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NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter Aircraft
Coming to Cherry Point MCAS!

About the Event

Public Tours

Wed, May 4, 2011 3pm - 5pm
Gate is Only Open 2:30pm - 5pm

MCAS Cherry Point (Slocum Gate)
Map to Entrance

Your local National Weather Service offices in partnership with The National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL, and Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) will be hosting public tours of the NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft. The tours will be held Wednesday, May 4th from 3:00pm until 5:00pm.

We encourage the public to come out to MCAS Cherry Point near Havelock, NC to view the aircraft both inside and out. National Hurricane Center personnel, along with meteorologists from area National Weather Service Forecast Offices in North Carolina, will guide you through the aircraft and be available to answer any questions you may have.

Many other exhibits will be on display throughout the day, including search and rescue helicopters, Smokey the Bear and the U.S. Forest Service, and The Red Cross and Salvation Army mobile units. Representatives from the following will also be in attendance to answer questions.:

  • East Carolina University
  • Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Coast Guard
  • N.C. State Climate Office

When arriving at the Cherry Point Slocum gate (changed from Main gate), the guards will require a drivers license from the driver as well as a vehicle registration in order to issue a parking pass. Guards will then give directions to the P-3 tour location. All passes will need to be turned into the guards upon departure. For directions, please see: Location of Cherry Point MCAS Slocum Gate.

Tours of the Hurricane Hunter P-3 Aircraft will be open to the public from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. No one will be admitted through the gate before 2:30pm or after 5pm. Group assignment cards will be handed out prior to the tour, and those already present by 5pm will complete their tour by 5:30pm. Unfortunately due to the nature of the tour, we may be unable to accommodate certain handicaps. If you have any question please contact John Cole.

The weather looks iffy in the morning that day, but we are hoping that it will clear out by mid afternoon. The event is scheduled for rain or shine, but tours will be stopped and people directed to their cars in the event of heavy downpours, lightning, or severe weather. This event will be outdoors, taking place on a section of runway so little shelter will be available.

About the NOAA P-3 Aircraft & Crew

The Hurricane Hunters are the men and women who fly aircraft into tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeastern Pacific Ocean, for the specific purpose of directly measuring weather data in and around those storms. In the United States, the Air Force, Navy, and NOAA units have all participated in this mission. One such aircraft flown into these storms is the Lockheed P-3 Orion. Scientists aboard the aircraft deploy instruments called GPS (Global Positioning System) dropwindsondes as the P-3 flies through the tropical cyclone. These devices continuously radio back measurements of pressure, humidity, temperature, and wind direction and speed as they fall toward the sea, providing a detailed look at the structure of the storm and its intensity. This information is used to collect research-mission data critical for computer models that predict hurricane intensity and landfall.

More information on the P-3 Hurricane Hunter

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National Weather Service
Newport/Morehead City, NC Weather Forecast Office
533 Roberts Rd, Newport, NC 28570
(252) 223-5737
Page last modified: February 10, 2014
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