LAKELAND, Fla. -- As Hurricane Florence gets closer to the Carolinas, Hurricane Hunters from the Bay area are flying right into the storm.
- Hurricane Hunters flying into Florence
- Florence heading toward Carolinas
- Live updates on Hurricane Florence
NOAA Hurricane Hunters have been flying constantly from Lakeland Linder International Airport, right into Hurricane Florence.
Scientists are trying to get the most accurate information to forecast exactly where the storm will go.
On Wednesday, we got an inside look at the planes at Lakeland Linder Airport.
They showed us instruments that function almost like weather balloons, that are dropped into the storm to gather data that satellites can’t.
"We dropped 33 of them all around the storm, and actually above the storm. It's sort of like having 33 weather stations out in the middle of the ocean," said flight director Richard Henning.
The flights are important because they get readings that satellites can't and send that information back home.
And while take-offs aboard the Gulfstream 4 aircraft are smooth, once they enter a hurricane it's intense, and the flights last for eight hours.
Flight Director Paul Flaherty is preparing to fly into Hurricane Florence for a fourth time, and said he hopes to bring back good news, but so far, there's been no signs of that from the sky.
"It doesn't look like it's going to weaken at this point," Flaherty said. "It's not a good situation. We just need to keep getting the most accurate and recent data we can for the models and forecasters."
Teams from NOAA flew 11 times into Florence -- their final flight was Wednesday afternoon. They are now flying into Isaac and also have a plane ready for storm recovery after Florence hits.