Hurricane Hunter Tour

The content originally appeared on: ZNS BAHAMAS News

A Hurricane Hunter aircraft of the United States Air Force landed at Oydssey Aviation in The Bahamas on Tuesday. The aircraft is used to fly into storms to collect data.

Weather Officer, Lt. Kate McLaughlin explained the data collection process. She said, “the dropsonde will be released from the airplane, go down to the sea surface and it creates a vertical profile profile of the atmosphere that includes like temperature dew point, wind speed, wind direction and pressure and that data from the dropsonde is very important. It is sent directly and ingested into some of the numerical models. Those numerical models, of course, are used by the forecasters to make a better forecast, both directionally and for the intensity. And our primary job as the weather officer onboard is to quality control that data that we’re releasing but also to use that data to direct the pilots out front as to exactly where to go because our main goal is to find that exact center of the storm.”

Director of Meteorology, Jeffrey Simmons was on hand to meet the Hurricane Hunter. He spoke to reporters about the significance of the visit. “Every year during the month of May, its considered hurricane preparedness month spearheaded by NEMA. So in collaboration with NEMA the Department of Meteorology has invited the Hurricane Hunter to come. This is something that they do every year, they have selected islands that they do every year or countries I would say. So this year they are actually going into The Bahamas, then they go on to Barbados, St. Lucia and then to Puerto Rico. Those four places they’ll be visiting this year.”

The aircraft is expected to leave the capital on Wednesday April 17th.