NOAA 99-R221
Contact: Keli Tarp


The world's premier scientific and professional organization for weather, the
American Meteorological Society, recently named James F. Kimpel, director of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., president-elect for 1999.

Kimpel, who will become AMS president in 2000, is the first person from Oklahoma
to be selected to lead the organization. He is a certified consulting meteorologist and was elected a fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 1989. He has distinguished himself by serving on the organization's 15-member Council and as chairman of the Committee on Societal Impacts.

In addition, Kimpel serves on the Department of Energy / Battelle / Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory Review Committee for Environment and Health, and the
National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council committees on Assessing the Cost of Natural Disasters along with the Global Disaster Information Network. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Board on Natural Disasters since 1994.

A professor of meteorology and former administrator at the University of Oklahoma,
Kimpel has directed the Lab for more than two years. He is only the third person to serve as director since it was established in 1964. NSSL conducts basic and applied research to improve forecasts and warnings of tornadoes and other severe weather, working closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service and the university meteorological community.

He received his Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin in 1973.

Kimpel's selection was announced during the American Meteorological Society's
79th annual meeting held in Dallas in January.

"For many years, the meteorology group in Norman has had a huge impact on the
worldwide weather community," Kimpel said. "My election represents the significant work we are doing right here in Oklahoma."

Three other meteorologists working in Norman serve in leadership positions for the
AMS. They include Chuck Doswell, researcher at NSSL, who serves as a counselor;
Dennis McCarthy, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service's local
forecast office, whose three-year term as a counselor ended in January; and John Snow, dean of the University of Oklahoma's College of Geosciences, who is currently the organization's commissioner of education.

Editor's Note: A photo of Dr. Kimpel is available from Keli Tarp at (405) 366-0451 or by e-mail at