October 02, 2001
NASA's DC-8 research airplane sits on the tarmac of the Jacksonville Naval Air Station during this season's Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-4) as a waterspout forms in the distance, the result of a severe line of thunderstorms which developed along the eastern seabreeze front. The aircraft was being flown this summer from Jacksonville to study hurricanes and thunderstorms. The NASA DC-8 flys through hurricanes in the hope that scientific data collected will improve hurricane modeling and prediction, which in turn might help save property and lives. Instruments aboard the plane measure temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation, wind speed, lightning and ice crystal sizes -- providing scientists with a view of the inner workings of a hurricane.
Photo Credit: Richard Blakeslee, Global Hydrology Center, Marshall Space Flight Center