Biloxi, Miss. (WKRG) – With hurricane season approaching, the Hurricane Hunters have been preparing.
Lieutenant Colonel Tony Wilmot, Director of Operations for the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, explains that April is really the only month that the Hurricane Hunters are not officially on call. ““We operate 24/7 based on a request for assistance from the National Hurricane Center or a West Coast entity called NCEP for winter storms. So basically the month of April is the only month that we are not officially on call.”
During April, the Hurricane Hunters are making sure everyone’s training is up to date, that their instruments are calibrated and the scheduling is complete. This year was the sixth year in a row that we have had a tropical cyclone develop before June 1 (the official start of hurricane season), but Lieutenant Colonel Tony Wilmot says that does not impact how they prepare. His crews are ready 24/7 to respond to a storm with a 16 hour response time.
Whether it is going to be an active season or not, the Hurricane Hunters prepare for the maximum. Lieutenant Colonel Tony Wilmot explains, “It doesn’t really affect us. There is a maximum we can do and that is pretty much what we prepare for is the three storms in three different locations.”
With COVID-19, the Hurricane Hunters have been keeping their crews working from home to stay safe, bringing them in for training when needed. They also have backup crews on standby just in case.
Check out the video for more details!
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