Flying right into the eye of a hurricane — that’s what the “hurricane hunters” are trained to do, capturing vital data and ever-changing storm information along the way.That includes Hurricane Irma. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Air Force Reserve have flown several missions into Irma’s eye with the goal of getting a better and faster sense of just how powerful the storm is as it barrels through the Carribean toward Florida.(usatoday).
image credit: Global News
The aircraft and crew fly directly into the eye of a hurricane to gather research data to help predict the path and intensity of the storm.Commander Scott Price says the best data about the storm is in the storm.”Being able to get into the environment, collect that data and get that data out to the folks that work the models and generate the forecasts for the public is critically important,” Price said.
The NOAA Hurricane Hunters drop sensors that continuously measure barometric pressure, humidity, temperature, wind direction and speed.There is also a Dopler radar in the tail section and other instruments hanging from the wings of the plane. WWL-TV Meteorologist Dave Nussbaum said the more data collected, the more accurate the forecast.by NOAA’s P-3s.
Hurricane Hunters don’t just fly into a storm. They also fly above it and around it to get a feel for the entire weather system.”It isn’t just now finding where the center is and how strong it is, it’s finding the entire environment around the system there and multiple times.