National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Hilary Sinsel

Location: Fort Worth, Texas
 ZFW Center Weather Service Unit
Job Title: Aviation Meteorologist
Hilary Sinsel

Educational Background:

  • I am a former student from Texas A&M University, having received a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology there in 2016.

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

  • Shortly after graduation, I began my career in private aviation in the NASA area of Webster, TX to forecast aviation weather. I was also an unlicensed dispatcher for general aviation aircraft where I created and filed flight plans. I transitioned to forecasting commercial aviation with IBM/The Weather Company, which was co-located inside of American Airlines’s IOC headquarters in Fort Worth, TX. Everything came full circle when I joined the NWS at their ARTCC Center Weather Service Unit in Albuquerque, NM, where I forecasted aviation hazards for both general and commercial aviation to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I recently accepted an opportunity to transfer to the Fort Worth, TX office. 

What do you do for the NWS?

  • I provide aviation weather Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS) to the FAA.

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

  • Monsoon season 2021. It was an above average monsoon season for the SW US, and it was exciting for me to predict where the greatest impacts to the airspace would be, warn the FAA to plan accordingly, and see it pan out. It stands out to me because it was my first convective season forecasting inside the NWS.

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

  • The NWS has a long-standing history of protecting lives and property, an ideal that I also align with. They also support careers in aviation, so I am very thankful to have gotten this opportunity to progress my career in this way.

What do you like most about working for the NWS?

  • I enjoy the people I work and collaborate with the most.

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

  • Pay close attention to the details and information required in your job application. Seek any opportunities for an internship/shadow. Explore many different areas and sectors of forecasting to see what you could be interested in the most. Be willing to start your career in another city, and work your way towards the city/location you want to end up in.

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

  • Following your standard path to a meteorology degree from a credible university is enough to have a baseline. In terms of aviation, COMET modules provide critical training for this field. Also, attending aviation weather-related conferences, like SAWS, give broad insight into the field, and help with networking and building professional relationships.