Hurricane Hunters Work to Help Save Lives

Tropical Storm Bill is currently making landfall in Texas.
Being able to rate and predict landfall of a storm like this can be hard for the National Hurricane Center, but that’s when the Hurricane Hunters take off. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron also known as the Hurricane Hunters, fly directly into tropical storms and hurricanes to help save lives.
Yesterday, News 25’s Bryan Kennedy strapped in and took flight with the Hurricane Hunters.
For 15 years, Major Ivan Deroche has been front and center for the Hurricane Hunters flying their C-130 directly into harm’s way.
“Most pilots go the other way when there’s really bad weather. Passengers don’t want to be bumped around. They want a quality ride. Nice and smooth. Well our job, unfortunately, takes us into some of the heaviest weather that Mother Nature has to throw at you,” said Major Deroche.
Their job is also one that can call on them in a moment’s notice. One day a Hurricane Hunter can be at home with his or her family, but the next moment they are flying directly into the storm. “We got the call Saturday and Sunday that we had all these missions come up. We went home Friday saying there was nothing going on for the weekend. And it all happened over the weekend, where this thing developed and started moving into the Gulf. I mean, we just know up front that during the Hurricane season, we’re sort of like first responders,” said Lt. Col. Jon Talbot.
Hurricane Hunters are in always direct contact with the National Hurricane Center, sending them data the Center uses to upgrade or downgrade storms.
Members of the Air Force Reserves have been flying into tropical storms and hurricanes for the Hurricane Hunters since 1944.

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