Since early July the National Hurricane Center (formally called the Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center) has been led by Acting Director Dr. Ed Rappaport. Ed is thoroughly familiar with our Nation’s Hurricane Warning Program. He is more than capable of stepping into the Director’s job, but for personal reasons has decided not to apply for the job at this time. We should respect that decision. But the NHC does need a full-time Director as soon as possible, and I’m pleased to see the job advertised on http://www.usajobs.gov. The vacancy announcement closes on Oct. 24, and officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are expecting “to make a selection within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement.” This will be just in time for the yearly NOAA Hurricane Conference that is scheduled for November 27-30.
I have often remarked that the battle against the hurricane is won outside the hurricane season. As a former NHC Director, I can assure you that many of the greatest demands on the director occur during the December-May time period. Let us hope that the selection process plays out quickly and a highly qualified person is selected as soon as possible.