National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Alana McCants
Alana McCants

Location: Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Weather Forecast Office (WFO)
Job Title: Meteorologist


What is your name, and where did you grow up?

Alana Y. McCants

Where did you go to college?

For my undergraduate study I graduated from Jackson State University and for the graduate study, I graduated from Mississippi State University.

When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in STEM?

I was born and raised in Mobile, AL. and every year we had major hurricanes. Because my family lived in a low lying area which always flooded during major storms, we always had to evacuate to higher ground. That was  always exciting to me as a child, my barbie dolls and Cabbage Patch dolls (they evacuated with me). But I probably knew when I was 4 years old that I loved Science, because our city was affected by Hurricane Frederic that year. I remember being scared from the winds and rain, however I became a curious 4 year old and at the same time, and wanted to know more about what was going on.

How did anyone or anything you saw in the media influence your desire to go into the STEM field?

I watched the Weather Channel from sun up to sundown when I was younger. Because of this, I began to understand more about weather and see it in real time. Back then the Weather Channel was the only network to showcase actually real time weather from across the nation.

Looking back to your childhood, to what extent do you believe your interest in STEM was accepted and praised?

When I was in Elementary School, my nickname was Hurricane Alana, also I gave daily temperature reports to my friends and family and they appreciated that greatly.

When you were in school, what were some barriers or opportunities to express an interest in the natural and physical sciences?

When I was in Junior High, I joined the Young Astronauts Club, we went on several field trips to the Space Center and also had monthly meetings which were very exciting. In High School, I joined SECME, which focuses on STEM education in schools. We always went on field trips with this club, and also participated in several activities with them. To this day, I still donate money to this organization because they shaped me into the person I am today.

Current Work:

How long have you been working at NWS?

I have worked for the NWS for 17 years

What is your current position at NWS?

I am a Meteorologist

Did you start in this position? If not, what was your first position?

No, I started out as a Hydrologist

What would you say is the best thing about working at NWS?

Forecasting the weather never gets old, it’s always something different occurring everyday.

Women in STEM Now and in the Future:

Why do you think there are so few women in STEM careers?

 I feel there are so few women in STEM careers because some women are still hesitant about pursuing careers that are male dominated and with very little career advancement in some areas.

Do you have any advice for women and girls interested in STEM careers?

Become involved in as many science fairs and STEM related summer activities/camps as you can. It helps!

In what ways have you encouraged young women to explore an interest in STEM?

I participate in a STEM summer camp every year with my Sorority and I have also participated with NWS surrounding offices for other STEM related activities with the community

Additional Questions for Bloggers:

How do you spend your time outside of work?

I love shopping, traveling and spending time with family!