Hurricane Hunters to Hawaii

The Air Force Reserve’s “Hurricane Hunters” have deployed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, flying missions to collect data on Hurricane Guillermo, according to officials with the 403rd Wing. The specially equipped WC-130J and crew from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., began flying data-gathering flights on Sunday, Aug. 9. The hurricane became a Category 2 storm on Aug. 7, with winds of up to 105 miles per hour. The storm is expected to pass north of Hawaii; although a tropical storm warning has been issued for the Eastern Islands, with the lower half of the storm forecast to pass nearby. The crew will fly about every 12 hours, passing through the eye of the storm four to six times, according to USAF officials. The aircraft will deploy a meteorological instrument called a dropsonde to collect temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity and barometric pressure data. The squadron flew its first mission in May, when it conducted flights to track Tropical Storm Ana off the southeastern coast of the US.