National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Deep Cold Trough Meets Gulf Moisture with Significant Impacts Across the Western and Central U.S.

A deep trough and associated cold front is bringing much below normal temperatures in the west, with low elevation snows. Strong winds and widespread snow, will impact the Great Basin, western mountains, and the Plains. The slowing front, will bring prolonged waves of heavy rain across the Mississippi Valley to the Great Lakes. Significant icing forecast north of the heavy rain. Big warm up east. Read More >

Steven G. Cooper
Director, Southern Region
National Weather Service

Steven Cooper is the Regional Director of the NWS Southern Region – serving Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The NWS Southern Region employs nearly 1,000 professionals located in 45 offices throughout the southern United States. In addition to providing around the clock weather and hydrological forecasts and warnings, Southern Region employees provide support for the aviation community, spaceflight activities, the marine industry, fire weather, air quality and the private meteorological community.

Cooper started his career as a student trainee in Augusta, GA. His first permanent assignment as an intern and forecaster in 1980 in Albuquerque, NM. In 1986 he assumed the MIC position in Tri-Cities, TN before transferring to the MIC position in Amarillo, TX in 1988. He then accepted the position as Assistant Chief of the Meteorological Services Division at the Southern Region HQ until he became the Chief of the Climate, Water and Weather Division in 2000. After serving for four years in this position he was selected as Deputy Regional Director for the Southern Region. During this assignment he served as Acting RD and multiple temporary assignments in NWS HQ including eight months in 2012 as the NWS Deputy Director. He served as the NWS HQ Implementation Lead in 2015 for the HQ reorganization. He was selected as the permanent Southern Region RD in early 2016.

Cooper led the SR Meteorological Services Division in the successful implementation of NWS modernization and restructuring across the southern United States during the mid-1990s. He and his team were subsequently recognized with NWS Modernization Awards in 1995 and 1996. He has received a Commerce Department’s Bronze Medal for coordinating weather support for the 1996 Paralympics (Atlanta, Ga.), another in 2003 for his support in providing weather support following the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, and a Bronze Medal for his 2005 support during the extremely active hurricane season. He was awarded the National Weather Service Southern Region Isaac M. Cline Award for Leadership in 2002.

He co-developed an innovative Southern Region leadership development program called BLAST (Building Leaders for A Solid Tomorrow). He was instrumental in launching the highly successful Turn Around, Don’t Drown ® flood safety program, earning him and his team a NOAA Administrator’s Award in 2004 and the National Weather Association’s Public Education Award in 2006. Cooper was also one of the principle developers of JetStream – a web based educational program designed to help people learn about various weather phenomena and how to be prepared when hazardous weather threatens.

Cooper received a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Florida State University (1980) and a master’s degree in Geography (Climatology) from the University of New Mexico (1985).

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