Hurricane Matthew looks disastrous from outer space, and doesn’t look much prettier when viewed in infrared, but the storm’s strength and power isn’t stopping researchers from flying directly into its path. Video taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a group of researchers flying straight into Matthew’s eye wall, cataloguing different variables that satellites can’t process.
These guys are NOAA’s “hurricane hunters,” and in the video, their WP-3D Orion aircraft endures extreme turbulence as debris batters the front window.
The hurricane hunters aren’t just brazen thrill-seekers -- they’re scientists, and they fly into powerful hurricanes like Matthew to measure things like wind speed, temperature, rainfall and air pressure. These recordings help NOAA issue more accurate hurricane warnings that can help people evacuate vulnerable areas.
As Hurricane Matthew approaches the southeastern United States, it's expected to hammer Florida's eastern coastline, in particular. President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, according to BuzzFeed News.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.