Biloxi Hurricane Hunters Get Busy

As hurricane season begins to get busy, so do the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi.

The Hurricane Hunters have already flown two weather missions into tropical storm Beryl in the southwest Gulf. One plane returned to the base Monday afternoon, as another was getting set to takeoff.

Weather forecasters rely on advanced computers and satellite images, but flying a plane into a storm still provides the most accurate information.

403rd Reservist, Jon Talbot, works for the Hurricane Hunters as a meterologist.  He says flying the storms is still the best weapon in providing accurate forecasts. "The only way to really tell exactly what's going on right now is to fly an airplane into a storm. Satellites give you a great view from above, a great picture. You can make some good estimates on storm intensity with a satellite. But it can't give you the nitty gritty details of exactly what's going on."

The Hurricane Hunters fly into a storm at different altitudes, depending on the storm's intensity. With Tropical Storm Beryl, they were able to fly very low, about a thousand feet above the water.