Michelle Mainelli

Michelle Mainelli

We are in year three since the pandemic started - the landscape to advance our science, bring our community together, and conduct outreach changed significantly.  I have witnessed incredible resilience, determination, and flexibility in adjusting to new ways to stay connected and aligned.  I have seen firsthand the struggles experienced by our colleagues within the communities we serve and educate, and by the next generation of water, weather, and climate scientists.  Personal and professional lives became intertwined for students, professors, researchers, community decision-makers, and operational forecasters in the public/private weather enterprise.  My eyes opened wide to the gaps in our collective missions and our inability to thrive unless everyone advances.  As we all try ”to play catch up” to what we lost over the last 2+ years, the pressures to succeed and quickly advance the sciences, technologies, applications, and services are undeniable.  

The challenges facing the Society: can we slow down enough to see whom we left behind?  What critical connections across the weather, water, and climate enterprise need to be re-established? Where do we need to build trust?  What new communities do we need to engage? I am a National Weather Service “Life-er.” My 30+ years of government service demonstrate my deep commitment to prevent the loss of life, mitigate property loss, and advance the nation’s economy through impact-based decision support services.  We cannot do this alone; it takes a village - an AMS village.  

I am humbled and honored to be nominated to serve on the AMS Council.  If elected, I will dedicate my time to help close gaps in the weather enterprise to accomplish our mission - fostering equity in the education of sciences and equity in community preparedness through improved, coordinated efforts across the public/private weather, water, climate enterprise.


Michelle Mainelli currently serves as the Director of the Office of Dissemination at the National Weather Service (NWS).  She is responsible for the critical component of NWS’ mission to disseminate weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings and enable impact-based decision support services for the protection of life and property in a manner that is both timely and reliable. Encompassing over 150 federal employees and contractor support services and an annual budget of $127M, her office and dissemination activities promote increased accessibility, interoperability, and stewardship of NOAA data. 

With 32 years of Federal Government service at the NWS, Michelle  has served in various positions, including a forecaster and hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center and software development team lead, branch chief, and Deputy Director  of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Central Operations.  Of those 30+ years, she possesses over 15 years of operational forecasting experience in general, marine, and tropical cyclone forecasting.  She holds the honor of the first and only woman Hurricane Forecaster at the National Hurricane Center, to date.  Ms. Mainelli holds a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from St. Louis University, a Master of Science in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the University of Miami, a MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix, and a Certified Senior Level FAC Program / Project Manager.