NOAA & USAF Reserve hurricane team to embark on tour

As part of its efforts to build a Weather-Ready Nation, NOAA’s hurricane experts will tour six Atlantic coastal cities to raise awareness about the importance for preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. Experts will visit Marathon on Friday, May 8 from 2 to 5 p.m. aboard a U.S. Air Force Reserve WC-130J hurricane hunter aircraft and the NOAA G-IV aircraft, both of which are used in hurricane forecasting. “The U.S. was again spared from a major hurricane strike last year, but that does not mean we will be as fortunate during the 2015 season,” said Rick Knabb, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. “Hurricanes of any strength and even tropical storms can be life-threatening; particularly due to the dangers of water —both storm surge on the coasts and river flooding from heavy rains many miles inland We’re committed to building a Weather Ready Nation that provides people with the information they need to act.”

Along with hurricane specialists Daniel Brown and John Cangialosi, Knabb will travel on the two aircraft when they visit Nova Scotia, New Jersey, Virginia and South Carolina. The tour ends in Florida with a stop in St. Augustine and one in Marathon. The public and media are invited to tour the aircraft and meet the team.

“The Air Force Reserve Command’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron has been supporting the nation’s hurricane warning program for 72 years,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Talbot, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron chief meteorologist. “The East Coast Hurricane Awareness Tour gives us the opportunity to partner with NOAA and help increase public awareness concerning the threat hurricanes posed to coastal areas and showing the equipment we use to get the job done and keep our crews safe.” Staff from local emergency management offices, FEMA, non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, and several local NOAA National Weather Service forecast offices will join various stops on the tour.

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