Jackson State University alumnus, William “Bill” Parker has been selected to serve as the Meteorologist-In-Charge of the NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office in Jackson, Mississippi. The office is one of 122 NWS Weather Forecast locations in the nation and one of 32 in the NWS Southern Region.
In his new position, Parker will be responsible for ensuring the citizens of Mississippi, Northeast Louisiana, and Southeast Arkansas continue to receive timely and accurate weather warnings, forecasts and climate information. His responsibilities also include maintaining close working relationships with NWS partners, including the emergency management community and the media, and providing severe weather awareness, preparedness and safety education for the public.
Parker has developed hands-on experience during his 23-year career with a variety of weather events – including tropical storms, hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding. Notably, he has served the NWS during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as historic river flooding events in 2015 and 2016.
Not only has Parker proven his strong abilities as a forecaster and warning program leader, he serves as a true advocate for diversity and inclusion. Parker received the NOAA Administrator’s Award for leading the development of the “GiRLS GLOW” initiative in Shreveport, La., which provided the opportunity for young girls in the community to learn more about meteorology and STEM fields.
In addition, Parker recently co-chaired the 40th anniversary celebration of the Jackson State meteorology program in November 2015. His work helped establish the JSU Meteorology Hall of Fame, which looks to highlight the achievements of meteorology alumni and faculty members.
Parker received his Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from Jackson State University in 1994, and he will be the first Jackson State alumnus to serve as Meteorologist-In-Charge of a Weather Forecast Office.