National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Freddie Zeigler

Location: Cleveland, Ohio
WFO Cleveland
Job Title: Warning Coordination Meteorologist
Freddie Zeigler
Freddie Zeigler
Freddie Zeigler

Educational Background:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Meteorology from Jackson State University

Describe the career path that led you to your current job with the National Weather Service.

  • My interest in weather was sparked by Hurricane David in 1979. Attended Jackson State University, because a national magazine featured Vivian Brown of The Weather Channel and tv show ‘Different World’ about students at a Historically Black College/University. In college, I interned at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson, MS and Tallahassee, FL. I started my NWS career as an Intern in Tupelo in 1994. I became a forecaster in 1998, and a Senior Forecaster in 2002. In 2020, I was promoted to Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NWS Cleveland.

What do you do for the NWS?

  • As the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NWS Cleveland, I coordinate the warning function of NWS Cleveland with northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania. This includes heading the Skywarn Program, conducting spotter training, and being the voice to the local media for NWS Cleveland. In addition, I build and maintain relationships with key partners. Lastly, I promote, support, and elevate my forecasters in operations to carry out the National Weather Service mission.

What was the most interesting, exciting, or impactful weather/water event you experienced while working for the NWS and why does it stand out?

  • I participated in a full deployment of Decision Support Services for Hurricane Isaac in New Orleans. I briefed the mayor of New Orleans, U.S. Senator and other officials on the impacts of Hurricane Isaac on New Orleans. In addition, assisted in the utilization of NWS Hourly Weather Graph and forecasted timetables of weather conditions for recovery efforts for different agencies across the city of New Orleans.

What made you decide to pursue a career with the NWS?

  • During my summer internship at NWS Tallahassee, I was introduced and liked the small setting of the office and interaction with meteorologists from different parts of the United States. I was able to assess and compare my strengths and weaknesses to others in my field. I returned to school and sharpened my skills to pursue a career with the NWS!

What do you like most about working for the NWS?

  • I like establishing relationships and connecting with people. Helping people understand our mission and how impacts fit our large array of products.

What advice do you have for someone interested in a career with the NWS?

  • Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Meteorology and possibly grad school in Meteorology, Emergency Management or policy related degree.
  • Make it a habit of learning new things beyond meteorology!

What training or coursework would you recommend to someone interested in following your career path?

  • Build relationships (the course of life) and never burn bridges.
  • Volunteer…volunteer…volunteer!!!
  • Study your field and stay ready to take on new opportunities.
  • Study impactful weather events.
  • Attend professional related conferences and college related conferences.