Hurricane Hunters fly into the storm to gather data forecasters can’t get

Top stories from across Hawaii and around the world, as seen on the 6 p.m. news broadcast from Hawaii News Now.
Updated: Jul. 24, 2020 at 5:30 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With Douglas expected to reach the islands this weekend, Hurricane Hunters flew into the storm Friday to gather invaluable data that satellites don’t provide.

Douglas is currently a category 3 storm and is expected to bring heavy rain, wind and surf to the islands as early as Saturday night.

The hunters will spend a total of three hours in the storm to gather weather information that will help with forecasts and seeing where the hurricane will make landfall, according to U.S. Air Force Capt. Will Simmons.

Crews will fly through the eye of the storm two times to locate the low-pressure center and circulation of the storm. The total trip will take around eight hours.

The air crews are expected to continue monitoring the storm through the weekend.

The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are “data sparse environments,” because they lack weather sensing equipment in the area, according to Lt. Col. Anthony Wilmot.

“One of the most valuable pieces of information we collect is the actual pressure of the hurricane,” said Simmons. “That’s one of the factors that determines the actual intensity of it.”

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.