NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is getting ready to announce its forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season.
Administrator Kathryn Sullivan will join Joe Nimmich of the Federal Emergency Management Administration and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at a news conference Wednesday.
Hurricane season officially runs June 1 through Nov. 30. But this season’s first storm, Tropical Storm Ana, came earlier this month.
University of Colorado scientists William Gray and Philip Klotzenbach said in April they expect one of the least active seasons since the mid-20th century.
It’s the 10th hurricane season since Katrina and Rita slammed the Gulf Coast.
As we approach the season, the two aircraft NOAA uses for reasearch, are getting makeovers. Miss Piggy and Kermit are getting new engines, new wings and different radar.
Every hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flies two, technologically packed aircraft into storms for research and forecasting. One’s dubbed “Miss Piggy,” while the other is “Kermit.”
This season, a $42 million “nose-to-tail” project upgrades key components on the 38-year-old planes that fly through storms at speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. The money comes from Superstorm Sandy disaster relief funds.
NOAA officials estimate that the refurbishments could keep them flying for decades. The improvements will also mean better fuel efficiency and additional safety for the crew and scientists that fly in the mobile weather stations.