Hurricane Hunters have been flying in and out of Hurricane Delta continuously for days, getting a close-up look as the hurricane has re- intensified.
Delta regained some of its previous fury. The hurricane, which was once a Category 4 before striking Mexico, dropped to a Category 1 on Wednesday. As the storm is set to strike the Louisiana coast on Friday, Delta has re-intensified into a Category 3 hurricane with top winds of 115 mph.
As of Thursday evening, the hunters found that Delta had a 30-mile wide eye. Getting such detailed data from inside the hurricane can give forecasters a sense of the impact a hurricane will produce.
There are two Air Force Reserve groups that fly into hurricanes to send back data to the National Hurricane Center.
In total, the Air Force Reserve utilizes 20 WC-130J aircraft that are equipped with palletized meteorological data-gathering instruments.
According to the Hurricane Hunters, “The navigator keeps track of the aircraft's position and movement and monitors radar to avoid tornadic activity. The flight meteorologist acts as flight director and observes and records meteorological data at flight level using a computer that encodes weather data every 30 seconds. The weather reconnaissance loadmaster collects and records vertical meteorological data using a parachute-borne sensor known as a dropsonde. It measures and encodes weather data down to the ocean surface.”
The following videos were provided by Jemery DeHart on board one of the flights passing through the hurricane: