With just months to go until the start of hurricane season, the director of the National Hurricane Center is going back to work at The Weather Channel.
Dr. Rick Knabb has been director of the center in Miami since June 2012. Knabb will participate in the National Hurricane Conference next month in New Orleans and the federal government's annual Hurricane Awareness Tour before leaving the center May 12.
Knabb, who spent part of his youth in Fort Lauderdale, earned degrees from Purdue University and Florida State University before starting his professional career. He left a previous stint as The Weather Channel's tropical weather expert to become chief of the U.S. government's hurricane forecasting hub.
In a statement Tuesday, Knabb said his new job as an on-air hurricane expert would allow him to focus on his “greatest passion,'' communicating about safety during hurricanes and other disasters.
Knabb led the agency through several important weather moments in America, including Superstorm Sandy striking the Northeast in 2012 along with Hurricane Joaquin as a category four storm in 2015 and Hurricane Matthew, which reached category five status last fall before striking Florida and the east coast.
Deputy Director Ed Rappaport will serve as the center's acting director for the six-month Atlantic hurricane season that begins June 1.