Kim Wood in a DC-8
Dr. Kim Wood aboard a DC-8 as it flies through Hurricane Karl during NASA's GRIP campaign in 2010

Kimberly Wood

Flying Through the Eye of a Hurricane

Most tropical cyclone observations are made from instruments on board satellites, but it's crucial to take measurements inside a storm as well. That's where field experiments such as NASA's Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) come in. Multiple instruments were mounted on the DC-8, NASA's flying laboratory, and flown through disturbances that could develop into hurricanes and through intensifying storms to learn more about how they form and how they can quickly strengthen. Scientists and graduate students participated in the campaign by creating real-time forecasts for the flight missions and even going on the plane itself, operating dropsondes and enjoying incredible views of the storm.