June 1st is the start of meteorological summer, but most Weather Geeks will associate that date with the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Oddly, this year we begin the season with no appointed FEMA Administrator, NOAA Administrator, or National Hurricane Center (NHC) Director. Each position is currently held by an interim. I will say more about the NHC director in a moment.
Much discussion has centered on the fact that a major hurricane drought has been in place for the continental United States in the past decade or so. In recent weeks, Colorado State University, NOAA, and The Weather Channel have issued their seasonal projections. Most experts are calling for above-normal hurricane activity in the basin this season. While this is useful information, I try not to get too hung up on seasonal predictions. Ask the folks in Haiti, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas if they remember how many storms they were expecting last year or if they remember Hurricane Matthew. It only takes “1”. People that experienced a late August “A” storm called Hurricane Andrew are nodding their head right now.
Dr. Rick Knabb served as the director of the National Hurricane Center for the past 5 years. Prior to that service, he was a hurricane expert at The Weather Channel. Well, guess what? He is baaaaaack. Dr. Rick Knabb, America’s Hurricane Forecaster, has come back to The Weather Channel and will be a familiar voice as the public tunes in for sound information on tropical systems this season.
He joins me on Weather Geeks this week and of course I want to know what made him leave one of the highest profile jobs within the meteorological field. We also discuss the challenges of his previous position and the opportunities at the network. You will also want to eavesdrop on our conversation on how Dr. Knabb thought the forecaster community did with Hurricane Matthew and what lessons we should have learned. Rick and I (I can call him Rick as we were PhD classmates at Florida State ☺) also discuss the array of new hurricane products that the Hurricane Center will be using this season.
Hurricane Geek Out time this week on Weather Geeks.
Weather Geeks always airs Noon ET (11 am CT, 10 am MT, 9 am PT) on The Weather Channel.