Aircraft reconnaissance plays an extremely important role in monitoring the track and intensity of tropical cyclones. Every hurricane season, the US Air Force and NOAA Reconnaissance Hurricane aircraft provides valuable meteorological data not available from any other source.
The USAF 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, known as the Hurricane Hunters of the Air Force Reserve, has been flying into tropical storms and hurricanes since 1944. It is the only operational unit in the world flying weather reconnaissance on a routine basis. The Hurricane Hunters provide surveillance of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern Pacific Ocean.
On 27th April, 2017, NOAA’s National Weather Service, in partnership, with the United States Air Force, Hurricane Hunters, will be visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands as part of the 2017 Caribbean Awareness Tour (CHAT).The delegation will be led by Dr. Richard Knabb, Director of NOAA’s, National Hurricane Center.
CHAT is an annual tour which aims to raise hurricane awareness across Latin America and the Caribbean, and to maintain and expand partnerships among the NHC, U.S. Northern Command, Air Force and neighbors in the region. The tour by the aircraft to the islands and countries in the region is an excellent opportunity for the relevant authorities involved in storm/warning/disaster management and the public-at-large to see the aircraft, meet and speak to the US Air Force crew and the civilian hurricane specialists involved. This will be the first time the aircraft will be visiting the TCI.
During the visit, a brief Media event has been schedule by the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies. Following, Government officials and students from the Public and Private schools on Providenciales, will be given a tour of the Aircraft Reconnaissance. The tour will allow persons to see first-hand the extremely important role in monitoring the track and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes.
Public hurricane awareness in the region is essential for adequate hurricane preparedness and response. Ushering the commencement of DDME’s Hurricane Preparedness Month starting 1st May, 2017, CHAT will play an instrumental role in peaking public’s interest and increasing awareness in the Turks and Caicos as it relates to the hurricane threat. It also serves to strengthen national and international partnerships for storm warning and emergency response.