FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Frank Lepore
A high-tech, high-flying hurricane surveillance jet and down-to-earth specialists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will promote hurricane awareness in a three-day swing, June 1-3, though six vulnerable Gulf coast communities, NOAA announced today.
The flight crew of NOAA's Gulfstream-IV jet and experts from the National Hurricane Center expect to focus attention on hurricane awareness and the technology of forecasting as they meet with local media, government officials and emergency managers in Corpus Christi and Galveston, Texas; New Orleans, La.; Mobile, Ala; and Tampa and Miami, Fla.
"Given the deadly season last year and anticipated above average' number of tropical storms and hurricanes expected again this year, NOAA has increased the number of its awareness tours to include both U.S. eastern and Gulf states and the eastern and western Caribbean," said Jerry Jarrell, director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center.
"The Gulfstream-IV was instrumental in helping forecasters make significantly improved forecasts and warnings for hurricanes last year, the second year the jet was operationally employed," said Capt. Donald Winter, commander of NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center in Tampa, Fla. "The jet flies at high altitudes, providing previously unavailable information about the steering currents of hurricanes. This data complements the low-altitude data gathered by our P-3 Orion hurricane-hunter aircraft."
"The G-IV jet is more than a showcase for hurricane-tracking technology and a platform for research. It's important for decision-makers and emergency managers to know the capabilities and limitations of the tools and processes we use -- to inspect the technology standing between them and harm's way," Jarrell said.
"The data sent by the Gulfstream-IV
improves track forecasts by defining the hurricane's large-scale
environmental wind and height patterns. Ten to 20 percent improvements
in track forecasting last year were reported," Jarrell said.
"The economic and societal benefits of a 20 percent reduction
in forecast errors is extremely large. Just one case where increased
confidence in the forecasts results in not placing a major metropolitan-industrial
area like Galveston/Houston; New Orleans, Tampa Bay or Miami
in a warned zone could result in preparation cost savings in
excess of $50 million. And this saving does not include costs
from loss of business."
Location (Airport) Date/Arrive Depart
Mobile, Ala. Wed., June 2, 10:00 a.m.
June 2, 2:00 p.m.
New Orleans, La. Wed., June 2, 3:00 p.m.
June 3, 8:30 a.m.
Tampa, Fla. Thurs., June 3, 10:00 a.m.
June 3, 2:00 p.m.