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Anatomy of a Hurricane Hunter Plane

June 4, 2024

These pilots are among the best of the best that flies into the world’s worst weather to gather invaluable real time data for meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center. The steady stream of weather data will feed into computer models that help hurricane researchers get a better understanding of a storm’s structure.

These hurricane missions have a track record that works. so far, the Hurricane Center says the data from these missions has helped improve the hurricane forecast tracks by as much as 30%. The data from these missions can increase both the storm’s track forecast and accuracy. It can narrow the cone of uncertainty and help the Hurricane Center improve the forecast from three days out to five days which builds more critical time for people to prepare and do what they need to do for their families.
The scientists and meteorologists on board have the job of quality controlling all of the information that comes in from the instruments attached to the aircraft before it gets sent off to the hurricane center that will provide life saving forecasts in the days to come.

Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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A service of WUFT at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications 

Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

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