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Flash Flood Risk in the Mid-Atlantic; Storms in the High Plains; Critical Fire Weather Threats in the West

Heavy rain and thunderstorms will pose a flash flood risk for the Mid-Atlantic. Severe thunderstorms are possible through Friday from the northern and central Plains to the Upper Midwest. Elevated and critical fire weather conditions with isolated dry thunderstorm potential across a large part of the West. Above average temperatures are expected in the Southern Plains and Northeast. Read More >

NCEP Home > NWS Student Internships

The 2020 William M. Lapenta NWS Student Internship Program application period is now closed.


The William M. Lapenta

NWS Student Internship Program



About Dr. William M. Lapenta


To learn more about Bill Lapenta Click Here





The National Weather Service (NWS) plays a key role in protecting American lives and properties. The timely provision of reliable weather, water, climate, and environmental information has supported the Nation's social and economic development. NWS offices in communities across the United States and its territories, supported by regional and national centers, provide the authoritative information needed by the public, including national, regional, state, tribal, and local authorities, to plan, prepare, mitigate, and respond to natural and human-caused events.

As part of the NWS, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) is "Where America's Climate and Weather Services Begin." Virtually all the meteorological data collected over the globe arrives at NCEP, where environmental scientists analyze this information and generate a wide variety of environmental guidance information. NCEP delivers national and global weather, water, climate and space weather guidance, forecasts, warnings and analyses to a broad range of users and partners. These products and services respond to user needs to protect life and property, enhance the nation's economy, and support the nation's growing need for environmental information.

NCEP is offering up to 20 paid summer internships targeted towards current 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate and enrolled graduate students to work in areas that will meet the future needs of the ever-broadening user community and address the strategic climate-water-weather issues. Each student will collaborate with one or more scientists at our NCEP centers located in College Park, MD: Climate Prediction Center, Environmental Modeling Center, Ocean Prediction Center, and Weather Prediction Center or at NWS Offices in Silver Spring, MD: Meteorological Development Laboratory and AWIPS Program Office.

Students may also be placed at the following NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) facilities: Climate Program Office (Silver Spring, MD), Office of Weather and Air Quality (Silver Spring, MD) and Air Resources Laboratory (College Park, MD).


Must be enrolled in an undergraduate (sophomore and junior status only) or graduate degree program, and be a U.S. Citizen willing to undergo a security background check.

Students from the following majors are welcome to apply: math, physics, meteorology, atmospheric and climate science, computer science, engineering, and social science.

NOAA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan states that:

“NOAA’s unique mission of science, service and stewardship demands a diverse workforce to reflect, understand, and respond to the varied communities and stakeholders we serve. Equally important is an inclusive work environment that drives employee and organizational performance. NOAA recognizes that a sustained commitment to strengthening diversity and inclusion is critical to enable a future where societies and the world’s ecosystems reinforce each other and are mutually resilient in the face of sudden and prolonged change.”

Members of groups underrepresented in the sciences including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Pacific Islanders, persons with disabilities, veterans, first generation college students and economically disadvantaged students are encouraged to apply.

Program Details

Internships are full time for 10 weeks between June and August, with a preferred starting date in early June.

Participants may be involved in projects such as:

  • Activities that improve understanding of forecasting problems
  • Activities that address some critical aspect of operational model development
  • Activities that will create new data analysis techniques with wide application and usefulness in operational forecasting
  • Development of improved forecast tools (including use of GIS)
  • Coding and testing of data visualization systems
  • Development of datasets for the Science on a Sphere
  • Incorporation of social science to communicate forecast uncertainty
  • Improving air quality and dispersion models
  • Contributing to research that advances understanding of the Earth system
  • Contributing to the development of the National Climate Assessment and other reports

In addition to their project, participants attend lectures, participate in workshops to build skills and knowledge relevant to the job, and present their projects in both written and oral formats. The internship is approximately 40 hours per week.

We provide:

  • Internship stipend ($5000)
  • Furnished dormitory style housing
  • Travel allowance to get to and from College Park, MD/Silver Spring, MD


Visit our Student Intern Alumni Page!


How to Apply

The 2020 application period is now closed.

1.  Register for an account at


2.   Prepare the following to be uploaded to the site

  • A personal statement
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • A transcript (unofficial is sufficient) from your institution


3.   Two letters of recommendation are required to be submitted on your behalf. You are responsible for checking your application status online to ensure both letters have been submitted. 


Applications will be accepted November 26, 2019 through January 31, 2020


Email if you have questions: 



Question: What should I include in my personal statement?

Answer: Relevant career interests and related past experiences, why you are applying, and include which Center/Office you are most interested in and why. Make sure to review relevant webpages for background. 

Question: Do I need to know any computer programming languages?

Answer: Depending on your project, you may be expected to know how to do some coding. Computer languages typically used for student projects include Python, Fortran, C++, Java, etc.

Question: Can I apply if I am senior in a 5 year program?

Answer: The internship is only for enrolled sophomores, juniors and graduate students.

Question: Can I apply if I am deciding on a graduate school?

Answer: The internship is only for enrolled graduate students.

Question: My major is not included on the list of eligible majors. Can I still apply?

Answer: If your career interests, educational background, and experience are in line with NCEP’s mission and activities, then you may be eligible.  

Question: When will applicants be notified of the status of their application?

Answer: All students will be notified mid March.

Question: Do I need to propose a project or will one be assigned to me?

Answer: Students can propose a project in their statement. However, it's not necessary as each Center/Office will identify a few projects and will make sure it's a good fit for the selected students.

Question: What kind of student projects will be offered?

Answer: Projects will vary from year to year. Here are examples of previous student projects:

  • Verification of Weather Prediction Center Freezing Rain Guidance using ASOS Ice Accretion Observations

  • The Influence of the Appalachian Mountains on the Precipitation Transition Zone

  • Examining the Prediction of Heavy Rainfall Events during Winter in the Western U.S. and Effects from Meteorological Environments

  • Atlantic Hurricane Force Storms: Identifying Stratospheric Air Intrusions and the Effects of Hurricane Force Wind Events on the Iceberg Limit

  • Diagnosing Geospatial Uncertainty Visualization Challenges in Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Forecasts

  • NMME Upgrades Re(scripting-processing-visualizing)

  • Parameterizing subsurface karst geology within the Noah Land Surface Model (LSM)

  • Objective Tropical Cyclone Characterization for Model Development

  • Upgrades to the Regression Test Framework on WAVEWATCH III

  • Visualization of Secondary Eyewalls in Operational HWRF

  • Evaluation of NAM Meteorological Predictions for Driving the North American Air Quality Forecasting Capability Predictions

  • Evaluating High-Resolution Model Performance of Convective Initiation During Severe Weather Events

  • An Overview of NCEP: Products, Services and Impacts