Revolt at NHC; tropical update

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

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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

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265. nash28
5:31 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Whatever
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
264. hurricane23
1:29 PM EDT on July 06, 2007
Trust me there is something much more deeper to all that is going at the NHC its just not made public.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
263. prioris
5:27 PM GMT on July 06, 2007

your right .. Mayfield

but proenza had to know something about the suspicious events of katrina


Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16
261. nash28
5:29 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
JP- I know the NHC isn't getting farmed out. Just making a point about Proenza firing those who spoke out would be completely asinine. Who would he replace them with?

So, in a way, he is stuck between a rock and hard place.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
260. Patrap
12:30 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
Using the minus sign on the right ..

Priceless..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125513
259. ricderr
5:30 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
in some situations.....dang skippy i do nash...but i don't need to base my reasoning over a degrading sterotype
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
258. Patrap
12:27 PM CDT on July 06, 2007
Gahndr, Have you been following the Main blog today?.. Man..the NHC thing is berry,berry bad Id say.

6
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125513
256. nash28
5:27 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
So Ric, you have no problem farming out American jobs to other countries in the name of saving a buck?

Sorry, I do.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
253. ricderr
5:25 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
oh god....let's bash foreign nationalities now in the name of american patriotism
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
252. nash28
5:21 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Absofreakinlutely not!!!! I am sick and tired of farming everything out to India, or Busted Whistle New Dehli, etc.... You can't even make a reservation on U.S. AIR without needing a translator to understand the person on the other end. This is America. Keep it American.

Sorry, but no.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
251. hurricane23
5:24 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Good afternoon...

Its good bye to our popular NHC director i think its only a matter of time now.Adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
250. prioris
5:24 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
real federal employees are very easy to remove. if the powers that be want them out quickly, they will be booted out quickly. it's one of the reasons why many whistleblowers don't utter a peep until they retire. even the supreme court has ruled against whistleblowers - they can be fired even if they whistleblow about criminal or illegal acts. contrary to popular belief, they are not truly protected.

if the people in the hurricane center truly did their job, they would have raised holy hell about the blowing up the levies in new orleans during hurricane katrina and if justice got served, there would likely be mass murder indictments against the perpetrators

where was proenza and his staff raising holy hell about this. did they really believe a category 3 hurricane, 30 miles from new orleans could destroy a concrete levy

the cesspool goes even deeper than that. they figured out how to dissipate hurricanes back in the 1960s but funding was cut for that. it doesn't take much to figure out that it was turned into a black project with the goal of strengthening and guiding hurricanes like weapons ... the subject of covert weather control technology is another topic





Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16
248. tornadodude
5:21 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
very
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8185
247. watchingnva
5:20 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
wow...that was pointless...:)
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1475
244. volcanopele
5:17 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Any chance the Florida/Bahamas disturbance will clear out by Monday? A completely different satellite, Dawn, is scheduled to launch on July 9 and that spacecraft could really use some good luck, after having a number of setbacks that nearly caused it to be canceled and recently forced a 3-week launch delay. If Dawn doesn't launch by Tuesday, IIRC, the launch will be delayed until September...

Dawn, for the uninitiated, is a mission to two of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta.
243. hcubed
5:16 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
"Posted By: StormHype at 8:33 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.

In the face of a mutiny, Proenza should consider firing his whole staff then replace them with offshored forecasters from India. They're highly skilled and trained, work all hours of the day, and no expensive govt pension or benefit packages to worry about. That's the way the majority of the US corporate technology industry would handle it. Sorry to say that, but it's the rule of day in current times."


And, when we've farmed out the NHC to India, we can be assured that only those countries we're friendly with will get warnings - isn't that what they did to Pakistan?
Member Since: May 18, 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
241. Caymanite
5:12 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Please remember folks that quite frequently there are American Military personell based in many remote areas of the world that can be affected by weather systems that Quikscat would help analyze as well. It is not only the continental USA where H/H aircraft are available that needs to be considered here.Also please remember the offshore US interests.(Guam,Hawaii etc)where H/H aircraft may not be available.(Just my 2 cents.)
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
240. nash28
5:08 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Here we go again with the politics.

Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
237. IKE
5:07 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
“The committee is doubtful this administration will ever show the leadership and bold thinking required to address the true needs of our planet’s oceans and atmosphere,” the committee report says. The report also expresses doubt about whether the administration will commit to timely bud

I have about zero faith in this administration.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
236. franck
5:06 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Well guys..believe it or not, from here on out it is about suppression of data, and availability of info to the public.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
235. ClearH2OFla
5:05 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Hey all at work here on US 19. So whats up with 96l err the thuderstorms out there. Also the latest on the rain off the Florida Coast?
233. IKE
5:04 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
There were no plans to replace QS before the war what makes you think that is what is holding it up now?

They should have thought about it earlier then. Were spending billions a month in Iraq...certainly that doesn't help.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
231. shamanTT
5:02 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Anyone have an idea when the moist air will return to the caribbean?

I've started boiling water in a kettle to try to revive 96L.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 52
230. nash28
5:00 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
The EPAC action and lack of ATL action will be shifting very soon. Once the downward pulse of the MJO moves out of here and the upward pulse shifts from the EPAC over here, conditions will reverse.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
229. seflagamma
4:57 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
thanks for the new update. read all about it in Sun Sentienal this morning. This is a mess now at that place and most of it is political.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 40839
228. WPBHurricane05
4:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
EPAC action Link
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
227. CJ5
4:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: IKE at 11:45 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.
There's been nothing but issues at the NHC all year. I doubt it's gonna stop anytime soon. Quikscat is nice to have...but the moneys being poured into Iraq.


There were no plans to replace QS before the war what makes you think that is what is holding it up now?
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
226. IKE
4:52 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I don't think it's a major loss...but it helps to have it.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
225. CosmicEvents
4:51 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Thank you Patrap....A safe season to you, and everyone else. I'm going back into lurk mode. I'll be back as events warrant.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5458
224. weatherboykris
4:50 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Right nash...Bill knew that,and instead of stating the honest facts made it seem like it would be a major loss.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
223. IKE
4:50 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: nash28 at 11:49 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.
Look, QuickScat is not that important when you are talking about a landfalling hurricane.

It is really used for surface wind reading out in the Atlantic, typically where HH's do not fly. Once you have the hunters able to task a system, QuickScat is useless.


I understand that...but it's bull hockey that OUR government can't fund a replacement for it.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
222. nash28
4:49 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Look, QuickScat is not that important when you are talking about a landfalling hurricane.

It is really used for surface wind reading out in the Atlantic, typically where HH's do not fly. Once you have the hunters able to task a system, QuickScat is useless. I will take dropsonde data ANY DAY over a satellite pass, which more often than not misses the damn thing anyways.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
221. IKE
4:48 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: jphurricane2006 at 11:44 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.
Ike Pat always puts up a bugged eye image with the caption "oh my god it has a circulation and its heading west"


Agree...as long as I see a spin and it's heading west...I'll keep checkin up on it...I want to see where it winds up. The high is gonna build in across the SE USA and with the GFS showing a train of moisture coming up from the ITCZ...something could get going and take my mind off of the cat 4 brewing around Coral Gables!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
220. weatherboykris
4:48 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: sporteguy03 at 2:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2007.
Could the NHC staff walk out on the job if Proenza is not ousted?


No not even if they could.They became NHC forecasters for the purpose of saving lives through forecasts,and not one of them would forego that due to an internal argument.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
219. CJ5
4:46 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I still do not see anything from the staffers that want Bill gone that disporves anything he said and I see no justification from them or Dr. Masters other than this QuickSat issue. It seems Dr. Masters is close enough to the situation to be quoted in the media so he must be "in the know" and since this is his blog what information does he have the should concern us about Bill P's abilities?

I see no reason but the QuickSat issue and based on what I understand it was launched in 99 to great fanfare and everyone agreed it will successfully help forcasters. It has now past its useful life and could fail at any moment. Proenza pushes the issue of a replacement and his staff turns on him? Now they all want to say QuickSat isn't that important. Which is it?

Dr. Masters help us understand the rest of the story.
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
218. IKE
4:45 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
There's been nothing but issues at the NHC all year. I doubt it's gonna stop anytime soon. Quikscat is nice to have...but the moneys being poured into Iraq.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
217. Patrap
4:45 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I have, many times read the archived words CE.Ive even sent thanks to many who did. I was online but not posting as a lurker till losing power that morning. Yours were of great concern. Thanks

And in my correspondence with Jeff Masters a few times..my first was to thank Him for his timely and worriesome entries that weekend that saved hundreds if not thousands of lives.

As a site we can do much for those in harms way. And we should...always have that as a motivator. When all else gets muddled.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125513
216. WPBHurricane05
4:44 PM GMT on July 06, 2007


TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1000 AM PDT FRI JUL 6 2007

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER HAS DEVELOPED ABOUT 725 MILES SOUTH OF
MANZANILLO MEXICO. CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SOME SLOW
DEVELOPMENT DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

A SECOND AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER HAS FORMED ABOUT 1250 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA. CONDITIONS HERE
ARE ALSO FAVORABLE FOR SLOW DEVELOPMENT.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112

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About JeffMasters

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