National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Freddie Zeigler

Location: Slidell, Louisiana
WFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge
Job Title: Senior Forecaster
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 Fort Lauderdale. 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 with 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.

What do you do for the NWS?

  • As a Senior Forecaster at WFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge, I am accountable for all products issued, office building and personnel on my shift. I initiate, create, disseminate, and monitor hazardous weather watches, advisories, and warnings including Severe Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Heat, High Wind, Freeze, Flash Floods, Special Marine, Hurricanes, and Winter storms to name a few. In addition, I complete weather briefings in support of NWS 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 intern 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 habit of learning new things beyond meteorology!

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

  • Volunteer…volunteer … volunteer!!!
  • Study your field.
  • Study impactful weather events.
  • Attend professional related conferences and college related conferences.
  • Be prepared to pursue opportunities.