Thursday, July 12, 2007

Okinawa braces for Typhoon 04W (Man-yi)

My second and important weather story of the day. Its been quiet in the Atlantic ( with exception of the storm at the NHC) but the Pacific is blowing a wind. That storm has been designated Typhoon Man-Yi (04W).

As of this morning, Typhoon Man-Yi (04W) was centered near 22 north and 128.5 east. Its winds were sustained at around 145 mph, and was tracking movement to the north-northwest at 15 mph, putting it at a strength very close to that of a category-4 hurricane.

The storm has the possibility of strengthening to a super typhoon (winds above 150 mph) very briefly Thursday afternoon, just before making landfall over Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands by tonight. Waves are expected be greater than 35 feet, while a driving rainfall and strong, dangerous winds will batter the region. Mariners need to avoid this storm and all residence of Okinawa and the general area should take precautions prior to the arrival of this dangerous storm.

Here are the details from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center Typhoon 04W (Man-Yi)


More on Proenza

Ok I said it would be my last. But I found two articles one from the AP and the other from ABC News on the NHC a day after Bill Proenza was replaced. I don't think I was far off in my Monday, July 9, 2007 The NHC Follies posting.

Most of the hubbub seems to have been Proenza being critical of his bosses at NOAA and some of the staff not taking to Proenza's management style and speed of decision. Some of these people on staff at the NHC have been there since the USG laid the cornerstone to the building and I believe they need to get a grip. If this was the corporate world the changes would not be in upper management but in the staff. If this is true and that staff revolted because of their own special interests and childish attitudes, then it was not Proenza who damaged public confidence, it was the staff itself. Which again if true, I find appalling.

I also find it interesting that Ed Rappaport the Deputy originally turned down the job of Director. Why? Well I guess that is evident. Between the suits at NOAA/Commerce doing the Beltway CYA line dance and the children on staff, the director must go home every night, take a shower, and blow dry his hair with a 12 gauge shot gun!

Yesterday the The US Senate Commerce Committee took up a hearing on QuikSCAT and other issues at the NHC. Here is the opening statement by Senator Daniel K. Inouye and the testimonies of Ms. Mary Ellen Kicza, Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Kizca Satellites Testimony . Dr. Michael Freilich, Director, Earth Science Division Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Mr. David Powner, Director, Technology Management Issues Government Accountability Office.Dr. Greg Holland, Director, Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research and Dr. Antonio Busalacchi, Professor and Director, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center University of Maryland.

Ex-Hurricane Center Chiefs: Job's Tough

MIAMI - A day after the director of the National Hurricane Center went on leave amid leadership questions, former directors said Tuesday he should have listened more carefully to his staff and made changes more slowly.

Bill Proenza went on leave after 23 employees - about half his staff - urged his immediate removal last week. Center employees said Proenza damaged public confidence in their forecasting ability and distracted the center from its work.

"I think the bottom line is that he simply did not listen to his senior staff," said Proenza's predecessor, Max Mayfield.

A chief complaint was the way Proenza called for a replacement of an aging satellite called QuikScat, used for hurricane forecasting.

"If he would have hung in there for one season and had kept his head down for one season (without making changes), he would have been much better off," said Jerry Jarrell, director of the center from 1998 to 2000, who now lives in Oregon. "He forgot that he had to be an advocate for the forecasters. He should have waited until he had some more experience, but sort of plunged in."

Still, Proenza's "heart's in the right place," he said.

A hurricane center spokesman said its interim director, Ed Rappaport, was busy preparing for the 2007 hurricane season and would not comment. A cell phone message left for Proenza was not returned.

Proenza, the center's eighth director, had been on the job since January.

Proenza may have set himself up for removal by criticizing his bosses at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on budget shortfalls and other issues, Jarrell said.

"When you criticize your boss and when you do it publicly in the media, you're sort of inviting your subordinates to do the same thing to you," Jarrell said.

Jarrell said that he had at least one situation where he felt he had to be outspoken as director, during a threat of budget cuts in the 1990s, but that he made his comments with the support of his staff and others, including Proenza, he said.

Neil Frank, the center's head in the 1970s and 80s, said he had few controversies during his 13-year tenure, the major one being which office should directly oversee the center. Now the chief meteorologist at a Houston TV station, Frank was credited with reaching out to the media. He said he was careful to work within the system.

"Talking to the media and bypassing NOAA headquarters is fraught with some danger, as you now know," said Frank, who remembered a young Proenza helping him on his doctoral dissertation.

A Commerce Department team sent to conduct a review of the center after Proenza's comments was finishing its work Tuesday. Proenza had said the inspection was unnecessary and blamed some staff animosity on the team, which has a report due to the Commerce Department on July 20. The department oversees NOAA, the hurricane center's parent agency.

The Senate Commerce Committee planned to take up the issue of QuikScat and other weather and environmental satellites in a hearing Wednesday.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

And this from ABC News;


July 11, 2007 10:02 AM

Former head of the National Hurricane Center Bill Proenza has company!

Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research will tell a senate committee Wednesday that "ACCURATE FORECASTS AND WARNINGS OF HURRICANES HAS TO BE MADE A NATIONAL PRIORITY."

He will say that "investing in improved computer models and hardware is an investment that has to be made if we are to make substantive progress on predicting hurricane intensity and structure" and will add cutbacks in some of the weather satellite programs "ARE A SERIOUS STEP BACKWARD ... "


Senator Bill Nelson, democrat of Florida, who represents some of those "vulnerable communities will chair the 10:00am hearing.

Just typical of politics and it looks like Bill Proenza was right. I wonder what some of his staff has to say?. I still believe that the Department of Commerce Inspector General needs to take a serious look.