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Photo via The NOAA Hurricane Hunters/Facebook

Take a terrifying flight into the eye of Hurricane Matthew

Good thing they had a rabbit's foot.


Austin Powell

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 7, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 8:38 pm CDT

It’s a classic adage you relay to nervous fliers: Turbulence doesn’t bring down airplanes. 

But even Captain Tim Gallagher of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Hunters research team hangs a rabbit foot for good luck. 

The crew posted footage from its turbulent flight into the eye of Hurricane Matthew late last night—and it will leave you scrambling for a seatbelt wherever you’re sitting. 

A slightly longer version was also shared on Facebook:

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Why is this necessary, you’re probably wondering? The data collected during these flights helps create more accurate predictions about a hurricane’s trajectory and velocity, and it helps better forecasting models in the future. 

You can find live data from NOAA on

Hurricane Matthew mostly spared the coast of Miami and it weakened slightly as it moved north, just off the Florida coast. While it has been downgraded to a Category 3, it still could be the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. in a decade. A state of emergency has already been called in Florida, Georgia, and both North and South Carolina. 

The death toll in Haiti from the hurricane has risen to more than 300 people, local authorities reported Thursday morning.  

H/T @NOAA_HurrHunter

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*First Published: Oct 7, 2016, 10:09 am CDT