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Planet Earth

Hurricane Wars: Episodes I & II

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJuly 6, 2007 10:05 PM

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If arguments within the hurricane community were the Star Wars series, then the battle over the relationship between hurricanes and global warming would be Episode I: A New Strife. Meanwhile, the extraordinary fight that has erupted of late at the National Hurricane Center--pitting now 23 of the center's staff against new director Bill Proenza--would be Episode II: Attack of the Forecasters. In all seriousness: The last thing the hurricane research and forecasting community needed was another of these battles. Sad. Anyways, you can read the hurricane staff complaint petition here (PDF). It says in part:

An unfortunate public debate is now occurring over the ability of the National Hurricane Center to meet its mission. The undersigned staff of the National Hurricane Center has concluded that the center needs a new Director, and with the heart of the hurricane season fast approaching, urges the Department of Commerce to make this happen as quickly as possible. The effective functioning of the National Hurricane Center is at stake. The staff of the National Hurricane Center would like nothing more than to return its focus to its primary mission of protecting life and property from hazardous tropical weather, and leave the political arena it now finds itself in.

The latest report from the Miami Herald is here.

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