Hunters Start Hurricane Season with New Gear:

Air Force Reserve Command’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron’s Hurricane Hunters tracked a tropical disturbance off the coast of Georgia May 9, although the 2007 hurricane season doesn’t “officially” start until June 1. The hunters used the latest WC-130J Hercules with a Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer to measure wind speed and rainfall at sea level, which provides “more precise forecasting of the severity and direction of storms, states a Lockheed Martin release. Lockheed is in the process of installing the SFMR on all 10 of the squadron’s J models. The unit expects to have another SFMR-equipped Herk by the end of June, followed by one per month.