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Monsoon Flood Threat in the Southwest; Hot in the South and Northwest

Monsoonal heavy rain will continue flash flood potential across the Southwest and Intermountain West to the central and southern Rockies through this weekend, especially in complex terrain, burn scars, and urban areas. Excessive heat and humidity with heat indices over 110 degrees will be common over much of the Deep South and interior Northwest this weekend. Read More >

NCEP Home > NWS Student Internships

The 2021 William M. Lapenta NOAA Student Internship Program application period is from November 20, 2020 - February 1, 2021.


The William M. Lapenta

NOAA Student Internship Program



About Dr. William M. Lapenta

To learn more about Bill Lapenta Click Here



In recognition of the many contributions of Dr. William (Bill) Lapenta to advance NOAA science and services and his dedication to training the next generation of scientists, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established the William M. Lapenta Student Internship Program in 2019. The program builds on the highly successful National Weather Service (NWS) National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Internship which Bill created in 2017.

NOAA is offering paid summer internships targeted towards current 2nd and 3rd-year undergraduate and enrolled graduate students to work in areas that will provide robust research and/or operational experience that will prepare the student for further study in NOAA fields, for application to fellowships or for the NOAA-mission workforce. This internship program enables the National Weather Service, (NWS), Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), and National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS) to target the skills needed to fulfill their specific mission needs. Projects may be focused on research areas or the development of operational products such as decision support tools, climate and weather forecast models, data analysis methodologies, and social science strategies to communicate climate and weather information. Overall, students will focus on areas that will meet the future needs of NOAA’s ever-broadening user community and address strategic weather-water-climate issues.



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, ocean and climate science, computer science, engineering, and social science.  Other STEM majors relevant to NOAA's mission will be considered.

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 strongly 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

  • Improving air quality and dispersion models

  • Incorporation of social science to communicate forecast uncertainty

  • Improving understanding of ocean-atmosphere interactions

  • Developing decision support and communications on urban heat and air quality

  • Develop new science and technology to convert raw satellite data into critical information for strategic decision-makers

  • Supporting evaluation of ocean models

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 the internship site.

Each student will collaborate with one or more scientists at one of the facilities detailed below (subject to availability). Three of NOAA’s Line Offices participate in this internship program: National Weather Service (NWS), Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), and the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS). Please note that we cannot guarantee the availability of an internship opportunity at each facility on an annual basis.


Participating Offices (in 2021):

National Weather Service (NWS)

NCEP centers located in College Park, MD: Climate Prediction Center, Environmental Modeling Center, Ocean Prediction Center, and Weather Prediction Center 

AWIPS Program Office (Silver Spring, MD)


Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)

Air Resources Laboratory (College Park, MD

Climate Program Office (Silver Spring, MD)

Global Ocean Monitoring and Observation Program (Silver Spring, MD)

Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (Silver Spring, MD)

Ocean Acidification Program (Silver Spring, MD)

Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab (AOML) (Miami, FL)

Earth Systems Research Lab (ESRL) (Boulder, CO)

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL) (Princeton, NJ)

Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL) (Ann Arbor, MI)

Pacific Marine Environmental Lab (PMEL) (Seattle, WA)


National Environmental Satellite Data Information Service:

Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) (College Park, MD)



Visit our Student Intern Alumni Page!


How to Apply

The 2021 application period will open on November 20, 2020.

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. At least one reference must be from a professor or academic advisor.  The second reference may also be an academic reference or a character reference that can speak to your capabilities and interests as they relate to the internship. You are responsible for checking your application status online to ensure both letters have been submitted.  

Applications will be accepted November 20, 2020, through February 1, 2021, at 11:59 PM (EST)



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, however not all projects require this.  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 NOAA’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)

  • Climate communication:  providing scientific information for decision makers

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

  • Objective Tropical Cyclone Characterization for Model Development

  • Incorporation of social science to communicate forecast uncertainty

  • Using Tracers of opportunity to evaluate and improve HYSPLIT model

  • Assessment of COVID-19 related mission changes on crop yields

  • 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

Question:  Will this program be held onsite?

Answer:  We are planning to conduct this in person but that will depend on the Federal and State guidelines for each host site at that time, if not, we are prepared to launch this program virtually.