Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:56 PM GMT on June 04, 2012
Today marks the first day of work for the National Hurricane Center's new director--Dr. Rick Knabb, who worked at NHC from 2005 - 2008 as a senior hurricane forecaster before leaving in 2008 to take a position as deputy director and director of operations of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) and NWS Forecast Office in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Knabb left Hawaii to take a position as The Weather Channel's hurricane expert in 2010, where he worked until May of this year. He thus brings a unique mix of NHC experience, managerial experience, and experience communicating to the public on-camera, to the NHC director's job. He will fit in very comfortably with the NHC staff, and should make an excellent NHC director. Knabb, 43, is the second youngest director of NHC. Only Neil Frank, who served as director from 1973 - 1987, was younger at the time he took the job.
Dr. Knabb takes over the directorship of NHC from Bill Read. Read took the post of NHC director in 2008 after Bill Proenza stepped down following a stormy six-month tenure where much of staff revolted against him. In the wake of the turmoil stirred up by Proenza, Read brought stability to the Hurricane Center. Read's management ability, easy-going style, and solid communication skills made Read an excellent choice for director of NHC, and he will be missed. “I will have been in charge just shy of four and a half years on June 1,” Read wrote in a letter to hurricane center staff earlier this year. “I had no idea I would ever be considered for such an honor. It’s been quite a ride and I’m blessed to hit the exit ramp in my career after working with you all.” Read was lucky enough in his four-year tenure at NHC to never oversee a landfalling major hurricane in the U.S.
National Hurricane Center Directors:
Gordon Dunn, 1965 - 1967
Robert Simpson, 1967 - 1973
Neil Frank, 1973 - 1987
Bob Sheets, 1987 - 1995
Robert Burpee, 1995 - 1997
Jerry Jarrell, 1998 - 2000
Max Mayfield, 2000 - 2007
Bill Proenza, January - July, 2007
Ed Rappaport (interim), July 2007 - January 2008
Bill Read, 2008 - 2012
Rick Knabb, 2012 - ????
It looks like Dr. Knabb will have a quiet first week on the job--there are no threat areas to discuss in the Atlantic, and none of the computer models is predicting tropical storm development over the next seven days.
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