NOAA’s Hurricane Awareness Tour

Annual event offers public an opportunity to see Hurricane Hunters up close
June 14, 2016

Five cities in five days! NOAA hurricane forecasters and hurricane hunters flew aboard the NOAA G-IV and a U.S. Air Force WC-130J Hurricane Hunter aircraft on a trek across the U.S. Gulf Coast the week of May 15th.

Visitors line up for tours aboard the U.S. Air Force WC-130J in Galveston, Texas, on May 18, 2016.

About 4,000 school children climbed aboard the planes and met the pilots and crew from these specialized aircraft that fly into and around tropical cyclones. They got to see the dropwindsondes which parachute from the plane inside the hurricane to collect data about the storm.  And they saw a model of the Coyote - the unmanned experimental aircraft that can fly near the surface of the ocean where the warm ocean water fuels the storm. Another 10,000 fourth through sixth graders were able to experience the tour in their classrooms via a live school webinar onsite in Galveston, Texas. 

NOAA's Dr. James McFadden and U.S. Air Force personnel introduce school children to the hurricane hunter mission
NOAA's Dr. James McFadden introduces school children to the hurricane hunter mission (NOAA)

The Hurricane Awareness Tour has been conducted for more than 35 years, alternating between the U.S. Gulf and East coasts. This year, for the first time, it coincided with National Hurricane Preparedness Week.  There’s a theme for each of the seven days, with graphics and videos, all designed to help you prepare for the hurricane season. 

The tour was joined by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) for its #HurricaneStrongoffsite link campaign, designed to re-energize and inspire hurricane readiness by increasing public awareness and action before the next storm strikes.

Next year the tour will fly along the U.S. East coast. We'll see you there!