Bastardi leaves Accu-Weather

Rumors popped up yesterday that Joe Bastardi, probably the most-recognizable name at perhaps the nation's most-recognizable private weather service, had left the company.

Accu-Weather is now confirming that it's true. After 30 years, their relationship evidently ended suddenly yesterday. We'll post details when they become available, but right now we know little about the circumstances.

The company's Justin Roberti says meteorologists Henry Margusity and Paul Pastelok will be taking over his duties. "I was as surprised as anybody," said Roberti.

But no one is likely to replace Bastardi, one of the most controversial and colorful figures in the weather community.

Over the years, Bastardi's daily blog had a huge following and was a major draw for paid subscribers to the company website.

He was Accu-Weather's chief long-range forecaster and has become one of the country's most-visible contrarians in the global warming debate.