The Dog Days of Summer are still woofing. The pattern that is ahead of us looks hot and humid with rain chances slim and none for the foreseeable future. The future of the National Hurricane Center remains a bit in the air. Earlier in July, Director Bill Proenza was reassigned and Deputy Director Ed Rappaport took his place. If you recall from an earlier post, about 40% of the center’s employees called on the Feds to ditch Proenza because they said he had lowered moral and decreased public perception and confidence in the Center’s ability to forecast hurricanes. Proenza, who was a veteran of the NWS but not the Hurricane Center, had from nearly the beginning of his tenure in early 2007 complained that NOAA was wasting money on birthday celebrations while cutting the funding of the NHC. He also was upset that a critical satellite was nearing the end of its life and no plans had been made for a replacement. His cry was that the loss of the satellite would diminish the center’s ability to make accurate forecasts. Here is the brief story from July 9, 2007:
Proenza then went on to testify before Congress and defended his contention regarding the satellite:
The whole situation seems muddled to me and I still think there must be something more because one would think the boys at the NHC would love a guy trying to get them more funding. But Congress apparently agreed that the situation was untenable. I suppose it came down to firing nearly half the staff or firing the guy in charge.
Nevertheless, its still quiet in the tropics. One system currently SW of Bermuda doesn’t look too menacing from my perspective. Earlier this weekend, one extremely long range model tried creating a hurricane near mid-August but the next day that feature mysteriously disappeared and has yet to show up again. Its supposed to be a big hurricane year but keep in mind, in 2005 when there were 31 systems of Tropical Depression status or greater, the first named storm didn’t show up until late July.
On This Date in History: President Eisenhower signed into law a bill requiring “In God We Trust” be put on all currency and be considered the official US Motto. Since the Civil War the motto had been put on all coins but not paper currency. The “in God We Trust” bill was just two years after Eisenhower pushed for “under God” to be added to the Pledge of Allegiance. Most historians conclude this action was part of a reaction to the Red Scare of the 1950’s. Eisenhower himself has been said to have been raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, while more modern accounts suggest he was raised as a Mennonite. Sources say that Ike abandoned his family religion but that religion was still important to him and in 1953, he was baptised as a Presbyterian, less than a year into his first term as President. Today people claim the insertion of God into state mottoes and the pledge is a violation of the separation of church and state. Many defenders of the verbiage mistakenly think that the inclusion of God was mandated by our founders when in fact, “under God” and “In God We Trust” did not come along until after the founders were dead and gone. I’ll let you make the call.