With Hurricane Harvey set to cause devastation across Texas, hurricane hunters have braved the journey and flown into the eye of the storm.
Flight crews with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ran multiple research sorties through Harvey last week in a Lockheed WP-3D Orion. The team based in Lakeland, Florida provides forecasters with invaluable data that helps predict storm tracks and save lives.
Terrifying footage shows the hurricane hunters enter the eye of Harvey. It was strengthened to a category 2 storm in the Gulf of Mexico. The wing of the airplane's propeller uncontrollably shakes as the plane battles to pass through the storm.
NOAA offers a brand-new forecasting model. Two years ago, NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory won a competition to provide the computer code for the next-generation weather model of the National Weather Service. With the new code, the next-generation model will be able to simulate storms at the same time as it runs globally, in theory, improving forecasts for hurricane paths. Its fine-scaled predictions feed immediately into the model’s next run, rather than lagging behind.
Last week, team anxiously watched the developing storm. They wanted to see how it compared with a test run of the next-generation model. That experiment helps explain the sustained, catastrophic rainfall that has battered the Texas coast. Hurricane Harvey
The Category 4 hurricane Harvey approaches Texas over the course of four days. Harvey has brought really strong wind and rain. It drowns people’s homes, forcing residents into shelters and even killing people. The storm has brought over 30 inches of rain, with almost two more feet expected.
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, calling the storm “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced,” said the region would not recover anytime soon.
Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flew into the eye of Hurricane Matthew to conduct research.
Here you can watch one more great video of Hurricane Eye's flight. Hurricane Katrina NASA picture: Hurricane Harvey