The Missouri-based Hurricane Hunters fly in and out of tropical cyclones in order to detect specific information about storms that satellite imagery, storm modeling and other technologies cannot.
And they put that expertise to use as Hurricane Florence rampaged towards the East Coast.
The elite unit has been around since the mid-20th century, reports The Wall Street Journal, when the Hurricane Hunters group was formed by World War II pilots with experience flying in dangerous conditions.
“The satellites are good at picking up the visible stuff from a top-down perspective,” said Capt. Ben Blair, a pilot, to WSJ. “But we actually get the temperature, the pressure, wind speed, dew point and all that good stuff from inside the storm itself, from the core.”
On Tuesday, the Hurricane Hunters searched for the precise center of Hurricane Florence. The data collected during that flight prompted National Hurricane Center forecasters to raise their estimates of Florence’s wind speeds.
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