Monday, July 9, 2007

National Hurricane Center Director William Bill Proenza leaves position!

"National Hurricane Center director Bill Proenza left his position Monday, just days after nearly half of the NHC staff signed a petition calling for his ouster.

Proenza is still employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- a parent organization of the NHC -- but he is currently on leave, according to NOAA spokesman Anson Franklin.

Deputy Director Ed Rappaport has been temporarily placed in charge.

Proenza, 62, became the director in January after the retirement of Max Mayfield.

Proenza caused an uproar last month with comments about a key hurricane satellite called QuikSCAT. The satellite is five years beyond its life expectancy and operating on a backup transmitter. Proenza said if it were to fail, forecast tracks could be thrown off by as much as 16 percent.

He said Washington reprimanded him for the remarks: "They wanted me to be quiet about it."

But one of the center's longtime forecasters said Proenza's comments were misguided.

"QuikSCAT is another tool that we use to forecast," Lixion Avila said. "The forecast will not be degraded if we don't have the QuikSCAT."

Last week, the Commerce Department launched an unscheduled review of the hurricane center after word of the staff's dissatisfaction started to become public....."

I don't really have much opinion on this story, but I thought it was very interesting and thought many people would like to read it.

Read the full story here!

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