The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Aircraft Operations Center has posted a dramatic new video of hurricane hunters flying into the eye of Ida as the storm moved through the Gulf of Mexico heading to the U.S. on Sunday.
Hurricane hunters collect important information about the storm to help make accurate forecasts. They measure pressure, humidity, temperature, wind direction and speed as well as examine the storm’s structure and intensity.
Hurricane Ida blasted ashore Sunday as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., rushing from the Louisiana coast toward New Orleans and one of the nation’s most important industrial corridors.
The powerful Category 4 storm with winds of 150 mph (230 kph) hit on the same date Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years earlier, coming ashore about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of where Category 3 Katrina first struck land.
The National Hurricane Center also tweeted video from inside the storm.
Hurricane Ida nearly doubled in strength, going from an 85 mph storm to a 150 mph storm in just 24 hours, which meteorologists called "explosive intensification."
"Ida will most definitely be stronger than Katrina, and by a pretty big margin," said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy. "And the worst of the storm will pass over New Orleans and Baton Rouge, which got the weaker side of Katrina."
Meanwhile, hurricane hunters say they practice the utmost safety.
According to the Hurricane Hunters Association, crews have flown over 100,000 hours without any mishaps. Crews also carry life preservers and rafts in case they need to ditch a mission, according to the association.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.