NOAA 03-R299-19
Contact: Marilu Trainor
NOAA News Releases 2003
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NOAA National Weather Service) has named Jim Purpura to head the San Diego NOAA National Weather Service forecast office. Purpura began his new duties as Meteorologist in Charge as of September 2. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

NOAA National Weather Service Western Region Director Vickie Nadolski said Purpura will provide leadership for all forecast operations serving residents and visitors of San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, and Riverside Counties of Southern California.

The NOAA National Weather Service is responsible for issuing severe watches and warnings for weather, aviation, and marine forecasts, and hydrological watches and warnings. The NOAA National Weather Service also provides weather support to various land management agencies for prescribed burn and wildfire activities.

A 22-year NOAA National Weather Service veteran, Purpura has held a variety of forecast and management positions. His most recent assignment was Meteorologist in Charge at the NOAA National Weather Service forecast office in Corpus Christi, Texas. Previously, he served as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist in Norman, Okla., and as a public, aviation, and marine forecaster in Chicago.

Nadolski said, “Jim has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, particularly in the last two years as the Meteorologist in Charge of the Corpus Christi office. His extensive experience working with emergency management, local government, the business community as well as the public will be advantageous to the people of Southern California. He has excellent communication and outreach skills, and brings insight gained from broad experiences and leadership roles within NOAA’s National Weather Service. He recently lead the NOAA National Weather Service’s assessment team that looked at the nation’s worst tornado outbreak in recent history in the Midwest U.S. states in May.”

During his NOAA National Weather Service career, Purpura has been a leader of change and helped to implement the use of new and improved technologies for NOAA National Weather Service customers. His work at the Norman weather office in the 1990's was during the modernization of the NOAA National Weather Service. That office was among the first to use the Doppler Weather Radar and a prototype computer workstation now used in all forecast offices. He was also part of the initial group of graduates of the NOAA National Weather Service leadership development program in 2000.

“Working in today’s NOAA National Weather Service is the opportunity beyond what I ever could have imagined. We have a world class team of trained professionals using the latest technology and are focused on serving the public. We will keep the people of Southern California prepared for whatever weather Mother Nature has in store. I look forward to continued improvements in our services as we embark on a digital revolution and provide forecasts in graphical form,” Purpura said. “I am honored to be given the responsibility of leading the NOAA National Weather Service San Diego team and work closely with the professionals on staff, our customers, partners, and the public. My goal is to work with the entire weather community and our customers to continually develop new and innovative ways to provide the best services.”

In addition to his extensive forecasting and program management experience, Purpura earned a bachelor of science degree in meteorology from Northern Illinois University, and a bachelor of science degree in computer science from the University of Central Oklahoma. He enjoys computers, gardening, and home renovation.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

Note: Media interested in scheduling interviews with Jim Purpura may contact him at the San Diego NOAA National Weather Service office on or after Sept. 2 by calling (858) 75-8700 Ext. 222.

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