Hurricane experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will visit five U.S. East Coast cities and one city in Canada, flying aboard a USAF Reserve WC-130J Hurricane Hunter aircraft along with the NOAA G-IV aircraft, to raise awareness of the impacts from tropical cyclones threats and the danger of being caught without a personal hurricane plan.
One of the stops on the 2017 Hurricane Awareness Tour will be Raleigh, North Carolina. This stop will occur at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
The WC-130J is one of ten such aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force Reservists from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, 403rd Wing, located at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS. Military air crews fly directly into the core of tropical cyclones to gather data that are critical for forecasting a tropical cyclone’s intensity and landfall.
The NOAA G-IV is part of the agency’s fleet of highly specialized research and operational aircraft operated, managed, and maintained by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and based at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, FL. It flies at high altitude around and ahead of the tropical cyclone, gathering critical data to go into the hurricane forecast models.
National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb, hurricane specialists Daniel Brown and John Cangialosi, Hurricane Hunter mission specialist Warren Madden, the USAF hurricane hunter crew members, and the NOAA aircraft crew members will be on hand to educate residents of vulnerable communities about hurricane preparedness, and will be available for interviews.
Staff from local emergency management offices, non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross, and personnel from local NOAA National Weather Service forecast offices and Central Carolina SKYWARN will be part of the team at the RDU stop.
Community groups, media, elected officials, select local schools (schools by invitation only), and the public are invited to participate and tour the aircraft and exhibits. Public tours will be given from 2:30 to 5 p.m.
For more information on the Raleigh event, contact Nick Petro of NWS Raleigh at 919-515-8209, ext. 223 or Nicholas.Petro@noaa.gov.