Oct 31, 2012 7:26 PM by Bill Folsom
"It was an amazing flight," said NOAA Meteorologist, Dr. Sandy MacDonald. On Sunday the Colorado based researcher went along on an NOAA research plane right into the center of Hurricane Sandy.
Boulder, Colorado is hundreds of miles away from hurricane territory, but connected by technology to hurricanes. It is home to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory. Scientists at the center are a long way from Hurricane Sandy, but they are documenting the storms path. Dubbed a super-storm, it is a rare research opportunity.
MacDonald has been researching and modeling weather patterns for decades. He knows the work has improved hurricane forecasting. "30 years ago, 40 years ago we'd miss by 400 miles at five days, now we're within less than 100 miles."
Studying data is good, but for this unprecedented storm MacDonald went where few go. He went to the eye of the hurricane on a NOAA research plane. For him it is a first. "It's sort of a terrible beauty," said MacDonald. A chance to expand knowledge, while already understanding enough to know the storm was on a path of destruction.