Schneider Named SPC Director

Russell Schneider has been named the new director of NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center  in Norman, Okla. SPC is the nation’s forecast center for high-impact weather, including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, wildfires, hazardous winter weather and excessive rainfall. SPC is part of the NOAA National Weather Service and one of nine National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

Schneider has been the science support branch chief at SPC since 1997. The branch is responsible for maintaining SPC’s leadership in science and technology and for supporting its national forecast mission. This includes collaborative scientific research efforts in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed, a facility designed to support collaboration between research scientists and operational weather forecasters on specific topics that are of mutual interest, and accelerate the transition of promising new meteorological insights and technologies into advances in forecasting.

Schneider has spent his entire career at NOAA’s National Weather Service, first working at NCEP’s Environmental Modeling Center and then moving to the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center as its first science and operations officer. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in atmospheric science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

“I have had a lifelong fascination with severe weather since a series of major tornado outbreaks in 1965 and 1967 near my childhood home in suburban Chicago,” Schneider said. “This fascination continues with every position at the National Weather Service and fuels my focus on improving severe weather warnings for the public.”

Author and co-author of numerous professional publications, Schneider also served as an associate editor of the American Meteorological Society Journal Weather and Forecasting for over a decade. He led the Storm Prediction Center’s efforts to improve severe weather forecasts issued by the National Weather Service and received a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his contributions in 2007.

Schneider replaces former SPC director Joseph Schaefer, who retired in January.