Hurricane Hunters fly into Ida
By SOF Editor on Tue, 11/10/2009 - 10:47am
The Air Force Reserve's Hurricane Hunters are flying non-stop into Hurricane Ida collecting critical weather data as the storm enters the Gulf of Mexico.
The Hurricane Hunters of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron are assigned to the 403rd Wing and stationed at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The team of reservists collected data to help determine the storm was gaining strength as it passed the Yucatan peninsula. The data the Hurricane Hunters provide to the National Hurricane Center in Miami will increase the accuracy of the forecast by 30 percent.
"Directly measuring the conditions within the storm provides emergency managers with the best information possible," said Lt. Col. Jonathan Talbot, the chief aerial reconnaissance weather officer. "With that information in hand, it allows them to know where evacuations should occur, what type of impact can be expected and most importantly helps save lives by informing the public of what to expect."
The hurricane is moving toward the northern Gulf Coast of the United States and may reach landfall within the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.
People in areas that could be affected by this tropical weather system are urged to monitor local weather reports.
Flying the WC-130J Hercules, the Hurricane Hunters will rotate flights into the hurricane as long as it remains a threat.