A lot of meteorologists sit behind their computers to crank out hurricane Matthew forecasts and warnings. However, others fly straight into the storms.
Captain Tim Gallagher, who is highly experienced in flying into dangerous weather set off with his crew to assess the storm battering the state of Florida.
Matthew, the first major hurricane threatening a direct hit on the United States in more than 10 years, lashed Florida on Friday with heavy rains and winds after killing at least 339 people in Haiti on its destructive march north through the Caribbean.
The clip shows daredevil pilot Tim Gallagher guiding his plane through the deadly storm’s 150mph winds. The aircraft is seen shaking ferociously while moving through the powerful storm but the crew remains calm and collected.
The “hurricane hunter” jet was used to accurately classify the storm to allow weather experts determine the strength of it.
But what do hurricane hunters do, exactly, while flying through one of nature's scariest phenomena? Shirley Murillo is a meteorologist. She is also flown on such missions, which record hurricane wind speed, temperature, humidity, air pressure, rainfall, and other variables that are tricky for satellites in space to measure in detail.
She said: "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)."
"A lot of people think it's dangerous but we are very safe. Safety is a key in what we do. The pilots are highly trained and know how to fly in extreme weather conditions like hurricanes."
The U.S. National Weather Service said the storm could be the most powerful to strike northeast Florida in 118 years.