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NOAA Hurricane Team Embarks on Atlantic Coast Awareness Tour

Public and Media Invited to Tour Hurricane Hunter Aircraft

April 27, 2009

Bill Read.NHC Director Bill Read discusses hurricane preparations with a Ft. Myers. Fla. reporter April 2008.

High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA hurricane experts will visit five East 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 begins May 4.

“We are bringing a life-saving message to coastal communities – now is the time to prepare for a hurricane, before a storm threatens your area," said Bill Read, director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.  “Preparing a hurricane plan today could determine whether you become a hurricane survivor or a hurricane victim.”

Hurricane specialists Dan Brown and Robbie Berg, storm surge specialist Jamie Rhome and Read will travel with the crew when the aircraft visits Newington, N.H., Farmingdale, N.Y., Raleigh, N.C., Wilmington, N.C., and Key West, Fla. The public and media are invited to tour the aircraft and speak with the team.

The NOAA WP-3 Orion turboprop aircraft is used primarily by weather scientists on research missions to study various elements of a hurricane, flying through the eye of the storm several times each flight. The crew gathers and sends data by satellite directly to the National Hurricane Center so hurricane forecasters can analyze and predict changes to its 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 join the NOAA team at tour stops.

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, May 24 to 30. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.

Tour Schedule:

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.