Working with the local NWS site Ken Graham was just tapped to head the NWS.

A meteorologist who oversaw warnings and forecasts during one of the busiest spurts of Atlantic hurricane activity on record will take over as the new director of the National Weather Service, as scientists expect extreme and dangerous storms and heatwaves to worsen with climate change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday named National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham the overall boss of the weather service, succeeding winter storm expert Louis Uccellini, who retired as of January 1. The hire is effectively immediately. Graham got his start in New Orleans in 1994 as an intern meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Slidell. He later led the office for 10 years, overseeing forecasts for southeast Louisiana and south Mississippi.

Graham made good use of his time here as he was active in many of the disasters that hit us including oil spills.

During his time in New Orleans, Graham established two command centers in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 that provided forecasts to help authorities make decisions in the five months following the spill. Graham also led the effort to support officials in Louisiana and Mississippi after hurricanes Gustav, Ike, Isaac, and during the historic 2017 season. Graham also headed the weather service’s offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Birmingham, Alabama, including during a 2002 tornado outbreak that killed 12 people. He also was a television meteorologist in Mississippi. He’s a native of Phoenix and has degrees from the University of Arizona and from Mississippi State University.

Graham is no stranger to damage from many sides.

Ken Graham, director of the National Weather Service

During Graham’s four years as hurricane center chief there have been more named Atlantic storms, 101, than in any other four-year period since 1851, according to Colorado State University records. During his last two years as hurricane director, big storms came so often that “I hate to say the word routine, but they became so frequent that we just sprung back into action,” Graham said in a May interview. “Almost 28 years in the weather service, I’ve seen a lot of damage. A lot of people lose everything, a lot of loss of life.” The U.S. National Climate Assessment in 2018 said warming-charged extremes “have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration” and will only get worse. Graham in a statement said one of his goals is “prioritizing support of our forecasters.” The weather service has about 4,900 employees and 144 offices. Weather, climate and water disasters cause about 650 deaths a year and cause about $15 billion in damage annually, according to NOAA.

His experience shoud be a good fit into the national NWS. I wish him the best.

Local forecaster makes good at NWS
Tagged on: