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New Director of NOAA's National Weather Service Announced

NOAA Press Release:

Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D., will become the next assistant NOAA administrator for weather services beginning February 10 and the 16th director of NOAA's National Weather Service, which marks its 143rd anniversary this Saturday.

"Louis' leadership within the National Weather Service and his relationship with the U.S. and international weather enterprise allow him to effectively steer the agency forward," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.

"It's an honor to lead such a prestigious agency with the unbeatable mission of protecting lives and livelihoods," said Uccellini. "The past year had its success stories with superior outlooks, forecasts and warnings, including those for Sandy, but difficulties remain. Our eyes remain locked on the future to ensure a National Weather Service that is second to none and supports a weather-ready nation.

What makes the National Weather Service a prestigious agency with a bold future are the dedicated men and woman who work day in and day out to keep us all informed and safe. They do so in ways that are more public, such as issuing life-saving watches and warnings, and in ways that are less apparent but are vital to our society, such as supporting airline safety and marine transportation to protecting electrical infrastructure from solar storms."

"I congratulate Dr. Uccellini and look forward to continuing to collaborate with him and the National Weather Service," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "FEMA and the NWS in partnership together prepare communities and local officials for the impacts of weather hazards to save lives and protect property."

"Working with a spectrum of partners, including emergency management, the commercial sector, broadcasters, academia and social scientists, we can and will meet the nation's needs to overcome the very real threats from the increasing severity and frequency of weather and climate extremes," added Uccellini.

Laura K. Furgione, who served as acting director of the National Weather Service since May 2012, will return as the agency's deputy director. "Louis has always placed a priority on providing forecast tools to help field offices and national centers be successful. I'm proud to work by his side as we continue supporting our nation-wide team," said Furgione.

Since 1999, Uccellini has led the NWS' National Centers for Environmental Prediction, which in 2012 moved to a new state-of-the-art facility in College Park, Md. At NCEP, he was responsible for directing the planning, science and technology, and operational responsibilities related to NCEP's Central Operations and Environmental Modeling, as well as seven national centers, including the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., and Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo. Uccellini is also a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and just completed his term as the society's president.

Uccellini, 63, began his weather career at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Laboratory for Atmospheres as the section head for the Mesoscale Analysis and Modeling Section in 1978. In 1989, he joined the NWS as chief of the Meteorological Operations Division and then became director of the Office of Meteorology in 1994.

Uccellini received his Bachelor of Science (1971), Master (1972), and Ph.D. (1977) degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published more than 60 journal articles and chapters in books, and is known for coauthoring the widely acclaimed two-volume book, Northeast Snowstorms.

A native of Bethpage, N.Y. on Long Island, Dr. Uccellini is a resident of Columbia, Md. He and his wife, Susan, have three children.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.