The annual award is made in conjunction with National Weatherperson’s Day celebrated on Sunday, Feb. 5
(TALLAHASSEE, FLA.) - The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) today named National Hurricane Center (NHC) Director Dr. Richard Knabb as the 2017 National Weatherperson of the Year. Dr. Knabb was selected for his career accomplishments as a scientist, risk communicator, leader, and public servant.

Under Dr. Knabb’s stewardship as NHC Director, he has led advancements in storm surge safety and evacuation zone awareness through the development of new tools such as the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Graphic and the Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic. The graphics introduced the concept of a separate watch/warning for
life-threatening storm surges. 

Dr. Knabb is an accomplished broadcast meteorologist and passionate advocate for hurricane preparedness. Last year he partnered with FLASH, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and The Weather Channel to inspire and unveil the new National Hurricane Resilience Initiative, #HurricaneStrong.

“Weatherpersons are some of our nation’s most effective advocates for disaster safety,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “Dr. Knabb has taken his dedication to the next level by helping to create innovative scientific tools and successful public outreach programs such as #HurricaneStrong. He demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the public as a weather researcher, forecaster, on-air hurricane specialist, and leader. As a result, countless families have been safe ahead of imminent deadly hurricanes.”

Dr. Knabb’s career began as the Research Meteorologist and Lead Forecaster at the Mauna Kea Weather Center in Hawaii. He also served as a Science and Operations Officer and then as a Senior Hurricane Specialist at the NHC before moving on to become Deputy Director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. In 2010, he joined The Weather Channel as its on-air Hurricane Expert and Tropical Science Program Manager. He rejoined the NHC in 2012 as its Director. Dr. Knabb is a member of the American Meteorological Society.

FLASH created the National Weatherperson of the Year award to coincide with the celebration of National Weatherperson's Day on Feb. 5, the birthday of pioneering weather observer John Jeffries. After a decade of research on the ground, Jeffries piloted a hot air balloon in 1774 to test weather conditions and advance the science of meteorology. His work paved the way for many aspects of meteorology. Former award recipients include Chief Meteorologist Alex Garcia, KABB Fox News San Antonio, Texas, former NHC Director Max Mayfield, and The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore.

Congratulations to Dr. Knabb can be sent or shared on the National Weatherperson of the Year Facebook page or emailed to info@flash.org.
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