Cave Spring grad, former WDBJ7 intern, now director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center

Mike Brennan selected as director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center
Mike Brennan, Ph.D., selected as director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.
Mike Brennan, Ph.D., selected as director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.(NOAA)
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 12:58 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - NOAA has selected Mike Brennan, Ph.D., to serve as the next director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, effective immediately.

Brennan, a Cave Spring High School Graduate and WDBJ7′s first weather intern in the 1990s, is now at the top spot at the agency which delivers critical hurricane forecasts and preparedness.

“The NHC director is one of the most visible and important jobs in the nation, and Mike possesses the right combination of experience, leadership and personal traits to prepare and guide us through major storms,” said Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA Administrator. “Alongside our trusted and dedicated team at NHC, Mike will continue to leverage vital partnerships to provide the best forecasts and build resilience to the impacts of hurricanes in U.S. communities.”

Brennan has spent nearly all of his 15-year NOAA career at NHC, and for the past year has served as the acting NHC Deputy Director. Since 2018, Brennan has been the Branch Chief of the Hurricane Specialist Unit. During this period, he supervised one of NOAA’s highest profile operational forecast units through 18 U.S. landfalling hurricanes — including eight major hurricanes — and more than 20 U.S. tropical storm landfalls.

“I am honored and humbled to work with the talented staff at the National Hurricane Center at a time when we are making exciting advancements in hurricane forecasts and developing new decision support tools to improve community resilience to powerful hurricanes and tropical storms,” said Brennan. “Along with our colleagues across the National Weather Service and NOAA, we’re working to improve community safety through clear communication on the various hazards posed by these storms.”

In 2019, Brennan joined NHC meteorologists, hurricane hunter pilots and experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a five-stop East Coast tour which included a stop at the Roanoke-Blacksburg airport. During the event, Brennan spoke with Chief Meteorologist Brent Watts about the importance of hurricane preparedness, even hundreds of miles inland.

Brennan fills the role left vacant by the departure of Ken Graham, who became the director of the National Weather Service in June 2022. Jamie Rhome has served as the acting director of the National Hurricane Center since that time and will resume his duties as the center’s deputy director.