National Hurricane Center Hires Acting Deputy Director

August 29, 2007

The head of a Texas National Weather Service office will join the staff of the National Hurricane Center, officials announced Monday.

Bill Read will become acting deputy director Sept. 4, National Weather Service spokesman Greg Romano said. Read has been the Meteorologist in Charge of the Houston-Galveston area office since 1992.

Read led the office through events including tornado outbreaks, floods and heat waves as well as Hurricane Claudette and Hurricane Rita. He began working for the National Weather Service in 1977 after serving in the U.S. Navy, where he served as an on-board meteorologist with the Navy Hurricane Hunters in 1972-1973.

The deputy director post opened in July when its then-occupant Ed Rappaport became the center’s acting head following the departure of Bill Proenza.

Proenza was placed on leave July 7, just days after almost half his staff signed a statement urging his dismissal. They said he undermined the public’s confidence in them by exaggerating forecasting problems they would face if an aging weather satellite failed.

Proenza’s status remained unchanged Monday, Romano said.

It also was announced Monday that Rick Knabb, a senior hurricane specialist, will take on other duties of the deputy director position.

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