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Off-Topic >> Everything and Nothing

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Embattled NHC Director Bill Proenza RE: His Remarks on QuikScat 'Imminent Failure'
      #75753 - Fri Jul 06 2007 06:52 AM

Greetings All,

I've decided to create a new post in this forum regarding the 'brewing storm' surrounding NHC's new Director Bill Proenza, to help put this issue into a little clearer focus for the readers. Most of this post are links to news articles and relevant quotes from them.

In this forums' post titled "Miami Herald Article Federal Inspection", the posters' link to the Miami Herald article (unfortunately) ONLY links to COMMENTS about the article, and NOT the article itself.

I found the 'vast majority' (not all !) of these "COMMENTS" ( linked below, but read on for now) to be libelous, defamatory of individuals and races (Cubans), vulgar, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable, and not-clearly-focused on the issues themselves.

So, to start, here are several links to various news articles that help explain to the readers of this forum, the situation that is developing at the NHC, and how it has transpired over the past few weeks, apparently pertaining to Bill Proenza's remarks about the 'Imminent Failure' of the QuikScat satellite and his implications of what such a failure would have on the NHC's ability to accurately forecast landfalling hurricanes.

Miami Herald Article

Associated Press Article

2nd AP Article a day later

And finally, the link to the "COMMENTS" of the many persons wishing to express their 'professional' and (mostly) uninformed and acrimonious remarks.

(Be Aware: There are 16 pages of these comments! Such confusion and outright idiocy!)

Read more

I'm not sure where to begin to sort all this out; it's become so convoluted and fraught with personal attacks and further obfuscated with the publics' opinion as the result of the Katrina debacle and their views and attitudes of weather-related Federal Agencies in general.

It seems the crux of the matter is the growing unrest, even among the Senior NHC staff, with Bills' 'frequent clashing style and conduct', and in his 'embattled approach' with other federal agencies relating to 'insufficient funding' and the federal government's failure to replace the QuikScat satellite in a timely manner.

A few highly-relevant quotes from the above news articles:

>> "They said his public statements about an aging satellite (QuikScat) have undermined confidence in their forecasts. Others believe that his frequent clashes with superiors in Washington have become a serious distraction as the hurricane season deepens."

>> "Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist for the Weather Underground ... questioned the scientific basis of Proenza's campaign to replace the aging QuikScat satellite ... (and) criticized the basis for Proenza's assertion that the loss of QuikScat would diminish the accuracy of two-day forecasts by 10 percent and three-day forecasts by 16 percent."

... and ...

(Again from Jeff Masters) >> "Proenza's estimates of forecast deterioration are based on a study that examines a small number of forecasts, is contradicted by other studies and has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, an unusual circumstance ... To be in the most visible and responsible scientific position in our profession of meteorology, everything you do has to come from the science ... You have to fairly present it. If you don't have the integrity to do that, you shouldn't be in that job."

But the real focus is clearly on whether Proenza has damaged public confidence in NHC's forecasting abilities, whether he has exaggerated problems and how all this has hurt NHC staff morale.

>> "'When you have this much apparent turmoil and you don't have everyone, at least superficially, pulling in the same direction, that cannot be in the best interests of an organization".

OK. 'Nuff said. I promised to try and keep my posts shorter. I almost succeded.

I'd like to hear other readers' thoughts and comments (after carefully reading the articles!) pertaining to the embroiled NHC director, his 'clashing style' and the very serious impact he is having on the staff morale at the NHC.

And I'll just bet that we (members of this fine website) can carry on a more informed, relevant and far less 'distasteful' discussion than those posted in the 16 pages of "comments" from the original Miami Herald article!

This should be *very interesting* in the coming days and weeks. The Fed's Report is due by July 20th. The 'storm' before the storms. Certainly more interesting than Invest 96L. Your thoughts, feelings and feedback are most welcomed.

As an aside, I made a few posts about the QuikScat satellite a few weeks ago, when the news of its 'Imminent Failure' was first reported in the press and even sensationalized on CNN.

That post is titled "QuickSat to fail ANYTIME" located in this forum (Everything and Nothing).

- Aloha from Norm in Honolulu (Former Coconut Grove Resident)

Edited by danielw (Sat Jul 07 2007 06:22 AM)

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Re: Embattled NHC Director Bill Proenza [Re: CoconutCandy]
      #75754 - Fri Jul 06 2007 08:18 AM

Ready for a good laugh on this very serious matter ??

Here's another news article, just out this morning from the Palm Beach Post website.

They 'couch' their article in meteorological terms and it really comes across as pretty humorous.

Couldn't resist the chance to share it with you all. I certainly got a good laugh from it. Enjoy !

Palm Beach Post article

Edited by danielw (Sat Jul 07 2007 06:23 AM)

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Re: Embattled NHC Director Bill Proenza [Re: CoconutCandy]
      #75758 - Fri Jul 06 2007 04:17 PM

That last article is done pretty well. I chuckled. I think it's good for him if he says it how it is. As long as he's not exaggerating things and just bashing other agencies and officials (some comments have been borderline) then I think he should be free to make the public aware of what goes on behind closed doors.

"I can see from your zombie stare that you don't understand technical talk. Let me try it in a language I call, 'Liberal Arts Major.' It's blue."

2007 forecast as of 5-1-07, 16/9/5

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Ed DunhamAdministrator
Former Meteorologist & CFHC Forum Moderator (Ed Passed Away on May 14, 2017)

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Administrative Comments [Re: CoconutCandy]
      #75760 - Fri Jul 06 2007 11:58 PM

I decided days ago not to post anything about this topic - for two reasons:
1. A lot of this is political in nature - and we don't do politics here.
2. It had the potential to generate un-needed controversy (we get enough of that as it is with our tropical weather discussions). Our thoughts, pro or con, would change nothing, but could get some folks upset with others depending on what side of the fence you were on. Decisions on this issue will be made at a much higher pay grade than ours, so lets leave it at that.

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Ed DunhamAdministrator
Former Meteorologist & CFHC Forum Moderator (Ed Passed Away on May 14, 2017)

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Posts: 2565
Loc: Melbourne, FL
Resolution of NHC Issue [Re: Ed Dunham]
      #75769 - Mon Jul 09 2007 04:30 PM

I left this thread open so that I could post a final resolution of this issue.

From the Miami Herald:
"National Hurricane Center Director Bill Proenza lost his job today, in response to an unprecedented and unseemly mutiny that left him without significant support from his employees in South Florida or his bosses in Washington.

Proenza's departure ended a turbulent reign at the hurricane center that lasted only six months and was cut so short that it didn't include a single hurricane.

Federal officials named Ed Rappaport as acting director, said Greg Romano, a spokesman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

The Associated Press has also reported that Mr Proenza has been reassigned elsewhere.

This thread is now closed.

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