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Hurricane Paine (1986) Grazes the High Terrain of the Baja California Peninsula

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  • 1 University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii
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Abstract

On 1 October 1986, two NOAA WP-3D aircraft were flown in Hurricane Paine as it passed just south of the Baja California Peninsula, providing an opportunity to observe how the category-1 hurricane responded to the presence of a 1200-m-high ridge. Ten fixes of the circulation center and 25 passes through the eyewall show no apparent impact by the peninsula on the track and intensity of Paine. Reflectivity fields reveal a subtle response with a distortion of the eyewall shape and the development of a weak reflectivity zone downwind of the ridge. The minimal response of the hurricane is hypothesized to be due to the large-scale trough in which the hurricane is embedded. Southwest winds inhibit the development of downslope flow from the Baja ridge and the subsequent introduction of this drier air into Paine's inner core.

Corresponding author address: G. M. Barnes, Dept. of Meteorology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2525 Correa Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822. Email: garyb@soest.hawaii.edu

Abstract

On 1 October 1986, two NOAA WP-3D aircraft were flown in Hurricane Paine as it passed just south of the Baja California Peninsula, providing an opportunity to observe how the category-1 hurricane responded to the presence of a 1200-m-high ridge. Ten fixes of the circulation center and 25 passes through the eyewall show no apparent impact by the peninsula on the track and intensity of Paine. Reflectivity fields reveal a subtle response with a distortion of the eyewall shape and the development of a weak reflectivity zone downwind of the ridge. The minimal response of the hurricane is hypothesized to be due to the large-scale trough in which the hurricane is embedded. Southwest winds inhibit the development of downslope flow from the Baja ridge and the subsequent introduction of this drier air into Paine's inner core.

Corresponding author address: G. M. Barnes, Dept. of Meteorology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2525 Correa Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822. Email: garyb@soest.hawaii.edu

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