Hurricane Gilbert

I remember back in 1989, I burned a week of precious vacation time saved up to plot this famous Hurricane at home on Pensacola Beach.  We had a huge ground swell as Gilbert moved across the Yucatan Channel.  Remember these were the days without internet .  16 years later I would get to fly on the same NOAA P3.

On September 13, 1988 the pressure in Hurricane Gilbert was measured at 888 millibars, at the time the lowest pressure on record in the Atlantic, Caribbean, & Gulf of Mexico. This NOAA photo is a visible image taken as Gilbert moved WNW south of Cuba at2201 GMT. I've linked it to a larger image so you can appreciate the tightly wrapped eye and near perfect symmetry. Click on the photo to enlarge

This second image is courtesy of Dr. Jeffery Masters of WUnderground, flight director aboard a NOAA P3 taken about the time Gilbert reached its peak intensity. The view is from 10,000 feet and the waves are estimated at a whopping 50-100 feet. I took off a week from work just to track this once in a lifetime hurricane. What better way to burn the vacation huh?  A year later in Hurricane Hugo, Dr. Masters almost went down in a P3 during an eye penetration.



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