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: 465 - 415

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

465. DetroitWxMan
10:41 PM GMT on July 08, 2007
As an employee of the NWS for over a decade, I am left with a very bad impression by the recent behavior of the staff at NHC. As NWS employees they have access to an excellent system of dispute mediation. They should have resolved these issues using that system. There is NO WAY they should have gone public the way they did, with the petition and the impromptu news conference. This reflects very poorly on the agency and on themselves. Their actions lead me to wonder about their professional judgement.

Let me give you an example of what I mean...

Here's some choice quotes by James Franklin:

"We've got forecasters still back at their desks doing their jobs and they'll continue doing that. But there's a lot of people losing sleep over this, and as we get into August September, October, I don't think you want a bunch of tired sick, forecasters working the forecast desk. I think it takes a full effort. It's not just about doing our jobs, we need to go over and beyond when those storms are coming, and that's becoming harder to do."

"I think when things get busy, it's going to be harder for us to work effectively with the situation we have here. "


OK...I understand that some forecasters are frustrated with the managerial style of the boss. Well fine, but that goes with the job. Everyone has been saddled with the problem at one point or another. A true professional is able to soldier on and if need be, seek remediation.

Now say there is a hurricane that behaves like Charley and say the intensity and track forecast has significant errors. Is the bad forecast going to be blamed on "a bunch of tired sick, forecasters working the forecast desk"?

I am really disappointed in what I have read coming from those forecasters and I think if they take a step back and look at what they are doing, effectively eroding public confidence in NHC forecasts...they would realize they are making a huge mistake.

464. BahaHurican
2:12 AM GMT on July 07, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 4:22 PM EDT on July 06, 2007.

Not sure if this video has been posted yet on the NHC troubles but its a must see.Trust me he's gone from the NHC before the end of the month if not sooner.


Adrian,

Can you say who is the spokesperson here? And what about the man standing in the background?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22101
463. BahaHurican
1:39 AM GMT on July 07, 2007
Posted By: jphurricane2006 at 1:41 PM EDT on July 06, 2007.

he doesnt need approval to talk to the press, he is the director of the NHC, its his job to talk to them

go back to the stories from the Miami Herald, one of the first ones on the subject states that the paper received the letter of reprimend from one of the forecasters at the NHC



Things that make u go Hmmmm. . . . this makes me wonder just WHO leaked the story. Maybe it's someone who was quite eager to speak to the press more recently . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22101
462. BahaHurican
1:22 AM GMT on July 07, 2007
Evening all,

I haven't caught up on all the posts yet, but this excerpt from the Miami Herald story caught my eye:

"The effective functioning of the National Hurricane Center is at stake," the 23 staff members said in their letter. "The staff of the National Hurricane Center would like nothing more than to return its focus to its primary mission of protecting life and property from hazardous tropical weather, and leave the political arena it now finds itself in."

This part of the staff's response sounds like the NOAA team came in and threatened them. "If you don't toe the line, your funding will be cut even further" or something to that effect.

Let me put it another way. If this so-called "mutiny" had taken place BEFORE government overseers had come into the situation, I would have placed more credibility in it. As it is, I'm not convinced this situation would ever have arisen.

It's a pity this is taking place at a time when attention should be focused on how best to meet the hurricane season that currently threatens.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22101
461. CFLSW
9:59 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
OK let me ask like this.
96L has been batteling dry air. Right?
and everyone is saying or was saying wait untill it get to the Carb.
Well when it gets to te Carb. It will still be in dry air. What was it or is it that will change once it gets to the Carb. It was or will still be in dry air. How was the Carb. Goin to change what it would or is going to do?
460. CFLSW
9:53 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Whats is the latest thoughts On 96L?
459. moonlightcowboy
9:08 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
458. hurricane23
8:36 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: JFLORIDA at 16:31 EDT le 06 juillet 2007.

Adrian, in that video they sound whiney and self absorbed.

It does not really matter how they sound like but as avila said he has not made one hurricane forcast since the early sixtys.Almost the entire staff wants him out and iam sure there's a good reason for that.Adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13787
457. Bonz
8:35 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
The whole NHC thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. SO glad to know my taxpayer dollars fund PR campaigns and parties. Especially when we need more hurricane hunter planes (and it wouldn't hurt to have the satellite.)

Proenza evidently didn't play the game the way people are used to it being played. He embarrassed both his bosses and his staff, which of course, means he should be hung, you know? [/sarcasm]

Without being involved, one can't know all of the details. But this sounds more like he is being attacked not for possible bad science, but for not shutting his mouth.

Given that it's MY taxpayer dollars paying for the whole lot, I'd rather things be open and public.

But that is definitely not the government way.

The bad thing that comes out of this is that whenever he is replaced, whoever replaces him will be someone whose lips are buttoned tight. I don't really think that serves the public. For my money, I want openness and information. I don't need people to decide what I can hear or not hear.

As for those whining about the politics, too bad. This topic is relevant and to be honest, there isn't jack happening in the tropics anyhow. Which is a good thing.

Member Since: September 11, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 135
456. WPBHurricane05
8:35 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
NEW BLOG
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
454. stormybil
8:25 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
96l might surpise us again tonight . and as someone said a more northly track might happen when is the next models runs anyone knows thanks
453. CosmicEvents
8:24 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
There's more than meets the eye, or is being revealed, in whatever the situation with Proenza is at the NHC. Read MargieKiefer's blog, which she updated about 30 minutes ago. I think that Jeff and Margie know more than they have said already. They can only talk about what the people at NHC have gone public with. I have to side with the Dr. on this one. This is about more than the QuikSat issue. IMO
.
.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5582
451. hurricane23
8:22 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Not sure if this video has been posted yet on the NHC troubles but its a must see.Trust me he's gone from the NHC before the end of the month if not sooner.

Link
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13787
449. CycloneOz
8:17 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Hey Doug!

I don't have your number. Write me at ozman_rebel@yahoo.com
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3684
448. bobw999
8:17 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook
4:00 PM Friday, June 6, 2007

Tropical disturbance in the Central Atlantic has little to no convection. Tropical development is not expected due to dry air.

Disturbance near the Florida/Georgia border is producing thunderstorms over Florida and the Bahammas. Upper level winds are not favorable for development.

Tropical development is not expected within the next 48 hours

Forecaster Bob
447. PensacolaDoug
8:16 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Cool. U always were good at trivia. U still got my number? Would like to hear from you from time to time. Tell Amy "hi" for me.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 564
446. WeatherMSK
8:15 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
At this point in time, i kinda see 96L being sucked into SA. Now, if this thing can manage to avoid SA and continue the llc, then once again, we might be starting up a huge blog talking about where this monster is going to hit. But like i said i really don't think it will get another opportunity for explosion.
Member Since: February 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 479
445. CycloneOz
8:13 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Dougie! What's up boy?

I'm doing good! Having fun on my day off.

Just qualified for "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" in New York last Thursday! God Doug...it was beautiful! 73 degrees with a breeze! Coney Island was a real hoot! Got to ride the Cyclone. Built in 1926...it kicked my ass!!! :) No kidding!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3684
444. PensacolaDoug
8:13 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Brian? Call me.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 564
443. CycloneOz
8:10 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
HERE'S SOME GOOD NEWS YOU LUCKY DEVILS!!!

I've updated the GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector. It now reflects imagery from 6/1/07 - 7/5/07!!!



WATCH TEXAS GET POUNDED AS JULY STARTS! Looks like it might've developed into something had it stayed together and drifted more easterly!

Can you guess the piece of music I used for this animation?

Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3684
442. bobw999
8:09 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
441. PensacolaDoug
8:09 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
What up Brian?
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 564
439. MisterPerfect
8:03 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
The undersigned staff of the National Hurricane Center has concluded that the center needs a new director.


Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20137
437. CycloneOz
8:00 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
A storm at the NHC, huh?



Now...here's a storm for ya!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3684
436. caneprints
7:57 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I don't know enough to say who is wrong or right here, but I do know I'm incredibly disappointed in both sides, the forecasters who have aired their internal grievances in public instead of going through a proper chain of command at the height of the hurricane season (I worked with a boss I hated for at least ten years, but I had to learn to live with it or leave), and Mr. Proenza for his inability to provide leadership (if Mr. Proenza really cares about the HCC, he really does need to resign ASAP, even if he feels he is right). Having witnessed dirty office politics firsthand in my own workplace, I know the devistating blow to morale that occurs when trust is lost and people no longer work as a team. Now that the Hurricane Center forecasters have become preoccupied with getting rid of their boss, who is left to do hurricane forecasting for the millions who depend on it for their safety and survival? Can some other service like the UK Met office fill in the gaps? I hate to even say this, but with all the recent goings on, Is it now time to think about privatizing? This gives us another reason to hope for a quiet hurricane season, that's for sure!
435. sporteguy03
7:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
You guys sound shocked about the Ridging! Our local met has been saying that for days next week Hot and Dry!

Enjoy Adrian, WPB and FL Bloggers!
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5306
434. IKE
7:48 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Texas has been getting hammered with rain..will it ever stop? It's suppose to by the first of the week.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
433. IKE
7:47 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
On the 1915Z visual of 96L...looks like some minor convection forming close to the center of what appears a circulation.

It may just get sheared off.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
431. weatherboykris
7:45 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 2:37 PM CDT on July 06, 2007.
This is rather interesting....Ridge?


Ridge...what's that mean?Oh yeah,forgot about what those were,it's been so long,LOL.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
430. IKE
7:45 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: weatherboykris at 2:42 PM CDT on July 06, 2007.
and look at all the very low shear in two weeks:


Odds are something may get going with that.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
429. TheCaneWhisperer
7:42 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Looks like we may loose our protection for a while Adrian. Hopefully the troughs come back soon.
428. weatherboykris
7:42 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
and look at all the very low shear in two weeks:



Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
427. IKE
7:42 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
The blob off of Jacksonville is moving east and hopefully out to sea.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
426. moonlightcowboy
7:41 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
According to Navy pressure is up one to 1014mbs, but that could change this evening towards d.max.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
425. stormybil
7:39 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
so the models are doin runs again on 96l today . and where is the blob off of fla. going
424. IKE
7:38 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 2:37 PM CDT on July 06, 2007.
This is rather interesting....Ridge?


Maybe the start of the active part of the season?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
423. moonlightcowboy
7:38 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: barbadosjulie at 7:30 PM GMT on July 06, 2007. (hide)
Does any one think that Barbados will have any effect form 96L? Should it be here tomorrow?


Julie, I don't think you have anything to "worry" about...but, I'd still pay attention. While everyone is writing this thing completely off, it's still has an llc, dust is either getting out of the way gradually or being overtaken, and apparently conditions ahead appear to be more favorable to development.

Nothing at all may happen, just watch! In the tropics, things can change on a dime sometimes!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
422. IKE
7:37 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
The high is suppose to start breaking down next weekend or moving out in the Atlantic. Watch out in the western Caribbean then. I notice the GFS shows a lot of moisture in the western Caribbean next weekend.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
421. hurricane23
7:37 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
This is rather interesting....Ridge?

From the NWS up in Tallahassee

LONG TERM...ONCE THE UPPER LOW OR ITS REMNANTS FINALLY EXIT THE
REGION BY THE END OF THE WEEKEND...EXPECT A SIGNIFICANT SYNOPTIC
PATTERN CHANGE TO BEGIN TO TAKE SHAPE...AS THE PERSISTENT UPPER TROF
OVER THE SE U.S. GRADUALLY GIVES WAY TO A DEVELOPING UPPER RIDGE
WHICH WILL BUILD IN FROM THE EAST
. WITH SFC RIDGING ALSO EXPECTED TO
STRENGTHEN COULD SEE A PERIOD OF HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS DEVELOP OVER
THE AREA BY MID WEEK. IF THIS TREND CONTINUES WITH BOTH THE GFS AND
ECMWF...AM INCLINED TO DROP POPS TO SLIGHT CHANCE AND RAISE TEMPS TO
THE MID TO UPPER 90S OVER A WED THROUGH FRI PERIOD. FOR MON AND
TUE...WILL PLAN ON STICKING TO MORE TYPICAL SEA BREEZE CLIMO POPS
AND TEMPS AS WE BEGIN THE TRANSITION PERIOD.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13787
420. WPBHurricane05
7:33 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
I notice a huge strong high is gonna build into the SE US...no troughs for awhile.

Thats what the local met. tells me. He also said that the storms will move toward the west coast instead of the east this weekend.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
419. IKE
7:32 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Those WU shear maps have updated to "favorable in the central/eastern Carribean thru the weekend. Before they showed UN-favorable.

Not sure I trust WU shear maps though.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
418. barbadosjulie
7:30 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Does any one think that Barbados will have any effect form 96L? Should it be here tomorrow?
Member Since: August 9, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 378
417. weatherboyfsu
7:29 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Gale......if you want radar views of the hurricanes you can go to the hurricane archives on here......
Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
416. IKE
7:29 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
Posted By: weatherboykris at 2:26 PM CDT on July 06, 2007.
Sheri,13-17 storms still looks likely,and I'm personally seeing an '04 pattern setting up on the GFS.


I notice a huge strong high is gonna build into the SE US...no troughs for awhile.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
415. weatherboykris
7:27 PM GMT on July 06, 2007
With a high off the SE coast under a NE'rn trof.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346

Viewing: 465 - 415

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

Mostly Cloudy
83 °F
Mostly Cloudy