Flying into the eye of Ian: An experienced hurricane hunter takes a wild ride.

Author: Yuvi September 29, 2022

Flying into the eye of Ian: An experienced hurricane hunter takes a wild ride.

TAMPA, Fla. — Nick Underwood has flown into the eye of a hurricane 76 times over the past six years as an aerospace engineer for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. His roughest flight so far? Early Wednesday, to the heart of Hurricane Ian.

“I’ve never seen so much lightning,” he said in a phone interview after landing in Houston.

A veteran of 22 storms, Mr. Underwood described an exceptionally turbulent experience punching through Ian’s thick eye wall. Even inside the eye, which is usually the calmest part of the storm, he and the flight crew, technicians and scientists on the team were continually buffeted inside a Lockheed WP-3D Orion aircraft known as Kermit.

“We’re kind of used to the up-and-down, roller coaster feeling that you get, but in this case, there was just a lot of lateral movement,” he said. “It was a lot more unnerving.”

NOAA’s hurricane hunters help confirm a storm’s location and strength, as do Air Force Reserve reconnaissance flights. But the NOAA planes also serve as flying research labs that launch probes and collect real-time scientific data crucial to understanding — and better forecasting — hurricanes. During Wednesday’s flight, Mr. Underwood’s team launched an experimental research drone that NOAA has been testing.

“The basic idea is that it can go to the places in the storm that we can’t,” Mr. Underwood said, adding that it will collect “the lifesaving data that we’re really up there for.”

The hurricane hunters are based in Lakeland, Fla., but flew the Ian mission from Houston so that the aircraft could safely depart and return. The team’s families mostly live in central Florida and the Tampa Bay area, said Mr. Underwood, who calls St. Petersburg home.

“Your thoughts are always with the folks who are on the ground,” he said. “There is that little extra level of concern when it’s your friends.”

29 September, 2022, 1:30 am

News Cinema on twitter News Cinema on facebook

Thursday, 29th September 2022

More Stories
Irish Rail worker who is paid £105,000 a year to ‘read the paper’ takes employers to court
Epstein Estate Agrees to Pay More Than $105 Million to US Virgin Islands
Mark Zuckerberg defends the company’s push into the metaverse, where he appeared with a bout of hiccups.
Former Adam Levine yoga instructor says 1992 attack ‘eerily similar’ to University of Idaho slayings
Biden Promises Protections for Nevada’s Spirit Mountain
Fyre Festival fraudster Billy McFarland launches new virtual PYRT festival
Andy Jassy says Amazon will allow the antisemitic film that Kyrie Irving tweeted to remain on sale for now.
Scooter Driver Who Struck and Killed Actress Gets Up to 3 Years
Pamela Rosenkranz Wins the High Line Plinth’s Third Commission
Royal Family news LIVE: William and Kate land in Boston for a three-day visit to the US
Powell says that rates will rise more and remain high ‘for some time.’
San Francisco Considers Allowing Use of Deadly Robots by Police
Life Science, Spacewalk Preps as Station Orbits Higher
NATO Nations Grow More Receptive to US Pleas to Confront China
Prince William and Kate Middleton land in Boston for US trip amid royal race row
New York Police Name a Chief Who Has Faced Internal Discipline
South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Faces Impeachment Hearing
Mother sparks furious debate after waxing her 10-year-old daughter’s face
Outcome in Oath Keepers Trial Could Hold Lessons for Coming Jan. 6 Cases
Elon Musk’s Neuralink to share progress of its brain chip tonight
Sam Brinton: Biden’s nuclear waste guru spoke at a spanking seminar weeks after bag theft
Could Theatrical Movies Shut Out Streamers for the Top Oscars?
17 Public Employees Charged in Schemes to Steal Covid Relief Funds
Deaths From Substance Abuse Rise Sharply Among Older Americans in 2020
White House ‘deeply concerned’ about Paul Whelan
‘Philadelphia is a war zone’: thug strolls up to parking official and shoots him in the head
Indian-origin doc slams ‘racist joke’ at British Curry Awards
Argentina’s World Cup Hangs in the Balance Against Poland
China completes world’s largest solar telescope array with 1.9-mile-wide ring of 313 dishes
Bigg Boss 16 Day 60 Updates: Housemates call Nimrit unfair for favoring Shiv and Soundarya in ranking task
FIFA World Cup 2022: Defending champion France lost to Tunisia
Mariah Carey offers fans opportunity to stay in her apartment BUT the star won’t even be there
House PASSES bill to stop a rail strike on December 9 after Biden asked Congress to step in
In Georgia, Walker’s Pace in the Finish Worries Republican Allies
Hiroshi Miyamura, Given Medal of Honor in Korean War, Dies at 97
Cops kill Illinois man and his grandpa while trying to stop younger man from stabbing his relative
A Resonant Topic in Georgia’s Senate Runoff: Insulin Prices
Spotify Wrapped drops but Apple Music Replay fans have it trending
The five ‘saboteurs’ trying to derail Kevin McCarthy’s Speaker bid: GOP leader’s allies push back
Biden gives 11 tribes $135M to move coastal buildings to higher ground due to climate change
FIFA World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi’s Argentina qualification scenario ahead of must-win clash vs Poland
MDMA could be approved for PTSD in the US by 2024