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U.S. Air Force Reserve ‘Hurricane Hunter’ aircraft on mission across Caribbean 

With the 2024 hurricane season fast approaching, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force Reserve has started hosting a series of events to help Caribbean communities prepare. National Hurricane Center (NHC) personnel along with others, are visiting vulnerable communities to discuss hurricane preparedness, resilience and how people can become weather-ready ahead of hurricane season. 

Maria Torres, the media liaison for NOAA told IPB the main purpose of the tour is to bring awareness to each of the islands and to make them “aware about the upcoming hurricane season, knowing about the different products from the Hurricane Center and some of the changes that we have implemented for the upcoming season.”

“We are looking at the potential for another active hurricane season so it’s very important to be prepared. Every year we try to give an opportunity to the different islands so this year those were the ones selected.”

At the end of the year, other countries will be selected to participate.

Tours of the Air Force Reserve Command’s WC-130J “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft will showcase how scientists collect data about hurricanes. 

The Atlantic basin hurricane season begins on June 1. During hurricanes, military aircrews fly state-of-the-art WC-130J aircraft directly into the core of the storm to gather critical data for forecasting a hurricane’s intensity and landfall. The data are sent in real-time via satellite from the aircraft directly to the NHC for analysis and use by hurricane forecasters. 

When/Where 

  • Tuesday, April 16, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Lynden Pindling International Airport, Nassau, Bahamas 
  • Thursday, April 18, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados 
  • Friday, April 19, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Hewanorra International Airport, St. Lucia 
  • Saturday, April 20, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Rafael Hernández International Airport, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
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