National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Bianca Hernandez

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

  • Besides being responsible for issuing our daily climate and regional temperature and precipitation products, I am involved with several teams. At my office, I am part of the Decision Support Services (DSS), Diversity, and Social Media teams; I serve as Team Leader for the latter two. Regionally, I am a member of the Western Region Leadership and Innovation For Tomorrow (LIFT) team. Nationally, I am part of the Spanish Outreach 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!