Public And Media Invited To Tour Hurricane Hunter Aircraft
NOAA hurricane experts are visiting five Gulf Coast cities
aboard a NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft to raise awareness about
storm threats and the danger of being caught without a personal
hurricane plan. The five-day tour got underway April 26.
“The 2009 season was relatively quiet, but that doesn't
mean the 2010 season will be," said Bill Read, director of
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. "Don't get complacent -
prepare for a hurricane now, before one threatens your area."
Read, along with hurricane specialists Dan Brown and John
Cagialosi, storm surge specialist Jamie Rhome, and IT programmer
Chris Juckins, are traveling with the crew. The public and media
are invited to tour the aircraft and meet the team.
The NOAA WP-3 Orion turboprop aircraft is used primarily by
scientists on research missions to study various elements of a
hurricane, flying through the eye of the storm several times each
flight. The crew collects and transmits data by satellite directly
to the National Hurricane Center so that forecasters can analyze
and predict changes to the hurricane’s path and strength.
Staff from emergency management offices, non-profit
organizations such as the American Red Cross, and several local
NOAA National Weather Service forecast offices will be part of the
team at each stop.
NOAA has conducted the hurricane awareness tour for more than 25
years, alternating between the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, and is
followed by NOAA’s hurricane hazard education campaign during
national Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 23 to 29. The Atlantic
hurricane season begins June 1.
Earlier this week, the tour made stops in Brownsville and
Beaumont, TX. Wednesday's scheduled stop was Baton Rouge, LA, with
Pensacola and Sarasota, FL on the agenda for Thursday and Friday
And yes, this tour is the Real Deal ... not like that Enola Gay
tour that seemed to fool so many folks on April Fools Day ...