Meteorologists say no other Atlantic storm on record has packed such powerful winds for such a prolonged period as Hurricane Matthew and that means the likely loss of property is great. The 375th Operations Support Squadron at Scott Air Force Base is tracking the storm along with other weather experts.
"Our location and the missions we run here and our motto help from above we are always looking where we can assist," says Lt. Col Matthew Getty, Air Force 375th Operations Support Squadron Commander.
Anytime there is a storm—especially one of this severity—approaching the United States, the 375th is watching it very closely to determine what military installations might be affected. The objective is to protect the military's pricey jets.
"Weather operators that are at these locations will be informing the commanders on how bad conditions are expected to be so that commander can determine the best course of action to make sure and protect those assets,” says Sr. Master SGT Jeremy Henderson, 37TH Operations Support Squadron Weather Flight Chief.
Knowing where or if Matthew will make landfill on the Atlantic coast remains a guessing game. It's also keeping Scott Air Force Base in limbo about what if any aircraft to expect.
"Our first call came from South Carolina and we thought we were going to get a large number of aircraft here but then as the planes changed and as the storm shifted those planes changed," says Getty.
SAF was expecting six F-18 jets to arrive Friday night from the Naval Air Station Ocean in Virginia Beach, but that has been put on hold depending on the curse of Matthew. It's possible they'll arrive Saturday.