- As Hurricane Laura touched down on the Gulf Coast, some players of “Microsoft Flight Simulator” took virtual planes directly through it to see how the weather pattern moved.
- Stunning images, captured by players, offer a fascinating look inside an active hurricane – albeit a simulated one.
- In reality, a wealth of information about storms like Hurricane Laura comes from aeroplanes operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Air Force Reserves that do actually fly into the storms.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Ever wanted to see inside the eye of a hurricane from 10,000 feet in the air?
A new update to the classic game “Microsoft Flight Simulator” uses real-time imaging to simulate weather patterns all over the world. And some players are using that feature to fly directly through hurricanes, including Hurricane Laura, which made landfall on Thursday in Louisiana and Texas.
Some of the images players captured are downright stunning.
Above & around Hurricane Laura
Microsoft Flight Simulator (Live Weather) pic.twitter.com/T7v8aJ0jhG
— Petri Levälahti (@Berduu) August 27, 2020
so i saw hurricane laura in microsoft flight simulator pic.twitter.com/bEdK64xFYS
— chris (@NotModern_Chris) August 26, 2020
flew into hurricane Laura in Microsoft Flight Sim. I Will Stop This Evil Storm pic.twitter.com/WgqkmQmClb
— Gaz (@gazpachomachine) August 27, 2020
Though “Microsoft Flight Simulator” is played on computers, it’s less video game than it is meteorological simulation.
Players are able to operate planes with realistic cockpits, and navigate the planet as the game uses Bing mapping to pull geographic data. Some players even use expensive peripherals that replicate cockpit controls.
In reality, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Air Force Reserves fly actual planes into storms like Hurricane Laura. These so-called “Hurricane Hunters” provide critical meteorological information to forecasters, who attempt to predict strength, direction, and timing of potentially devastating weather events.
Take a look at a flight through Hurricane Laura in “Microsoft Flight Simulator” right here:
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