Inside Hurricane Irma: Incredible footage from the eye of the storm

Researchers flew the Orion on its first flight into the intensifying hurricane over the Caribbean on Tuesday and recorded footage of the Category 5 storm.

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Irma was generating 300km/h winds before 2pm on Tuesday and has been upgraded to a category 5 storm, the highest intensity, as it approaches the US coast only days after Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas.

The NOAA time-lapse footage shows the plane approaching the storm during a smooth flight.

Video of a flight through the eye of #Irma on #NOAA42. Flights on both the WP-3D Orion and G-IV #NOAA49 continue. Credit Nick Underwood/NOAA pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/9ini4bOnYF

— NOAAHurricaneHunters (@NOAA_HurrHunter) September 5, 2017

As the pilots edge closer to the wall of the storm, vision becomes obscured, clouds darken and the plane shakes violently.

More footage from the reconnaisance flight shows the Orion battered in severe winds and rain.

Inside the eye of #Irma on WP-3D Orion #NOAA42. This is referred to as the “stadium effect” 长沙桑拿,长沙SPA,/iofV4p56DE Credit CDR Kibbey/NOAA. pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/dlUta2IbDL

— NOAAHurricaneHunters (@NOAA_HurrHunter) September 5, 2017

It begins inside the plane, showing the instrument panel, then shows one the plane’s engines, under intense pressure from intensifying wind and rain.

Finally the plane breaks through the wall of the storm and into the clear air of its eye, surrounded by a huge swirl of clouds, which hurricane experts call the “stadium effect”.

NOAA is issuing Storm QuickLooks for Hurricane Irma. View near real-time ocean & meteorological conditions: 长沙桑拿,长沙SPA,/OpdINDeUdW pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/hONc873tpE

— NOAA’s Ocean Service (@noaaocean) September 5, 2017

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The National Hurricane Centre forecasts the storm will approach Cuba and Florida by day four or five on Saturday.