HOUSTON – The dangerous work of flying into a hurricane is a necessary risk, according to Dr. Rick Knabb, the head of the National Hurricane Center.
“We could be impacted in this area, in ways we’ve never been before,” Knabb said.
This is why the Hurricane Hunters rush in when everyone else rushes out.
“So the NOAA planes are going to fly into the big hurricanes when they’re threatening, because we want to get all the data possible for both research and operational purposes when we have a hurricane threatening land,” Knabb said.
This plane is a perfect platform for NOAA’s public awareness campaign. It’s the key to an accurate hurricane forecast.
“Whenever you make a forecast you have to proverbially, look out the window and know what’s going on right now – and this is the way we look out the window into a hurricane, literally,” Knabb said.
KHOU 11 News Meteorologist Brooks Garner said he got the chance to do just that on board a NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter back in October of 2012 in the middle of Hurricane Sandy.
He added that the 10-hour flight was extremely turbulent. The view is a good reminder that the hurricane season is just two weeks away.