call because downdrafts and updrafts had pushed us off our set altitude. The pilots video camera didn't have a mic input, only the built in mic so we couldn't record the intercom chatter which I think would have been neat to hear. But I'll work on that next time.

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112. Raysfan70
10:47 AM GMT on September 07, 2007
Good Morning {{Randy}}.
Have a Fantastic Friday.


Bug think of it as a Virtual Reality Ride.
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About LRandyB

I was an AF aviation weather forecaster for 12 years, then 15 years as a dropsonde systems operator with the AF Reserve Hurricane Hunters.

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