Public invited to tour U.S. Air Force Reserve ‘Hurricane Hunter’ aircraft

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – With the 2023 hurricane season fast approaching, NOAA and the U.S. Air Force Reserve will host a series of events to help communities in Mexico and the Caribbean prepare for upcoming storms this season.  

National Hurricane Center (NHC) Acting Director Jamie Rhome, along with several hurricane specialists, will visit with residents of vulnerable communities and discuss hurricane preparedness, resilience and how they can become “weather-ready.” Tours of the Air Force Reserve Command’s WC-130J “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft will highlight how scientists collect data about hurricanes. 

“Last year’s Hurricanes Fiona, Ian, Julia and Lisa were some of the most deadly and damaging hurricanes to strike the Caribbean,” Rhome said. “We are excited to be face-to-face with community members to discuss specific risks their communities may face during a major hurricane, especially the dangers of water and storm surge.”

The Atlantic basin hurricane season begins June 1. 

The locations of all local airports and local times for public tours are:

  • April 17, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Mérida International Airport, Merida, Mexico
  • April 18, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Chetumal International Airport, Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • April 19, 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Owen Roberts International Airport, Grand Cayman Islands
  • April 20, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – San Isidro Air Base Airport, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • April 21, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Providenciales International Airport, Turks and Caicos Islands 
  • April 22, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Rafael Hernández  International Airport, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

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