WHO:              NOAA and the National Weather Service

WHAT:             2018 Hurricane Awareness Tour

WHERE:           Lakeland Linder Regional Airport – 3900 Don Emerson Dr, Lakeland, FL 33811

WHEN:            Friday, May 11th, 2 PM to 5 PM

WHY:               Hurricane awareness for Citizens along the Gulf Coast


LAKELAND, FL (April 24, 2018) – The 2018 Hurricane Awareness Tour will be stopping in Lakeland at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport on Friday, May 11th as part of Hurricane Awareness Week. The event is FREE and the public is invited to attend from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The NOAA Hurricane Hunters and the National Weather Service are visiting several locations along the Gulf Coast with a tour stop in Lakeland.  NOAA’s Aircraft Operational Center is located at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport and the community is invited to tour Hurricane Hunter aircraft, speak with the pilots, and walk through vendor exhibits from various local agencies and organizations.

Event Highlights:

  • Tour Hurricane Hunter aircraft
  • Meet the pilots & flight crew
  • Speak with hurricane forecasters
  • Meet with local National Weather Service meteorologists
  • Walk through exhibits from various agencies & organizations
  • Learn about weather safety & preparedness

Hurricane Hunter Hercules will be available to tour.  This is WC-130J is a high-wing, medium-range aircraft used in weather reconnaissance missions. This plane is configured to penetrate tropical disturbances and storms, hurricanes and winter storms and obtains data on the movement, size and intensity of these systems. Hercules is the weather data collection platform for the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. It carries a minimal crew of five: pilot, co-pilot, navigator, aerial reconnaissance weather officer and weather reconnaissance loadmaster. The crew collects and reports weather data as often as every minute.

NOAA’s Gulfstream Gonzo will also be available to tour.  Gonzo is a high-tech, high-flying, and high-speed platform used for hurricane forecasting and research. It is a sophisticated twin-engine jet piloted by NOAA Corps officers and crewed by NOAA civilian engineers and meteorologists. The G-IV flies around and over developing tropical cyclones to create a detailed picture of the surrounding upper atmosphere. It a range of nearly 4,000 nautical miles and a cruising altitude of 45,000 feet.

There are a number of agencies that are participating in the Hurricane Awareness Lakeland Tour Stop.  These agencies are there to share information to help citizens better understand the impacts of hurricanes along with critical planning to assist residents before, during and after a major storm.  For more information on the Hurricane Awareness Tour, visit https://www.weather.gov/wrn/2018-hw-tours.


  • Federal Alliance for Safe Home
  • USAA Catastrophe Response Vehicle
  • Lakeland Linder Regional Airport
  • American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle
  • Polk County Retired Senior Volunteer Program
  • Volunteer Polk
  • Salvation Army Field Kitchen, Shower Trailer, Polaris, and Canteen
  • Office of Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis
  • Polk County Citizen Emergency Response Team
  • Lakeland Fire Department
  • Polk County Emergency Management
  • Polk County Sheriff’s Office
  • NOAA Ocean Service
  • NOAA Aircraft Operations Center
  • NOAA National Weather Service in Ruskin

Lakeland Linder Regional Airport is owned and operated by the City of Lakeland. It is situated in the heart of Florida along the I-4 corridor midway between Tampa and Orlando, with easy access to I-4 via the Polk Parkway.  Lakeland Linder Regional Airport is home the Sun n Fun Fly-In, Central Florida Aerospace Academy and Polk State College Aerospace Operation.  The airport is an economic engine, generating over $285 million to the area. Lakeland Linder Regional Airport sits on 1,742 acres and has over One Million square feet of facilities. For more information about Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, please visit www.lakelandairport.com.