Watch NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter Fly into the Eye of Irma

Sep 15, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Last week, the story of Delta flight 431 went viral. The world watched as the aircraft weaved through Hurricane Irma, landed in San Juan (SJU) and quickly loaded up with passengers to make its way safely back to New York (JFK). Many thought that it was an insane feat, as flying through one of the most powerful hurricanes in record history seemed incredibly dangerous.

But for the people who fly the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft, that flight likely seemed timid. NOAA operates two Lockheed WP-3D Orions that conduct research on weather and atmosphere changes. The quad-engined turboprops are outfitted with a host of tools and technology to collect weather data and are made to withstand intense turbulence.

The NOAA’s Orions, militarized versions of the 1950s-vintage Electra commercial transports, routinely fly through storms in order to better collect data and ran several missions through Irma.

You can see NOAA flight 42 on September 8 flew at about 8,000 feet through the storm, including in its eye, while a JetBlue jet was cruising above at 36,000 feet — above the storm and out of harm’s way. The Hurricane Hunter name is rightly deserved.

NOAA employee Rob Mitchell released a video taken aboard one of the aircraft’s missions flying directly into Hurricane Irma — it’s pretty intense viewing. This WP-3D Orion is named Kermit The Frog, for the stuffed Muppets character that hangs from the cockpit’s window. The clip shows the intense winds and rain seen from outside of Kermit’s windows. At about 1:55 the aircraft breaks through the storm and finds itself in the eye of Irma. The circular arena of seemingly peaceful clouds is quite the sight after the extreme weather the plane braved.

Featured image by Rhona Wise/Getty Images.

American Express® Green Card

WELCOME OFFER: 30,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: up to $100 annual CLEAR statement credit, up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, 3x points on travel and transit, 3x points on restaurants worldwide

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.