Wednesday, 10 June 2015: 12:00 AM
304 (Raleigh Convention Center)
Robert Ricks is a lead forecaster at the National Weather Service Forecast Office for the New Orleans/Baton Rouge area. He has been stationed at the office in Slidell, LA since 1994, having also worked in the private sector in Houston, TX in the late 1980s, NWS Jackson MS, NWS Dodge City KS and the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, LA. Robert is a 1986 graduate of Florida State University and has an emphasis on tropical meteorology and storm surge processes. He has lived and worked through many tropical cyclone events in the Gulf South over his lifetime, from surviving Hurricane Betsy in 1965, Camille (1969), Katrina (2005), through Isaac in 2012. Robert often serves as event coordinator during tropical cyclones that impact the Slidell office service area, including Hurricane Katrina. He has worked many landmark weather events since 1994 but probably none as defining as Hurricane Katrina, when Mr. Ricks issued the now historic statement accurately predicting the expected impacts on the area a full day prior to landfall. Robert is currently developing a local storm surge forecasting model to assist in forecasting events within his complex service area. He is the founder and lead author of the Hovmoller Analysis and Prognostic Approach (HAPA) Project a local decision support initiative that has since gone national over the past 20 years. He also developed the Convective Hazards Assessment Program (CHAP), which includes the self-developed Ricks Index for severe weather forecasting. A native of southeast Louisiana, Robert was born in New Orleans and currently lives on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain with his wife of 29 years, Cynthia. They have a son, Joshua, a daughter, Lauren, and two grandchildren who also live in the area. He can be contacted at robert(dot)ricks(at)noaa(dot)gov.
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