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 , 2:21 PM GMT on December 06, 2006
The new director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will be named today during a press conference scheduled to begin at 2:30pm EST. Max Mayfield, 58, NHC director since 2000, is stepping down in January. The difficult hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 wore him out, he said, and he wanted to retire to spend more time with his family. Who can blame him? Director of NHC is a very demanding job even in the off season--Max stated that he spent about four months traveling during December through May attending various conferences and hurricane awareness functions. I'll be very sorry to see Max go--his combination of forecasting skills, ease of communication with the public, and dedication to his work made him a great NHC director.
Max Mayfield, retiring National Hurricane Center director. Image credit: NOAA.
Most of the senior hurricane specialists at NHC in line to take over from Max declined to apply for the job, and it appears that first the first time ever, someone from outside the NHC or NOAA's Hurricane Research Division will get the job. Speculation currently centers on Bill Proenza, 62, director of the National Weather Service's Southern Region, which includes Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Wunderblogger Margie Kieper will be dialing into today's press conference, and plans to post a blog shortly after 3pm EST announcing the new NHC director in her View From the Surface blog. Tune in then!
Typhoon Durian is no more
The violent rampage of Typhoon Durian has finally come to end. Durian made landfall yesterday in Thailand's southern province of Chumphon as a tropical depression, causing heavy rain but no significant damage or injuries. Durian dissipated while making landfall, and will trouble the world no longer. The typhoon killed 61 people in its sweep past southern Vietnam, mostly due to high winds that collapsed buildings. Durian destroyed or damaged over 120,000 homes in Vietnam, and sank 850 fishing boats. The toll in the Philippines stands at 1266 dead or missing, the fourth highest toll ever recorded from a typhoon there. Durian destroyed 76,000 homes and damaged 154,000, and the estimated $600 million in damage was the highest ever for a Philippines typhoon.
Figure 2. Final rainfall estimates from NASA's TRMM satellite for Typhoon Durian. 250 mm = about 10 inches of rain.
Friday, I'll discuss Dr. Bill Gray's first forecast for the 2007 hurricane season, which is scheduled to be released late in the morning Friday.
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