Hurricane Hunters fly through hurricanes, dodging heavy rains and sometimes lightning and hail.
In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, September 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands.
According to National Geographic, pilots first began piercing the storm on September 3. The strong cyclone has been consistently tracked by weather satellites, but manned flights into its epicenter are required to gauge temperature, wind speeds, direction and barometric pressure.
This data is collected by deploying tools called dropsondes, cylindrically shaped instruments that transmit information as they fall through the hurricane and into the ocean. According to Fox13, NOAA is planning to dispatch more flights in the coming days.
A new video released by NOAA shows what it’s like inside Hurricane Irma, which is now headed for a collision course with the United States, and suffice it to say that things are pretty wild. The crew documented a phenomenon known as the “stadium effect” in which the eyewalls, or edges of the hurricane’s eye, widen and open up to expose clear sky.
Florida also rushed to prepare for a possible direct hit on the Miami area by the Category 5 storm with potentially catastrophic 185 miles per hour winds on Wednesday.
“Knowing the environmental conditions helps us to understand the intensity and the trajectory of Irma”, one can read on the website of the division of the hurricanes of the u.s. Agency for ocean observation, and atmospheric.
Two other hurricanes also exist, presently, in the Atlantic or Gulf.
NOAA told News4 it has nine aircraft, three of which can fly into hurricanes.