HomeNewsArticle Display

Prepare now for hurricane season

Lt. Col. Ed Garcia, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron pilot, talks about the Hurricane Hunter mission during a Facebook Live session with the National Weather Service May 10, 2018. The 53rd WRS, an Air Force Reserve unit in the 403rd Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, took part in the 2018 NOAA Gulf Coast Hurricane Awareness Tour May 7-11, 2018. This is the fourth year the Hurricane Hunters participated in all five stops of the awareness and preparedness event, which was in conjunction with National Hurricane Preparedness Week. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

Lt. Col. Ed Garcia, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron pilot, talks about the Hurricane Hunter mission during a Facebook Live session with the National Weather Service May 10, 2018. The 53rd WRS, an Air Force Reserve unit in the 403rd Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., took part in the 2018 NOAA Gulf Coast Hurricane Awareness Tour May 7-11, 2018. This is the fourth year the Hurricane Hunters participated in all five stops of the awareness and preparedness event, which was in conjunction with National Hurricane Preparedness Week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

The public tours the WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport, Beaumont, Texas May 8, 2018,  during the NOAA Gulf Coast Hurricane Awareness Tour. The aircraft is flown by the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron to collect weather data for National Hurricane Center forecasts. NOAA's National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center has conducted the Hurricane Awareness Tour for more than 35 years; however, this is the fourth year the 53rd WRS has participated in all five stops of the awareness and preparedness event, which was in conjunction with National Hurricane Preparedness Week May 7-11, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

The public tours the WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport, Beaumont, Texas, May 8, 2018, during the NOAA Gulf Coast Hurricane Awareness Tour. The aircraft is flown by the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron to collect weather data for National Hurricane Center forecasts. NOAA's National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center has conducted the Hurricane Awareness Tour for more than 35 years; however, this is the fourth year the 53rd WRS has participated in all five stops of the awareness and preparedness event, which was in conjunction with National Hurricane Preparedness Week May 7-11, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) -- Hurricane season begins June 1 and now is the time to prepare. To promote this message, an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircrew with their WC-130J Super Hercules and a team of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane experts visited five Gulf Coast cities as part of this year’s Hurricane Awareness Tour May 7 through 11, 2018.

The Hurricane Awareness Tour, or HAT, which stopped at the McAllen Miller International Airport, McAllen, Texas; Jack Brooks Regional Airport, Beaumont, Texas; Baton Rouge Metro Airport, Ryan Field, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Montgomery Regional Airport, Montgomery, Alabama; and Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland, Florida, is a joint effort between NOAA's National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center and the 403rd Wing's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron to promote awareness about the destructive forces of hurricanes and how people can prepare.

“We enjoy taking part in the Hurricane Awareness Tour each year because it highlights the vital role the squadron has in gathering data for NHC forecasts,” said Col. Brian May, 403rd Operations Group commander. “What the Hurricane Hunters do strengthens relationships with our meteorological services, civil protection agencies, elected officials, and media partners that all work in a collaborative effort to enhance public awareness during hurricane season.”

However, even with a perfect forecast, the storms still come, said Ken Graham, the new NHC director who was the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Slidell, Louisiana, for years.

“That is why we are here,” Graham said. “It’s all about preparedness; it’s about being ready for the next storm. Whether it’s a busy season or not a busy season it only takes one storm.”

The awareness tour was also in conjunction with National Hurricane Preparedness Week. NOAA partnered with FLASH, the Federal Alliance for Safe Housing, with the #HurricaneStrong campaign. Throughout the week, officials encouraged people who live in hurricane prone areas to know their risk due to storm surge, inland flooding and winds, to have an evacuation plan and disaster supply kit, make sure they have adequate insurance, and strengthen their home to meet hurricane building codes. They also stressed the importance of being a good neighbor before and after a hurricane and to have a written plan to ensure everyone in the household is prepared for the next storm.

Emergency response and informational booths were set up at all the stops to encourage residents to prepare for the upcoming season. The public and media also got the chance to tour the WC-130J aircraft, one of 10 specially configured aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and NOAA’s G-IV both used to gather critical weather data for hurricane forecast models. While the NOAA G-IV, flies at high altitude around and ahead of a tropical cyclone, the WC-130J flies through the hurricane at 10,000 feet.

During a tropical storm or hurricane, 53rd WRS crews can fly through the eye of a storm four to six times. During each pass through the eye, crews release a dropsonde, which collects temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity and surface pressure data. The crew also collects surface wind speed data and flight level data. This information is transmitted to the NHC to assist them with their storm warnings and hurricane forecast models in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific. During a typical year, the squadron will fly 60 to 100 missions for the NHC.

Last year was a busy season for the Hurricane Hunters. The 53rd WRS flew more than 800 hours during more than 90 missions into 12 named storms.

“We fly into these storms to gather data to improve the accuracy of NHC forecasts and ultimately for people’s safety so they can make an informed decision to stay or evacuate,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Ragusa, 53rd WRS pilot. “We ask that people pay attention to these forecasts and heed the evacuation orders.”

While the tour ended in Lakeland, Florida, May 11, the Hurricane Hunters were preparing for the upcoming season by getting ready for the annual “Roll Out” mission in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, the forward operating location at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.

Forecasters from Colorado State University are predicting that the season will be more active than usual. Whether the season meets or exceeds the predictions, the 53rd WRS will be ready.

Engage

Twitter
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center is executing $87 million in critical airfield construction at one of the most i… https://t.co/bRhCVY7X6R
Twitter
Got power? ⚡ This year's energy resilience theme is "Energy Able, Mission Capable." #EnergyAwarenessMonth Follo… https://t.co/yRhhSDQLcT
Twitter
Suicide prevention training is now available for Air Force families as a way to educate spouses, partners, adult fa… https://t.co/68Trsq4AvC
Twitter
Modernizing the force. @NellisAFB was one of the first five @DeptofDefense bases named to host new 5G technology,… https://t.co/aOpGtX2wZq
Twitter
Airmen from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base and @Team_Tinker participated in a Tactical Combat Casualty Care fo… https://t.co/9xKP1H3e3D
Twitter
“Resiliency is readiness & readiness breeds culture.” - @CMSAF_Official Connection to others is a basic human need… https://t.co/s6ktJj7jyX
Twitter
Training to be the best on the worst day. #ReadyAF https://t.co/KGwHLG0oVK
Twitter
.@AFWERX is hosting a "Reimagining Energy for the DOD" challenge, seeking solutions to create the future of resilie… https://t.co/oGKgli3pbd
Twitter
The circumstance the family lived in led to constant emotional turmoil, which boiled over when SrA Zatavia Funchess… https://t.co/wY5rG0rdUr
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Born & raised in the Philippines, A1C Antonette Joanne Delos Santos of @97AMW, earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering be…
Twitter
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center announced the winners of the 2020 Air Force Design Awards, recognizing seven in… https://t.co/1S5zPl3D7s
Twitter
The #USAF has increased aircraft availability & readiness across three of its bases thanks to new sustainment initi… https://t.co/UKmePcUphL
Twitter
The Stormbreaker! No...not Thor's axe, but it packs just as much punch! The Small Diameter Bomb II Stormbreaker is… https://t.co/QzhepbzuhZ
Twitter
Forward presence The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, deployed with @USAFCENT, is responsible for delivering… https://t.co/GZEGf9CqqT
Twitter
"Doomsday" simulators are coming! The Air Force has awarded the contract for simulators to train E-4B "Doomsday pl… https://t.co/uOko4RNM04
Twitter
Using a try-before-you-buy strategy, a team within the Digital Directorate, headquartered at @Hanscom_AFB, complete… https://t.co/cE0xPkzNSA
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Sports heroes who served. From the basketball court to the baseball diamond and the halls of the U.S. Capitol, find ou…
Twitter
.@AFWERX is announcing the Reimagining Energy Challenge for the @DeptofDefense. https://t.co/3zh486icys
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Coincidence? I don’t think so. Happy National #BossDay to my wingman, @GenCQBrownJr! https://t.co/Wq83UK3r1E
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,294,384
Follow Us