Hurricane Hunters Eye Tropical Storm Don - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hurricane Hunters Eye Tropical Storm Don

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Every Hurricane Season we can depend on the Hurricane Hunters to get warning messages to us ahead of time in case of danger.

The group took the sky along with members of the Naval Academy headed straight for the eye of Tropical Storm Don.  They invited WLOX to send a reporter on this mission. 

The reality of what was about to take place really set in during the safety briefing prior to take off.

Signing the transportation agreement meant, not only did I understand what I was getting myself into, but that there was no turning back.

Once the aircraft took off and reached the right altitude, it was time to work and the mission was clear.

"We're flying through tropical storm Don right now. Today we've got the Navy folks with us, we're doing an axbt buoy drop," says 10 year Veteran Hunter Scott Blair.

AXBTs are ocean instruments that gather information about happenings under the water. As studies show, that data can help research devices produce more accurate forecasts concerning these types of storms.

"Some of the newer models incorporate ocean data into their data simulation process so we understand the impact the ocean has on the tropical storm or the hurricane as it intensifies," says Beth Sonabia, Naval Academy.

But to the relief of many, the Hurricane Hunter's findings show that the storm won't intensify.  By Saturday morning, it was making landfall in south Texas.  But it wasn't bringing the drought relief so many Texans hoped the tropical storm would provide.

"The storm center's forecast was that the storm would kind of maintain tropical storm strength and of the four fixes and passes we made through the storm, that's exactly what we saw. Pressure didn't fall much... Wind stayed at about 40-50 miles per hour and remained a tropical storm," says Jon Talbot, Hurricane Hunter.

This was my second flight into tropical storm Don and It was a pretty fun flight. A lot of bumps, a lot of good data we got from today. So all in all pretty good. I enjoyed it," says Ian Park, Naval Academy.

For most of us, It's not everyday that you get to fly into the eye of a storm, but for these thrill seekers, it's just another days work.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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