Neil Frank


Neil Frank
Dr. Neil Frank
Born September 11
Kansas
Residence Houston, TX
Nationality American
Education Doctorate in Meteorology from Florida State University
Alma mater Florida State University
Southwestern College
Occupation Former director of the National Hurricane Center
Religion Christian
Children Pamela, Debra, and Ron

Dr. Neil Frank, Ph.D. is an American meteorologist and former director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Florida. He was instrumental in advancing both the scientific and informational aspects of hurricane forecasting. He retired as Chief Meteorologist at KHOU-TV in Houston.[1][2][3][4][5] Dr. Frank announced his retirement effective May 2008 during his May 19 evening broadcast segment.[6]

Contents

Early history and family

Dr. Frank grew up in Wellington, Kansas, and attended nearby Southwestern College, where he played basketball, with hopes of becoming a coach. However, after receiving his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1953 and doing some military work, he moved on to Florida State University, where he earned his Master's and Ph.D. degrees in meteorology.

Dr. Frank has been married over 50 years and has three grown children named Pamela DeRuiter, Debra Tucker, and Ron Frank. They have all married and Frank has ten grandchildren: Caryn, Lisa, and Davis DeRuiter, Dustin, Brandon, Jordan, and Alyssa Tucker, and Mitchell, Korinne, and Forrest Frank.

NHC career

Prior to his graduate studies in meteorology, Dr. Frank served in the United States Air Force where he received training as a weather officer. In 1961, he began working as a forecaster for the National Hurricane Center. He was appointed director of the Center in 1974. While director, Dr. Frank also served as chairman of the International Hurricane Committee, which coordinates hurricane warnings with other countries North America. He also participated in meteorological experiments conducted off the African coast. In 1987, he was called to testify as an expert witness before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. To date, Dr. Frank is the longest serving director of the NHC.

As NHC director, Dr. Frank was in the news frequently when hurricanes threatened, appearing in numerous interviews with then-CBS news anchor Dan Rather,[7] whose early career included coverage of several hurricanes.[8]

During Hurricane Allen in 1980, Dr. Frank used an Amateur Radio Station to communicate directly to the Brownsville Weather Center in Texas after they 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.[9]

Broadcasting career

In June 1987, Dr. Frank retired from the National Hurricane Center and joined Houston's CBS affiliate, KHOU-TV. He was already well-known to the Houston public from his reports as Director of the National Hurricane Center, particularly those during Hurricane Alicia, which came ashore near Houston in 1983. Dr. Frank was the chief meteorologist for the television station for over 20 years, receiving numerous awards and recognitions. In December 2007, Dr. Frank announced that he would retire the following year from broadcasting at KHOU-TV. Frank announced on the 10 PM news on Monday, May 19, 2008 that he would retire at the end of May. He will continue to provide the station with special weather projects and hurricane coverage.

Professional memberships and awards

  • Elected to council, American Meteorological Society, 1989-1992 term.
  • First place in the 1989 Texas Press Awards, Best weathercast.
  • 2004 recipient of the Belo William H. Seay Award.

External links

References

Preceded by
Robert Simpson
Director of the National Hurricane Center
1973–1987
Succeeded by
Bob Sheets

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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