National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Jerry Wiedenfeld

Location: Dousman WI
Milwaukee/Sullivan WFO (MKX)
Job Title: Information Technology Officer
Jerry Wiedenfeld

Educational Background:

  • B.S from Valparaiso University in Meteorology

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

  • I started my career as a SCEP working as a development meteorologist at the Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL) at Silver Springs. After year long commitment I accepted a full time position at MDL developing and implementing the Localized Aviation MOS Product. I then transferred within MDL to developing Ensemble Kernel Density MOS. After working at MDL for 8 years I accepted a position at NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan as an Information Technology Officer.

What do you do for the NWS?

  • My primary duty is to ensure the software used by NWS personnel is functioning properly. In doing so I listen to the forecasters needs to develop software to help them generate their forecast products efficiently and effectively with the highest scientific standards. I participate in multiple regional and national level teams to develop the best technological practices in creating and implementing products and software used by WFO and the general public.

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

  • While I personally did not experience hurricane Sandy, that particular storm shows the great need for the Weather Service. The need for forecasters to decipher the copious amounts of model data they are provided with and relay that information to the public is extremely important in ensuring the safety of the public.

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

  • Like most meteorologists at a very young age I decided I wanted to learn as much as I could about the weather. I spent much of my childhood studying everything I could about the weather. When I started working as a SCEP at MDL I found I truly enjoyed the challenge of forecasting and I recognized the need to provide accurate and timely information to the NWS forecasters as well as the public.

What do you like most about working for the NWS?

  • I thoroughly enjoy working and collaborating with the dedicated employees of the National Weather Service. We are all striving for the same goal to provide life saving forecasts to the American public. I enjoy that the job is not easy and requires me to solve tough problems on a day to day basis through the use of innovation, technology, and collaboration.

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

  • Get involved in the NWS as soon as possible either by volunteering or applying for the pathways program. Develop a strong network of colleagues for collaboration within the NWS.

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

  • I think one of the most important classes a person can take right now regardless of field is statistics. We are living in a probabilistic world. Having a strong understanding of statistics no matter your career path in the NWS will help. In terms of computer science I would take coursework in python and java and certainly get a strong understanding of shell scripting.