WATCH: Stunning Video from Inside the Eye of Hurricane Ida from Hurricane Hunter Plane

by Matthew Memrick
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All is calm right in Hurricane Ida’s eye, and the Hurricane Hunter plane caught it all on video Sunday morning.

The NESDIS (National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service) Ocean Winds Research team witnessed the calm, fluffy clouds during a Lockheed P-3 Orion plane flight.

Here’s another intense photo showing how the crew handles the ferocity of the wind.

Hurricane Ida’s Stats Are Massive

According to NBC’s Al Roker, Hurricane Ida “is basically a 15-mile wide F-3 Tornado.”

Hurricane Hunter planes do not fly through common tornadoes, however. 

NOAA said plans don’t break up in hurricanes because the crew monitors “hot spots” of severe weather and wind shear to avoid them. Usually, shear or sudden change in horizontal or vertical winds can cause a plane to lose control. 

With Ida’s Fujita Tornado Damage Scale classification, homes will lose walls and roofs. Metal buildings are severely damaged, and the storm can destroy forests.

National Hurricane Center Director Kenneth Graham learned of hurricane-force winds as far as 50 miles from the storm’s center with the readings Sunday. Tropical storm-force winds blew 150 miles from the center. 

According to The Associated Press, Ida was the fifth strongest hurricane to hit mainland U.S. in history with its 150-mph winds. Also reported were storm surges of 16 feet above the ground. 

And levees could be an issue again. After Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans levee system went under a massive overall to the tune of $14.5 billion in repairs. But with Hurricane Ida’s winds and power, it may be difficult to predict if they’ll hold.

While officials are confident this year, the Army Corps of Engineers said earthen levees needed reinforcement in 2019. 

Power outages in Louisana reached close to a million on Sunday night, according to PowerOutage.us.

Hurricane Ida Among Top Hurricane Hunter Flights?

According to a Weather.com story, there have been six harrowing Hurricane Hunter flights. There have not been any fatalities in 40 years.

In 1974, Typhoon Bess turned out to be a disaster. Six men flying in a WC-130 crashed in the South China Sea. Officials never recovered the bodies and plane. In 1955, a Navy Reconnaissance flight left Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, never returning during Hurricane Janet. Like Ida, the hurricane had winds of 160 mph. 

The plane flew lower than the recommended altitude. Nine people and two reporters died in the tragedy. 

First Hurricane Hunter Flew Into Storm On A Bet

According to Popular Mechanics, the first human-crewed flight into a hurricane came in 1943. Pilot-trainer Colonel Joseph Duckworth flew a single-engine plane into a Category 1 storm near Galveston, Texas.

Since then, man has ventured into the storm to take measurements and later record the massive natural phenomenon in videos. 

Outsider.com