NOAA Flys In Hurricane Message To Costal Areas <


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NOAA Flys In Hurricane Message To Costal Areas

Daniel Guevarra

March 15, 2010 - The hurricane season for the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Central Pacific officially starts June 1st and ends November 30th. NOAA has chosen these dates due to 97 percent of storms have occurred during this period. For this reason NOAA and the U.S. Air Force Reserve will host a series of public events from March 18 to 27 in six coastal communities in Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean to urge residents to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.    

Tours of the Air Force Reserve Command’s WC-130J “hurricane hunter” aircraft will be available to residents and have an opportunity to meet U.S. National Hurricane Center director Bill Read; deputy director Ed Rappaport; senior hurricane specialist Lixion Avila; Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch meteorologist Jorge Aguirre-Echevarria; and personnel from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of the 403rd Wing. 

“After a relatively quiet 2009 season, we don’t want people to get complacent.  We want coastal residents to be ready for the next hurricane season, and that’s why we’re on this awareness tour before the season begins on June 1,” said Read. “We want to save lives through awareness and preparedness.” 

Since 1944, military air crews have been flying directly into the core of tropical cyclones to gather critical weather data. Today, the data are sent from the aircraft via satellite directly to the National Hurricane Center for analysis and use by hurricane forecasters.  There were 38 Atlantic missions flown by the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron last year, another five in the eastern North Pacific and eight in the central North Pacific. 

“The squadron is the only remaining military unit in the world which routinely flies into tropical cyclones to aid in the United States Hurricane Warning Program,“ said Lt. Col. Jonathan Talbot, Chief Weather Officer for the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. 

Locations and times for public tours are listed below (all times are local): 

        Friday, March 19: Bermuda; 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

        Monday, March 22: Mazatlan, Mexico; 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

        Tuesday, March 23: Merida, Mexico; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

        Wednesday, March 24: San Salvadore, El Salvadore, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

        Friday, March 26: Antigua; 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

        Saturday, March 27: Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

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.

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