Watch footage from drone sailing on 50-foot waves in middle of Hurricane Fiona

Published 7:30 am Friday, September 23, 2022

Ever wondered what it looks like to be inside a hurricane on the ocean?

For the second year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and a company called Saildrone have been using unmanned sail-vehicles to chase hurricanes.

Saildrone and NOAA directed the Saildrone Explorer SD 1078 into the middle of Hurricane Fiona in the Atlantic Ocean.

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The two companies released video highlights of footage captured by SD 1078 in the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Fiona  on Sept. 22, 2022.

‍Hurricane Fiona is the first Category 4 storm of the 2022 season.

SD 1078 is battling 50-foot waves and winds measured over 100 mph to collect critical scientific data and, in the process, is providing a completely new view of one of Earth’s most destructive forces.

Inside the storm, SD 1078 is sailing at sustained speeds over 9 mph. At one moment, it reached a peak speed of 39.7 mph before surfing down a massive 55-foot wave.

SD 1078 is one of seven “hurricane” saildrones that have been operating in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico during this hurricane season, gathering data around the clock to 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.