Hurricane Hunters in full swing

In the midst of Hurricane season and the devastation that has rocked several parts of the United States over the last few weeks, the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base are in full effect and ready to take on any challenge.
News 25’s Tanner Stewart takes a closer look at the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron.
Since 1944, the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, or the Hurricane Hunters, has been flying into tropical storms and hurricanes. In the wake of devastating hurricanes like Harvey and Irma, these Lockheed Martin WC-130J and the airmen on board have their sights set on the eye of the newest storm. Lt. Col. Sean Cross said, “So, we have four aircraft down range in Curacao. We have one aircraft scheduled to take off today at 4 o’clock local time, that aircraft will be flying in Hurricane Katia in the Bay of Campeche.”
But what is it like to man one of these aircraft atop a hurricane carrying winds up to 180 MPH? Major Kendall Dunn said, “The plane and the forces against just push against the aircraft as we go through it and we’re going towards the eye. It’s increasing or the planes trying to descend or climb and we’re having to fight it and reduce power, it can get really difficult.”
Although there are other storm chasing teams around the nation, there are none who have been doing it as long as the 53rd. “Our job is to get to flight level, ten thousand feet, penetrate the eye wall, drop a sign in the eye wall, mark the lowest center of pressure which is established by latitude and longitude and that will tell exactly where the center of the storm is,” said Lt. Col. Cross.

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