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Hunting Hurricanes
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Hunting Hurricanes

As hurricanes and other tropical systems approach the U.S., NOAA and the U.S. Air Force scramble their squadrons of hurricane hunters to fly into the storms. These flights collect precious data used to understand how storm intensity is changing, and better predict where storms will make landfall. Along their flight path, hurricane hunters use a variety of sensors to calculate pressure, rainfall rates, wind speeds, and many other variables. At some locations, they deploy instruments called dropsondes. As dropsondes fall through the storm, they collect profile information that is radioed back to the aircraft.

In this animation, the flight path of a NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunter is shown, along with the points where dropsondes are released.

 

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