Flight Simulator Let Players Fly Right Into Hurricane Laura in Real Time


Have you ever wondered what the inside of a hurricane looks like?

While flying through one would be extremely dangerous, Microsoft Flight Simulator allowed players to turn into virtual storm chasers and get up close and personal with Hurricane Laura.

The simulator, which was made in partnership between Microsoft and Swiss company Meteoblue, maps the world's weather patterns -- including wind speed, temperature, and pressure -- to make it possible for people to experience worldly events in real life without leaving their home.

On Wednesday, the virtual simulation allowed players to experience the hurricane from every angle even allowing them to so far up that planes froze over and required de-icing, according to The Verge.

One virtual storm chaser shared his virtual experience on Youtube and the views are surreal.

Players were able to track Hurricane Laura as it made landfall with winds reaching 150mph.

“Yesterday’s hurricane was very beautiful to look at and was accurately predicted by our models even days ahead,” Mathias Müller, Meteoblue co-founder, told The Verge in an email. “We are very happy that real-time weather is now part of Flight Simulator. It was a long journey as integrating these massive amounts of data required the solution of many problems. From our end, we would like to have even more details and weather parameters we already compute for our customers and the meteoblue.com website inside the game, but the development on the game side is extremely complex and takes time,” he added.

While the virtual experience was eye-opening for many players, Nick Underwood, a Hurricane Hunter with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), flew into Hurricane Laura in real life using a specially-outfitted plane called a "Kermit."

Hurricane Laura neared a Category 5 prior to landfall on the US Gulf Coast and threatened catastrophic damage as it was described as an “unsurvivable storm surge.”

Those in the storm's path in real life were bracing for impact and evacuating to safety, but in the online sphere, players used real-time weather data to gather above the Gulf of Mexico and fly into the eye of the storm.

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