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 Dr. Neil Frank

 Former Director - National Hurricane Center - Hurricane Expert KHOU TV - Houston, Texas

Dr. Neil Frank was the third director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Florida. He was instrumental in advancing both the scientific and informational aspects of hurricane forecasting.  As NHC director, Frank was in the news frequently when hurricanes threatened, appearing in numerous interviews with then-CBS news anchor Dan Rather whose early career included coverage of several hurricanes. During Hurricane Allen in 1980, Frank used an Amateur Radio Station to communicate directly to the Brownsville Weather Center in Texas after had lost all of their conventional communications links. The only remaining communications link between the Hurricane Center and Brownsville was their amateur radio station on battery power and wire antenna. NHC and Brownsville discussed the strange behavior of the eye of Hurricane Allen while it stalled just off the Texas Coast for almost 2 hours. In June 1987, Frank retired from the National Hurricane Center and joined KHOU TV in Houston, Texas.  He retired as Chief Meteorologist at KHOU TV in Houston, Texas. Dr. Frank announced his retirement effective May 2008 during his May 19 evening broadcast segment.

 Max Mayfield

 Former Director - National Hurricane Center - Hurricane Expert WPLG - Miami, Florida

Max Mayfield began his forecasting career with the United States Air Force in 1970, after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, serving as a first lieutenant until 1972. In 1972, Mayfield joined the National Weather Service as a satellite meteorologist. Mayfield earned his master’s degree in meteorology at Florida State University in 1987, becoming a hurricane specialist. Max became the director of the National Hurricane Center in January 2000 after the retirement of Jerry Jarrell. Mayfield received Gold medals for his work during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Isabel in 2003. He received a silver medal for work done during Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. In 1996, the American Meteorological Society presented Mayfield the Francis W. Reichelderfer Award for his service in coordinating the National Hurricane Center’s hurricane preparedness training for emergency preparedness officials and the general public. In 2004, he received an Emmy Award for extraordinary contributions to television by someone not normally eligible for Emmy awards. In 2005, Mayfield became ABC News person of the week after Hurricane Katrina.

 Bill Read

 Former Director - National Hurricane Center - Hurricane Expert KPRC TV - Houston, Texas

Bill Read served in the U.S. Navy, where he served as an on-board meteorologist with the Hurricane Hunters. He began his weather service career in 1977 with the National Weather Service test and evaluation division in Sterling, Virginia. He served as a forecaster in the Fort Worth and San Antonio, Texas offices before becoming the severe thunderstorm and flash flood program leader at the National Weather Service headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Read was appointed to direct the Houston/Galveston weather forecast office in 1992 and led it through the National Weather Service modernization and restructuring program of the mid 1990s. He was also part of the Hurricane Liaison Team at the National Hurricane Center in Miami when Hurricane Isabel came ashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in September 2003. Bill received the National Hurricane Conference Public Education Award in Spring 2004 for hurricane preparedness efforts. Under his leadership, the Houston/Galveston forecast office conducted an annual Houston/Galveston Hurricane Workshop, which was considered the largest meeting of its kind in the United States.  He became Director of the National Hurricane Center in 2008 and retired from NHC in June of 2012.

 Rick Knabb

 Director - National Hurricane Center

Richard Knabb, Ph.D., is the Director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. Dr. Knabb received his Bachelor's Degree in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University (1990) and his Masters of Science and Doctorate in Meteorology from the Florida State University (1993, 1999). He completed his postdoctoral work at the University of Hawaii (2000). In 2008, Dr. Knabb became the Deputy Director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He served in that capacity until 2010, when he joined The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia, as its on-air Hurricane Expert and Tropical Science Program Manager. He rejoined NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in June 2012 as its Director.

 Dr. Philip Klotzbach

 Research Scientist - Tropical Meteorology Project - Colorado State University

Dr. Phil Klotzbach is a Research Scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. He received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from CSU in 2007. Klotzbach has been employed in the Department of Atmospheric Science for the past twelve years where he has been co-author on the Atlantic basin hurricane forecasts with Dr. William Gray.

Dr. Phil Klotzbach has worked with Dr. Gray on the seasonal hurricane forecasts since 2000 and is currently working as a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science. He designed the United States Landfalling Hurricane Probability Webpage which has received over 500,000 hits since its inception on June 1, 2004. His research interests include seasonal hurricane prediction and causes of climate change.

 Dan Kottlowski

 Senior Meteorologist - AccuWeather

Dan Kottlowski became interested in meteorology as a youngster on an Indiana farm. His curiosity about the weather led to a B.S. in Meteorology from Purdue University and has led to a 38-year career as an operational weather forecaster.  Dan holds the rank of Senior Meteorologist, AccuWeather’s highest distinction for an operational meteorologist. This designation is awarded to those who earn certification in both live on-air radio and live on-air television broadcasting and who hold leadership roles within the company’s severe weather team. Dan leverages both his in-depth understanding of the weather and his top-flight communication skills throughout the year as AccuWeather’s Director of Forecaster Training and Director of Television Franchise Services. Dan is responsible for training both new and seasoned meteorologists in new meteorological concepts and applications.  In his TV franchise services role he oversees the daily briefings of television meteorologists at some of the most-viewed affiliate stations across the country. Dan’s briefings combine details on the developing weather situation with advice on presentation strategies that will most effectively deliver forecasts to the stations’ viewers. During the Atlantic hurricane season, Dan wears an additional hat as the lead hurricane forecaster for AccuWeather. He coordinates the AccuWeather hurricane team and frequently appears in the video media as an expert in hurricanes and related severe weather.

 Tim Marshall

 Meteorologist - Engineer  HAAG Engineering

Tim Marshall is a meteorologist and civil engineer who makes his living surveying and assessing damage in the wake of tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and hailstorms.  He was born and raised in the Chicago, IL area and became interested in tornadoes when his hometown was struck by an F-4 tornado in 1967. Tim began tracking down hurricanes and studying their damage while schooling at Texas Tech.  Tim’s first hurricane chase was Allen in 1980. After graduating in 1983, Tim went to work for Haag Engineering Company based in Dallas and has surveyed hundreds of natural disasters during the past 30 years. In that time, he also has tracked down hundreds of tornadoes and dozens of hurricanes.  Tim rode out Hurricane Katrina in Slidell, LA in 2005 and Ike on Galveston Island in 2008. He has served on the Severe Local Storms the Enhanced Fujita scale committees and was a consultant to the Saffir-Simpson scale committee.  Tim has written many publications on building damage and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs.

 John Zarella

 JZ Media

John Zarella was CNN’s Miami correspondent, named to this position when the Miami bureau was established in December 1983. Zarrella was responsible for CNN’s coverage of news in Florida, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Since joining CNN, he covered every major hurricane to hit Florida and the Gulf Coast, most recently Katrina and Rita; the Pope’s visit to Cuba; the eruption of the Montserrat volcano and the Cuban and Haitian refugee crises. Zarrella was also a principal correspondent for CNN’s coverage of the U.S. space program, covering such events such as John Glenn’s 1998 return to space, the Mars Pathfinder mission and numerous space shuttle launches. Zarrella was the CNN network correspondent on site when the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster occurred. In 2011, Zarrella covered the final flights of the Space Shuttle program.


He also served as a correspondent on major news events for the network, including Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier return to Haiti, Air France crash in Brazil and the Honduras Coup in 2011, the network’s Peabody Award winning coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010, the Terri Schiavo controversy in Florida, the 2002 Elian Gonzalez story in Miami, the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847 in Beirut, the trial of Manuel Noriega and the Mexico City earthquake in 1985.


 Dr.  Sharan Majumdar

Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, University of Miami


Dr. Sharan Majumdar, together with his students and staff, seek to improve hurricane forecasts by understanding their predictability,

assimilating targeted data from satellites and aircraft, and exploring the use of ensemble forecasts. He has published over 50 peer-

reviewed papers and serves on national and international working groups including several under the United Nations’ World

Meteorological Organization. He teaches courses on atmospheric science, weather forecasting, predictability, and hurricanes, and

oversees all the Rosenstiel School’s M.S. and Ph.D. programs as Associate Dean. He received his Ph.D. from the University of

Cambridge and joined the faculty at the University of Miami in 2002.



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