Novak to lead NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center

Date Posted: December 15, 2014
David G. DeWitt, Ph.D

David R. Novak, Ph.D., is the new director of NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC), based in College Park, Md. As director, Novak will oversee the development, provision and enhancements to the National Weather Service’s suite of national forecasts for heavy rainfall, snowfall, and hazardous weather up to seven days in advance. Products issued by the WPC provide foundational guidance to agency forecasters and the weather enterprise. The WPC is one of nine centers that comprise NOAA‘s National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).

“Dave is highly respected by both operational and research meteorologists in the U.S. and internationally. His scientific and leadership skills will empower WPC to deliver new and enhanced products and services required to support a Weather Ready Nation,“ said William M. Lapenta, Ph.D., director of NOAA‘s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

Since June 2014, Novak has served as the acting director of WPC. Prior to this position, Novak was chief of the WPC’s development and training branch in which he managed complex IT systems and service improvements. He also facilitated research to operations activities on high-impact regional precipitation, weather and land surface conditions, and transition of scientific advances and new tools into forecasting operations. Novak began at WPC in 2009 as the science and operations officer.

Novak, 37, started at NOAA’s National Weather Service as a fire weather technician in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1999 then worked as a meteorological intern in Duluth, Minn. In 2002 he took a job at the National Weather Service’s Eastern Region headquarters.

Novak has a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook (2009), a M.S. in atmospheric science from SUNY Albany (2002), and a B.S. in meteorology from St. Cloud State University (2000). He is lead author on 10 peer-reviewed journal publications on operational weather topics, and is assistant editor for Weather and Forecasting. From 2012-2014, he chaired the American Meteorological Society board for Operational Government Meteorologists and currently serves on the science advisory board of the Developmental Testbed Center.

He is the recipient of the Saint Cloud State University Graduate of the Last Decade Award (2008), an AMS Editor's Award (2010), and a NOAA Bronze Medal (2012), among other honors.

A native of Minnesota, Novak is a resident of Crofton, Md. He started in his new position on Dec. 14.

For more information please, contact Maureen O'Leary, 301-427-9000.