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Hurricane hunters from Keesler, NOAA discuss past season, future preparations

Updated: Nov. 13, 2019 at 7:53 PM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - In less than three weeks, the 2019 hurricane season will officially come to an end. Hurricane hunters from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron and from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration came together Wednesday to highlight key parts of this past season and what to look forward to next year.

“We both have similar missions that we work on with the National Hurricane Center,” explained Jonathan Shannon with NOAA.

When it comes to hurricanes, Shannon said preparation is key, and while preparations usually include moving away from a bad storm, these two groups fly straight into the threat to find out the latest information.

“What we do is we gather the data so the forecasters can make those accurate forecasts. People can figure out what they need to do. The best time to plan for a hurricane is before one happens, so we try to get out that messaging as well," he explained.

Shannon said though they are two different groups, they both go over what they can do to make the next season better.

“We each have our missions, some similar overlaps and then some differences, but we want to get together and talk about how the operations went during the hurricane season, what we can do to improve next season," he explained.

Both groups are able to get the information about each storm through a device called a dropsonde.

“This is like a weather balloon in reverse. So instead of going up through the atmosphere, it goes down through the atmosphere, and as it does that, it takes readings on temperature, pressure, humidity,” Shannon said.

While Wednesday’s meeting symbolized a near-ending hurricane season, these men and women still have a lot of work to do.

“We have a brief period to do some maintenance, maybe add in some new sensors, do some testing,” he said.

Then both groups are vamping back up for the next hurricane season.

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