Tuesday, July 10, 2007

National Hurricane Center shuffle

The director of the National Hurricane Center, Bill Proenza, was "reassigned" yesterday. Today it has been anounced that Proenza will be replaced by veteran forecaster Ed Rappaport.

After replacing veteran NHC director, Max Mayfield, Proenza was outspoken regarding the center's need for more federal funds to fulfill its mission. Proenza was poorly regarded by his own staff of highly trained meteorologists and hurricane forecasters, however.

Rappaport apparently has more clout with the staff, having been with the hurricane center since 1987. He has received a "thumbs up" from Jeff Masters over at his Wunder Blog, although comments on the blog show a mixed reaction from the meteorological community. Rappaport reportedly was considered a leading candidate to replace Max Mayfield but took himself out of the running over family issues.

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2 Comments:

At 4:26 PM , Blogger HollyGL said...

I used to love Max Mayfield. He always made me feel confident in the information we were receiving from the National Hurricane Center. Even though I know facts are just facts, there was something about his delivery that I really liked.

 
At 9:04 PM , Blogger Don Thieme said...

I agree totally. It is very rare to get someone who is that sound scientifically and also clear and authoritative in their statements. I have had two very different rumors about why he retired. One is that he was upset about how both FEMA and the New Orleans government ignored the NHC warnings about Katrina. I blame the cable networks for this as well, because I can recall that FOX and CNN were giving a much more benign forecast and talking about certain floors of the hotels downtown being safe, etc....

I have also heard that Max Mayfield was uncomfortable with pressure from climatologists to explain and predict the hurricanes in terms of global warming and so forth. In any case, they have not really been able to replace him. I believe that this guy Rappaport was actually Max's first choice for that but then he turned it down initially.

 

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