Storm chaser captures the dramatic -- and eerily tranquil eye of Hurricane Michael
Imagine being blasted for several minutes by 120-150 mph winds as trees, power lines, and parts of homes fly through the air...
And then having everything just suddenly stop...and the sun come out.
That surreal scene played out near Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, which took the direct hit from Hurricane Michael.
Bart Comstock with Live Storms Media ventured out when the hurricane's eye moved ashore, with even some blue skies and peek of the sun, framed against the destruction that the first half of Michael wrought around the base.
Also note the dramatic wall of clouds on the horizon that circled the eye. Those clouds are typically 50,000-60,000 feet high and the layers of clouds give what meteorologists call the "stadium effect" as it mimics what it would look like to stand on the 50 yard line as the crowd surrounds you.
The "stadium effect" is commonly seen in Hurricane Hunter aircraft video, but rarely filmed from the ground (usually because not many people would adventure out with a camera).
A wind gauge at Tyndall AFB reported a sustained wind of 86 mph with a gust to 129 mph as the eye wall hit, until the gauge failed and stopped reporting. The base hasn't reported the current weather since.
In the decades past before hurricanes were well understood and easily tracked with modern technology, the eye, despite its tranquility, would be among the most dangerous aspects of hurricanes because it would give those who just survived the onslaught a false sense that the storm was over. Many would venture out to survey the damage or get help.
Instead, the eye is only "halftime" and usually lasts 10-20 minutes before the other side of the hurricane returns with just as much intensity as before, and would catch people off guard.