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Active Weather for the Rockies; Southern Plains Storm Taking Shape

Snow showers, squalls and strong winds will affect portions of the Cascades and Rockies through Wednesday. Meanwhile, a developing storm across the Southern Plains will track toward the Great Lakes into Thursday as severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and strong winds are forecast for the Mid-Lower Mississippi Valley. Heavy snow is possible for the Upper Midwest and wintry mix for the Northeast. Read More >

Summer College Student Volunteer Program

National Weather Service
Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office
Sterling, Virginia


Please note:  This program is not the William M. Lapenta NOAA Student Internship Program, which is housed at NOAA facilities in Maryland.  This program is an unpaid internship at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Sterling, Virginia near Dulles Airport. 

The application period for the Student Summer 2023 program has now closed. The Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office of the National Weather Service accepts applications annually for volunteer college students each summer.  Our competitive program provides students with the experience of performing a mentored meteorological/hydrological research or data project while assisting in operations at a NWS forecast office. Each selected student will present a briefing of his/her project at the end of the summer term. Please see below for more information about our program.

Students selected for our program will be expected to do the following:
• Volunteer 2-4 days (approximately 16-24 hours) per week on a set schedule
• Work on an assigned research project or data project, mentored by a NWS meteorologist
• Become familiar with NWS operations, upper-air observations, policies and procedures, software and computer systems, and hydrological/meteorological products by working alongside NWS meteorologists on routine shifts (There will be a required minimum number of these shifts, but the maximum number is up to you!)
• If appropriate, submit summer research results to the National Weather Association annual conference and/or other professional conferences. Students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to attend a conference to present their work.  If a student is unable to attend, NWS staff will present their research on their behalf.

Who is eligible to apply?
Students interested in this program must be U.S. Citizens pursuing a degree in meteorology or a related science (such as climatology, hydrology, geoscience, atmospheric science, etc.), and must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student actively enrolled in related classes both the semester before (Spring 2023) and the semester after (Fall 2023) the volunteer period.  This means graduating seniors are only eligible if already accepted to/enrolled in graduate school in meteorology or a related field the following fall. Students who already have an active interest in a future career with the NWS are especially encouraged to apply; many of our past students have gone on to careers in the NWS; however, participation in this program is not a guarantee of future employment with the NWS.

Students with additional skill sets such as GIS, emergency management, videography, communications, etc., are highly encouraged to apply as long as the degree requirements above are met.

What other things might I get to experience?
In addition to the required elements of our volunteer program, you may have the opportunity to:
• Become certified in taking upper-air observations
• Join NWS meteorologists in post-event severe weather analysis including storm surveys
• Assist NWS meteorologists in obtaining severe storm reports during real-time operations
• Join NWS meteorologists at outreach events or in observational field work to see weather equipment in action
...and more!

The NWS Baltimore/Washington Student Volunteer Program is not a paid program; however, it may be possible for students to earn class credit. This can be determined by the student’s advisor and/or department head.

Students who are selected for this program do have the option to continue volunteering during the school year, or for another summer, if eligible and interested, but this interest should be stated at the time of selection.

How do I apply?

The application period for Summer 2023 has closed.  Applications for Summer 2023 will be open through February 5th, 2023.

Please fill out the attached google form and upload the required supporting documents by the above deadline:




Some applicants may be requested to submit responses to written questions, participate in a phone interview, or both, during February or March 2023, before student selections are made.  We expect to make selections for volunteers no later than March.

Are there paid opportunities available?
The NWS as an agency does offer paid internship positions; however, none of these have been assigned to this office at this time.


History of our Student Volunteer Program:

Colleges and Universities whose students we have hosted include:
University of Maryland, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Millersville University, Plymouth State University, Ball State University, University of Delaware, George Mason University, Ohio State, University of Ohio, Valparaiso, Florida State, University of Virginia, University of Miami, Tufts University, California University of Pennsylvania, NC State, and SUNY Oswego. 

Some past student projects include:
(2020) Using Ensembles to Enhance Conveyance of Potential Days 3-7 Flood Severity: a Threat Matrix
(2020) Leveraging Sub-Synoptic Patterns and Ensemble Data to Localize Severe Weather Threat During the Days 3-7 Period in the Baltimore/Washington WFO
(2020) Verification of the Days 3-7 Winter Storm Threat Matrix
(2020) Verification of the 90th Percentile Snow Forecast
(2020) Assessment of Delays at BWI, DCA, and IAD Airports

(2019) Assessment of Variables Affecting Impact of Light Freezing Rain in the Baltimore/Washington WFO Area of Responsibility
(2019) Development, Verification, and Refinement of a Flood Threat Matrix for the NWS Baltimore/Washington County Warning Area
(2019) Hurricane Camille: 50th Anniversary of Floods in Nelson County, VA

(2018) Radar Climatology & Analysis of Near-Storm Environment of Tornadic Vortices in the Baltimore/Washington Region of the Mid-Atlantic United States
(2018) Isabel: 15 Years Later: A Look Back at the Region's Most Recent Significant Tropical Threat

(2017) Observational Analysis of Cold Air Damming in the Mid-Atlantic Region  -won 2nd place among undergraduate posters at the NWA meeting!-
(2017) From Nuisance to Extreme: A Comparison of Flash Flood Atmospheric Ingredients in a Range of Events Across the NWS Baltimore/Washington Area

(2016) Verification of an Experimental Days 4-7 Local Winter Storm Threat Product for 2015-2016 Winter Season
(2016) Utilization of Lightning Event Heights in the Warning Decision Process
(2016) Determining Model Bias During Cold-air Damming in the Mid-Atlantic
(2016) Communicating Probabilistic Forecasts for Wind Speed and Direction at Washington Dulles International Airport
(2016) Small Craft Advisory and Gale Warning Verification in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River

(2015) Use of Aviation Model Guidance for Ceilings and Visibilities to Produce Digital Aviation Services at the NWS Baltimore/Washington WFO
(2015) Improvement and Verification of Total Water Level Forecasting in the Maryland Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Potomac River

(2014) Forecasting Surface Wind Gusts in Positively Stable Environments
(2014) Analysis of 2013-14 LWX Winter Probabilistic Snowfall Forecasts

(2013) Gauge Correlations and Tidal Anomaly Indicators in the Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Potomac, Anacostia, and Patuxent Rivers
(2013) Evaluation of Probabilistic Snowfall Amount Forecasts for Decision Support in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Prior Years:
Tornado Climatology for the Sterling, VA Weather Forecast Area
A Study of Small Craft Advisories on the Potomac and Upper Chesapeake Bay
Location of Flash Flood Prone Areas
A Study of a Major Washington DC Sleet Storm
Increased accuracy in predicting severe hail size using Doppler radar
Sociological impacts in the Washington DC Metro Area resulting from the convective winter event of 26 January 2011