National Hurricane Center hosts last stop on hurricane awareness tour

Hurricane season starts the first of June, and the National Hurricane Center wants everyone to be ready.

The NHC has been holding an awareness campaign ahead of hurricane season’s start on June 1, and they held their last stop Friday at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Opa-locka, where people were granted a look inside hurricane hunter planes, and experts suggested early preparation for hurricane season.

“Get ready now while the weather is good, even before hurricane season starts,” said NHC Director Dr. Richard Knabb. “I think of it in five major categories: plan for evacuation, buy your supplies, update your insurance — including for flood, strengthen your home and after you’ve done those things for yourself, help someone.”

The NHC utilizes a number of tools to provide accurate forecasts during hurricane season, but none are important than the hurricane hunters. Two planes were on display Friday: the NOAA high-altitude aircraft and the WC-130 J.

On board the hurricane hunters, the pilot, co-pilot, navigator and meteorologist all work together, but the most interesting part of the plane is the drop zone operator.

“This is the drop tube, the launch tube,” Staff Sgt. Nathan Calloway said. “I’ll take the tape off, put it inside the tube like this, close the tube over it, and now it’s ready to go.”

The collected information helps the NHC forecast a more accurate track for storms.

The official forecast from the NHC will be issued May 25.

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