Applications now being accepted!  Due on or before January 29th, 2018!

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

The Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office of the National Weather Service is now accepting applications for volunteer college students for the summer of 2018.  Students interested in this program must be pursuing a degree in meteorology or a related science (such as climatology, atmospheric science, etc.).

Our competitive program provides students with the experience of performing a mentored meteorological/hydrological research project while assisting in operations at a NWS forecast office. Each chosen student will present a briefing of his/her research towards the end of the summer. Please see below for more information about our program.

College students wishing to apply to the NWS Sterling volunteer program must submit ALL of the following before the deadline of Monday, January 29th:
• An application form filled out online
• A one-page resume (emailed to
• An official college transcript (emailed to or mailed in, see below)

If your college or university will only mail official transcripts, please have them sent to:
National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office Baltimore/Washington
Attn: Jason Elliott
43858 Weather Service Rd
Sterling, VA 20166

We hope to make selections for this summer’s volunteers by the end of February.

More About Our Student Volunteer Program

Mandatory Student Volunteer Duties while at NWS Baltimore/Washington include:
• Volunteer approximately 16-24 hours per week on a set schedule
• Work on an assigned research project with a NWS meteorologist
• Submit summer research results to the 2018 National Weather Association annual conference, which will be held August 25-30 in St. Louis, MO.
(Students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to attend the conference to present their work.)

Additional Activities and Duties that are offered while volunteering at NWS Baltimore/Washington include:
• Becoming familiar with NWS operations, policies and procedures, software and computer systems, and hydrological/meteorological products
• 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

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

Some past student projects include:
(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

Additional Information:

The 2018 NWS 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 school’s advisor and/or department head.

Many students who have participated in our program have gone on to meteorology careers in the National Weather Service, or other related fields.