|Neil L. Frank, Ph.D|
September 11, 1931 |
Kansas, United States
|Education||Doctorate in Meteorology from Florida State University|
|Alma mater||Florida State University
|Occupation||Former director of the National Hurricane Center, Former Chief Meteorologist at KHOU-TV in Houston.|
Neil Laverne Frank (born September 11, 1931) 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. Dr. Frank announced his retirement effective May 2008 during his May 19 evening broadcast segment.
Frank grew up in Wellington, Kansas, and attended nearby Southwestern College. 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.
Frank has been married over 60 years and has three grown children, 10 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Prior to his graduate studies in meteorology, 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 in 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, Frank is the longest serving director of the NHC.
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 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.
In June 1987, 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. Frank was the chief meteorologist for the television station for over 20 years, receiving numerous awards and recognitions. In December 2007, 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.
Frank is a signatory to An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which states that "Earth and its ecosystems - created by God's intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence - are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting."