National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Jeff Peters

Jeff Peters is a National Weather Service meteorologist with a long career focused on the protection of life and property from severe storms. His current job is enhancing the service capacity of the NWS’s Severe Weather Program as its Coordinator and Lightning Safety Expert.

In the early part of his career, Mr. Peters’ experience included observing the atmosphere by launching weather balloons and taking radar and surface observations, to increasing his weather forecast knowledge, and issuing severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings for central Minnesota. For 20 years (into early 2019), Mr. Peters’ was a severe weather forecaster at the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK. He issued hundreds of thunderstorm and severe storm outlooks and short-term forecasts covering the lower 48 states from coast to coast.

In addition to having the knowledge to forecast the potential for thunderstorms, this NWS Lightning Safety Expert also recalls a personal experience with lightning from his childhood. While visiting his grandparents in southwest Ohio, their home was struck by lightning during a strong storm. Jeff remembers his whole family taking shelter in the lowest floor family room where they heard an ear-piercing sound, as the lightning struck the two-story house. Fortunately, there was no fire, though all of the electricity in the house was scrambled, with downstairs light switches turning on lights upstairs and vice versa.

Such experiences serve as vivid reminders: “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!”