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Forecasters Go Airborne To Promote Hurricane Awareness

NOAA image collage of students visiting a NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft during the 2006 hurricane awareness tour.April 23, 2007 NOAA hurricane experts will travel aboard a NOAA WP-3 Orion turboprop Hurricane Hunter in a five-day, five-city tour of the East Coast beginning April 30 to raise public awareness of hurricanes that can threaten the Atlantic Seaboard. (Click NOAA image collage for larger view of students visiting a NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft during the 2006 hurricane awareness tour. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Bill Proenza, the new director of the NOAA National Hurricane Center, Richard Knabb, PhD., senior hurricane specialist, and Michelle Mainelli, hurricane specialist, will join the crew and scientists when the aircraft visits North Kingstown, R.I.; Cape May, N.J.; Martin State Airport near Baltimore, Md.; Elizabeth City, N.C.; and Daytona Beach, Fla. The public and media are invited to tour the aircraft and speak with the delegation.

“Educating the public is our continuing mission,” said Proenza. “Even though last season had a below average number of tropical cyclones with no landfalling hurricanes, we remain in an active hurricane cycle likely to last another 10 to 20 years. Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy."

“We spend considerable time talking with children on the aircraft. If any of them take that message home to their parents, many more lives can be saved. This is a great way to teach hurricane awareness,” said James McFadden, PhD., chief of programs at the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center.

The team of NOAA hurricane experts will be joined by emergency management officials, non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross and various local NOAA National Weather Service forecast offices.

The Hurricane Awareness Tour has been conducted 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 from May 20 to 26. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.

The NOAA WP-3 Orion turboprop Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be available to the public for tours during the following hours.
(All times EDT.)
Airport Aircraft on Display
Monday, April 30
3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Quonset State Airport — North Kingstown, R.I.
Tuesday, May 1
2 :30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cape May County Airport, N.J.
Wednesday, May 2
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Martin State Airport near Baltimore, Md.
Thursday, May 3
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
U.S. Coast Guard Support Center in Elizabeth City, N.C.
Friday, May 4
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Daytona Beach International Airport, Fla.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA National Hurricane Center

NOAA Aircraft Operations Center

NOAA Hurricane Preparedness Week

NOAA Hurricanes Portal

Media Contact:
Dennis Feltgen, NOAA National Weather Service, (202) 253-6342