Aviation News

January 13, 2012

Hurricane Hunter Jet Being Used to Forecast Winter Storms

What is a Hurricane Hunter to do once hurricane season ends?

This winter, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is using one of its Gulfstream IV-SP “Hurricane Hunter” jets to help forecast winter storms from a seemingly unlikely place: Hawaii.

NOAA Gulfstream IV Hurricane Hunter N49RF

NOAA Gulfstream IV Hurricane Hunter (N49RF). (Photo by NOAA)

It is in the skies over the relatively balmy central Pacific Ocean that the worst snow storms gather their moisture and intensity before slamming the U.S. mainland a few days later.

From 45,000 feet above the Pacific, east and west of Hawaii — and sometimes as far north as Alaska — data on wind speed and direction, pressure, temperature and humidity are fed from the plane’s sensors to meteorologists onboard, much the same way they survey hurricanes. A U.S. Air Force Reserve weather reconnaissance plane flies along at lower altitudes to supplement the data.

“These atmospheric observations, combined with satellite and other data, have proven to significantly enhance four-to-seven day winter weather forecasts” said Capt. Barry Choy, chief science officer for the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), part of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Improved forecasts mean longer warning lead times for the public, emergency managers, air carriers, utility companies and others to prepare for significant winter storms, protect lives and property and minimize economic impacts.”

“Together, these flights will help forecasters paint a detailed three-dimensional picture of weather systems over Pacific regions where more accurate information is needed for computer weather forecast models,” said Jack R. Parrish, flight director and meteorologist with NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.

The NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter fleet is based out of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., and is made up of Lockheed WC-130J, Lockheed WP-3D Orion and Gulfstream IV aircraft.



About the Author

admin





 
 

 

What’s Happening At The 2019 Paris Air Show (Updated 3X)

The 2019 edition of the Paris Air Show is happening this week. The biennial show is traditionally a place where new aircraft are launched and new orders flow in. Follow along here all this week as we recap each day’s happ...
by Ben Granucci
0

 
 

United Airlines Moves to its New LaGuardia Home

United's new five-gate section at LaGuardia's Central Terminal Building replacement has opened for business.
by Ben Granucci
0

 

 

JetBlue Unveils Bruins Themed “Bear Force One”

JetBlue's "Bear Force One," a jet featuring the Boston Bruins hockey team's black and gold logo, was unveiled to the public on May 13, 2019.
by Michael Lothrop
1

 
 

The Refreshed Aer Lingus Livery: Teal Is The New Green

Aer Lingus revealed a new livery last week. We take a look at the changes and share our thoughts on the new look.
by Ben Granucci
0

 
 

UAS in the USA: A History of Drone Regulations

The FAA has developed regulations for drone operators to operate their UAS for fun or for profit in a legal and safe environment, but the path was not always quick or straightforward.
by David J. Williams
1