Hurricane Hunters


With Hurricane Florence rapidly approaching, have you wondered how the pictures of Hurricane Florence had been taken? This is thanks to aircraft that are built to dive straight in to the center of hurricanes. Their missions take place under dangerous conditions. Each hurricane-investigating flight lasts approximately 8 to 12 hours, and to reach the storm’s eye, the aircraft must first penetrate lashing rain and howling winds. At this time, researchers drop devices called dropwindsondes, which calculate statistics of the hurricane, such as wind speed, air pressure, and more. Those allow scientists to predict how a storm will behave, or where it’s headed. Many of these planes are the NOAA’s P-3s, more commonly known as “Kermit.”

Engineers in this project had to develop a safe, hurricane-resistant plane, and the devices dropped as the plane reaches a hurricane.