'Hurricane hunters' are flying through Joaquin right now --  here's what it's like

Noaa hurricane hunter jet giv p3 gulfstreamNOAAThe WP-3D Orion (background) and Gulfstream IV (foreground) are two aircraft in NOAA’s ‘hurricane hunter’ fleet.

Most meteorologists sit behind computers to crank out hurricane forecasts and warnings.

Others, however, fly straight into the giant storms. Their goal is to figure out where hurricanes are headed and help people on the ground stay safe.

That’s precisely what a small fleet of “hurricane hunter” jets and prop planes are doing right now, says Dennis Feltgen, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spokesperson.

Feltgen told Tech Insider in an email that hurricane hunter missions use turboprop planes and jets to fly inside, over, and around hurricanes.

Shirley Murillo is a NOAA meteorologist who often flies these missions to record hurricane wind speed, temperature, humidity, air pressure, rainfall, and other variables that are tricky for satellites in space to measure in detail.