NOAA Hurricane Team to Embark on Gulf Coast Awareness Tour

Public and Media Invited to Tour Hurricane Hunter Aircraft

April 20, 2010

More than 2,000 people visited the NOAA P3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft during its visit to Raleigh, N.C., in 2009.

More than 2,000 people visited the NOAA P3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft during its visit to Raleigh, NC, in 2009.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA hurricane experts will visit 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 begins 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, will travel with the crew when the aircraft visits Brownsville, Texas; Beaumont, Texas; Baton Rouge, La.; Pensacola, Fla., and Sarasota. Fla. The public and media are invited to tour the aircraft and meet the team.

NHC senior hurricane specialist Dan Brown speaks to the media while the NOAA P3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft visits Portsmouth, N.H., in 2009.

NHC senior hurricane specialist Dan Brown speaks to the media while the NOAA P3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft visits Portsmouth, NH, in 2009.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

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.

Tour Schedule:

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