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 @AETCommand: 😉 It's not really bragging if you bring home the 🏆 - is it? 📖 more at the link about how @Columbus_AFB's First Assignment…
RT @USAFHealth: Air Force Research Laboratory tests the new wireless high-noise filtering stethoscope. Learn more: https://t.co/bNj9LhB7d6…
RT @37thTRW: A #CV22 from @KIRTLAND377ABW arrived today to give hands on training to our #Airmen in this tiltrotor #aircraft ✈️ 🚁 🇺🇸 Our…
RT @HiAirGuard: We’ve had a lot of excitement on our flight line for exercise Sentry Aloha 19-2! The exercise kicked off with fighter aircr…
RT @419fw: The 419th OSF is home to about 40 Airmen who work behind the scenes of every #F35 flying mission @HAFB. Comprised of aircrew fli…
RT @AF_SBIR_STTR: In 2018, @AFWERX in collaboration with other Air Force organizations like the @AFResearchLab revamped the congressionally…
.@ActingSecAF happy birthday! Thanks for embodying the Air Force core values. INTEGRITY FIRST. SERVICE BEFORE SE… https://t.co/VFeGcblVVK
RT @USAFCENT: Watch our #F15C's "get hyped" during Exercise #HypeEagle! Stay tuned for more! @usairforce @CENTCOM @DeptofDefense @AirMobi
RT @AirmanMagazine: Your @usairforce news: ✓ Staff sergeant promotion results are released ✓ The 419th Civil Engineering Squadron helps r…
RT @419fw: Capt. Sterling Broadhead, 67th Aerial Port Squadron, and his team took gold at the Law of Armed Conflict event at the Inter-alli…
.@AstroHague thank you for keeping our partnerships strong into #space and far beyond. https://t.co/V0enWGSmSz
RT @ClarkCountyNV: Great video of the Las #Vegas @NellisAFB based #Thunderbirds teaming up with their military counterparts. This is the fi…
RT @AFResearchLab: Dr. Rachel Abrahams developed a steel alloy that's 20% stronger than conventional AM alloys in terms of ultimate tensile…
RT @48FighterWing: Happy #F15Friday from the #LibertyWing! This epic display of #CombatAirPower is brought to you by Carl Edwards! #WeAreL
RT @CAF_Australia: The bonds forged through war endure during peace. It was an honour this week to join CSAF @usairforce at the @AWMemorial
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Building partnerships through programs like the African Partnership Flights allows the exchange of best practices and increa…
RT @kdfinfo: Day Two Activities at the African Partnership Flight Program at the Laikipia Air Base. #AFAFRICA #USAF https://t.co/RTUJ0M7tVW
RT @CAF_Australia: There is no more enduring friendship than that between @AusAirForce and @usairforce. Today in Canberra I hosted CSAF #US
RT @AFCLC: AFCLC was honored to host the Command Chiefs from around Indo PACOM this week and discuss how #language and #culture assets from…