I was an AF aviation weather forecaster for 12 years, then 15 years as a dropsonde systems operator with the AF Reserve Hurricane Hunters.
By: Randy Bynon , 4:03 PM GMT on October 02, 2008
I flew our first tasked mission into Hurricane Norbert today in eastern Pacific off the Mexican coast.
As we entered the storm the first time, the southern eyewall was actually a pretty bumpy ride.
Norbert wasn't as impressive in person as he was on satellite. It actually appeared that there was a concentric eyewall on our first pass with an outer eye of about 50 miles and an inner eye of 30 miles. The inner eyewall was falling apart as we made our pass.
You can see the clouds swirling both below and above the aircraft as we make our penetration through the eye.
By our second and final pass, the eyewall seemed better defined but still a rather thin and unimposing eyewall.
The pilots check their instruments and fly through the eye center as the AWRO takes pictures.
In the end, we found a weaker storm than NHC expected with only about 65 knots at the surface, 85 knots at flight level and a central pressure of 972MB.
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