HomeNewsArticle Display

Hurricane Florence edges closer to East Coast, Hurricane Hunters continue reconnaissance

U.S. Air Force Reserve Pilots Lt. Col. Jerry Rutland (left) and Maj Eric Chapman begin their mission into Florence, a hurricane about to hit the Southeast Coast of the United States. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, or Hurricane Hunters, took off in a WC-130J Hercules Sept. 12, 2018, to gather critical and timely weather data for the National Hurricane Center to assist in providing up-to-date and accurate information for storm forecasts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

Lt. Col. Jerry Rutland (left) and Maj. Eric Chapman, both pilots with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, or Hurricane Hunters, begin their mission into Florence, a hurricane off the East Coast of the U.S. Sept. 12, 2018. The 53rd WRS, took off in a WC-130J Hercules to gather critical and timely weather data for the National Hurricane Center to assist in providing up-to-date and accurate information for storm forecasts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

U.S. Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Jerry Rutland, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron pilot, flies a WC-130J into the early morning sunrise as they approach Hurricane Florence Sept. 12, 2018. The U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are conducting a reconnaissance mission to provide critical and timely weather data for the National Hurricane Center to assist in providing up-to-date and accurate information for storm forecasts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

Lt. Col. Jerry Rutland, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron pilot, flies a WC-130J into the early morning sunrise as they approach Hurricane Florence Sept. 12, 2018. The U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are conducting a reconnaissance mission to provide critical and timely weather data for the National Hurricane Center to assist in providing up-to-date and accurate information for storm forecasts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

The doppler radar on board a WC-130J Hercules during a U.S. Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron mission Sept. 12, 2018. Also known as the Hurricane Hunters, the squadron is conducting a storm tasking mission into Hurricane Florence to provide critical and timely weather data for the National Hurricane Center to assist in providing up-to-date and accurate information for storm forecasts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

The doppler radar on board a WC-130J Hercules during a U.S. Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron mission Sept. 12, 2018. Also known as the Hurricane Hunters, the squadron is conducting a storm tasking mission into Hurricane Florence to provide critical and timely weather data for the National Hurricane Center to assist in providing up-to-date and accurate information for storm forecasts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

U.S. Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Tom Barnaby, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron loadmaster, prepares Airborne Expendable Bathythermographs  for a mission into Hurricane Florence Sept. 12, 2018. The buoys are released from a flare launch tube during flight to measure oceanic conditions, which provides information for forecasts. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

Master Sgt. Tom Barnaby, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron loadmaster, prepares for a mission into Hurricane Florence Sept. 12, 2018. The mission provides critical and timely weather data for the National Hurricane Center to assist in providing up-to-date and accurate information for storm forecasts. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) --

As the storm moves closer to the East Coast, members of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron continue flying through Hurricane Florence from the Air Dominance Center, Combat Readiness Training Center, Savannah, Georgia.

“The mission has gone very well, with 100 percent mission success," said Lt. Col. Thomas Moffatt, 53rd WRS navigator and mission commander. "Our crews have responded well to the round-the-clock taskings, and we will continue to fly the storm until it makes landfall."

The 53rd WRS, or U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters as they are known, having been flying through Hurricane Florence since Sept. 10. They receive storm taskings from the National Hurricane Center to provide critical weather data, which is used to assist the NHC in forecasting the path of the storms by "fixing" the center of the storm.

"We fly through the eye wall and into the eye and 'fix' the center of the storm, which is like dropping a pin on a map," said Maj. Tobi Baker, 53rd WRS aerial reconnaissance weather officer. "We use a dropsonde, which is an instrument that sends data back to the aircraft, to gather the data we need to find the center of the storm."

Having flown this storm multiple times, the Hurricane Hunters captured data showing a difference from the first storm models heading toward the East Coast making landfall between Georgia and Massachusetts, with the storm moving north up the coast, and the most recent models. 

These predictions from the data gathered by the Hurricane Hunters helped narrow that cone to hitting around North Carolina, and continuing to narrow the forecasts, which are now showing the cone making landfall near the border between North Carolina and South Carolina.

"By flying into the storms and locating the center of the eye, the wind speeds from the outer edge, the eye walls, and then sending this data to the NHC, we are helping narrow the cone of uncertainty, which helps save lives, property, and money for both the people and the states,” said 1st Lt. Garrett Black, 53rd WRS ARWO. “It is very important for people to listen to the warnings issued by their emergency management teams and evacuate as necessary. We take this job personally and seriously, and prepare our families for the storms, whether they stay or have to evacuate, and we hope everyone else does the same."

Engage

Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Battling #COVID; a cyber Airman’s story - https://t.co/HsJv6J7r2A #ReserveReady #ReserveResilient #ReadyAF https://t.co/y7…
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: #ReserveCitizenAirman makes life-saving decision - https://t.co/ZPviQZRrEX (Story by the @307BombWing) #ReserveReady #Rese
Twitter
The Impact of Sharing Stories of Recovery and Resiliency Lt Col Katharine McGregor did not know much about the… https://t.co/17VibuxnTc
Twitter
Many search for years to find their true passion in life. For Staff Sgt. Camrin Northrop, a firefighter for both th… https://t.co/QcNrBXPCV0
Twitter
From their homes to yours, check out the @AirNatlGuard Band of the South! #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/yb7GhZZ5A3
Twitter
Reintegration will be a deliberate & phased approach to protect Airmen & Space Professionals. Learn to maintain rea… https://t.co/egQSAV5uRB
Twitter
The MQ-1B Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft used for i… https://t.co/livZYQyXnH
Twitter
Dr. Quinton Sasnett, a faculty member at Air University, talks about the university's civilian associates degree pr… https://t.co/0BgoCiGCUy
Twitter
Improving mental health through expressive writing. @KadenaAirBase https://t.co/zVoYTQQl5z
Twitter
Medical pros at Kadena Air Base, 3-D printed naso-pharyngeal swabs to test potential #COVID19 patients. The dental… https://t.co/h8q1HgLjRZ
Twitter
The MC-12W is a medium-to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is providing intelligen… https://t.co/st7WRJLDHB
Twitter
Know what resources, treatments & therapies are available for invisible wounds. https://t.co/H2A7fYb8s3
Twitter
“The Total Force team at Eielson plays a pivotal role that extends throughout Alaska and projects into the Arctic.”… https://t.co/7nSYEtYWHj
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: 🙌🎉 Congrats to the @usairforce's newest pilots as Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 20-18 graduates today at @…
Twitter
.@JointBasePHH Airmen participate in a ramp drop from a C-17 Globemaster III. The 25th Air Support Ops Squadron is… https://t.co/AZVT6Qzmgv
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: It is a pleasure to be in #Alaska to see #Airmen and #SpaceProfessionals in action! Whether it’s F-35s & F-22s protectin…
Twitter
RT @EielsonAirForce: When @SecAFOfficial comes to visit, we show off the 'cool stuff' https://t.co/sGCSnVOOXg
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: A career worth a thousand words: Colonel Campbell reflects on career in aviation - https://t.co/atNAeYOoMI (Story by @Dobb
Twitter
The Air Force will host the Air Force Information Technology and Cyberpower conference virtually August 24–27.… https://t.co/9pRjj6U1lp
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,252,401
Follow Us