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
RT @DeptofDefense: Jumping from a plane becomes a big step toward friendship. 301 soldiers and airmen from @USArmyReserve, @usairforce, and…
Explosive Disposal Ordnance (EOD) Airmen are often assigned to some of the most dangerous missions and perform tact… https://t.co/xYc9Ip5psn
Start this year by supporting your #Airmen in their pursuit of #resiliency. Learn about common triggers of invisibl… https://t.co/6gJSfJKvcK
RT @OHNationalGuard: The @180thFW hosted members of the Nigerian Air Force recently Officers visited the 180FW in search of #bestpractice
RT @HiAirGuard: Airmen from 154th Security Forces Squadron became first responders during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear…
RT @US_SOCEUR: U.S. #airmen assigned to the 352d Special Operations Wing perform maintenance on a CV-22B #Osprey aircraft in Szolnok, #Hung
RT @HQ_AFMC: The @AFResearchLab s X-60A program achieved a key developmental #milestone with the completion of integrated vehicle propulsio…
RT @DeptofDefense: If you want to get there as fast as possible, don’t stop for gas. ⛽ That’s why the @usairforce relies on airmen like Tec…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to learn more about @USAFCENT, the command that provides air & space warfighting capabilities to help defeat v…
Airmen with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard provide support at the “tent cities” to support Task Force South and… https://t.co/zg2yT0LqpS
Even the most advanced aircraft in history requires extensive maintenance performed by Airmen on the ground to kee… https://t.co/Kpv8JlzYIc
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Throwback Thursday and #TankerThirstThursday are the same game. Throwing it back to last month when a KC-135 Stratotank…
If you thought the C-5M Super Galaxy was cool before, wait until you hear @RichardHammond describe it and its capab… https://t.co/jbYbdyHx5q
Air National Guardsmen from @105AW are on the ground in Puerto Rico with their counterpart, @PRNationalGuard, provi… https://t.co/ZwzhCEpWY4
RT @HAFB: Join us for the Hill Air Force Base 80th Anniversary Celebration from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Hill Aerospace Museum! A nu…
Ranges are crucial to the training and readiness of our warfighters. Get an inside look at how they prepare to figh… https://t.co/i5CnbpBGAw
.@cmsaf18 and his wingman, Senior Enlisted Advisor to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief Master Sergeant… https://t.co/UD69jCjHPz
#AirForce is always looking for ways to improve processes and patient health care is no different. @JBSA_Official h… https://t.co/ysEFjoXYCE
RT @USAF_ACC: You know what day it is. #WarthogWednesday! 🐗👏 #DYK the weapon on the #A10Thunderbolt II is a 30 millimeter GAU-8 and is des…
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Earlier today, @SpaceForceCSO Gen. John W. Raymond became the first ever Chief of Space Operations. @VP Vice President M…