US hurricane forecasters embark on preparedness mission to Mexico and Caribbean

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppUnited States, April 10, 2017 – Miami – The 2017 hurricane season is fast approaching, and NOAA and the U.S. Air Force Reserve will host a series of events, including tours aboard a hurricane hunter aircraft to help communities in Mexico and the Caribbean prepare for the season and weather the coming storms.NOAA hurricane specialists, including National Hurricane Center director Rick Knabb, Ph.D., will provide information to residents of vulnerable communities about hurricane preparedness and resilience. Tours of the Air Force Reserve Command’s WC-130J “Hurricane Hunter” will offer an opportunity to learn how scientists collect hurricane information.“Several Caribbean countries were severely damaged last year by Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Otto,” Knabb said. “Another season is just weeks away and we have to be prepared. Simply hoping one of these storms won’t hit your community is not a good plan.”Locations, all local airports, and local times for public tours are:April 24, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Merida, MexicoApril 25, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – San Pedro Sula, HondurasApril 26, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Grand CaymanApril 27, 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Turks and CaicosApril 29, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Aquadilla, Puerto RicoDuring hurricanes, military air crews fly state-of-the-art WC-130J aircraft directly into the core of tropical cyclones to gather data that are critical for forecasting a hurricane’s intensity and landfall. The data are sent in real time via satellite from the aircraft directly to the National Hurricane Center for analysis and use by hurricane forecasters.“This data is vital in improving storm track models, which plays a critical role in alerting coastal residents about potential hazards,” said Lt. Col. Kaitlyn Woods, 53rd WRS chief meteorologist. “The Caribbean Hurricane Awareness Tour educates the public not only about our mission but also of the importance of being prepared.”During the 2016 hurricane season, the 53rd WRS flew 75 missions, including 12 investigative flights over the Atlantic, for the National Hurricane Center. It also flew one mission over the eastern North Pacific and 14 over the central North Pacific. The eastern North Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 while the central North Pacific and Atlantic basin hurricane season begins June 1.Aside from Knabb, also participating in the tour will be Lixion Avila, Ph.D., NOAA NHC senior hurricane specialist; and U.S Air Force reservists from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (WRS), 403rdWing, Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss.NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.Press Release: NOAA Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img

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