A team of hurricane hunters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flew through the eye of Hurricane Ian to assess the storm mere hours before it made its devastating landfall. Nick Underwood, a NOAA aerospace engineer who was on the mission, recorded the inside of the aircraft as it was battered with turbulence, the likes of which Underwood recounted as unprecedented in his six-year career of storm tracking.
“Today’s flight was certainly the roughest that I’ve been on,” Underwood said of the crew’s mission through the Category 4 storm. “I’ve flown a lot of major hurricanes over the last few years. Irma, Maria, Harvey, Laura, you know, all of these big storms. Never seen that much turbulence before.”
Hurricane Ian struck the southwest coast of Florida Wednesday evening, leaving millions without power and destroying homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure. Authorities have confirmed one death, however the total scope of devastation is still being determined as rescue missions continue in the impacted areas.
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