The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has named Louis W. Uccellini as its next assistant administrator for weather services beginning Feb. 10 and the 16th director of National Weather Service.
Since 1999, NOAA says Uccellini has led the National Weather Service's National Centers for Environmental Prediction, which in 2012 moved to a new state-of-the-art facility in College Park, Md.
"It's an honor to lead such a prestigious agency with the unbeatable mission of protecting lives and livelihoods," said Uccellini. "The past year had its success stories with superior outlooks, forecasts and warnings, including those for Sandy, but difficulties remain."
NOAA says Uccellini, 63, began his weather career at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Laboratory for Atmospheres as the section head for the Mesoscale Analysis and Modeling Section in 1978.
In 1989, Uccellini joined the NWS as chief of the Meteorological Operations Division and then became director of the Office of Meteorology in 1994.
Uccellini said what makes the National Weather Service a prestigious agency are the men and woman who work day in and day out to keep everyone informed.
"They do so in ways that are more public, such as issuing life-saving watches and warnings, and in ways that are less apparent but are vital to our society," said Uccellini.
"Louis' leadership within the National Weather Service and his relationship with the U.S. and international weather enterprise allow him to effectively steer the agency forward," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.
NOAA says its National Weather Service will celebrate its 143rd anniversary on Saturday.