Hurricane experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Hurricane Hunter aircraft from the US Air Force (USAF) will be visiting several key cities in the coming weeks ahead of the Atlantic Hurricane Season which begins on June 1. The purpose of the tour is to establish links with local communities and raise awareness of threats from tropical cyclones and the dangers of being caught without a personal hurricane plan.
Hurricane Hunter pilots and crew from NOAA and USAF as well as Dr. Rick Knabb, Director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), NHC hurricane specialists, and meteorologists from local National Weather Service offices will be on-hand to educate visitors of vulnerable communities about hurricane preparedness. At most events, staff from local and state emergency management offices, non-profit organizations such as the AMerican Red Cross and FEMA will be part of the event.
Community groups, media, elected officials, and members of the general public are invited to tour the aircraft and exhibits free of charge. Guests must have valid US ID to enter many of the venues.
This year, the annual tour kicks off in Canada. On May 7, the Hurricane Awareness Tour begins at Gander International AIrport in Newfoundland, Canada. The tour then moves onto Long Island’s MacArthur Airport on May 8, DC’s Reagan Washington National airport on May 9, Raleigh’s RDU airport on May 10, Orlando Executive Airport on May 11, and wraps up near the NHC headquarters in south Florida at the Opa-Locka Executive Airport in Miami on May 12.
At each location along the tour, visitors can take a look at one of the Hurricane Hunter airplanes and meet the pilots who fly into the storms to gather data. This year, NOAA is partnering with the USAF Reserve, FEMA and FLASH, as well as many local partners, to bring the 2017 Hurricane Awareness Tours to locations down the US and Canadian east coasts.
The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and experts believe a slightly less active hurricane season than usual. However, it just takes one storm to create a deadly, destructive situation. NOAA believes awareness and preparation well before any threat arrives is the best way to reduce loss of life and property in any hurricane season / basin.
More information on the tour can be viewed here.