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Hurricane Hunters fly into Hurricane Iselle for life-saving data

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) -- Airmen with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, also known as the Hurricane Hunters, deployed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, from Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 5 to collect weather data in Hurricane Iselle as it approaches the Hawaiian Islands.

The team of reservists flew into Iselle Tuesday evening and the morning of Aug. 6 to collect weather data to assist forecasters in determining the status of the storm, which is now a category 1 hurricane. The data the Hurricane Hunters provide to the National Hurricane Center in Miami and the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu increases the accuracy of the forecast up to 25 percent, said Maj. Jon Brady, a 53rd WRS aerial reconnaissance weather officer, or ARWO.

"Measuring the conditions within the storm provides emergency managers with the best information possible to assist them with determining the impact, issuing evacuation notices, and saves lives by letting the public know what to expect," Brady said.

The category 1 hurricane is expected to reach the Hawaii Island in the afternoon of Aug. 7 and impact the islands throughout the weekend, according to the NWSCPH. Hurricane Julio is about two to three days behind Iselle and is expected to follow in the same path.

The Hunters plan to fly reconnaissance mission into Hurricane Julio once Iselle passes and is no longer the main threat to the island chain, Brady said.

People in the areas that could be affected by this storm are urged to monitor local weather reports, he added.

According to Lt. Col. Roy Deatherage, an ARWO and the mission commander for the squadron's forward deployed operation center, squadron personnel will continue to operate from the island until approximately Aug. 13.

(Information courtesy of the 403rd Wing Public Affairs)

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