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HAVELOCK, NC (WWAY) — Eastern North Carolina welcomed a special guest through the air Wednesday as one of the National Hurricane Center’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew in to Cherry Point.

It was part of the Hurricane Awareness Tour, which is storming the East Coast from Cape Cod to Fort Lauderdale. Hundreds of school children learned about the threats posed by hurricanes and toured the aircraft, which has flown missions through 82 hurricanes over 35 years.

But these are more than just planes. They’re a main tool forecasters use to gather information on storms.

“There are certain things you can only get with up close and detailed instruments,” National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said. “The satellites are too far away to get the high detail, and that’s a primary reason why we fly once (the storms) get close to land.”

Remember, hurricane season starts June 1. That means now is the time to re-visit your plan and make sure you’re ready in case a storm strikes.

For more information on hurricanes, join WWAY meteorologists Jerry Jackson, Tim Buckley and Asha Dave Saturday at Stormfest at the Cape Fear Museum.

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