James G. LaDue is the acting Director of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) in the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NWIRP is a federal interagency science-based program focused on achieving major measurable reductions in the losses of life and property from windstorms, by leveraging the latest science and best practices from across the federal government, academia, and the private sector.
Prior to joining NIST in 2022, James LaDue served as a master instructor within the Warning Decision Training Division (WDTD) within the National Weather Service. While at WDTD, he was a team leader in developing courses for NWS forecasters on the warning decision-making for winter storms, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. He also led training development on using radar, satellite and lightning data in the detection of severe local storms for the Radar and Applications Course and the Warning Operations Course. In 2007, James led a team to develop and disseminate the EF-Scale course to the NWS. He has led further development in training to cover all aspects of damage surveying that the NWS conducts. James has also conducted research in various topics ranging from estimating tornado strength by radar, to serving as principal investigator on projects within NOAA’s Hazardous Weather Testbed related to the development of probabilistic warning techniques. James has also served on multiple Quick Response Team damage surveys to assist NWS offices in evaluating tornadoes, and also NWS Service Assessments to evaluate warning performance including the Spencer, SD tornado in 1998, the Enterprise, AL tornado in 2007 and the super tornado outbreak of 2011. Prior to his time in WDTD, James was a research scientist in the National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service where he developed techniques in evaluating severe thunderstorms from geostationary satellite data as well as identifying flooded ground from microwave sensors aboard polar orbiting satellites.
James currently chairs and is co-founder of a standards committee on estimating wind speeds of severe storms within the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE). The committee’s goal is to develop a consistent research to operations path on all available methods in estimating wind speeds from post-storm damage such as the EF Scale to wind speed measurements using radar and anemometry. He is also the Chair of the committee on engineering resilient communities in the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He is a member of the AMS, ASCE and the National Weather Association (NWA).
James received an editor’s award for exceptional paper reviews in 2018 from the AMS, and has been on several team awards including the Larry R. Johnson Award from the NWA, the DOC Gold Medal Team award in 2014, and DOC Bronze Medal Team award in 2005.