Hurricane Hunters’ Eyes Continue to Fly Hurricane Ian National Hurricane Center to collect essential data for meteorologists.
Hurricane hunters are part of the National Hurricane Center’s aircraft reconnaissance, a division within NOAA. They fly through storms to collect valuable first-hand data.
Fox News reporter Madison Scarpino spent nine hours flying back and forth on a Hurricane Hunter flight after taking off from Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. In the eyes of Hurricane Ian It approached Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane.
Watch the video above to see the turbulent flight in Ian’s eyes made a few hours before landfall.
“It was crazy, the unrest wasn’t bad at first, but then it got terrible,” she said. “NOAA Hurricane Hunter passed by the same eye as us, and changed by how intense it actually was.”
Hurricane Hunter Pilot Major Kendall Dunn with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron described the flight as one of the toughest of his career.
“The storm was intensifying rapidly,” Dunn said. “We made a shot to come through the eyewall, but the rain was so heavy that the radar was only looking outside our nose.”
When the pilot was cleared to come through the eyewall, he experienced the worst turbulence of Dunn’s career.
“We were shaken,” Dunn said. “The plane was basically over-matched at one point. We were max power, trying to gain speed. We were basically diving, losing air. There was a mess. As a pilot It was the worst thing I could have done for you.”
Hurricane Ian’s eye wall moved ashore in Lee County in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands as a Category 4 hurricane later in the afternoon.
Another Hurricane Hunter pass through Ian is planned for Wednesday afternoon when the eye is It is expected to make landfall.