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NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER PILOT CAPTURES KATRINA AT HER MEANEST

Sept. 1, 2005 NOAA hurricane hunter WP-3D Orion and Gulfstream IV aircraft conducted ten long flights into and around the eye of Hurricane Katrina. Lt. Mike Silah, a P-3 pilot, got to see Hurricane Katrina up close and personal, especially when she was an extremely dangerous Category Five storm in the Gulf of Mexico. The day before the powerful and destructive storm made landfall on the USA Gulf Coast, Silah snapped a series of images capturing the eyewall of Katrina.

Silah is a NOAA Corps officer based at the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center in Tampa, Fla.

Hurricane Katrina eyewall images taken on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005, during a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter flight at the time the storm was a Category Five hurricane. Please credit “NOAA.”
NOAA image of Hurricane Katrina’s eyewall as seen from the NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter aircraft on Aug. 28, 2005, a day before the powerful storm came crashing into the USA Gulf Coast.
Click NOAA image for larger view of Hurricane Katrina’s eyewall as seen from the NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter aircraft on Aug. 28, 2005, a day before the powerful storm came crashing into the USA Gulf Coast. Click here for high resolution version.
NOAA image of the swirling clouds that make up the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina taken on Aug. 28, 2005, while the storm churned in the Gulf of Mexico as a Category Five hurricane.
Click NOAA image for larger view of the swirling clouds that make up the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina taken on Aug. 28, 2005, while the storm churned in the Gulf of Mexico as a Category Five hurricane. Click here for high resolution version.
NOAA image of Hurricane Katrina’s tight eyewall as seen from a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter aircraft on Aug. 28, 2005, before the storm made landfall in the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Click NOAA image for larger view of Hurricane Katrina’s tight eyewall as seen from a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter aircraft on Aug. 28, 2005, before the storm made landfall in the U.S. Gulf Coast. The NOAA P-3's propeller in visible in the foreground. Click here for high resolution version.
NOAA image of Hurricane Katrina’s large eyewall taken by a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter pilot on Aug. 28, 2005, when the powerful storm was at it meanest—a Category Five on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.
Click NOAA image for larger view of Hurricane Katrina’s large eyewall taken by a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter pilot on Aug. 28, 2005, when the powerful storm was at it meanest—a Category Five on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Click here for high resolution version.
NOAA image of the eyewall bands of Hurricane Katrina taken on Aug. 28, 2005, by a NOAA hurricane hunter pilot.
Click NOAA image for larger view of the eyewall bands of Hurricane Katrina taken on Aug. 28, 2005, by a NOAA hurricane hunter pilot. Click here for high resolution version.)
NOAA image of Hurricane Katrina’s eyewall taken by a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter pilot on Aug. 28, 2005, a day before the highly destructive storm slammed its full fury into the USA Gulf Coast.
Click NOAA image for larger view of Hurricane Katrina’s eyewall taken by a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter pilot on Aug. 28, 2005, a day before the highly destructive storm slammed its full fury into the USA Gulf Coast. Click here for high resolution version.
NOAA image of Hurricane Katrina’s eyewall taken from a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter turboprop aircraft on Aug. 28, 2005. The serene view belies the destructive power of the Category Five storm.
Click NOAA image for larger view of Hurricane Katrina’s eyewall taken from a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter turboprop aircraft on Aug. 28, 2005. The serene view belies the destructive power of the Category Five storm. Click here for high resolution version.
NOAA image of Hurricane Katrina’s eyewall taken by a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter pilot on Aug. 28, 2005, a day before the powerful storm came barreling into the USA Gulf Coast.
Click NOAA image for larger view of Hurricane Katrina’s eyewall taken by a NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter pilot on Aug. 28, 2005, a day before the powerful storm came barreling into the USA Gulf Coast. Click here for high resolution version.

NOAA image of NOAA hurricane hunter WP-3D Orion and Gulfstream IV aircraft in flight.
Click NOAA image for larger view of NOAA hurricane hunter WP-3D Orion and Gulfstream IV aircraft in flight (undated). Click here for high resolution version.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Aerial Images of USA Gulf Coast Impacted by Hurricane Katrina

NOAA Aircraft Operations Center

NOAA Corps

NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations

Media Contact:
Greg Hernandez, NOAA, (202) 482-3091
(Photos courtesy of Lt. Mike Silah, a NOAA P-3 pilot.)