Mr. Bill Roeder was a meteorologist with the U.S. Air Force from 1980 to 2021. He retired in 2021. He has
supported America’s space program at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and NASA Kennedy
Space Center since 1993. Bill became a staunch advocate for lightning safety public
education after participating in the Lightning Safety Group meeting in 1998. His main
contribution to lightning safety has been advocacy and communication, including drafting
slogans such as ‘When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!’ Bill helped found NOAA’s national
Lightning Safety Awareness Week in 2001 and continues to contribute to that event.
He wrote the lightning safety policy statements for the American Meteorology Society and
National Weather Association, published many articles on the topic, and has appeared on
several television shows like Discovery Channel. His articles on ‘Lessons Learned in
Communicating Lightning Safety Effectively’ and ‘Pernicious Lightning Myths’ are frequently
cited. He has spoken to hundreds of groups on lightning safety. Bill’s scientific contributions
to lightning safety include evaluating the effectiveness of outdoor risk reduction, modeling the
expected number of lightning deaths by date and year in the U.S., mapping the risk of lightning
fatalities, and suggesting a possible 5th mechanism for lightning casualty. Bill has a M.S.
degree in Atmospheric Sciences, a B.S. in meteorology, and a B.S. in physics.
A short interview with Bill Roeder