Another high flying tool to track Felicia

Jeff Hagan (on right)
Jeff Hagan (on right)

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Along with the Hurricane Hunter planes aren't the only ones getting up close to Tropical Storm Felicia. There is another high flying tool here in Hawaii used to track the storm.

It's a sleek shiny jet.

"It's fast, it can fly high and it's very stable," said Jeff Hagan, the Commander of the G-IV NOAA plane.

But don't let the looks of the G-IV High Altitude Surveillance jet fool you.

This is an important tool in tracking hurricanes.

While the Air Force c130 Hurricane Hunter's pound their way through the eye of Felicia, the G-IV is circling the system taking measurements with this equipment to see what is influencing this storm's intensity and track.

"Hopefully our data will more accurately predict that forecast," said Hagan.

The jet shoots up to 45,000 feet taking measurements in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

While they are busy when there are hurricanes around, this nine person team also have a mission to fly into weather features that could turn into tropical cyclones, to see what factors play a part in their formation.

"We have a scheduled deployment next to do some 'Genesis' work. To try to look at storms before they even develop into a hurricane," added Hagan.

And for already formed storms like Felicia, this one two punch by flying weather labs, the G-IV and the Hurricane Hunters aircraft, keeps everyone aware of any little change from these potential devastating storms.

"It's all about pinpointing the forecast so we can limit the number of people who have to evacuate and save lives"

Just like the Air Force Hurricane Hunters, the G-IV crew has been flying day and night missions into Felicia.