HomeNewsArticle Display

Hurricane Hunters gather forecast data on record-breaking blizzard

A 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron WC-130J Hercules, based at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., flies above the record-setting blizzard the morning of Jan. 23, 2016. The crew gathered data on the storm for the National Weather Service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nicholas Monteleone)

A 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron WC-130J Hercules, based at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., flies above the record-setting blizzard the morning of Jan. 23, 2016. The crew gathered data on the storm for the National Weather Service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nicholas Monteleone)

Senior Master Sgt. Jay Latham logs information from a dropsonde released into the blizzard that impacted the East Coast Jan. 22-24, 2016. The dropsondes collect information on the storm's wind speed and direction, temperature, and barometric pressure and the data is sent back to the National Hurricane Center where it is used in forecast models produced by the National Center for Environmental Prediction. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nicholas Monteleone)

Senior Master Sgt. Jay Latham logs information from a dropsonde released into the blizzard that impacted the East Coast Jan. 22-24, 2016. The dropsondes collect information on the storm's wind speed and direction, temperature, and barometric pressure and the data is sent back to the National Hurricane Center where it is used in forecast models produced by the National Center for Environmental Prediction. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nicholas Monteleone)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) -- The Hurricane Hunters of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew a different kind of mission from Keesler Air Force Base Jan. 22 to gather data on the blizzard that hit the Eastern Seaboard.

The blizzard began dropping snow on the area early Jan. 22, and was a record-setter for three cities, leaving 29.2 inches in Baltimore, 31.9 inches in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and 34 inches in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, according to the National Weather Service.

The 53rd WRS crew flew along the eastern coast from Florida up to the New York City area over the Atlantic Ocean, dropping sondes ahead of the storm to gather information and to send it back to the NWS, where forecasts and predictions are made.

While the Hurricane Hunters are best known for flying into hurricanes, the winter storm mission is a bit different.

"A hurricane is more of a fluid flight with lots of changes, whereas with winter storms, everything is already set," said 1st Lt. Leesa Froelich, a 53rd WRS aerial reconnaissance weather officer. "We also fly as high as we possibly can, but in a hurricane we're at 10,000 feet."

"Much like in a hurricane, we drop sondes down to the surface that collect information on the storm's wind speed and direction, as well as the barometric pressure and temperature," said Staff Sgt. Jesse Jordan, a 53rd WRS loadmaster.

During the flight, reports were coming in that Washington D.C. had received 19 inches of snow, said Froelich. By Sunday, the city saw 22-35 inches of snow to the west, north and northwest of the Beltway, and 18-24 inches inside the Beltway.

The Hurricane Hunters flew two flights in this storm. This is the second winter storm the squadron has flown this year, but they continue to be ready for anything else that develops during this winter storm season.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
DYK: Aircraft have lifespans! Like humans, they require check-ups in the form of maintenance inspections to prolong their ability to fly. These "checks" prevent in-flight system failures which ultimately protects aircrew and passengers. Learn more from the 86th Maintenance Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on what it takes to correct issues so aircraft can stay airborne.
WATCH: United States Air Force pilots talk about the importance of Exercise Saber Strike 18 as they refuel over the Baltic Sea on June 18, 2018. Saber Strike 18 is a long-standing training exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and our allies. The training focused on improving land and air operational capabilities between the U.S. and our NATO allies. (U.S. Air National Guard video by: Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)
Check out some shots from yesterday's All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game in Washington, D.C. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals U.S. Army
Air Force and U.S. Army coed softball teams render military honors during the playing of the National Anthem during the All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2018. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals
Great way to lead by example!
The United States Air Force is facing a pilot shortage. To help solve the challenge, the Aircrew Crisis Task Force was recently created to provide strategic direction and actionable recommendations to senior leaders on how to solve the aircrew manning crisis. FULL STORY: https://go.usa.gov/xUb3z
Your United States Air Force news: ✓ A B-52 crew assists in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Guam ✓ An Afghan pilot class graduates in the Czech Republic ✓ The Air Force is using innovative approaches to training pilots to make the process faster and more efficient
Now that’s how weathermen work! Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly weather reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Chris and Tropical Storm Beryl. http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1569944/hurricane-hunters-fly-tropical-storms-beryl-chris/
The F-22 Raptor's combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. Maintaining these aircraft can involve a bit of a learning curve. Airmen at KadenaAirBase use past technology to help learn how to work with the undefeated Raptor. FULL STORY: http://www.kadena.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1567295/hard-to-raptor-head-around/
Help us out! Can you caption this photo?
The B-52 Stratofortress has sniper pods that provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilize surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. Air Force Global Strike Command crew members on a B-52 were able to spot a historic Pacific Island style canoe so that the U.S. Coast Guard could rescue the six passengers!
For the past 60 years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has continually helped us maintain a technological edge against our advarsaries. Together with the Air Force Research Laboratory - AFRL, a fusion of ideas is leading to newly highlighted innovations.
SOUND ON! Celebrate freedom with the sound of freedom! Happy Independence Day!
The family of #USAF TSgt John Chapman is embraced by their local community at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, Fla… https://t.co/HRc95V33gm
#DYK: The 1st Aero Squadron was the first tactical aviation unit to participate in American military action.… https://t.co/FPijKQVfHp
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: An open letter & invitation to Col "Ned Stark:" Join my team & help us re-exam our officer promotion system -- as lead…
RT @AFWERX: AFWERX is using Ideascale to offer USAF Airmen the opportunity to submit their innovative idea for the Air Force. Join the netw…
#Airman uses data from the #MQ9Reaper to give firefighters near-real-time information as they confront fires in… https://t.co/tX2TSbYrSg
#Airmen from 105th Airlift Wing learn impact of their mission as this #Airman shares her harrowing tale of survival… https://t.co/40kBNQOz3d
Maj. Onier Alejandro-Villarreal & Capt. Rodney McIntyre, 927th Aeromedical Staging Squadron medical techs, operate… https://t.co/YsMHOL2vV7
Only in the #AirForceFamily! The chances of being your sibling's replacement at a deployed location are slim to non… https://t.co/JRED65irZS
RT @AETCommand: “The squadron is the beating heart of the @usairforce; our most essential team,” - Chief of Staff of the Air Force @GenDave
.@MacDill_AFB #Airmen prove that in an emergency a wing commander can turn to augmentees for additional support.… https://t.co/Pgal3TEP3p
RT @DeptofDefense: Prepared for all situations in all conditions. @AKNationalGuard #airmen with the 212th Rescue Squadron at @JBER_Officia
Happy Monday! Let's get this week off to a great start w/ #AirForce #WIP! https://t.co/rlP3y4NQ9k https://t.co/OlzebNB1lQ
After toggling with the idea of joining the #military for years, she promised herself to stop waiting for life to f… https://t.co/7Gt22iqNlD
It's #NationalAviationDay & new aviation opportunities are here! We're partnering with @CivilAirPatrol to groom tom… https://t.co/Fe9b4jlmGw
These supply #Airmen work 24/7 to ensure there is no break in the mission @RAFMildenhall because #NKAWTGhttps://t.co/biE2BPXVe1
Every #Airman has their reason for serving. Read on as these #Airmen explain what putting on the uniform everyday m… https://t.co/ubeDmY1liq
For the first time in the 63-year history of Operation Deep Freeze, #Airmen from the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Sq… https://t.co/CdeyI4HjHT
#DYK, the #MedalofHonor is the highest award for bravery that can be awarded to members of the United States Armed… https://t.co/qei2LbbD1I
.@388fw’s 4th Fighter Squadron became the first operational unit to fire the F-35A’s the #aircraft’s 25mm cannon on… https://t.co/J7hbXrCSCv