McDowell grad goes 'into the eye' of hurricanes
This, is a hurricane.
From above, it looks to be a large formation of clouds.
But underneath, is a different story.
And when one of these storms threatens the land.
Air Force Flight Meteorologists like major, Kim Spusta are there to track it.
“We're not flying over it, we're flying in to it." Spusta said
You heard her right, they fly right into the storm. From the eye-walls, and through the eye.
She describes the sensation as
"It's like a roller coaster." Spusta said
The McDowell graduate has been on the job three years and has already made 50 travels through storms.
Which include major hurricanes like last year's Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
And more recently, Hurricane Lane, which struck Hawaii a few weeks ago.
On her missions, she helps to collect helpful data like pressure and wind speeds.
The data they collect is sent to the national hurricane center where they pinpoint where the storm could be heading next, possibly saving lives.
"It's just vital to get the word out on safety for local officials." Spusta said
With Hurricane Florence roaring to the shores, Spusta says it can be easy for people not in immediate danger to overlook how serious the storms can be.
And when communities are forced to rebuild, she says
"You just have to think about if you can help out in any way after this goes through."
Her parents tell us meteorology was a dream job for her. And before covering hurricanes, she used to track weather overseas in Afghanistan.