NOAA 2000-022
Contact: John Leslie


Stephen J. Lord, a numerical weather prediction specialist and hurricane analysis and research pioneer, has been named the new director of the Environmental Modeling Center, NOAA announced today. Lord will lead a team of scientists in developing sophisticated, computerized models that predict America's weather and climate trends from hours to months in advance.

Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction, said Lord "brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position and I'm confident his leadership will keep the National Weather Service at the forefront of weather and climate prediction."

Lord, who had been the Center's acting director since September 1997, has been credited with developing new systems that analyze hurricane weather data. In 1989, he was among the first to study the impact of data-collection devices, such as dropsondes, on hurricane track and intensity. (Dropsondes are instruments released from reconnaissance aircraft, which measure wind, temperature and humidity of tropical storms.)

In 1978, Lord earned his Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences at the University of California at Los Angeles. After a two-year post doctoral appointment at UCLA, Lord worked at the Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Meteorological and Oceanographic Laboratory in Miami.

While in Miami, Lord studied the meteorological factors that increase the intensity of hurricanes, and participated in a research program that led to the improved depiction of hurricane winds in forecast models. He became the deputy director of the Environmental Modeling Center in 1994 and has played a key role in the National Weather Service's increasing ability to forecast and understand hurricanes.

The Harrow Weald, England, native holds a bachelor's of science degree in physics from Yale University. He lives in Bowie, Md., with his wife and son.