Ocean Today explainer video about the NOAA Hurricane Hunters
Video Display Options
- Why choose?
The current state of video display on the web provides many challenges. If this website contains a YouTube video, we default to it since it is more likely to work in your choice of device/browser. That may not provide the experience you prefer, so we offer the option to choose your display: YouTube or HTML5. Please note the HTML5 video option may not work at all in some browsers/devices. If you cannot view the video you can download it from our video repository.
The job of a hurricane hunter is not for the faint of heart. This brave crew must fly straight into one of the most destructive forces in nature. Hurricanes are born over the open ocean. And while satellites can track their movement, meteorologists and researchers need to sample the storms directly to get the most accurate information about them. NOAA's Hurricane Hunter fleet includes two P-3 turbo prop aircraft, as well as a Gulfstream IV jet. The P-3s fly through the storm, encountering devastating winds that can be over 150 miles per hour.
RICHARD HENNING (Flight Director, NOAA Hurricane Hunters):
Well, the best way I could describe it is it's sort of like riding a roller coaster through a car wash because you can't see anything out the windows in the eyewall. It's it's just like a car wash. It actually even in the middle of the day gets dark inside the airplane. It's raining so hard.
The jet can fly higher than the turboprops, gathering data from higher in the atmosphere. Both planes have high tech equipment on board to get the job done, like radar and fixed probes that measure particles in the air. Scientists also deploy dropsondes which parachute down through the hurricane to the ocean surface, sending back data on pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind. These measurements can help us understand the structure of a storm and the winds that are steering it. The data is used in computer models that help forecasters predict how intense the hurricane will be and where and when it will strike land.
We will fly twice a day. This airplane will just go day, night, day, night, day, night for six days in a row. And the missions last anywhere between eight and nine hours.
Hurricane hunters take a literal look into the eye of a monster formed by nature. Their courage helps further science and save lives.
The information provided using this web site is only intended to be general summary information to the public. It is not intended to take the place of either written law or regulations.
Neither NOAA, the OMAO, the individuals featured in the videos, nor any other party associated with the production of these videos accept responsibility for any accident or injury resulting from the use of materials contained herein.
Information in these videos is current as of the date of production. Although we try to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, neither NOAA, the OMAO, nor any agency, officer, or employee thereof warrants the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, products, or processes disclosed herein, and shall not be held responsible for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or out of date. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from the instructional videos herein does so at his or her own risk.
The views and opinions of authors expressed on OMAO websites do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Government, and they may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
OMAO makes every effort to provide virus-free files but does not guarantee uncorrupted files.