NOAA 99R206
Contact: Randee Exler


Two top-level National Weather Service directors were named today by the Department of Commerce. The newly appointed NWS directors are: Vickie L. Nadolski for Western Region Headquarters, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Louis W. Uccellini for the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Camp Springs, Md.

"I am fully committed to ensuring that we have the best weather service in the world and I am confident that these individuals have the experience and expertise to help us maximize the $4.5 billion dollar investment American taxpayers have made in modernizing the National Weather Service," said Commerce Secretary William M. Daley.

D. James Baker, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, announced the personnel selections today at the 79th annual American Meteorological Society meeting in Dallas, Texas. "Individuals such as Nadolski, and Uccellini will help NOAA and the United States remain a leader in weather and climate science and service."

As NWS regional director, Nadolski will manage all operational and scientific meteorological and hydrologic programs for the western portion of the country, including observing networks, weather services, forecasting, and climatology and hydrology. Nadolski will direct weather services for eight sates: California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.

"Our western states have diverse and challenging weather. Vickie Nadolski's strong leadership and management skills are well suited to meet the demands of this part of the country," said John J. Kelly Jr., NOAA assistant administrator for weather services and NWS director.

Nadolski, a native of Lynchburg, Va., and Herndon, Va., resident, joined the NWS in 1975 and has held a variety of meteorology and technical positions. She is best known for her work as the program manager of the Automated Surface Observing System, one of the new technologies of the modernized weather service. Since 1995, Nadolski has been responsible for directing the $230 million tri-agency system acquisition, managing system development and deployment across the country and integrating this technology into NOAA's data stream. As part of the Senior Executive Service Candidate Program, she assists the NWS director with special projects such as developing a strategic plan for the future and reorganizing the agency's headquarters. Nadolski graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in mathematics and has studied meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.

As the director of the National Centers of Environmental Prediction (NCEP), Uccellini will direct a central component of the NWS mission to protect life and property, as well as mitigate economic loss, by providing accurate forecasts and forecast guidance products to weather service field offices and many external users.

Uccellini, a native of Bethpage, Long Island, N.Y., and Columbia, Md., resident, has been the NWS' director of meteorology since 1994. During his tenure, he has established the scientific and operational requirements for NWS weather data, forecasts and warnings and the dissemination of these products to a diverse user community. Uccellini's federal career began as a research meteorologist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's Laboratory for Atmospheres, Greenbelt, Md., from 1978 to 1989. Uccellini joined NOAA as the chief of the Meteorological Operations Division, Camp Springs, Md., in 1989. The author of more than 50 journal publications, Uccellini is perhaps best known for his co-authorship (with Paul Kocin) of the AMS monograph, Snowstorms Along the Northeast Coast of the United States 1955 to 1985. Uccellini earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

"Louis Uccellini's meteorological track record at the National Weather Service is impressive," said Baker.

"NCEP is the starting point for nearly all weather and climate forecasts in the United States," said Kelly. "With Louis Uccellini's expertise, NCEP will continue to provide invaluable service to National Weather Service field offices, other government agencies, and private meteorological services that rely on our products and services."

Uccellini will manage the direction and administration of all NCEP activities, including technical and operational management of daily operations; ensuring timely and adequate implementation of new programs, products and services; and responding to the short-term and long-term needs of the NWS field operations and external customers.