As the mid-Atlantic region braces for Hurricane Florence, the government is doing what they can to gather accurate and up to date measurements of the intensity of the incoming storm.
For some members of the United States Air Force, those efforts included flying a plane directly into the eye of the storm swirling over the Atlantic Ocean.
The breathtaking footage highlights the size of the hurricane and the serene calm within the eye of the storm.
Watch the video below, via CNN:
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) September 13, 2018
First Lt. Garrett Black, a member of the Air Force’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, spoke with the Washington Post about what it’s like to fly through a hurricane.
“Every storm is completely different,” Black said when asked about the sensation of flying through the eye wall — the most intense part of a hurricane. “As you can imagine, the eye wall is usually pretty bumpy in a well-developed hurricane.”
In 2017, Black flew through Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma. “All three of those will always stand out because of the obvious impacts they ended up having,” he explained.
Astronauts orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station also shared photos on Twitter showing the massive scale of the looming storm.
“Get prepared on the East Coast,” European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst wrote, “this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you.”
Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the @Space_Station, 400 km directly above the eye. Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you. #Horizons pic.twitter.com/ovZozsncfh
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) September 12, 2018
“The crew of [the International Space Station] is thinking of those who will be affected,” wrote NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold.
— Ricky Arnold (@astro_ricky) September 12, 2018
According to the Weather Channel, Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas overnight on Thursday or early Friday.