Rappaport now acting National Hurricane Center Director…

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Ed Rappaport, Acting Director of the National Hurricane Center.

Ed Rappaport is now the Acting Director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, replacing recently removed former Director Bill Proenza. Loyal readers will remember previous reports that explained the turmoil that had been occurring at the NHC prior to Proenza’s removal. Described as a “mutiny” and an “insurrection”, over 20 NHC employees, including 4 out of the 5 senior forecasters signed a document asking for Proenza to be fired. Rappaport, who has been the longtime Assistant Director and a senior forecaster before that is part of the usually congenial team at the NHC. (Proenza, who came from another branch of NOAA, was considered an outsider) Now that the turmoil surrounding Proenza is over, the NHC can concentrate on the upcoming hurricane season, which will be reaching its peak in the next few weeks. There may be some good news this year for the upper portion of the U.S. East Coast, which of course includes Ocean County. Some experts believe that the patterns that steer hurricanes will this year be similar to those of 2004 and 2005. Although there were many landfalling U.S. storms in those years (Charley, Frances, Gaston, Ivan & Jeanne in ’04, and Cindy, Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in ’05) all of them either hit the Gulf Coast or the East Coast below North Carolina. Although this is a encouraging signal, it does not mean that New Jersey is totally out of danger. It is possible that the predictions won’t come true, or that one storm could break ranks and head up towards our area. The best bet is for Ocean County residents to be prepared. As we asked readers in the beginning of the season, would you know what to do if you had to evacuate? Have a plan, and a disaster kit ready now. Don’t wait until a hurricane threatens. If a hurricane is indeed going to strike this area, we might not have much time to prepare, perhaps 48 hours at the most.

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