Hurricane Hunters are Real Heroes
Hurricane Hunters are Unsung Hurricane Heroes
Ask a young kid about their heroes these days. Some may name their parents. However, many will name a singer, actor, or sports figure. Many kids apparently have no concept of the real meaning of the word hero.
Athletes and entertainers are NOT examples of heroes. Fame and heroism are NOT the same thing.
REAL HEROES are firefighters, who rush into buring buildings to bring out victims; combat soldiers, who fling themselves upon grenades to save commrades; rescue swimmers who plunge into icy waters to rescue those in danger of perishing; law enforcement officials, who chase down the armed and dangerous bent on harming others.
Hurricane Hunters are unsung heroes of hurricane season. While coastal residents rsh to batten down the hatches at home, then get on the road to ride out the storm in a safer location, these brave men and women climb aboard aircraft and fly headlong into the full force of hurricanes. They do this in the name of public safety. Because of them, and the precious data they collect, meteorologists are now able to forecast with more accuracy when, where, and with what force a hurricane will strike. It's estimated that the Hurricane Hunters have contributed to a 25% increase in forecasting accuracy over the past few decades!
Can you even imagine what their ride must be like? If you've ever experienced turbulence on a commercial flight, you probably haven't even come close to 1/10th what they experience. The planes can be inside these ferocious storms for literally hours on end. They plow through rotating winds, often in excess of 100 miles per hour to get to the eerie calm of the eye. Then, they plow back through the extreme turbulence, turn around, and do it again. They are taking critical measurements all the while, recording the data, and sending it back to the National Hurricane Center.
We owe them a lot! Next time you are evacuating or 'hunkering down' in advance of the arrival of a hurricane, think for a moment of those who are - for your sake - heading right into it in an airplane.