Probe recommends Proenza's permanent removal; Atlantic and Hawaiian tropical update

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:11 PM GMT on July 20, 2007

Share this Blog
2
+

At a Congressional hearing yesterday, results of the independent probe sent by NOAA to investigate management problems at the National Hurricane Center were presented by Dr. Jim Turner. Dr. Turner is deputy director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and was leader of the independent team of five people sent to NHC on July 2. Their report (Attachment 9) recommended the permanent removal of Bill Proenza as director of NHC (also called the Tropical Prediction Center, or TPC):

"The current TPC director should be reassigned and not be allowed to return to his position at the center. This should be done due to his failure to demonstrate leadership within the TPC rather than his public statements about the QuikSCAT satellite or NOAA leadership."

In his testimony, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Conrad Lautenbacher, presented some very damaging evidence against Mr. Proenza. Lautenbacher's written testimony includes a letter (Attachment 2) providing a detailed description of a conference call requested by 11 NHC employees (including 7 of 9 of the hurricane forecasters), with the acting head of the National Weather Service, Mary Glackin. If you want to better understand the NHC controversy, read Attachment 2 describing what was said during the June 19 meeting.

I'll make one more post this afternoon analyzing the science of what was presented at the Congressional hearing. Then, it's time to let this issue fade until the next Congressional hearing on the issue, tentatively planned for December or January. The tropics are starting to heat up, and it's time to focus on the coming hurricane season.

Tropical wave near Puerto Rico
A tropical wave near Puerto Rico is spreading clouds and thunderstorms over a wide area of the Eastern Caribbean, northern Lesser Antilles Islands, and surrounding waters. This wave is under about 20-30 knots of wind shear, thanks to the presence of an upper-level low pressure system to its northwest (Figure 1). This upper low is expected to stay in place an continue to bring hostile wind shear to the area the next few days. I don't expect the shear will allow anything to develop from this tropical wave.


Figure 1. Water vapor image from this morning showing the tropical wave near Puerto Rico, and the upper level low with dry air (dark colors) to its northwest. This upper level low sucking in moist air from the tropical wave, and is bringing hostile wind shear of 20-30 knots over it.

We will need to watch the waters off the Carolina coast on Saturday, when a cold front is expected to push off the coast. Most of the models are predicting the formation of a low pressure system along the tail end of this front by Sunday. This low may be an ordinary extratropical storm--or possibly a subtropical storm--due to the presence of high wind shear. NHC has put a Hurricane Hunter aircraft on standby to investigate the region on Sunday afternoon, if necessary. Even if the low is extratropical, it may be able to suck up plenty of tropical moisture and douse the mid-Atlantic coast and/or New England with heavy rains as early as Monday.

Cosme to skirt Hawaii
Residents of the Hawaiian Islands can relax a bit now, as it appears that Tropical Depression Cosme, will pass well south of the Big Island on Saturday. The edges of the outermost spiral bands will probably bring rains of 1-3 inches to the east side of the Big Island. Wind shear has fallen to 5-10 knots, and ocean temperatures are beginning to warm to 80F under the storm, and I expect Cosme will regain minimal tropical storm strength by Saturday. Satellite imagery of the storm shows that the amount of heavy thunderstorm activity has remained about constant so far today.

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: 319 - 269

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

319. weatherblog
9:18 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: TropicalMan07 at 8:45 PM GMT on July 20, 2007.

i have a feeling if the half of the wave that is heading west that broke off the wave in the east carribean gets into the gulf it will explode and become major.


That is very unlikely, because that wave, also, is battling a ULL. Not to mention has no low at the sfc and the wave has little to no convection. And, to make it harder, the GOM may be increasing with shear in the following week or two...I would be watching the other wave above Puerto Rico. When the ULL moves, it could move into the Bahamas and develop. Though it probably won't happen, just gotta keep an eye on it.
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1623
318. CJ5
9:14 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: jphurricane2006 at 8:10 PM GMT on July 20, 2007.
here is what I find funny about all this
I looked back at the debate we are having and I seem to be the only one who is stating proof and facts on my side of the argument
all of you who have debated against me have just stated he was being a dictator and what he did but showed absolutely no proof behind it
go look back everyone and see who has put out the most evidence to their argument

anyway im out


jp, you are exactly correct. I have seen nothing from Bill's detrators except statements that he was a mean boss, blah, blah, blah. No specifics at all. Masters mentioned over 2000 emails from staff that Proenza never answered, yet I see nothing in any testimony posted about that. Is that true? I do not know but I still see the indians at the NHC going out of thier way to paint everything in thier favor. Seems like they need to get to forecasting and quit giving interviews.

Oh, and one thing that still sticks in my craw is the quote from Avilla " I was stopped in the grocery store by a woman who asked me if it was true we were not able to predict storms like we use to" Give me a break! There are several at the NHC that have an overly high sense of themselves.
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
317. weatherblog
9:14 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
I mean, c'mon. Nothing seems to be forming, as nothing will be until August. The wave off africa has to face dry-air; the Puerto Rican wave is battling the ULL...and the only way we can see "some" development from it, is if it gets away from the ULL.

The southern part of the wave is in the caribbean and, that too, won't develop becasue of that other ULL and lack of convection. Simple as that.

The best threat of development in the up-coming week is from a stalled trough off of the Carolinas in a few days. Even that, though, may not develop tropically and become Chantal, because of high wind shear and cooler waters. But, still, probably the best thing to watch, as of now...

Other than that, I would watch the African Coast when some SAL and shear/dry-air weakens as forecasted...maybe we can have our first CATL storm around the first week of August...

Let's just wait and see, like always..
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1623
316. flaboyinga
8:51 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Have any of the "war parties" in the NHC debate
read the transcripts linked in Dr. Master' report
on the hearing? There appears to be more to the
story than meets the Press. How about a follow up
synopsis on the subject from Dr. Masters.
314. BahaHurican
8:27 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: MisterPerfect at 3:56 PM EDT on July 20, 2007.

A man that couldn't listen to the people entrusted to serving the public's interest. A showboat. The type that lets authority go to their heads.

Sounds like he's better suited for Congress or the White House.


Wouldn't be the first time it happened, either. About 120 years ago, the president fired a guy for cronyism. He became the next president.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20742
313. ustropics
8:25 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
312. moonlightcowboy
8:23 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Proof, Jp? "Go back and look everyone," you said. That's not telling the whole truth, Jp. You're getting very defensive with your debate.

The "proof" that the man can't lead was "evidenced" by the great number of employees who cited from their long time scientific and professional observations. No one wants to work for a jerk!

Let it rest, man! The guy is G O N E!

Let's get back on the weather. Stop dropping sorted facts and inuendo!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
311. quakeman55
8:23 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
New blog...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
308. WPBHurricane05
8:20 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Good reason to become a politician. I'd probably be better than the clowns they have now.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
307. MisterPerfect
8:19 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
..not to mention over $50,000.00 in tax free income every year you live until you die paid by Joe and Jane Shcmo Taxpayer
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20123
306. MisterPerfect
8:18 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
And we don't need a civics lesson on a weather blog about the fact that once elected to the Senate, you never have to pay taxes EVER again.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20123
305. Fshhead
8:17 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
So let me ask my question again from earlier lol
Where are these ULL'S coming from cause they were around last year same way & just buzzsawed any tropical system. Also it is sitting in where I had heard from here right where the Bermuda high supposed to be setup???
Member Since: November 19, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 9960
304. MisterPerfect
8:16 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
I originally said to stop the Witch Hunt, JP. Meaning, Proenza has already been lambasted by the media and his employees. Now its Washington's turn to crack the whip. I have also been paying attention to this calamity over the last 4 or 5 weeks. Senior Senator Bill Nelson (D) from Floida has flip-flopped 3 times over the Proenza ordeal...IN WRITING DIRECTLY FROM HIS OFFICE. If you want proof, contact his office, I'm too lazy to find a link for you, but its there if ya dig. This is just another steaming pile of beauracracy and its sad that at the end of the rope is the tax payers who are certainly the first to fall.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20123
301. WPBHurricane05
8:10 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Uh oh that was a political statement.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
300. WPBHurricane05
8:10 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
I would vote Proenza over the clowns that run any day.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
295. sporteguy03
8:06 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
I am glad its quiet I can enjoy my weekend in calmness in FL. Hope it stays that way. It would be cool if we only have 2 storms, but very low chances of that.
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5120
293. WPBHurricane05
8:05 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
One is late July Four in Aug. Four in Sept Two in Oct Pretty active so JP that is ten. You got four more. Add another one or two in Sept. Still two short. If you are right certainly it will be really active. Hope you all have a great wken

Dont forget that some storms form in November and December also. So 1 in July, 4 in August, 4 in September, 2 in October and 2 in November and 1 in December. That would give us 15 including Barry.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
292. stoormfury
8:04 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
CATL wave althogh devoid of significant convection and embedded in dry air ,still mentains it's identity. it would be quite interesting, if convection were to build around what appears to be a small circulation
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552
291. Fshhead
7:57 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Mister, what a PERFECT statement LMAO!!!!!!
Member Since: November 19, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 9960
289. MisterPerfect
7:56 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
A man that couldn't listen to the people entrusted to serving the public's interest. A showboat. The type that lets authority go to their heads.

Sounds like he's better suited for Congress or the White House.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20123
288. Fshhead
7:55 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
STL, thanx for the info. on typhoon Loke!!! I did not know of it helping the El-Nino. Tell you what though it makes sense lol
Member Since: November 19, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 9960
286. Fshhead
7:52 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
MICHAEL BOTH OF THOSE "SYSTEMS" YOU ARE REFERRING TO ARE ULL'S!!!!!!!
The conditions are supposed to shift but c'mon its like I heard 2 days ago a couple of people here were saying the wave off PR was going to be a cat 5 hurricane... Calm down you guys WILL get your storms before the season over in a few months......
Member Since: November 19, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 9960
283. moonlightcowboy
7:51 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Fired, sure! He was fired; but he was really let go because he couldn't command the respect of his peers! A trouble maker, pure and simple. A man that couldn't listen to the people entrusted to serving the public's interest. A showboat. The type that lets authority go to their heads.

Proenza, for sure, I'm glad he's not at the helm. The man simply can't lead!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
275. guygee
7:43 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: moonlightcowboy at 7:35 PM GMT on July 20, 2007.
Wrong man for the job, that simple!

A job he never asked for, a job he was demoted into. A setup for failure from the start, because he was a whistleblower fighting for the public interest. Anyone who is not completely subservient to the Executive Branch is a marked man. Goodbye career, past accomplishments and science be damned.

The shoddy treatment and wholesale firing of government scientists who are not afraid to speak out and speak freely is the real scandal here.


Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3060
272. MissBennet
7:40 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Despite the slow start so far, I'm still not planning any vacations in August. I'm relying solely on a hurricane-vacation to give me my break.

Viewing: 319 - 269

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7Blog 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.