Rick Knabb

BS ’90 Atmospheric Science, Purdue University
MS ’93 Meteorology, Florida State University
PhD ’99 Meteorology, Florida State University
(Nominated by: (Nominated by Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences))

"I obtained a very diversified set of skills beyond just my core science that have enabled me to apply my scientific knowledge for broader societal benefit."

Rick Knabb is the director of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Knabb was a research meteorologist and lead forecaster at the Mauna Kea Weather Center from 1999 to 2001. He joined Risk Management Solutions, Inc., in Newark, California, in 2001 as an assistant product manager for Weather Risk. He later joined NOAA’s National Hurricane Center as the science and operations officer, which is where he was named a senior hurricane specialist in 2005.

In 2008, Knabb became the Deputy Director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu. He served in that capacity until 2010, when he joined The Weather Channel in Atlanta as its on-air hurricane expert and tropical science program manager.

He rejoined NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in June 2012 as its director.

For NHC, Knabb has provided new products and services such as a stronger emphasis on individual hazards like the potential storm surge flooding graphic and the storm surge watch/warning graphic. He continues to work closely with emergency managers, media partners and the international community.

Knabb is a member of the American Meteorological Society.


  • 2012 to present - Director of the National Hurricane Center
  • 2012 - Briefed President Barak Obama on multiple occasions during approach of Hurricane Sandy
  • 2010-12 - On-air hurricane specialist for The Weather Channel
  • 2008-10 - Deputy director, Central Pacific Hurricane Center, Honolulu
  • 2005 - Issued forecasts and warnings in real time and authored official post-event report for Hurricane Katrina on behalf of the National Hurricane Center

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