Baton Rouge, LA -- New improvements have been made to the 53rd Weather Squadron's Hurricane Hunter plane, ensuring more accurate predictions for the 2006 hurricane season.
From the outside, the plane doesn't look much different. However, the new plane can sample air anywhere from 41 to 100 times per second. Previous models could only sample air six times per second, so the improved model will make a huge difference in forecasting abilities.
The enhancements to the Hurricane Hunter will improve predictions by 30 percent. In addition, a device called the Dropsonde records information like air pressure, temperature, and altitude several times for four minutes and relays the information to the National Weather Center in Miami, Florida in close to real time.
Last year, the 53rd Weather Squadron logged 1200 hours and flew in and out of tropical systems 229 times.