April 25, 2011
NOAA hurricane experts will visit five U.S. 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 2.
Visitors line up to board the NOAA P3 Hurricane Hunter plane during a stop in Beaumont, Tex., last year.
High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
“The 2010 hurricane season was one of the most active on record, yet no hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. That does not mean we will be as fortunate during the 2011 season,” said Bill Read, director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. "Be prepared for a hurricane now, before one threatens your area."
Read, along with senior hurricane specialist Daniel Brown and storm surge team leader Jamie Rhome, will travel with the crew when the aircraft visits Falmouth, Mass.; Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.; Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, N.C.; Savannah, Ga.; and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The public and media are invited to tour the aircraft and meet the team.
The NOAA WP-3D 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 local emergency management offices and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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.
NHC Director Bill Read discusses the importance of being prepared for the approaching hurricane season.
High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
NOAA has conducted the hurricane awareness tour for almost 30 years, alternating between the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, and is followed by NOAA’s hurricane hazard education campaign during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 22 to 28. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.
The NOAA WP-3D Orion is part of the agency's fleet of highly specialized research aircraft operated, managed and maintained by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. The aircraft is piloted by officers of the NOAA Corps — one of the seven uniformed services of the United States — and based at the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center, located at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.
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