What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Friday, June 22, 2007

White House Muzzling Hurricane Center Director

National Hurricane Center Director Bill Proenza has been the loudest voice calling for a replacement of an aging satellite.

U.S. hurricane satellite could fail at any time
Associated Press
June 12, 2007
MIAMI - An aging weather satellite crucial to accurate predictions on the intensity and path of hurricanes could fail at any moment and plans to launch a replacement have been pushed back seven years to 2016.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's chief said the failure of the QuikScat satellite could bring more uncertainty to forecasts and widen the areas that are placed under hurricane watches and warnings.

If the satellite faltered, experts estimate that the accuracy of two-day forecasts would suffer by 10 percent and three-day forecasts by 16 percent, which could translate into miles of coastline and the difference between a city being evacuated or not.

Read the MSNBC article.

A.M in the Morning Comment: In typical fashion, the Bush Administration prefers a PR campaign and muzzling public employees to telling the American people the truth. See next story.

I'd really like to reinforce to American public that we are prepared to provide
hurricane services this season.

Mary Glackin, acting head of the U.S. Weather Service

Hurricane center director chastised for comments to media
June 17, 2007

MIAMI (AP) — The director of the National Hurricane Center, who has been outspoken in warning about an aging satellite used for hurricane forecasting, was chastised . . . by a superior for his comments.

Bill Proenza has been talking about the QuikScat satellite since taking office in January. The satellite was launched in 1999 and designed to last two to three years but is now showing signs of its age. Certain hurricane forecasts could be up to 16% less accurate if it fails, Proenza has said. That could lead to wider areas placed under hurricane watches and warnings. A satellite with technology meant to replace QuikScat would not fly until 2016, seven years later than planned, The Associated Press reported this week.

. . . Proenza was given a 3-page letter from the acting head of the Weather Service, Mary Glackin. Proenza's recent statements "may have caused some unnecessary confusion about NOAA's ability to accurately predict tropical storms," Glackin wrote.

Read the USAToday story.

A.M in the Morning Comment: Yeah, Glackin is marching in lockstep with the Rove, Cheney, and Bush.

Hurricane chief: NOAA wasted millions
By Brian Skoloff, Associated Press Writer
May 17, 2007

The federal government is spending millions of dollars on a publicity campaign that could be used to plug budget shortfalls hurricane forecasters are struggling with, the National Hurricane Center's director said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is spending up to $4 million to publicize a 200th anniversary celebration while the agency has cut $700,000 from hurricane research, Bill Proenza said. The hurricane center is part of the National Weather Service, which is a NOAA agency.

"No question about it, it is not justified," he said in a phone interview while attending the Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference in Fort Lauderdale. "It is using appropriated funds for self promotion."Read the USA Today story.

A.M in the Morning Comment: How wonderful to have folks who know their craft, have a backbone to stand up to political pressure AND receive mainstream media attention. What a breath of much needed fresh air!

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