For the first time ever, a National Weather Service will be patrolling the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Washington to better prepare residents for danger.

Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington said the plane will provide storm data otherwise unavailable through other means on storm systems developing far out in the Pacific.

The aircraft will gather hard data on temperature, humidity, wind speed, pressure and other factors that together create storm systems.

Currently, that information is tracked by satellite imagery. KGW First Alert Storm Coverage

Cantwell anticipates that forecasters will be able to more accurately predict approaching storms and tell residents six days in advance how much precipitation to expect.

The airplane will complement a new statewide Doppler coastal radar system that's costing taxpayers $9 million.

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