AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you have ever wanted a personal tour of the NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft, you have a chance next month.

The aircraft that fly into the world’s strongest storms and their crews are coming to Houston on May 1 as part of Hurricane Awareness Week.

The aircraft, NOAA’s WP-3D and the U.S. Air Force Reserve WC-130J Hurricane Hunter, gather data inside of tropical storms and hurricanes via sensors mounted all over the plane — from a weather radar to a wing-mounted scatterometer that can derive wind speed by sensing the exact wave height.

WC-130J Hercules (credit: NOAA)
WC-130J Hercules (credit: NOAA)

The aircraft also carry instruments called dropsondes crews deploy from a tube that radio back weather data as they slowly descend to the ocean surface.

The data these crews gather is crucial to forecasting the intensity and track of the storms and keeping people safe.

Lockheed WP-3D Orion
Lockheed WP-3D Orion

When and where you can see the Hurricane Hunters

The 2023 NOAA Hurricane Awareness Tour will come to Houston, Texas, with a stop at
Ellington Airport on Monday, May 1.

While parts of the event will be media-only, the public is invited to tour the aircraft and meet the crews from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at the airport, located at 11210 Blume Ave. in Houston, near Hangar G.

Hurricane Awareness Tour stops in May

More information from NOAA can be found online.