The record-setting Atlantic hurricane season of 2020 has delivered another major storm in the form of Hurricane Epsilon. The storm’s intensity is now waning, but the daring crew of an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters airplane took a trip into the hurricane’s eye on Wednesday. The views were spectacular.
The Hurricane Hunters perform the important work of gathering firsthand weather data — including wind speed, temperature and air pressure — to help the National Hurricane Center make accurate storm forecasts.
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The Air Force Reserve team tweeted a series of photos from inside the eye showing an impressive wall of clouds reaching up into the blue sky. You can see a bit of the Lockheed-Martin WC-130J’s propellers in the images.
The Hurricane Hunters also delivered some video footage of the expedition showing the dramatic moment when the aircraft breached the wall of the storm and emerged into the calm center.
Hurricane Epsilon hasn’t posed a big threat to land, but it is expected to cause tropical storm conditions as it passes east of Bermuda on Thursday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had predicted an above-normal storm season for 2020, and that’s been borne out. We ran out of regular storm names and are now using the letters of the Greek alphabet.
The hurricane season runs through the end of November, so we may yet end up with more lettered storms and more spectacular views of their insides.