Storm Blasts Hurricane Center

Staff demands director's ouster
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2007 4:21 AM CDT
National Hurricane Center Director Bill Proenza talks about Tropical Storm Barbara brewing off Mexico, after a hurricane preparation news conference in a Thursday, May 31, 2007 file photo, in Miami. Proenza...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A near-mutiny has erupted at the National Hurricane Center, where nearly half the staff has demanded the resignation of the center's director, Bill Proenza. The Miami Herald reports that seven forecasters and 16 other employees—including Proenza's own administrative assistant—signed a statement calling for his ouster.

Proenza is under fire for his criticism of a weather satellite system, QuikScat, and his constant battles with Washington higher-ups. Some fear he's cast doubt on the center's ability to make reliable forecasts—potentially dangerous as hurricane season approaches. The revolt has stunned weather forecasters across America. "There's never been anything like this," says one leading meteorologist.