The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been so intense, it just ran out of storm names – it also means this has been a demanding season for a team of dedicated researchers that get closer to the storms than any others on the planet. Hurricane hunters intentionally fly into the most violent storms on earth - and 2020 has seen a record number of them.
"It's like a wooden roller coaster." Says Nick Underwood, an aerospace engineer with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), "a lot of vibrations and sometimes you will be tossed to the side." Underwood flies into hurricanes to gather data by releasing specialized electronics. Dropping at a speed of 2,500 feet per minute, the components provide a real-time analysis of what the storms are doing, where they're heading and how severe they may become.
Strap in, and join us as we fly "Into the Eye of the Storm", on this episode of the Big Blue Marble.