Tim Vasquez is a meteorologist with Weather Graphics in Oklahomoa. He has plotted Flight 447’s flight path against GOES-10 satellite and other weather data. Vaquez’ work suggests Flight 447 penetrated two thunderstorm cells.
The image below, according to Vasquez, is similar to what the Flight 447 crew would have seen on its weather radar screen, assuming its radar was working. The black line in the image represents the aircraft’s flight path. "ACARS Position" represents the aircraft’s position when it sent it’s last ACARS message.
This next diagram is a cross section of Flight 447’s track through the thunderstorm cluster. According to Vasquez, instead of fying around these two cells, Flight 447 flew through the top of the first cell and then continued on through the middle of the second.
Not surprisingly, Vasquez concludes the aircraft encountered severe turbulence that may have damaged the aircraft. The question of why Flight 447 failed to avoid the storms (theories discussed in a previous post) remains unanswered. Vasquez’s full report can be found here.