Watch As Plane Flies To The Center Of Hurricane Matthew

Posted: Oct 8 2016, 11:47am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 8 2016, 2:31pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Watch as Plane Flies to the Center of Hurricane Matthew
Credit: Captain Tim Gallagher/NOAA

NOAA video shows what it looks like to fly through a hurricane.

While people are asked to evacuate ahead of a hurricane, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did something totally opposite and flew straight into the terrifying hurricane Matthew.

NOAA has released a video on Thursday showing flight captain and crew navigating powerful thunderstorm and experiencing a bumpy ride while flying directly into the storm’s eye.

They are doing this crazy stuff not for the sake of fun. It’s a part of their research which will ultimately be used to crank out hurricane forecast and warnings.

In the video, the plane can be seen shaking badly as it flies through the turbulent atmosphere getting closer and closer to the center of hurricane. But a sense of calmness prevails over the view as soon as plane reached the eye and then safely made its way out of hurricane.

NOAA planes that study the dynamics of hurricanes are known as Hurricane Hunters. These NOAA aircrafts are equipped with instruments that continuously transmit measurements of pressure, humidity, temperature, and wind direction and speed as they fly towards the hurricane and provide a detailed look at the structure of the storm and its intensity. Data collected by these aircrafts help researchers make accurate predictions about hurricanes and also help them achieve a better understanding of storm processes and improving forecast models. 

Shirley Murillo, a NOAA meteorologist who has been a part of such missions, tells Business Insider.

“All storms are different therefore the flights all feel different. Some flights are bumpy. They feel like if you were going on a regular commercial airline through some turbulence. Some flights can get extra bumpy especially when we get close to the storm's center (the eye)."

"In order to reach the eye we have to cross the eyewall. A hurricane's eyewall tends to have the strongest winds and updrafts so the plane can get jostled while we cross it."

Murillo added. “A lot of people think it's dangerous but we are very safe. Safety is key in what we do. The pilots are highly trained and know how to fly in extreme weather conditions like hurricanes."

Hurricane Mathew intensified into a category 5 storm last weekend and swept across the Caribbean with winds of up to 145 mph. The storm passed through Cuba, Bahamas and Haiti over the past few days, killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands of homeless. The hurricane struck coast of Florida this Friday and is now heading towards South Carolina. Though Hurricane Matthew has now weakened slightly into a category 3 hurricane with maximum 75 mph sustained winds but still remains a threat to the coasts of Georgia and Carolinas. 

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The Author

Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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