Former NWS chief in La. chosen as new director of National Weather Service
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Kenneth Graham has been selected as the new director of the National Weather Service according to a news release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Graham becomes the 17th director of the nation’s lead weather agency, effective June 7, 2022.
Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Graham had served as the director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) since April 2018. He oversaw operations at NHC during one of the busiest stretches on record for the agency, including multiple major hurricane landfalls along the U.S. coastline such as Category 5 Hurricane Michael in Florida, and Category 4 Hurricanes Laura and Ida here in Louisiana.
Graham has strong ties to south Louisiana. His career in the National Weather Service began in 1994 at the NWS New Orleans/Baton Rouge office. After a couple of stints elsewhere, he returned in 2008 to take over as the Meteorologist in Charge of that office and would remain until accepting the position as director of NHC in 2018.
Commenting on his appointment by NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad, Graham said, “What an incredible honor it is to serve alongside the heroes of the National Weather Service whose excellence shines through day after day. I thank Dr. Spinrad for entrusting me with the awesome responsibility and privilege of leading this dedicated team at such an exciting and important time in our history. We’ll accomplish great things together by building on recent progress and prioritizing support of our forecasters. I can’t wait to get started.”
With Graham’s departure from the National Hurricane Center, Jamie Rhome has been named as the acting director of NHC until a permanent replacement is named. Rhome has been at NHC since 1999 and is best known for heading up the agency’s Storm Surge Unit.
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