HomeNewsArticle Display

Hurricane Hunters fly winter storm

A WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, aka Hurricane Hunters, taxis its way to its parking spot after completing its mission into Hurricane Dorian, Sep. 5, 2019 at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Hurricane Hunters, have flown 25 missions in support of Dorian. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Carranza)

A WC-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, known as the Hurricane Hunters, taxis to a parking spot after completing its mission into Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 5, 2019, at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Carranza)

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

The United States Air Force Reserve 403rd Wing’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, also known as the Hurricane Hunters, flew their first winter storm of the season, Feb. 26.

A WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft departed Keesler Air Force Base midday to fly the western Atlantic flight track, off the Northeast coast.

“This is the first winter storm tasking of the season for us and it was a 10-hour mission,” said Maj. Kendall Dunn, 53rd WRS pilot. “During these missions, we try to fly as high as possible at about 30,000 feet which is a lot higher than what we fly into hurricanes.”

The Hurricane Hunters normally operate at 10,000 feet, sometimes less, through major tropical systems, storms and hurricanes to collect weather data. These storms generally occur during the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 every year.

The winter-storm season is Nov. 1 to March 31. The unit has been busy throughout this season supporting the West coast with atmospheric river data collection as well.

Despite being named the Hurricane Hunters, there is no offseason for the 20-crew, 10-aircraft squadron. The mission of the 53rd WRS is to remain on call for a tasking to collect data from storms.

The Hurricane Hunters fly their weather-equipped WC-130J aircraft to release dropsondes throughout the flight, said Maj. Douglas Gautrau, 53rd WRS aerial reconnaissance weather officer.

Gautrau said these dropsondes collect information such as wind speed and direction, pressure and dew point, then transmit that data back to the aerial reconnaissance dropsonde operator aboard the plane who reviews the information to ensure the device operated properly, and then sends the data to the weather officer.

Instead of sending the collected data to the National Hurricane Center, information gathered during a winter storm is sent from the aircraft to the National Centers for Environmental Prediction which, like the NHC, is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NCEP uses the data like the NHC does during hurricane season, as a supplement to data already collected from other means to predict, to better inform and prepare those in the path of the storm.

“Being able to support weather forecasters get a better idea of when and how much precipitation is going to fall is important so they can better prepare their area’s infrastructure,” Gautrau said. “This preparation helps position snow removal vehicles and power trucks to better locations to ensure efficient response times.”

The 2019-2020 winter-storm season has been busy with seven Pacific and one Atlantic mission thus far for the season.

“Winter storms are an integral part of what we do,” Dunn said. “Providing vital information to the citizens of the nation is the ultimate goal, so they can be prepared for the weather.”

Engage

Twitter
The fireworks don't stop in July for the @AirNatlGuard. 💥 #ReadyAF #AimHigh #TotalForce https://t.co/wMbH3W0FDM
Twitter
The latest updates to dress and appearance standards include changes to: - Shaving waiver facial hair maintenance… https://t.co/o0vYkuDQ0L
Twitter
Airmen in Combat Team Member Course learn and execute a variety of skills and procedures @DMAFB to ensure their abi… https://t.co/C4FzaGjQ5w
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Modernizing the Air & Space Forces we need is a top priority for the Dept of the Air Force. #Airmen, equipped with moder…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Best wishes to the @AF_Academy's class of 2024 as they begin the next phase of basic cadet training today! #YourAcademy
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: 🎶 Nothing’ll stop the U.S. Air Force! 🎶 #Airmen from the 721 AMXS & 305 MXS restored a C-17 Globemaster III on Ramstein A…
Twitter
Simulated partner force members participate in tactical training w/@AFSpecOpsCmd during Commando Crucible at Hurlbu… https://t.co/eFXE9oslwe
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: For the first time at @LukeAFB, AMS Airmen painted a #F16 one solid medium-gray color—a simple yet critical task that will…
Twitter
“When asked whether we still require all three of these legs of the triad, I answer, ‘we do’...we must acknowledge… https://t.co/atezdKA5tT
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
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
1,253,283
Follow Us