Ad Stoffelen is a hurricane hunter for the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and flew through hurricanes several times. He is one of the experts giving a masterclass on the Dies Natalis of Wageningen University & Research. 100 years WUR asked him a few questions in advance.
What do you need to fly through a hurricane?
‘A strong aeroplane and some courage.’
Do you have to be weary of life to fly through a hurricane?
‘I’d say it’s an exciting experience and it is totaly worth the risk!’
What is the most special discovery during the flight?
‘Do you really want to know? That you can learn a lot from looking at the waves in sea and the processes of breaking waves from within the aeroplane.’
What information about hurricanes do sattellites give?
‘The instrument I work with looks through clouds and rain onto the surface of the sea and can then detect the waves. From those images we can define wind speed and direction. This determines the severity of damaging winds and storm surges and is used to warn threatened citizens and infrastructure.
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Read more about Ad Stoffelen at Resource.