Revolt at NHC; tropical update

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:24 PM GMT on July 06, 2007

Share this Blog
1
+

The extraordinary political turmoil at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) continued yesterday, with the release of a statement signed by nearly half of the staff calling for the immediate dismissal of director Bill Proenza. Front page stories in both the Miami Herald and Florida Sun-Sentinel detail the letter, which reads: "An unfortunate public debate is now occurring over the ability of the National Hurricane Center to meet its mission. The undersigned staff of the National Hurricane Center has concluded that the center needs a new director. The effective functioning of the National Hurricane Center is at stake. The staff of the National Hurricane Center would like nothing more than to return to its primary mission of protecting life and property from hazardous tropical weather, and leave the political arena it now finds itself in." The letter is signed by 23 of the center's 49 employees, including almost the entire senior staff. Many NHC employees were on vacation, and did not have the opportunity to sign the letter.

The articles in the two newspapers also quote my blog from yesterday, where I present the case against Bill Proenza--his misrepresentation of the science of how much the QuikSCAT satellite influences hurricane track forecasts. I'll have more to say on the matter this afternoon, when I've had a chance to process some of the feedback on this.

Tropical update
A low pressure system (96L) with a well-defined spin is about 550 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, moving westward towards the islands at 10-15 mph. This low continues to show sporadic heavy thunderstorm activity, but has been unable to overcome the large amount of dry air it is embedded in. It would appear that 96L's window of opportunity for developing into a tropical depression has closed, as wind shear has risen to 20 knots and is expected to remain at least 20 knots for the next two or three days. None of the reliable computer models develop the system into a tropical depression.


Figure 1. Model tracks for 96L, the low pressure system approaching the Lesser Antilles Islands.

New disturbance off the east coast of Florida
An area of disturbed weather has developed off the east coast of Florida along an old frontal boundary. Long range radar out of Melbourne, FL shows a large disorganized area of showers off the coast. The area is under 20-25 knots of wind shear, and the shear is forecast to remain above 20 knots for at least the next two days in the region, which should prevent any development. The GFS computer model shows this disturbance moving off to the northeast over the weekend, but it could bring heavy rains to Florida and the Northwest Bahamas Friday and Saturday before it does so. None of the reliable computer models develop the system into a tropical depression.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 315 - 265

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10Blog Index

315. Patrap
1:07 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
lemme get mo popcorn and another Dr. Pepper ,this is good.

7

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
314. rwdobson
6:05 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Saying the levees were blow up intentionally is about the stupidest f-in thing I've ever heard. Almost as stupid as saying "they" figured out how to dissipate hurricanes in the 60s but stopped funding for it. Why is anyone taking this seriously?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
313. nash28
6:06 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: prioris at 6:06 PM GMT on July 06, 2007.


blowing up the levies and manufacturing events is pretty much normal for governments to do. the government controlled media maintains the fiction.

most people get the kind of government they deserve



Need I say more Ric?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
312. prioris
5:51 PM GMT on July 06, 2007

blowing up the levies and manufacturing events is pretty much normal for governments to do. the government controlled media maintains the fiction.

most people get the kind of government they deserve

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
311. nash28
6:02 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Really Ric... Well, considering the gov't in power when Katrina happened was Republican, AND considering he believes the levees were NOT destroyed by Katrina, how is my statement wrong?

More to the point, how is the question I asked him wrong? If you are going to make a statement like he did, then you'd better expect some heat.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
310. StormHype
5:50 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
>Prioris said...
Yeah, the leeves were purposely blown up by our government, you are correct. this is what the evidence would point to


I guess you bought into Spike Lee's video propaganda hoax too huh? There was no conspiracy. I know the guy who shot all the downtown video in NOLA during landfall of Katrina and he had shot the video of guy coming up to the camera saying he just jumped out the window of his second story apartment cause of the rising water cause the levy just broke. This was at 8:30am. Lee used this clip in his movie claiming it was at 3:30pm just after people claim they heard explosions. Lee created a hoax. A real conspiracy would have included a plan to blow up the superdome and then the astrodome. It didn't happen, but some wish it would have after seeing the video of guy at the Astrodome saying the govt should give him a $20K gift card to Walmart.
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1204
309. ricderr
6:00 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
dang jp..must i do it all.......top left corner...serving southwest florida...now..if you google that article...you'll find many other articles documenting the same thing..and they all look like rewrites of the AP article
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 673 Comments: 21639
308. moonlightcowboy
5:59 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: nash28 at 5:57 PM GMT on July 06, 2007.
I blame the extreme headache I now have on Global Idiocy.


Moonlight <---------agrees with Nash!


...96L just keeps churning west. It may not beat the shear and other factors; but, I think it's got an attitude for dry air/dust and is gonna whip it!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
307. ricderr
5:59 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
really nash?.......he didn't say anything remotely directed that way..you did..and you may be to assclownish to see it nash
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 673 Comments: 21639
305. nash28
5:59 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Yes they did Thug. Amazing what a little common sense will do:-)

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
304. StormThug
12:57 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
the levees broke because katrinas surge was just too much and they gave way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
303. nash28
5:57 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Well, Ric... You know damn well that Prioris is blaming Republicans. I didn't make it into anything. Just calling him out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
302. nash28
5:56 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I blame the extreme headache I now have on Global Idiocy.

I think I'll write and publish a paper in the "Journal of Headaches"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
301. ricderr
5:56 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
good job now we've made it a demo and repub thing.........this is better than a hurricane.....flames abound
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 673 Comments: 21639
300. IKE
12:56 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: nash28 at 12:55 PM CDT on July 06, 2007.
The Levees were a disaster waiting to happen. It just took the wrong storm to finally hit the way it did, and bingo. Trouble.


Steve Lyons/John Hope on TWC had been talking about a possible Katrina scenario and it played out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
299. groundman
5:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Whoo hoo, I have internet after 3 miserable days. Lightning came in wireless distribution antenna @ resort?? and fried router, @ least router was fried, we were without elec for over 6 hr. too. Fun fun.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
297. nash28
5:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
The Levees were a disaster waiting to happen. It just took the wrong storm to finally hit the way it did, and bingo. Trouble.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
296. IKE
12:54 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: moonlightcowboy at 12:50 PM CDT on July 06, 2007.
oooopps, must've hit the wrong link button...thought this was a weather blog!!!!

uuuummmm, anyone notice the lil buzzsawd se of Barbado? Still pluggin' and chuggin'...


I'm watchin it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
295. WPBHurricane05
1:53 PM EDT on July 06, 2007
oooopps, must've hit the wrong link button...thought this was a weather blog!!!!

lol Thats what I thought. Whats with the Katrina conspiracy. Also wasn't weakening Hurricanes banned because it made a hurricane go on an erratic path??
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
294. alphawulf
12:52 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
The levees broke because of incredible INCOMPETENCE !!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
293. ricderr
5:53 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Link

there's the story JP
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 673 Comments: 21639
292. nash28
5:51 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Oh yeah. We're all covering up the mass murders that the Bush Administration commited.

Let me ask you this.... If it were a John Kerry administration, would you still say the same thing regarding Katrina?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
291. alphawulf
11:46 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
The first I heard of the underminding of public trust was on a cable "news" network and they have been pounding that message for days now.

we should consider firing the media and letting the NHC work out their own problems
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
289. nash28
5:49 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Prioris- My point is that I cannot believe that YOU actually believe our government was/is behind Hurricane Katrina and the levees. Hey, I'm all for fiction and fantasy, but not when it comes to the real world. No one purposely planted explosives, created and controlled Hurricane Katrina and then blew up a freakin' wall.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
288. moonlightcowboy
5:44 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
oooopps, must've hit the wrong link button...thought this was a weather blog!!!!

uuuummmm, anyone notice the lil buzzsaw se of Barbados? Still pluggin' and chuggin'...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
287. prioris
5:40 PM GMT on July 06, 2007

blowing up the levies would require more than a few people to be involved so yes, there would be a probably conspiracy with many people involved. believe it or not, one can find the word - conspiracy - in federal and state criminal statutes

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
283. ricderr
5:43 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Bill Proenza, who took the helm of the National Hurricane Center this year, received a letter of reprimand over his public criticism of the federal government spending $4 million on an image-building campaign for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration while at the same time cutting funding for hurricane research.

The letter was given to the Herald-Tribune by a source who requested anonymity.


jp......actually...his bosses don't agree with you..and also note...the article doesn't state..who...or from where..their source was..just that it was anonomous
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 673 Comments: 21639
282. nash28
5:43 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Yeah Ike, I thought about saying that, but didn't want to open up another black hole of seething anger...

Break is good.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
281. IKE
12:41 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: prioris at 12:40 PM CDT on July 06, 2007.


>Yeah, the leeves were purposely blown up by our government,

you are correct. this is what the evidence would point to


That's waaay over the edge. That's like saying the planes didn't take down the towers.

Think I'll step away from my computer for a break.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
280. hurricane23
1:38 PM EDT on July 06, 2007
The NHC will be fine with or without quikscat...There ability to put out great forcast will always be there in my opinion.

Dont get me wrong its a great tool but if it fails the NHC iam sure will take that extra step to continue doing a great job.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
279. nash28
5:41 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Boy, conspiracy theorists abound.....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
278. nash28
5:40 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
This whole mess is now in a damage control mode. I bet Max is fit to be tied about the crap that has infiltrated the center he ran with so much integrity for many years.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
276. prioris
5:32 PM GMT on July 06, 2007


>Yeah, the leeves were purposely blown up by our government,

you are correct. this is what the evidence would point to

>because as we all know, mother nature COULDN'T have POSSIBLY caused that!!

technically speaking, anything is possibility but what is the most probable






Member Since: Posts: Comments:
275. ricderr
5:38 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
actually jp...didn't bill bring it up in more than one interview..and was fired off a memo stating that he needed approval to talk to the press?
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 673 Comments: 21639
274. IKE
12:37 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
After Katrina...there should have been no doubt about replacing Quikscat. It's needed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
273. nash28
5:37 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Pardon the weather pun, but I think this will all blow over soon enough, and people will get back to business.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
271. IKE
12:33 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
We need a TD or a TS in the Atlantic to change the course of this blog.

A lot of us are pissed at something.....right now the government is on the list.

You can argue about it til whenever..me included.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
270. Patrap
12:34 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
Ahhh..some clarity by a Man in the buiss.Thanks for the post.very informative and to the point. drmg
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
268. nash28
5:33 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I don't think anyone said he was firing his staff. I think it was just a natural question given the fact the he now knows most of the people that report to him want him gone...

Most people would be out on their asses if their boss found that out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
267. drmg
5:33 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I have a Ph.D. in meteorology, and hopefully can put some of the NHC situation in perspective.

1) The quantitative usefullness of QuikScat has been overstated by the director, BUT ITS STILL ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SATELLITES. It helps identify new disturbances, finds genesis cases earlier, allows forecasters to identify the extent of gale force winds, and often is the only surface wind information when there is no reconnaissance flight. The whole satellite situation should be very embarrassing to NOAA administrators, and someone needs to be fired at that level.

2) The director was trying to make a point about the lack of funding for hurricane research, and the incredible inability of the government to replace the satellite with at least a satellite of similar quality, not a degraded ability. The harsh NOAA letters, and the surprise investigation, are both unprecedented and probably politically-motivated.

3) The hurricane staff has overreacted. Obviously, there are some personal issues here that goes beyond the controversy over QuikScat. Since I don't know the issues, I can't comment, and reporters need to ask the staff. If their main reason is only a perceived "lost of confidence by the general public," that is silly, and they should be reprimanded or fired.

4) For those who think the skill will diminish, Jeff is right --- the track forecasts will still be just as good. There is a lot of other satellite and recon data used in the models, with more advanced data assimilation skills. The forecasting ability is not in jeopardy. The common sense judgment of NOAA, and forecasters, and perhaps the director, is......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
265. nash28
5:31 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Whatever
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 315 - 265

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
70 °F
Overcast