TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) today announced the four finalists selected for the FLASH 2021 National Weatherperson of the Year award, an annual honor recognizing an outstanding weatherperson for leadership in promoting disaster safety and resilience. The 2017 honoree, Dr. Richard Knabb, Hurricane Expert, and National Tropical Program Manager - The Weather Channel unveiled the nominees during the FLASH virtual 2020 Review - 2021 Outlook briefing.
"The leaders we honor through this award demonstrate unconditional dedication to using technical advances and the science of meteorology to save lives and protect property," said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. "Our 2021 finalists displayed outstanding leadership during the historic 2020 hurricane season and provide year-round contributions to disaster safety and resilience overall."
The four finalists listed in alphabetical order include:
Kenneth Graham, Director - National Hurricane Center
Ken received his Bachelor of Atmospheric Science Degree at the University of Arizona and earned a Master of Science Degree in Geosciences from Mississippi State University. While in Mississippi, he was a broadcast meteorologist for a CBS affiliate and was an agricultural meteorologist for the Mississippi Network Radio. Ken has served as a leader of local National Weather Service Offices, providing tropical cyclone information in addition to tornado, severe thunderstorm, and flash flood watches and warnings.
Ken is nominated for his leadership at the National Weather Service, his innovative approach using social science in hurricane outreach, and his enduring support of the #HurricaneStrong program.
Andy Green, CEO - MyRadar
In 2000, Andy formed an internet-based aviation information services company, which eventually evolved into a software and services company known as ACME AtronOmatic. Their most popular product is MyRadar, a mobile weather radar app for iOS, Android, Windows, and Xbox. Beyond its radar and rain alerts, the app provides information on wind patterns, wildfires, earthquakes, and tropical cyclones. This year, the app launched a feature allowing users to track orbital objects, such as the International Space Station or SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Andy is nominated for supporting disaster safety and resilience messaging via the MyRadar app. With 50 million downloads and innovative technical advancements, the app features live daily forecasts and videos designed to keep their users informed of severe weather heading their way.
Rob Perillo, Chief Meteorologist - KATC, Lafayette, LA.
Rob has 31 years of experience forecasting Louisiana's weather. Rob is the most honored meteorologist in the state and the recipient of more than 25 Associated Press awards, including "Best Weathercast," "Breaking Weather," and "Best Meteorologist" in Louisiana and Mississippi. Rob was recently honored as the National Broadcaster of the Year for 2020 by the National Tropical Weather Conference. Rob earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1983.
Rob is nominated for his dedication to meteorology and the safety of his viewers. He has tracked hundreds of tropical storms and hurricanes during his career with excellence, including the five storms and two major hurricanes affecting Louisiana in 2020.
Ginger Zee, Chief Meteorologist - ABC News
Ginger broadcast from the devastated Jersey Shore during Hurricane Sandy, the Colorado floods and wildfires, and covered the tornado aftermath in Moore and El Reno, Oklahoma. She has covered extreme weather conditions ranging from the Boston blizzard to the record-breaking heat in Death Valley and recently the unprecedented storms of 2020. The Emmy Award-winning meteorologist attended Valparaiso University and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology.
Ginger is nominated for her passion for preparing people for high impact weather events, like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and winter storms. Since joining ABC, Ginger has covered nearly every major weather event and dozens of historic storms.
Previous winners include:
- 2014 - Jim Cantore, On-Camera Meteorologist, and Co-Host, "AMHQ" - The Weather Channel
- 2015 - Max Mayfield, former National Hurricane Center Director
- 2016 - Alex Garcia, Chief Meteorologist - KABB Fox 29 - San Antonio, TX
- 2017 - Dr. Richard Knabb, Hurricane Expert, and National Tropical Program Manager - The Weather Channel
- 2018 - Ada Monzon, Chief Meteorologist - WIPR-TV, Noticias 24/7, Univision Radio (WKAQ 580 AM)
- 2019 - James Spann, Chief Meteorologist - ABC 33/40, Birmingham, AL
- 2020 - Joe Snedeker, Morning Meteorologist - WNEP - Newswatch 16, Scranton, PA
FLASH originated the National Weatherperson of the Year Award to coincide with the celebration of National Weatherperson's Day on February 5, the birthday of the pioneering weather observer John Jeffries. After a decade of research on the ground, Jefferies 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 today.
The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural disasters. The FLASH partnership includes more than 100 innovative and diverse organizations that share a vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation, including FEMA, Huber Engineered Woods, International Code Council, ISO - Verisk Analytics, Lowe's, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, and USAA. In 2008, FLASH and Disney opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and access free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org, calling toll-free (877) 221- SAFE (7233), following @federalalliance on Twitter, and Facebook.com/federalalliance.
SOURCE Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)