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Exclusive: Flying into the eye of Hurricane Irma with U.S. 'Hurricane Hunters'



Screenshot Reuters.com

Image via reuters.com screen capture

Added 09-09-17 01:10:01pm EST - “The sky darkened, lightning flashed and a jolt of turbulence shook the cabin of the hulking Air Force turbo-prop aircraft as it plied its way toward the eye of Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded.” - Reuters.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reuters.com: “Exclusive: Flying into the eye of Hurricane Irma with U.S. 'Hurricane Hunters'”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

THE EYE OF HURRICANE IRMA (Reuters) - The sky darkened, lightning flashed and a jolt of turbulence shook the cabin of the hulking Air Force turbo-prop aircraft as it plied its way toward the eye of Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded.

Piloting the four-engine, WC-130J aircraft was Air Force Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Jim Hitterman, who over the past 22 years has flown into 40 to 50 hurricanes.

Every storm is different but he likens the experience to driving through a car wash - with one big difference.

“As you’re driving through that car wash, a bunch of gorillas start jumping on top of your car,” Hitterman said, adding that sometimes shaking gets so bad, he cannot see his instruments.

On Friday and Saturday, Reuters accompanied the Air Force Reserves’ “Hurricane Hunters,” whose hard-won data taken directly from the center of storms like Hurricane Irma are critical to U.S. forecasts that save lives.

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