From USA Today:
MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane forecasting and research improvements, including a new "hurricane hunter" airplane, are part of a Bush administration proposal to provide an additional $55 million this year for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Lawmakers and experts said Sunday that the infusion of money is essential in the aftermath of a record-setting hurricane season that has included such killer storms as Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
"This past 14 months has been a wake-up call for anyone who lives along the Gulf or Atlantic coast," said U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla. "This is money well spent."
The White House included the $55 million in NOAA upgrades in a proposal released Friday night to shift $17.1 billion from Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief accounts into such things as rebuilding damaged highways, repairing levees and fixing government buildings. The plan requires approval from Congress.
Here is a picture of one of NOAA's current P3 planes. Plans call for the purchase of a new P3, but some politicians are pushing for a new Gulf Stream jet (like one they already have). The Gulf Stream IV is thought to increase the accuracy of NOAA forecasts by up to 25%.