National Hurricane Center Director replaced

by Hank Tester

The controversial director of the National Hurricane Center has been replaced.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration announced Monday that Ed Rappaport is now acting director of the National Hurricane Center.

The announcement comes just days after 23 NHC employees called for former director Bill Proenza to be fired.

A spokesman for the NHC said that Proenza has been reassigned.

Proenza replaced veteran center head Max Mayfield in January.

Last week, more than 20 of Proenza's nearly 50 employees urged his dismissal.

They claimed he damaged public confidence in their forecasts by repeatedly and publicly criticizing the federal government for not providing enough funding, particularly to replace an aging weather satellite.

Staff members said Proenza misrepresented the problem with the satellite and they were worried the consequences would actually hurt their forecasting abilities.

Rappaport, who was the center's deputy director, would not comment on his appointment.

A spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the center, could not be reached for comment.