National Hurricane Center Library
 Two WP-3D Lockheed Orions in Air
Home Page -  Library Info Links  

  Tropical Cyclone Reconnaissance Summaries
Summaries: 2015-2016, 2014, 1979 to 2013 
  The summaries linked above are provided by  the 53rd Weather Reconnaissace Sqadron /CARCAH

    The 53rd WRS is represented at the National Hurricane Center facility in Miami and 
    staffed by a group of Air Force Reserve civilian personnel who areassigned to the 53rd WRS.  
    The supervisory meteorologist of the unit serves as the
    Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination, All Hurricanes, known as CARCAH. 

    This unit collects, reviews and quality controls reconnaissance data from both
    NOAA and Air Force systems.  During missions the information is fed live in real time 
    and  relayed to NHC hurricane specialists.

    Mission summaries, linked above, report the number of missions flown during the year
    for both the Atlantic and Pacific regions.
    Data is provide for:
       * Requirements levied
       * Requirements accomplished
       * Missions flown
       * Flying time (hrs)

    AIRCRAFT - like staff, the aircraft used in reconnaissance comes from two different organizations
    working together for a common mission of providing survelliance of tropical storms and hurricanes
    in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean.  
    NOAA aircraft fly out of MacDill Airforce Base in Tampa, Florida which are assigned to the
    53rd WRS, a component of the 403rd Wind located at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi.
    NOAA aircraft consists of two Lockheed WP-3D Orion (P-3s) and the Gulfstream IV SP (G-IV) jet. Airforce

    aircraft consists primarily of 10, WC-130h's.  The primary purpose of reconnaissance missions is to
    fix (locate) the position of the storm.  They also deploy dropsondes that transmit atmospheric data back
    to the maned aircraft.

    CARCAH Audio tour - provides a brief overview of CARCAH operations.

    NOAA Hurricane Hunters Facebook
    National Hurricane Center Aircraft Reconnaissance - offers information on the aircraft data missions,
   observational, vortex, dropsonde and other data and information on how to read reconnaissance data. 

   NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center - MacDill AFB, Florida 
   NOAA's "Hurricane Hunter" Aircraft  -
Lockheed WP - 3D Orions and Gulfstream IV SP (G-IV) Jet         

   The Value of Aircraft Reconnaissance by Max Mayfield, NHC Director- retired, hurricane specialist .

   Looking Back  - 

The attached letter is a personal look back at the U.S. Navy’s air craft support to the

National Hurricane Center and how they contributed to the nation’s hurricane warning system prior to 1974. 

          The account provides insight into how the Navy conducted their weather reconnaissance flights.  

          The essay was written by Frank Nelson, Lt. CMDR (retired) who flew many of these missions as a

          pilot and aircraft commander.

            John Pavone

            Chief Ariel Reconnassaince Coordinator  

  Catalog E-Resources       E-Journal
National Hurricane Center
11691 S.W. 17th St.
Miami, Florida 33165
NOAA is a division of the
Department of Commerce

Privacy | Disclaimer This web site is hosted by AOML