April 30, 1995

Vortex NCAR Aircraft Mission #3

Takeoff time - 1930 UTC
Landing Time - 0040 UTC


The Electra and P-3 headed for northwest Texas to search for the dryline and warm front for a possible triple point study of convection initiation. The Electra headed southwest toward Childress before descending at 2020 UTC to 1000' AGL while flying south to find the warm front. After having difficulty finding the warm front, the plane flew toward the west at 2041 UTC in search of the dryline. A equivalent potential temperature drop of 8 degrees was encountered near Sweetwater, Texas. After the penetration, the Electra continued to follow the dryline toward the north until we were north of Lubbock.
At 2154, a coordinated flight with the P-3 was initiated with a center point at Tulia, Texas. The flight was a variation of initiation pattern #1 in the Operations Plan. It appears that the Electra may have penetrated the warm front and the dryline during the initial box patterns. Some towering cumuli were noted with the highest reflectivity of approximately 30 dBZ. ELDORA switched between a convective scanning mode to a clear-air scanning mode to test the sensitivity of the radar. A noticeable improvement in the clear-air return was noted during the latter scan.
GPS was out for most of the flight. Radio communications problems that interfered with coordination during the first two missions have been solved.

Roger Wakimoto