National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Unsettled Weather Continues for the Northern U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii

Low pressure will bring strong winds and heavy snow to the northern Plains and upper Great Lakes into Monday. Farther south, strong to severe thunderstorms accompanied by locally heavy rainfall are possible over the ArkLaTex and lower Ohio Valley through tonight. Meanwhile, a major winter storm will affect western and central Alaska. Heavy rainfall and flooding are possible for much of Hawaii. Read More >

Hurricane Awareness Tour stop #4 - May 9, 2019
Charlotte, NC

 

Event Information Participating AircraftPublic Tour InformationPartner Exhibits

Tours and TimelinesMedia InfoSpeakersHurricane WebinarOther Tour Stops

 

 

Are you interested in hurricanes? Have you ever wanted to meet a hurricane hunter or hurricane specialists? Want to take a tour of a hurricane hunter aircraft? Mark your calendars! On Thursday, May 9, 2019, Hurricane experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be stopping in Charlotte, NC, as one of the five locations participating in the 2019 Hurricane Awareness Tour (HAT) along the U.S. East Coast. The purpose of this tour is to raise awareness of the impacts from tropical cyclone threats and the dangers of not having a personal hurricane plan in place. Ken Graham, the director of the National Hurricane Center, along with hurricane specialists Dr. Michael Brennan and Daniel Brown, and mission specialist Warren Madden will be in attendance. USAF hurricane hunter crew members and NOAA aircraft crew members will be there as well to educate residents of vulnerable communities about hurricane preparedness, and will be available for interviews, too. Other attending organizations will be local emergency management, non-profit organizations such as the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), American Red Cross, and personnel from the NOAA National Weather Service forecast office in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC, Columbia, SC, and Raleigh, NC.

 

 

Event Information

When: Thursday, May 9, 2019

Where: Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Open to the Public: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

 

Participating Aircraft

Two aircraft used in hurricane operations will be in attendance at the HAT in Charlotte, NC.

 

The WC-130J     The NOAA WP-3D Orion Aircraft
 
Photo Courtesy of Sandy LaCorte
    
Photo Courtesy of NOAA/NWS

 

The U.S. Air Force Reserve WC-130J is only one of a total of ten aircraft, located at Kessler AFB in Biloxi, MS, and from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, 403rd Wing, that flies directly into the eye of a hurricane on several occasions during a flight.  These aircraft are extremely important to tropical system forecasting and research. The data they collect is directly transmitted via satellite to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL, and is used in the forecasting process, especially by providing valuable information including the track and strength of the tropical system. Note: The C-130 is handicapped accessible.

 

The NOAA WP-3D Orion turboprop aircraft is based at NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center in Lakeland Linder Airport in Lakeland, FL and is used primarily by scientists on research missions to study various elements of a hurricane, flying through the eye of the storm several times each flight, which can last 9 to 10 hours. During each flight, crew members will deploy instruments known as GPS dropwindsondes. These devices will transmit vital data information that provides measurements of pressure, humidity, temperature, and wind, as the fall from the aircraft, through the storm, and down to the ground. This information provides a detailed look at the structure of the tropical system, as well as it's intensity. Note: The P-3 is not handicapped accessible.

 

Public Tour Information

 

  • Guests will park (free of charge) in Business Valet 2 (map below) and will be bused to the HAT site. Buses for picking up at BV2 will run from 1:30-4:30 pm. The last bus from BV2 will leave at 4:30 pm. Anyone arriving after that is too late.
  • Buses for dropping back off at BV2 will run continuously until everyone is back to the parking garage.
  • Everyone will have to pass through screening (ADA compliant just like regular airport security screening), and bags will have to be searched. Please avoid bringing bags (unless absolutely necessary) to minimize security screening delays.
  • Cameras ARE allowed.
  • There will be portapotties outside the security checkpoint. There are two individual-stall bathrooms inside security (one will have a changing station) that will be available to the public in one of the hangars but we request that folks go before they pass through security.

Event Flyer

Download Flyer

 

 

General Parking - Business Valet 2

Enlarge Map - Address: 5601 Wilkinson Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28208

 

Partner Exhibits

 

In addition to the aircraft, several NWS partners will be on hand staffing exhibits and display booths to join us in our effort to promote hurricane awareness, preparedness, and resiliency:

  • National Weather Service, Greenville-Spartanburg/Raleigh/Columbia Forecast Offices
  • National Hurricane Center/Hofstra University Virtual Reality Hurricane Simulation
  • Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)
  • American Red Cross
  • CLT Airside Operations
  • North Carolina Emergency Management
  • North Carolina Air National Guard
  • Charlotte Fire Department Swiftwater Rescue
  • Customs and Border Patrol Port of Charlotte
  • USAA
  • Salvation Army
  • Samaritan's Purse
  • Lowe's
  • BASF
  • Duke Energy
  • CoCoRaHS
  • SC State Climate Office
  • Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services
  • UNC Asheville
  • North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, NCSU
  • Fox 46 Charlotte
  • WCNC
  • Foothills Weather Network

Charlotte Douglas Airport requires pre-screening of all exhibitors.  Contact Trisha Palmer for further information regarding pre-screening.

 

Tour Components

 

NWS GSP Introduction Presentation and Tour Briefing This portion of the event will run from 9:30 AM until 2 PM, and will be available to select school groups by invitation only, and media tours only.
USAF Reserve, WC-130J hurricane hunter aircraft

This aircraft will be on display throughout the duration of the event.  Visitors will be able to participate in guided walk-throughs of this aircraft. The P-3 is handicapped accessible.

The NOAA WP-3D Orion turboprop aircraft

This aircraft will be on display throughout the duration of the event.  Visitors will be able to participate in guided walk-throughs of this aircraft. The P-3 is not handicapped accessible.

Public Safety and Preparedness Exhibits and Displays                                           

In addition to the aircraft, several NWS partners will be on hand staffing exhibits and display booths to join us in our effort to promote hurricane awareness, preparedness, and resiliency.  Examples of such partners and exhibits include:  American Red Cross, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), North Carolina Emergency Management, the National Weather Service Greenville-Spartanburg, and many others. This portion of the tour will be available to all visitors and will run through the duration of the event.

 

Event Timeline

 

9:00 AM - 9:10 AM FLASH Briefing
9:10 AM - 09:30 AM Press briefing
9:30 AM - 9:45 AM VIP C-130 Tour
9:45 AM - 10:00 AM VIP P-3 Tour
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM Student Aircraft Tours
(See aircraft student tour schedule for full details)
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Media Interviews
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Media C-130 Tour
1:30 - 2:00 PM Media P-3 Tour
2:00 - 5:00 PM Public Tours
Gates to enter event close at 5 PM
~6:00 pm Aircraft Depart

 

 

Media Information

 

Contact Trisha Palmer for details.  The official NHC Media Advisory was sent out on April 18.  Members of the media MUST reserve interview times in advance - there will be NO interviews granted without prior reservations.  All members of the media must be pre-screened.

 

Speakers

 

The following individuals will be on hand to educate residents of vulnerable communities about hurricane preparedness, and will be available for questions and interviews (in order of appearance):

  • Steve Wilkinson, Meteorologist in Charge, National Weather Service Greenville-Spartanburg
  • Leslie Chapman Henderson, CEO, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) 
  • Host Sponsor (Lowes and USAA)
  • David Novak, Ph.D., Director, Weather Prediction Center
  • Ken Graham, Director, National Hurricane Center
  • Paul Huang, Assistant Administrator for Federal Insurance, FEMA
  • Michael Sprayberry, Director, NC DPS - Emergency Management
  • In addition, staff from local emergency management offices, non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), and personnel from the National Weather Service offices will be part of the team at each stop.

Event attendees are welcome to ask questions and engage the speakers about hurricane forecasting, preparedness and safety. 

 

National Hurricane Center Hurricane Webinar for Grades 4-6

 

A free webinar on hurricanes offered to grades 4, 5, and 6 will broadcast live from the HAT at 10:00 a.m. The 2019 Hurricane Webinar for 4th through 6th grade classes are presented by the Hurricanes: Science and Society (HSS) team at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography (URI/GSO) in partnership with the NOAA National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (AOC). The purpose of the Hurricane Webinars is to raise awareness about hurricanes in advance of the 2019 North Atlantic hurricane season. During this free webinar, students will hear from NHC forecasters as well as NOAA AOC personnel who fly into hurricanes. The webinar will cover hurricane hazards, forecasting, observing hurricanes with airplanes, and hurricane preparedness.

 

***Webinar Registration***

 

Other Tour Stops

 

DATE

CITY / ST

AIRPORT

I.D.

HOST OFFICE

05/06 – MON

Quonset, RI Quonset State Airport KOQU

WFO Norton/Boston, MA

05/07 – TUE

Middletown, PA (Harrisburg)

Harrisburg International Airport

KMDT

WFOs State College, PA and Mt. Holly, NJ

05/08 –  WED

Roanoke, VA

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

KROA

WFO Blacksburg, VA

05/10 – FRI

Brunswick, GA

Brunswick Golden Isles Airport

KBQK

WFO Jacksonville, FL