Max Mayfield, former director of the National Hurricane Center, joined the weather team at Local 10 on April 1, 2007. Max serves as the station's hurricane specialist, offering viewers an insider's view of severe weather. He also writes a blog offering weather insights on Local10.com.
Max's forecasting career began with the United States Air Force in 1970 after his graduation from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree
in mathematics. He joined the National Weather Service in 1972 and later went on to earn a master's degree in meteorology at Florida State
In January 2000, he became the director of the National Hurricane Center and led the coastal regions of the United States through the devastating hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 which spawned a record number of storms, including the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina.
Max is recognized as one of the world's most knowledgeable scientists with an expertise in forecasting the path and intensity of tropical storms. He has been honored by local, state and federal officials for his tireless efforts.
Max also earned four gold medals from the U.S. Department of Commerce for his work during Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Isabel and the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. The same agency presented him with a silver medal for his efforts during Hurricane Gilbert.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Max was named the ABC News Person of the Week and was also recognized by the White House with the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service in 2005. Max retired as director of the National Hurricane Center in January 2007, but decided he wanted to use his experience to continue to serve South Florida.
"Since my retirement from the National Hurricane Center, I have been asked to consider a number of new career opportunities," Max said when his appointment was announced. "Some of them would have taken me out of Miami, but (South Florida) has been home for 35 years. I want to stay home and give something back to the community. I have great respect for WPLG and believe in the station's no-hype approach to hurricane coverage. I am very happy to become part of the WPLG family."
In addition to his work at WPLG, Max continues to travel throughout the United States speaking to government agencies and citizens about the need to be better prepared for hurricanes.
He and his wife, Linda, have lived in South Miami-Dade County since 1972. They have three children.