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Seeing hurricane Dorian like few people will ever see it – Hurricane Hunters

It takes guts and a special breed of airmen and meteorologists – to fly directly into a hurricane. A Category 5 major hurricane, no less. Riding out the roughest winds and turbulence to gather critical data on the ongoing storm that feed models and forecasts which save lives. And the views are out of this world!

Imagine punching through the eyewall into the clear hurricane eye: the eyewall rising towards the tropopause all around you, with the sky overhead completely clear. Resembling the view from inside a stadium – this is called the stadium effect. Only Hurricane Hunters quite regularly see this exceptional sight. It can be seen from the ground if the eye is very clear, also of low clouds – as Colt Forney captured it during the major Hurricane Michael last year. Storm chaser Simon Brewer captured this amazing image of lightning-illuminated stadium effect in the eye of CAT4 Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The image above shows the stadium effect within the eye of CAT5 Hurricane Dorian on September 1st, as captured by meteorologist Garrett Black on board a Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

But hurricane Dorian made a particularly amazing spectacule at night! Quite a prolific lightning producer, Dorian produced a lightning display illuminating the eye! The video and photos below are some of the rarest and most exceptional sights!