National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Felecia Bowser

Location: Jackson MS 
WFO Jackson MS
Job Title: Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM).
Felecia Bowser
Felecia Bowser

Educational Background:

  • B.S. from Penn State University
  • M.S. from Texas Tech University

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

  • While attending graduate school at Texas Tech University, a retired NWS Science and Operations Officer asked me about my plans once graduating with my Masters. He then went on to tell about the NWS which happened to be in the city I was attending graduate school and how I could start off as a volunteer to see if this would be something I would be interested in. The rest is history: I started off as a volunteer, then became a SCEP, a Journey Meteorologist, Senior Meteorologist and now a Warning Coordination Meteorologist. 

What do you do for the NWS?

  • As a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, I serve as a liaison between the NWS and all local customers of NWS products.  I am a big advocate of weather safety and thus manage the preparedness program of my local office, which includes educating the public about the safety measures that can be taken during a significant weather event.  Having close ties to emergency personnel is key to getting safety preparedness information out to the public.

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

  • The most exciting weather event thus far, was during a tornado outbreak 10 plus years ago when I worked at NWS Lubbock.It resulted in the issuance of 99 warnings and staying late until the severe weather threat dissipated.It resulted in myself and several others receiving a Southern Region's Director Award.

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

  • My interest in the atmospheric sciences started with when I was 7 years old and my parents gave me a weather book for my birthday.The book informed me about the basic water cycle and basic weather definitions.I was hooked ever since. I am in awe of tornadoes in particular because something that is so small in comparison to the overall parent-storm can do so much damage is quite fascinating.

What do you like most about working for the NWS?

  • What I like most about working for the NWS is two fold:I am very much a people-person so I enjoy speaking with the public via severe weather safety classes or cooperative observer trips, and I am humbled to be able to provide a public service that keeps the public safe.

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

  • Head over to your local NWS office in your city/near your city and see about volunteering there.This will give you a taste to see if this is the career that you indeed want to follow.This job can be exciting, but it is hard-work; shift-work is not for the faint of heart but if you want this badly enough, and if you work hard, you can certainly attain your goals.

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

  • In order to become a meteorologist, you must have a 4 year degree in Atmospheric Sciences/Meteorology or something equivalent. For example, you can major in math and take meteorology courses that is equivalent to a 4 year degree. Finding the right school is paramount because not every university offers a bachelors in Meteorology so make sure you do your research!