DoD

June 13, 2014

Air Force: Hurricane Hunters fly first storm reconnaissance mission of season

Tags:
Master Sgt. Brian Lamar
403rd Wing Public Affairs

A WC-130J Hercules, from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, flies into Hurricane Sandy Oct. 29, 2012, over the Eastern coastline of the U.S. The 53rd WRS are sent to accomplish storm reconnaissance to gather real-time data on possible hurricanes and tropical disturbances.

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — The Hurricane Hunters of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew to the southwest quadrant of the Gulf of Mexico June 6 to gather weather data in their first storm reconnaissance mission of the 2014 Atlantic basin hurricane season.

According to Maj. John Brady, an aerial weather reconnaissance officer with the Hurricane Hunters, the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center saw a tropical disturbance in the region and tasked the unit to take a closer look.

“When a storm looks like it might begin to form, the NHC sends us there to gather real-time data. When we get there, we will be looking for a circulation of wind in all four quadrants of the area around the low pressure center,” Brady said.

According to reports from the NHC, satellite data showed a 30-knot approximate wind speed.

“If we find that the winds are circulating around the low-pressure center, the NHC could classify this as a tropical depression,” Brady said.

During the infancy of a storm, the hunters fly at very low altitudes to stay under the “weather” at an altitude of 1,000 feet. Once storms increase in intensity, the pilots raise the flight level to 10,000 feet for safety reasons.

The original takeoff for the flight was scheduled for 11 a.m. from Keesler, but shortly into the flight, Brady noticed a fuel leak out of his window and the crew returned to Keesler. The crew then took off in another aircraft at 3 p.m.

According to Lt. Col. John Talbot, the chief meteorologist for the 53rd WRS, the maintenance delay backed up the timeline enough to change the goal of the mission.

“By the time they get down there, it’s possible that part of the storm may be over land in Mexico. Their new objective will be a coast patrol mission. They will most likely fly five miles off shore and gather wind speed data,” Talbot said.

The Hunters searched for the low-pressure center, but the center was already over land, where it will likely break apart and weaken. The NHC cancelled future flights into the storm system.

After the data was submitted to the NHC, they issued an update regarding the status of the storm based upon the information gathered by the 53rd WRS.

“Surface observations and reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the center of the low-pressure system near Vera Cruz is just inland,” according to the NHC release. “However, some chance for development still remains because the center is very near the coast and a slow and erratic motion is possible overnight. Regardless of whether any development occurs, this system will continue to produce gusty winds and heavy rains, along with life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, over portions of southeastern and eastern Mexico during the next day or two.”

Although the first storm of the season didn’t grow into a named storm system, Brady said he saw this as an opportunity to get back into the swing of things.

After the winter, Brady said there is always anxiety associated with the first storm of the season. “I use the first storm to clean out the cobwebs and my comfort level comes back. After this one, I feel prepared for the rest of the season.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD
page-1B-graphic

Program offers free museum visits to Service members Families

City of Sierra Vista Graphic The Henry F. Hauser Museum inside the Ethel Berger Center, 2950 E. Tacoma St., Sierra Vista, is one of the 26 Arizona museums participating in the Blue Star Museums Program running through Labor Day...
 
 
DoD

DOD: New peer-to-peer service aims to provide counseling support

WASHINGTON — Starting this summer, the Defense Department will offer an additional counseling service to help military Service members, transitioning troops and family members deal with a host of issues before they become crises. Peer-to-peer support, which will be available through Military OneSource, will offer assistance from counselors who have at least a master’s degree...
 
 
DoD
Air-Force

Air Force:F-35 pilot training begins at Luke

Travis Byrom, a Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training class May 5 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Upon completion of training, the students will assume the role of instructor to...
 

 
DoD

DOD: Area flyover to commemorate World War II victory

WASHINGTON — America will remember the millions who helped make possible the European theater victory in World War II with a flyover of the Capitol and National Mall area by historic aircraft today. To mark the 70th anniversary of the end of fighting in Europe, or VE Day, aircraft from all periods of World War...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force graphic

Air Force: $2M prize offered for development of small, efficient turboshaft engine

U.S. Air Force graphic The Air Force Prize is designed to spark American ingenuity by inviting a wide audience to compete, and to encourage innovative solutions to Air Force mission requirements beyond typical acquisition progr...
 
 
DoD

Air Force: 1,000th F-35 training sortie flown at Luke AFB

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE (AFNS) — The 56th Fighter Wing flew its 1,000th F-35A Lightning II training sortie Tuesday, making it the fastest F-35 wing to reach the 1,000-sortie milestone in the Defense Department. This is the second historic milestone in the past two weeks. Last week, Luke’s first F-35 student sortie was flown marking...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin