Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bill Read Takes Control at the NHC. Good Luck... and Best Wishes

Okay, am back thinking on the Tropics and on topic today.

A new director of the NHC has been announced and his name is Bill Read. He has been around a long time, paid his dues, is well thought of and I hope he can do the job and make a whole lot of people happy.

Being the Director of the NHC is a lot like being the Tax Assessor. Everything is all sunshine and roses until the first big dispute over some blown forecast or comment made that someone was upset about or... and then the honeymoon is over. Then we see what someone is made of and how they react with the public, with their own staff and with the storms themselves.

So... welcome back to the TPC/NHC. Good luck! I say that with a few prayers added in as we never really know what the next hurricane season will be like.

They don't always follow patterns, they don't always follow the plan and they rarely read what the media writes and they do not think Dr. Gray and crew are as cute as I do they frankly don't give a damn what he thinks, what NOAA thinks or even what Jeff Masters or Joe Bastardi thinks. Capricious storms they are, with minds of their owns and caught up in the meteorological currents of the moment even if that goes against whatever climatological patterns predict ... each storm once named and on the board is like a football game. On any given Sunday... any team can win, any team can lose and any storm can do whatever the current synoptics demand.

Good luck Bill Read! You have some of the nicest, smartest hurricane people in the world working there and at their research division over on the Rickenbacker. They DO need to work together, hand in hand as research goes together with forecasts like a Cake needs flour or sugar and oil. It takes lots of ingredients to put out the best track and the best forecast.

I know many of do read Jeff Master's blog even if the Hurricanes done... so his comments along with others are posted below. At the bottom are so thoughts and comments from blogs and opinions givens on Dr. Read's appointment to the most coveted job in hurricane circles including Jeff Masters. I don't agree though with his comment regarding his "not taking an interest in forecasting" but I do love his other comments from the buzz at the AMS convention.

"His predecessor, Bill Proenza, was criticized by his staff for not taking an interest in forecasting."

Sorry, I know disagreeing with Jeff Masters is not a popular thing to do these days as he is next to God currently on the blogging/hurricane websites but I do not feel that Bill Proenza was not as interested in tracking the storms as he was research. I think Bill Proenza wanted to get the Hurricane Forecast Package right from all angles... all parts. Bill Proenza was interested in getting INTENSITY FORECASTING correct so that when they give a forecast it's not only on the money for point of landfall within the now infamous "cone" but he wanted to get the intensity right. When Humberto did his intensity dance and exploded... the NHC may have had the track down right but they were a little surprised by the rapid change in intensity. When Wilma exploded down near the Yucatan...they were off on intensity. They didn't see it coming.

That is what Bill Proenza was trying to do... get it right, save lives with a better forecast both on track and intensity!

Storms have a tendency to explode and a storm coming in as a 2 or a 4 and knowing it 2 or 3 days in advance can ONLY be figured out by the research department's work on hurricanes... they have to work hand in hand with the guys over at FIU in the bunker. They cannot hide themselves away in some think tank without paying attention to the people who are trying to uncover and mysteries of why storms like Opal do what they do.. not just where they go.

Most meteorologically minded people online can figure out and prog a storm by hand where it will go especially with some of the best models around... it's the intensity darlings.. it's the intensity and Bill Proenza knew that... that was his goal, to improve the intensity forecasting. That's where the lives are saved.

When Andrew turned suddenly west bound around the latitude of Miami that was a problem. When Andrew did not catch the front which was forecast to grab it.. I believe back when Steve Lyons was at the NHC not at TWC.... that was a problem. When Andrew suddenly found his groove and went from a Cat 1 to a Cat 5 in a little over a day on a bearing headed towards Miami THAT WAS A BIG PROBLEM...

Intensity forecasting...that is the holy grail and I hope they find it and find it soon before some population center on a coast somewhere gets hit by a storm that was forecast to curve beautifully out to sea just 75 miles offshore but instead curves suddenly north into the shore and slams in as a Category 3 and not a Category 1 because often what synoptic patterns create the change in direction also are responsible for a sudden burst of intensity.

Good luck Bill Read, you will need it even working with the best and brightest of the meteorological minds in the business (not to mention all that great hardware over at FIU in the bunker)... this might be one memorable hurricane season filled with strong storms that intensify close in vs far out and may create havoc and cause devastation somewhere from Brownsville to Maine along as Jim calls is "The Hurricane Coastline" so...

Here's some links to things said about Bill Read.

Otherwise, all is well ... am just busy and missing hurricane tracking and hoping that on this given any Sunday the New England Patriots lose.. as always, time will tell...

Besos Bobbi
Ps... to a certain met... you still owe me that AMS scenario ;)
Note the February 1st show will highlight Bill Proenza speaking one on one with Jim Williams. :) Smile Anyways... listen in or sign up for his service and you can access all of his previous shows and a tremendous amount of data and help support one of the best weather/hurricane sites online.

In a generous mood today, even adding Storm2K ;)


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