VIDEO: NOAA plane flies through Irma’s eye

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Stunning video captures the moment a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration aircraft flew directly through the eye of Hurricane Irma.

The latest video, which was shared by NOAA’s Hurricane Hunters Twitter page, showed the plane flying into what is now being called the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history. As the plane breaches the storm’s eye-wall, the footage shows rain streaming down the aircraft’s window as its propeller cuts through the harsh winds and thick clouds.

The view outside of the airplane’s window slowly begins to change as the rain stops, the clouds become whiter, and the sky turns to blue. The last few seconds of the footage show clear skies and no rain, denoting that the aircraft has entered the storm’s “eye.”

The caption of the video stated: “Video of a flight through the eye of #Irma on #NOAA42. Flights on both the WP-3D Orion and G-IV #NOAA49 continue.”

On Monday, the Hurricane Hunters shared another video of the WP-3D flying through the eye of Hurricane Irma for the first time. The scenic footage, taken by Lt. Rob Mitchell, captured the plane soaring through blue skies and white clouds.

As the aircraft approached the eyewall, encountering darker clouds and rain, the video ended with a caption stating: “And on into the night….”

NOAA uses these flights to get “vital radar readings and drop sensors to help forecasters get the real-world data they need to track the storm’s path and intensity,” FOX13 reported, noting that NOAA plans to dispatch flights into Irma over the next few days.

Hurricane Irma made landfall during the early morning hours of Wednesday on the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda. The storm is currently mowing over the Virgin Islands and starting to slam Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, on the mainland, Floridians are preparing for the worst as the storm is forecasted to hit Florida by the weekend.

The Category 5 storm is sporting maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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