Saildrone, whose ocean drones are helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) understand what drives the rapid intensification of storms, has captured the Category 4 Hurricane Fiona from the inside. The incredible video provides a completely new view of one of Earth’s most destructive forces.
On Thursday, Saildrone Explorer SD 1078 was directed into the midst of Hurricane Fiona, which is now impacting Bermuda before crashing into Canada this weekend. The ocean drone battled 50-foot waves and winds measuring over 100 mph to collect critical scientific data and the video that you can watch below.
SD 1078 is one of seven “hurricane” saildrones that are currently stationed in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to gather real-time data and help understand the physical processes of hurricanes. This knowledge is critical to improving storm forecasting and is expected to reduce the loss of human life by enabling better preparedness in coastal communities.
Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO, says:
Saildrone is once again demonstrating its ability to provide critical ocean data in the most extreme weather conditions. Hurricane Fiona intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane just before hitting Puerto Rico, causing significant damage and loss of life. The data Saildrone vehicles are gathering will help the science community better understand rapid intensification, giving people living in our coastal communities more time to prepare.
Watch Hurricane Fiona drone video
This is the second video footage Saildrone has released from inside a major hurricane: Last year, an ocean drone spent 24 hours inside Category 4 Hurricane Sam, sending back high-resolution video and images in near-real-time.
Read: Cincinnati men charged for illegally flying drones over Reds, Bengals games