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: 65 - 15

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

65. NormalGuy
2:37 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Well, my boss is umm, well it's me and I just asked if I cared if I blogged a little and I said its okay. So I am going to give myself a little raise and do my own evaluation, tell me how good I am, and look forward to the weekend. By the way whats up with 96L, this thing pulled a disappearing act and would't you know it, he came back. I wish everyone would stop talking like a slow season so far is a bad thing, umm last time I checked death and property damage were the bad things. The season will speed up believe me, lets just not wish it along so fast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
64. bigtrucker
10:41 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
the politics in the NHC is getting worse than our governments. scary part is we dont get a chance to vote these people in or out
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
63. Patrap
9:43 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
How can we ever forget?...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
62. weatherboyfsu
2:38 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Good morning all..........

If jedkins is around i pulled up some rainfall data for him and working on yesterdays rainfall as well.........

96L is still fighting.........

Question for all you weather enthusiasts......Does anyone remember where KATRINA came from, out of what disturbance? Does anyone remember that there was a little wantabe depression chugging along the atlantic with similar hostile environment as 96L..... Actually the depression like storm was completely dismissed by almost everyone and then it reappeared north of Puerto Rico.....Does anyone remember that?

Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
61. kmanislander
2:39 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
"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."

Very strong words Dr M !
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
60. bigtrucker
10:39 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
those were the good ole days.
used to get front row aerosmith tickets that way
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
59. IKE
9:34 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: bluehaze27 at 9:21 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.
Being on this board in June and July is like waiting for the music store to open so that you can buy Pink Floyd concert tickets (back in 1986).


LOL
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
58. SCwxwatch
2:28 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Wonder how many Bosses know their employee's are Blogging instead of doing thier Job? ;P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
57. WPBHurricane05
10:28 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
That letter by the forecasters was a preventive 'cover your ass' response.


Exactly.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
56. ricderr
2:26 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
really nash?......you work for me....you can come and bash me anyday any time..you bash me publicly..and by doing so bring a cloud upon this department..that even though you might not agree with my business practices or managerial style.....you'll see the unemployemnt line..and i'll hand you the ticket...there's proper ways to deal with problems..bill's way wasn't....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
55. bluehaze27
2:24 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
...and the bosses at the head of NOAA were being bashed. That letter by the forecasters was a preventive 'cover your ass' response.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
54. nash28
2:22 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Ya know what. Bosses should be bashed publicly. If you suck, then screw this mamby pamby behind closed doors BS.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
53. bluehaze27
2:21 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Rw, you are right. Make it August 1st.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
52. PensacolaBuoy
9:18 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Many NHC employees were on vacation, and did not have the opportunity to sign the letter.

If you weren't sure these folks are bureaucrats, then tell me why they take vacations during hurricane season?! For the few dozen people in that place that track hurricanes for a living, they should take all of their taxpayer-paid vacations from Dec 1 - May 31. I totally support the director and hope he is able to hang on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
51. ricderr
2:19 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Rainman, ok so maybe the only thing bill did wrong was a lack of proper judgement


actually...as a manager..lack of judgement could easilly be grounds for termination......but....JP...you pubicly bash your bosses..and how long will your vacation be?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
50. Beachfoxx
9:20 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: moonlightcowboy at 9:20 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.
NHC <------------------needs something applied directly to their foreheads!!!


Right on! Head on! LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
49. bluehaze27
2:18 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Being on this board in June and July is like waiting for the music store to open so that you can buy Pink Floyd concert tickets (back in 1986).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
48. moonlightcowboy
2:19 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
NHC <------------------needs something applied directly to their foreheads!!!

Let's get back on the weather...tons more interesting than all the politics. We can turn on the tube for that suffering.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
47. IKE
9:19 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: rwdobson at 9:18 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.
Why stop at July? Make it Aug. 1, that's when the real season begins.


90% of the time you're right.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
46. Beachfoxx
9:18 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Would the NHC notice if a storm was brewing?? Or are they too busy bickering? Writing petitions?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
45. IKE
9:17 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: rwdobson at 9:17 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.
"Why aren't they favorable...dry air...shear...explain it slightly more detail."

that's what the tropical weather discussions are for. they are quite detailed. the outlooks are supposed to be short and to the point so they can be easily digested.


Most people don't read the discussions.

All they have to do is add about another paragraph to each area of disturbed weather. Probably not even that much.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
44. rwdobson
2:17 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Why stop at July? Make it Aug. 1, that's when the real season begins.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
43. rwdobson
2:12 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
"Why aren't they favorable...dry air...shear...explain it slightly more detail."

that's what the tropical weather discussions are for. they are quite detailed. the outlooks are supposed to be short and to the point so they can be easily digested.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
42. bluehaze27
2:10 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I don't think we will see much until mid August and then look out. (gee, coincides with the REAL hurricane season). Personally, I think hurricane season is too long. Yeah we get storms in June, but not enough to include June in the season. Personally, I would have made hurricane season from July 1st to November 1st. Yeah, we would have storms outside these dates, but then again we've had a storm every month of the year at some point in time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
41. Beachfoxx
9:13 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Politics always lead to storms!

Hi Rainman!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
39. IKE
9:06 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
After the events of this week, I found myself thinking after reading the various TWOs, whether they are putting their full energies into the outlooks or if the TWOs are being half-arsed.

I think they should go into more depth then..."environmental conditions aren't favorable"...Do you think the common person that doesn't pay much attention to the tropics understands that completely? Heck..I don't either, other than reading up on here and other places.

Why aren't they favorable...dry air...shear...explain it slightly more detail.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
38. Rainman32
10:06 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
Good Morning, and thanks for the update. It's clear Proenza must go due to politics, but don't fall into the same trap of relying on a single report to call the science flawed. There are plenty of other studies by NASA, NOAA & etc... google it that could have been used.

The need for Seawinds sensor was clearly evident when another was launched on ADEOS II (http://winds.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/seawinds/index.cfm) 14 December 2002. It measured winds on a daily basis from 10 April to 24 October 2003, when ADEOS-II irrecoverably lost power.

It is still a very valuable and useful tool that will be sorely missed while "a better mousetrap" is being built as suggested.

Is that a low forming off of Florida?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
37. hurricanecrab
2:07 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Anyone have a tracking map on that political storm?

I'm guessing the models don't intialize it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
35. Thunderstorm2
10:04 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: Altestic87 at 9:59 AM EDT on July 06, 2007.

I don't care about who does the NHC. Time to talk about the actual tropics.



If you can find a Tropical System that is WORTH Tracking then you let me know!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
34. WPBHurricane05
10:01 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
Like I said last night. The NHC staff is trying to save there butt and look all good in front of NOAA. In my opinion Bill Proenza is doing a great job. What ever happened to freedom of speech???
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
33. IKE
9:05 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: C2News at 9:04 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.
Can they actually throw Bill Proenza out of office?


If almost half of the staff(23 of 49), wants him gone...I don't think him staying is a wise thing to do.

This is like Bush and Gonzalez vs. the Dems.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
32. crownwx
10:00 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
After the events of this week, I found myself thinking after reading the various TWOs, whether they are putting their full energies into the outlooks or if the TWOs are being written half-arsed. I know its a very crazy thought and I know it isn't true and that the NHC will be professional no matter what....but....if I'm thinking this and questioning the TWOs, can you imagine what the "general public" must think?? I truly hope a resolution is found very, very soon!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
31. C2News
10:03 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
Can they actually throw Bill Proenza out of office? I wouldn't resign just because my staff BELOW ME didn't support me. I'd just fire them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
30. bluehaze27
1:52 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I'm actually kind of embarrassed for the Hurricane Center because it is obvious from their turning on Proenza that they basically chickened out of standing up for themselves when it comes to resources. I personally was skeptical of his appointment because I had never heard of him before and in the past, the hurricane center picked new directors from those next in line like Avila. He didn't want the job. Someone higher up got to them.

In government, the higher ups tell you they want to hear your input as sort of a public relations image for public consumption. If you speak up you get your head lopped off. His underlings didn't like being in the limelight and were affraid of having their heads lopped off (Ie less funding as punishment) so they caved. It has nothing to due with public confidence as some have said. It has to due with knowing where your bread is buttered and not biting the hand that feeds you even if you are only getting scraps anyway.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
29. Gatorxgrrrl
2:01 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
What happens at the NHC is vital to those that live in hurricane prone areas. So it is just as important as talking about a dying invest that is 1500 miles away and a threat to nothing. Not even the fish.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
28. C2News
10:02 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
Blob near Florida, wave out in the Atlantic. None a major threat to land. One moving out to sea.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
27. IKE
9:01 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
The only storm is on land at the NHC and it's a cat 3 and strengthening!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
26. IKE
9:00 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: Altestic87 at 8:59 AM CDT on July 06, 2007.
I don't care about who does the NHC. Time to talk about the actual tropics.


Okay....

Here's what's going on in the Atlantic....


....
....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
25. SCwxwatch
2:00 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
*Rocky Theme*
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
24. Altestic87
9:58 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
I don't care about who does the NHC. Time to talk about the actual tropics.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
23. ricderr
1:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I don't think you can equate the political turmoil happening now at the NHC with their ability to do their job. regardless of who they support ot not support..when crunch time comes..i'm guessing they will show they are professionals and they'll focus on the weather at hand
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
22. Gatorxgrrrl
1:55 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
This was bound to happen - power to the people!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
21. SCwxwatch
1:52 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: franck at 1:50 PM GMT on July 06, 2007.

I am wriding vrom Mumbai, India to NHC. Vie vill inderbret the invormajshun vor you much more qvigly and egonomigly.


ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
20. Thunderstorm2
9:49 AM EDT on July 06, 2007
I personally would like to see Bill Proenza stay at least untill the end of Hurricane Season. After Hurricane Season is over i wouldn't really care if i gets the boot.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
19. IKE
8:49 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Oh...good thing there isn't much going on now...with the problems at the NHC. That's almost becoming an embarassment.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
18. franck
1:46 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I am wriding vrom Mumbai, India to NHC. Vie vill inderbret the invormajshun vor you much more qvigly and egonomigly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
17. TampaWeatherBuff
1:40 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Bill Proenza was heralded as an underdog whistle-blower on the State of the Disunion at the NHC--if my memory serves me, even by Dr. Masters, at least initially. The view was that he was going to be the target of higher-ups who didn't want to fix anything.

It turns out he may be chewed up and spit out by the very people he was trying to help, for shaking things up. The ostensible excuse is his use of a shaky argument about the impact of losing QuickScat.

At a time when the weather has become exceedingly political, it's amazing that the weather bureaucracy would turn on him for seeking more resources.

The so-called scientific foundations of the alarmist warnings about Global Warming (and, more to the point, the illusion that we know how to "fix" it legislatively) are at least as dubious as anything Proenza was saying, and all he was asking for is a new satellite.

Go figure.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
16. IKE
8:45 AM CDT on July 06, 2007
Thanks for the update....

Your shear map is making me bug-eyed.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
15. stoormfury
1:35 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
thanks Dr m i was on the right track.other systems have survived 20knots wind shear. Chris last year was an example.dry air might be the problem. even if the system does not develop, it will bring squally weather to the s windwards late sat
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 65 - 15

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

Top of Page

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.