American Meteorological Society

American Meteorological Society

AMS Seal

Abbreviation AMS
Formation 1919
Founder Charles Franklin Brooks
Type Scientific society
Legal status Non-profit
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates 42°21′24.8″N 71°04′01.3″W / 42.356889°N 71.067028°W / 42.356889; -71.067028
Region served
Primarily United States
Executive director
Keith L. Seitter
Subsidiaries Local and student chapters
Affiliations American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute of Physics, American Society of Association Executives, Bookbuilders of Boston, Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, Intelligent Transportation Society of America, Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, Society for Scholarly Publishing

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) is a non-profit scientific and professional society that promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications.[1]


Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society has a membership of more than 13,000 weather, water, and climate scientists, professionals, researchers, educators, students, and enthusiasts. Some members have attained the designation Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM),[2] many of whom have expertise in the applied meteorology discipline of atmospheric dispersion modeling. To the general public, however, the AMS is best known for its "Seal of Approval" to television and radio meteorologists.[3]

The AMS publishes nine atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic journals (in print and online), issues position statements on scientific topics that fall within the scope of their expertise, sponsors more than twelve conferences annually, and offers numerous programs and services. There is also an extensive network of local and student chapters, some of which organize regional AMS conferences.

The AMS headquarters is located at 45 Beacon Street off the Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts. The headquarters building was built by the famous Boston architect Charles Bulfinch as the third Harrison Gray Otis House in 1806 and was purchased and renovated by the AMS in 1958, with staff moving into the building in 1960. In 2012, the AMS purchased the building next door at 44 Beacon Street, also designed by Bulfinch. The AMS also maintains an office in Washington, D.C. at 1200 New York Avenue NW.[4]

AMS Certification Programs

The AMS runs two certification programs concerning broadcast meteorologists and consulting meteorologists, respectively.[5] Many Certified Consulting Meteorologists (CBMs) practice as forensic meteorologists.

Seal of Approval

The AMS Seal of Approval program was established in 1957 as a means of recognizing television and radio weather forecasters who display informative, well-communicated, and scientifically sound weather broadcast presentations. The awarding of a Seal of Approval was based on a demonstration tape submitted by the applicant to six members of a review panel after paying an application fee. Although a formal degree in meteorology was not a requirement to obtain the original Seal of Approval, either appropriate military training or the minimal requirements of undergraduate meteorology courses, including at least 20 semester college credits appropriate for a meteorology major, must have been taken before applying (ensuring that the forecaster has at least a minimal required education in the field). There was no minimum amount of experience required, but it was recommended that applicants had some previous experience in weather forecasting and broadcasting. It is worth noting that many broadcasters who obtained the Seal of Approval did in fact have formal degrees in meteorology or related sciences and/or certifications from accredited university programs. Upon meeting the core requirements, having the seal, and working in the field for 3 years that broadcaster may then be referred to as a meteorologist in the broadcast community.

As of February 2007, more than 1,600 Seals of Approval had been granted, of which more than 700 are considered "active."[6] Seals become inactive when a sealholder's membership renewal and annual seal fees are not paid.

The original Seal of Approval program was phased out at the end of 2008, but, still remains very relative as a certification today. Many traditional seal holders are experienced, long-time meteorologists and are still highly respected in the profession.[7]

Note: The NWA Seal of Approval is issued by the National Weather Association and is independent of the AMS. The National Weather Association is another premier weather organization for trained professional weathercasters and in many cases, meteorologists.

Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM)

The original Seal of Approval program was revamped in January 2005 with the introduction of the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation. This certification introduced a 100-question multiple choice closed-book examination as part of the evaluation process. The questions on the exam cover many aspects of the science of meteorology, forecasting and related principles. Applicants must answer at least 75 of the questions correctly before being awarded the CBM designation. While original seal holders do not have to have a degree in meteorology or a related field of study to be upgraded, new applicants for the CBM must hold at least a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in meteorology, atmospheric sciences, or a related field of study from an accredited college or university.

CBMs may retain their certification and display the CBM logo only so long as they pay their membership and renewal fees each year and show proof of completing certain professional development programs every five years (such as educational presentations at schools, involvement in local AMS chapter events, attendance at weather conferences, and other activities of the like).[8] The only experience requirement is a nominal three consecutive days, for the purpose of filming demonstration tapes (this contrasts with the NWA's seal, which requires at least two years full-time experience, but allows those who do not have meteorology degrees to apply).

The first person to receive the CBM seal was WRAL's Greg Fishel. As of February 2013, nearly 500 CBM seals had been awarded to broadcast weather forecasters, either upgraded from the original Seal of Approval or granted to new applicants.[9]


The American Meteorological Society offers several awards in the fields of meteorology and oceanography. Selected awards follow:[10]

Atmospheric Research Awards Committee

Oceanographic Research Awards Committee


The American Meteorological Society is a prolific publisher,[11] including many books and monographs.[12] The AMS publishes the following scientific journals, consistently ranked at or near the top of their fields in impact factor.:[13]

The society produces the following scientific databases:

The society published and continually updates an authoritative electronic Glossary of Meteorology.[14]

A blog, The Front Page, is also published by the AMS.[15]


The AMS organizes authoritative conferences, symposia, and fora in its fields of expertise. Its main assembly is the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting and some conferences occur concomitantly. Other recurring conferences, many of which are held jointly (either simultaneously or successively), include:[16]

  • Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
  • Conference on Air Pollution
  • Conference on Air-Sea Interaction
  • Conference on Applied Climatology
  • Conference on Atmospheric and Ocean Fluid Dynamics
  • Conference on Atmospheric Biogeosciences
  • Conference on Atmospheric Radiation
  • Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace
  • Conference on Biometeorology and Aerobiology
  • Conference on Broadcast Meteorology
  • Conference on Climate Variability and Change
  • Conference on Cloud Physics
  • Conference on Coastal Atmospheric and Oceanic Prediction and Processes
  • Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology
  • Conference on Interactions of the Sea and Atmosphere
  • Conference on Mesoscale Processes
  • Conference on Middle Atmosphere
  • Conference on Mountain Meteorology
  • Conference on Radar Meteorology
  • Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction
  • Conference on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography
  • Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography
  • Conference on Severe Local Storms
  • Conference on the Urban Environment / Symposium on the Urban Environment
  • Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting
  • Conference on Weather Warnings and Communications
  • Joint Conference on Planned and Inadvertent Weather Modification (co-organized with the Weather Modification Association)
  • Joint Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology
  • Symposium on Boundary Layers and Turbulence
  • Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation

Additionally, the AMS co-hosts conferences led by other organizations and holds various non-recurring conferences.

Policy statements

As a means of promoting "the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications",[17] the AMS periodically publishes policy statements on issues related to its competence[18] on subjects such as drought,[19] ozone[20] and acid deposition.[21]

Statement on Climate Change

The website of The American Meteorological Society has the following statement about climate change.[22]

"Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal, according to many different kinds of evidence. Observations show increases in globally averaged air and ocean temperatures, as well as widespread melting of snow and ice and rising globally averaged sea level. Surface temperature data for Earth as a whole, including readings over both land and ocean, show an increase of about 0.8°C (1.4°F) over the period 1901─2010 and about 0.5°C (0.9°F) over the period 1979–2010 (the era for which satellite-based temperature data are routinely available). Due to natural variability, not every year is warmer than the preceding year globally. Nevertheless, all of the 10 warmest years in the global temperature records up to 2011 have occurred since 1997, with 2005 and 2010 being the warmest two years in more than a century of global records. The warming trend is greatest in northern high latitudes and over land. In the U.S., most of the observed warming has occurred in the West and in Alaska; for the nation as a whole, there have been twice as many record daily high temperatures as record daily low temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century.
"Climate is always changing. However, many of the observed changes noted above are beyond what can be explained by the natural variability of the climate. It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation. While large amounts of CO2 enter and leave the atmosphere through natural processes, these human activities are increasing the total amount in the air and the oceans. Approximately half of the CO2 put into the atmosphere through human activity in the past 250 years has been taken up by the ocean and terrestrial biosphere, with the other half remaining in the atmosphere. Since long-term measurements began in the 1950s, the atmospheric CO2 concentration has been increasing at a rate much faster than at any time in the last 800,000 years. Having been introduced into the atmosphere it will take a thousand years for the majority of the added atmospheric CO2 to be removed by natural processes, and some will remain for thousands of subsequent years."

Past presidents

The following AMS members served as presidents of the society during the listed periods:[23]

See also


External links

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