National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Bianca Feldkircher

Location: Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Weather Forecast Office (WFO)
Job Title: Lead Meteorologist

Educational Background

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Meteorology from Florida State University

Describe the career path that led you to your current job with the National Weather Service.

  • In college, I volunteered with the National Weather Forecast Offices in Tampa and Tallahassee, FL. I also interned with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters in Tampa. After graduating college, I worked as the Assistant State Meteorologist for the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

What do you do for the NWS?

  • I am a Lead Meteorologist at the NWS office in Phoenix, Arizona and am heavily involved with the IDSS program in my office. My focus is to build up and expand our network of public safety partners and learn extensively about their operations to support their needs. I have participated in numerous exercises with partners to ensure they are ready whenever weather strikes. I also work with our partners on Heat and Monsoon Awareness Weeks to educate the public with important safety tips! In addition, building and maintaining relationships with our media partners is very important to me and I love whenever I get the chance to do a TV or Radio interview! I strive to be a good leader in my office and I am proud to be a member of the Western Region Leadership and Innovation For Tomorrow (LIFT) team.

What was the most interesting, exciting, or impactful weather/water event you experienced while working for the NWS and why does it stand out?

  • When I was a student volunteer for the NWS in Tampa, Tropical Storm Andrea hit the West Coast of Florida. I was challenged and learned a lot! I even did a spanish interview with Univision on the impacts from the tropical storm. That night was so exciting, I didn't want to leave! I even asked if I could stay longer! This was the event that made it certain that I wanted a career with the NWS.

What made you decide to pursue a career with the NWS?

  • I know it’s a strange thought for a four year old to have, but even then, I had the dream to work for the NWS. I applied for a student volunteer position at the Tallahassee WFO during my sophomore year at Florida State, but did not get it. After, I went to the office and asked them what I had to do in order to be eligible and, from that point on, it was history!

What do you like most about working for the NWS?

  • I love how much opportunity there is. I want to be a Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) in the future and the management team is extremely supportive. They let me take advantage of the endless opportunities to make that happen.

What advice do you have for someone interested in a career with the NWS?

  • Do things that set you apart from everyone else! Decision Support Services (DSS) is very important in the NWS. Try and get some experience working with your local emergency managers. If you have a WFO near you, volunteer as much as you can and try and spend a lot of time with the WCM. If you volunteer, try working different shifts, so you can see if shift work is right for you.

What training or coursework would you recommend to someone interested in following your career path?

  • You need to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Meteorology and grad school is always a plus. Also, getting a certificate in Emergency Management would set you aside from other applicants!