If you recall some time ago, I reported to you about how the new director of the National Hurricane Center began his tenure by criticising his boss, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. He ragged on them for cutting his budget by $700,000 and for spending money, $4 million, on a birthday celebration for NOAA’s 200th birthday, never mind that NOAA didn’t come into existence until 1970. They claim the root of their existence dates back to 1807 and they refute the claim of $4 million. They said its more like $1.5 million. In any event, the new director, Bill Proenza, said his budget cuts could result in forecast accuracy reduced by as much as 16% mainly because the QuikScat satellite is reaching the end of its expected life and there is no replacement. Well, now he’s getting heat from within. Apparently 3 of the top 5 forecasters are calling for his removal. They say he has hurt morale and they don’t like his management style. So, a bunch of Feds showed up at the hurricane center recently to do an investigation. Meantime, as far as I can tell, plans remain underway for NOAA to spend more money on changing the name from the National Hurricane Center to the NOAA Hurricane Center. I guess the agency has a narcissistic edge to them and think its important that we acknowledge the superiority of the government. Anyway, it’s turned into a soap opera and it’s a shame because the National Hurricane Center has probably been one of the better stories of US Government agencies in many years. Reports say that there have been shouting matches between the pro and con Proenza legions at the NHC. I guess some think he shouldn’t rock the boat, spark up a cigar during the bogus party and hope Quikscat doesn’t go down on his watch. There’s got to be something more here. I know some of the guys at the NHC and I can’t believe that they would want to get rid of a guy who wants to get them more tools and maintain their budget unless there’s something they aren’t saying. Maybe NOAA itself is behind it to try and get rid of the guy for making them look silly by publicizing their party, budget cuts and name changes. By making it look like it came from within, that takes them off the hook. In any event, let’s hope they bury the barometer and don’t take their differences to the field when the hurricane game comes to town. This is one team we need to be on the same page with the tempest returns.