Sizing Up the Pacific’s Winter Wrath:

Air Force Reserve Command aircrews with the 403rd Wing at Keesler AFB, Miss., took two WC-130J Hurricane Hunters to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, Feb. 12, to support the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2007 Winter Storm Reconnaissance program over the Pacific Ocean. For the Pacific missions, the Hurricane Hunters do not fly into the eye of hurricanes; instead they fly ahead of an advancing storm bound for the continental US or Alaska. Flying at a higher altitude than their C-130E/H predecessors, the J models enable aircrews to gather more scientific data, which results in more accurate weather forecasts. Scientific instruments are dropped at specific points along a designated route, to gauge temperature, wind speed, humidity, and pressure.