Drones To Fly Into Hurricanes

The National Hurricane Center has plans for using drones to measure pressure and wind during this year’s hurricane season.  The automatic flying machines, called Coyotes, will be dropped out of hurricane hunter WP-3 aircraft from 10 to 12 thousand feet.  The drone’s spring-loaded wings will lock into place and its small electric motor will allow speeds up to 70 mph.  These drones will then be able to spend up to two hours flying around inside the eye of a hurricane, collecting data in a way no piloted aircraft can do safely.  The drones cost around $70,000 each, but the Hurricane Center plans on using several of them on any storm that looks big or threatens to make a landfall.  This new cost to hurricane forecasting is expected to easily be made up in money and lives saved from better forecasts.    Meteorologist John Wheeler