Monday 26th February - Mesocyclone?

Multitasking today, as we tried to combine a sensitive area flight with obersations of a small cyclone to the south of Iceland, which was due to impact of the Faro Islands. The cyclone had weakened somewhat since the planning stages - becoming the meteorological equivalent of the runt of the litter. Initial fears that this would provide little of interest, however, proved unfounded.

The plane, its crew, and a payload of dropsondes (otherwise known, apparently, as 'cardboard projectiles') departed on time into the beautifully clear Icelandic sky, despite loitering around the hotel for as long as possible to try to see themselves on the telly.

Nina and the Captain



Shortly into the flight the cloud started to increase as we neared the cyclone, and we started the first dropsonde run. Initially we were unable to transmit the data gathered from the sondes, but this was quickly remedied by dropmaster Bob miraculously locating a loose wire and giving it a wiggle - to use the technical term! At the end of the high level legs, we flew over the south-east coast of Iceland to drop a 'sond to look for topographic gravity waves. This provided some spectacular views of the icesheet and glaciers, resulting in a short photographic feeding frenzy. The plane then descended to 2000 feet for a lower level pass through the cyclone, providing some interesting temperature and wind measurements, before climbing again, dropping another sond and heading for home, everyone pleased with yet another successful flight.z

We're going to be grounded for the next couple of days, due to a combination of flying restrictions and little interesting weather. Plans are afoot to go on the Icelandic tourist trail tomorrow - the so called golden circle, before heading for a barbeque and some aurora spotting at Nina's parent's countryside cabin.