September 3, 2007
Hurricane Felix – Hurricane Hunter Forced to Turn Back
The monster storm that Hurricane Felix has become is so strong it forced the one of the NOAA’s hurricane hunters to abort it’s mission to investigate the storm.
In just 15 hours on Sunday, Felix jumped from a Category Two storm with winds at 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour to a rare Category Five hurricane, the most powerful on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
The speed at which Felix reached maximum strength was one of the fastest ever recorded, Hurricane Center specialists said.
Felix was so powerful that one of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ‘hurricane hunter’ airplanes was caught in a rapid updraft-downdraft cycle as it gathered data, the Miami Herald reported.
The violent cycle placed four times the weight of gravity on those aboard the plane.
“Four Gs can put a fair strain on the aircraft, and it also got some very heavy hail that can rip the paint off the plane,” Hurricane Center forecaster James Franklin told the newspaper.
The airplane, a modified Orion P-3 that normally carries 14 people, was ordered back to its base at Saint Croix, one of the US Virgin Islands, Franklin said.
We will continue to monitor reports on this monster storm.
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