The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is sending an airplane to Hawaii and Alaska to collect winter storm data for North America.
Scientists aboard the Gulfstream jet will measure wind speed and direction, pressure, temperature and humidity in areas of the Pacific where North American storms form. They’ll also be surveying places where data is sparse.
NOAA said in a statement Monday forecasters will use the information to improve its forecast of potentially extreme winter weather events across the entire country.
The plane will be based out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam through February. NOAA plans to move the plane to Anchorage in March before returning it to its home base in Tampa, Fla.
The federal agency has conducted Pacific winter storm reconnaissance missions every year since the late 1990s.