NOAA’S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SELECTS NEW LEADER OF TOPEKA WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE

By: Candice Sorensen Email
By: Candice Sorensen Email

(NWS) “A meteorologist-in-charge is the front line officer carrying out the National Weather Service mission of serving the American public by helping protect lives and property,” said Mary Glackin, acting director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “We are honored to have Ken Harding serving in this important role.”

Harding joined NOAA’s National Weather Service at the Anchorage, Alaska, center weather service unit in June 1995. He was selected as science and operations officer at the Aberdeen, S.D., weather forecast office in August 1996, holding that position until his selection as meteorologist-in-charge at Topeka. During his National Weather Service career, Harding has been awarded three Department of Commerce bronze medals, an Aviation Services individual award, and several Central Region diversity awards.

“With his years of experience at National Weather Service locations that regularly experience weather extremes, Ken Harding possesses a wealth of weather forecasting knowledge that will well serve the people of northeast Kansas,” said Lynn P. Maximuk, director of the 14-state National Weather Service central region, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. “I know Ken’s experience and leadership will be assets to the forecast office staff and to local, state and federal governments and media partners in the severe weather program. He will continue to promote the excellent coordination with local governments and the business community, as well as supporting public outreach that has been a strong point of the Topeka office.”

Harding earned his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Iowa State University in 1986 and attained his master’s degree in atmospheric science from Colorado State University in 1991. Commissioned into the U.S. Air Force as a weather officer in 1986, he served nearly 10 years at bases in Washington, Colorado, and Alaska. He taught meteorology, physics and calculus at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Wayland Baptist University campuses in Anchorage, Alaska.

“I am very excited about becoming a meteorologist-in-charge and look forward to continuing to provide the best forecast and warning services possible for the people of Topeka and northeast Kansas,” Harding said. “I hope to build on the solid relationships already established with local and state emergency management and media partners.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From establishment of the Survey of the Coast by Thomas Jefferson in 1807 to formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of ’s scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather- and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.


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