Storms At The Hurricane Center

It looks like the boss is starting a paper trail on National Hurricane Center Director Bill Proenza. When Proenza criticized NOAA’s budget for anniversary celebrations, saying it was taking money away from a satellite project that affected accuracy… I think that’s when we entered the “don’t get angry, get even,” stage of employment.

I don’t know much about Proenza, but what I’ve heard has been positive. Coming to run NHC from elsewhere in the Weather Service must be tough. It is, by far, the most visible job in the Weather Service.

There is incredible pressure to forecast at levels beyond our present scientific capability. Wouldn’t that be the definition of pressure?

While all this tumult is going on upstairs, downstairs at least one forecaster seems to be throwing Proenza under the bus. This is from today’s Miami Herald in an article titled, “Pressure builds for storm chief” :

Meanwhile, for the first time, one of Proenza’s hurricane forecasters expressed public concern about some of Proenza’s actions since he took the job in January.

Lixion Avila, a lead forecaster and a center employee for more than 20 years, said he believes Proenza meant well but unintentionally has undermined public faith in hurricane forecasts.

Avila goes on to blame Proenza for something Avila acknowledges isn’t what was actually said. It’s getting messy.

Is this jealousy from a PhD whose boss is just a mister? It wouldn’t be the first time. Most of Proenza’s lead forecasters do have greater academic credentials than he does.

June and July, though part of the hurricane season, are normally quiet months in the tropics. It’s not until mid-August that things begin to get busy. I hope, by then, the Hurricane Center will be able to concentrate on hurricanes.

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