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NHC Aircraft Reconnaissance

Plan of the Day

Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico Reconnaissance

Eastern Pacific Reconnaissance

How to Read the Reconnaissance Data

The National Hurricane Operations Plan explains aircraft reconnaisance data.
  • Chapter 5 is devoted entirely to the reconnaissance aircraft data missions.
  • Appendix G explains the message formats and data codes.
Hurricane Reconnaissance Organizations (The Hurricane Hunters)

53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
403rd Wing, Air Force Reserve Command
Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi

The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, known as the Hurricane Hunters of the Air Force Reserve, is the only Department of Defense organization still flying into tropical storms and hurricanes – since 1944. The ten Lockheed-Martin WC-130J aircraft and crews are part of the 403rd Wing, based at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.

NOAA Aircraft Operations Center
MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida

The Aircraft Operations Center is a Center of the NOAA Marine and Aviation Office. The airplanes of the Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) are flown in support of NOAA's mission to promote global environmental assessment, prediction and stewardship of the Earth's environment. NOAA's aircraft operate throughout the United States and around the world; over open oceans, mountains, coastal wetlands, and Arctic pack ice. These versatile aircraft provide scientists with airborne platforms necessary to collect the environmental and geographic data essential to their research.

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Recon Data is raw data and is only one of many indicators used by forecasters to  determine the strength of the storm.  Wind speeds shown in the RECON reports may not reflect the highest winds of a storm.  Refer to the latest advisories being issued by the National Hurricane Center.