5 Things You Might Not Know About Hurricane Hunters
As is the case with most meteorological phenomena, hurricanes are difficult to track. While there are a number of tools out there to get the job done, many have limitations due to the unpredictable nature of the storms. But what if one could go inside a hurricane, see the conditions, get ultra-accurate measurements and logically predict what will happen next? That's what Hurricane Hunters strive to do.
To get to know these daredevil researchers a bit better, here are five facts to wow your friends with.
What Are Hurricane Hunters?
Hurricane Hunters are crews that fly directly into hurricanes to measure their barometric pressure and wind speed. Before satellites, crews like the Hurricane Hunters would be the only way to accurately explore weather patterns, particularly in tropical cyclones.
Why Do We Still Need Hurricane Hunters?
Despite the latest technology being at our fingertips, there is only so much a satellite can see from a distance. When a plane flies through the eye of a storm, its sensors can pick up wind speed and barometric pressure. These factors can tell how big the storm will get, and where it's headed next.
Are the Hurricane Hunters New? I've Never Heard of Them!
1943 marked the first intentional meteorological flight into a hurricane. It started with a bet on the durability of a particular aircraft. During World War II, British Major Joe Duckworth saw American planes evacuating areas with storms. He pondered whether or not the storms were actually that dangerous to fly through, so he tried it and navigated twice through the eye of the Surprise Hurricane in Houston, Texas. A few years later, the moniker was born, and so was a new division of the Air Force.
How Much Time Could They Possibly Spend Tracking Hurricanes?
Within the first 10 years of the program, the Hurricane Hunters logged almost 6,000 hours of airborne research time. Each flight they performed usually lasted from 6 to 11 hours. In the present day, some of the research planes used by the squadron have enough tank capacity to stay in the air for 30 hours!
If Only There Was Some Sort of Reality Show…
Well aren't you lucky! The Weather Channel just created a new series called 'Hurricane Hunters' (clever title) that does exactly that. Click here to check it out.