WC-130J Hurricane Hunters have flown data-gathering missions into seven Pacific tropical storms from JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, this season, capping off with Tropical Storm Ignacio on Tuesday. “During an El Niño year, the water gets much warmer and more moist than normal, causing a lot of storms to form over the Pacific as opposed to the Atlantic side, which is what we’re seeing happen this year,” 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron Aerial Reconnaissance Weather O?fficer Lt. Col. Brian Schroeder said in a release. The unit has flown only four Atlantic tropical storms thus far this season, including Hurricane Erika last week. Pacific storms have included hurricanes Blanca, Carlos, Guillermo, Hilda, and Ignacio, and tropical storms Ela and Kilo, according to the unit. This is the second year in a row WC-130Js have deployed to Hawaii from Keesler AFB, Miss., to monitor the Pacific hurricane season.
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.