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NOAA Hurricane Hunters provide critical data during busy 2022 Atlantic hurricane season

Pilots and flight engineer at the controls of NOAA WP-3D Orion N42RF during flight into Hurricane Ian

During the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew more than 582 mission hours to collect atmospheric data that is critical to hurricane forecasting and research, passing through the eye of a hurricane 65 times and deploying over 1,700 scientific instruments. NOAA’s Gulfstream IV-SP also flew a research mission from Cabo Verde, Africa, in August. This historic mission was the furthest east NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter airplanes have flown to investigate a developing storm. Another major first included the successful launch of the Altius 600 small uncrewed aircraft system by scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab. Scientists launched the instrument from a NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter into the core of Hurricane Ian hours before landfall, transmitting back data of wind speeds as high as 216 mph at an altitude of 2,150 feet. NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft are piloted and navigated by NOAA Corps officers and crewed by civilian engineers, meteorologists, and technicians. Learn more about the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane season in this NOAA news release.