New Orleans/Baton Rouge forecast office Meteorologist-in-Charge Ken Graham (Photo:WFO New Orleans)
(May 7, 2010) - Ken Graham, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service forecast office in New Orleans, has received the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (LEPA) Presidential Award for 2010. This prestigious award is the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the President of the Association in recognition of services provided to the state and community.
The LEPA Awards Program recognizes those individuals who have performed exceptionally well in their positions to protect the citizens of Louisiana through prevention of accidents, emergency response and effective management and mitigation of emergency situations.
Recipients are typically selected from Louisiana emergency responders, local officials, firefighters, police, industry, business and government officials who have made outstanding contributions in their field.
Graham began his National Weather Service career as a meteorologist and forecaster at the New Orleans/Baton Rouge forecast office in 1994. The following year, he and his colleagues worked around the clock during a major flood event that saw flood waters literally surround their station. Their life saving efforts earned the office a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal.
He participated in the implementation of Louisiana's Emergency Alert System and played a key role in the development of the NOAA Weather Radio program for the National Weather Service Southern Region. During Hurricane Georges in 1998, Graham served as the National Weather Service liaison with the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness.
A year later, (during Hurricane Bret) he served in the same capacity with the Texas Department of Emergency Management in Austin B frequently briefing emergency managers and Texas officials including President (then Governor) George W. Bush.
Graham was appointed Meteorologist-in-Charge of the forecast office in Corpus Christi in July 2000. During his tenure, the Corpus Christi office received a national Isaac M. Cline Award, four regional Cline Awards and four Southern Region Director Awards. He also served as Meteorologist-in-Charge of the forecast office in Birmingham, Ala. and as Systems and Operations Division Chief at Southern Region headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.
In 2006, he moved to National Weather Service headquarters to serve as Chief of the Office of Climate, Water and Weather Servicesí Meteorological Services Division. He returned to the New Orleans/Baton Rouge forecast office in 2008 to assume his current position as Meteorologist-in-Charge.
The LEPA Presidential Award was presented during an awards banquet at the 2010 Emergency Preparedness Workshop at the L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles. The annual workshop is co-sponsored by LEPA and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security.