Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 29, 2017

‘Hurricane 3D’ takes viewers into the eye of the storm

A scene from “Hurricane 3D,” opening Friday, Sept. 29 at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater. - Photograph provided

Penetrating the swirling bands of wind and blinding rain is never routine for the crews who fly into the center of tropical cyclones each year. Their missions to gather weather readings from within these massive storms saves lives by improving the forecasts of the strength and movement of these deadly storms.

Beginning Friday, Sept. 29, audiences at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater will get a taste of what it’s like to fly into the eye of a hurricane and experience the height of a storm both on land and underwater.

“Beyond the question of where hurricanes strike, we wanted to tell the tales of the wind – to speak of winds beyond imagination,” said the film’s producer, Andy Byatt. “To understand the stress of waiting; the relief of the near miss.

“We wanted to observe the fragility and resilience of nature, to discover what the mightiest weather system on Earth means to all those who live beneath its shadow.”

Curiosity about hurricane formation and intensification has increased with the notoriety of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

Hurricane Harvey intensified to Category 4 strength before landfall, creating devastating floods throughout Houston. Hurricane Irma lashed many Caribbean islands before causing a path of damage from Florida to Tennessee.

And Hurricane Maria, the second Category 5 hurricane of the year, battered Puerto Rico.

Weather experts say this is the most active year since 2005 – the year Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans. There have been 13 named storms since the Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1. In the last 30 days, there have been five hurricanes.

“Hurricane 3D” explains how these massive storms form and why one tropical system seems to weaken while others become monsters.

The film’s main “character” is Hurricane Lucy, a fictional storm whose growth is based on the development of several actual hurricanes the filmmakers documented over a five-year period.

Audiences will follow Lucy’s transformation along a 15,000-kilometer journey beginning with a gentle breeze over the African Sahel that grows into a life-giving monsoon before swelling to monumental proportions over the Atlantic Ocean.

Ships are tossed on growing ocean swells and the violent winds and torrential rains of Hurricane Lucy crash into the rainforests of the Caribbean before causing immense storm surges in the Gulf of Mexico.

Along the way, the film peeks into the lives of a host of supporting characters – the men, women, plants and animals affected by Lucy, for better or worse.

“Hurricane 3D” follows the meteorologists and emergency crews as they battle to predict the storm’s path, while those in harm’s way prepare for the worst.

Meanwhile, NASA’s satellites and hurricane tracking aircraft capture the enormity of the storm.

The film depicts the environmental impact on coral reefs, agriculture and wildlife as the Category 4 hurricane engulfs the region. But once the damage is cleared, the regenerative power of nature is captured as audiences witness the rebirth of a rainforest and the return of its strongest creatures.

Screenings of “Hurricane 3D” will take place daily at noon, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at noon, 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. through Thursday, Oct. 26.

Tickets: www.tnaqua.org/plan-your-visit/ticket-information.