Hurricane hunter aircraft to stop in Roanoke on May 8

It's all part of the Hurricane Awareness Tour


ROANOKE, Va. – Hurricane experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will visit five U.S. East Coast locations, including Roanoke, as part of the 2019 Hurricane Awareness Tour. 

This will take place on May 8th at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, where a USAF Reserve WC-130J and a NOAA WP-3D Orion aircraft will land. This is all to raise awareness of the impacts from tropical systems, along with coming up with a hurricane plan.

The WC-130J is located at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the NOAA WP-3D Orion is based in Lakeland, Florida. 

Military crews on the WC-130J fly directly into tropical systems to gather data necessary to forecasting hurricane intensity and landfall. That data, via satellite, gets sent directly to the National Hurricane Center for further analysis and forecasting.

The NOAA WP-3D Orion is used by scientists to study different aspects of a hurricane, flying through the eye of the storm several times each flight.

In addition to the aircraft, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, a pair of hurricane specialists, a storm surge specialist and mission specialist will be in attendance. Aircraft crew members will also be there to educate on hurricane preparedness.

We will have more details on this very special event in April.                                                          

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