Science, Tech & Environment

Flying Into Hurricane Sandy, On Purpose


Hurricane Sandy as seen from a USAF WC-130J aircraft off the East Coast of the United States. Oct. 29 2012. (Photo: Hurricane Hunters/53rd Reconnaissance Squadron)

Major Brad Boudreaux is an Air Force Reserve pilot with the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, in Biloxi, Mississippi.

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Major Boudreaux flies into storms aboard WC-130J aircraft to evaluate winds speed and the direction of the storm, feeding data to weather centers, and ultimately to help determine whether evacuations on the ground are necessary.

This data cannot be obtained by satellites that only see the top of the storm.

Major Boudreaux says when he flies into storms, he needs to get as close to the eye as possible, and at times, it does get a little bumpy.