BOSTON, Mass. – The largest gathering of meteorologists anywhere in the world took place this week in Boston, Massachusetts, the birthplace of the American Meteorological Society. This conference takes place every January but this year was special since it was a centennial celebration in the Society's hometown. Orlando was host to the event in 2002. 

  • Meteorologists gather for annual conference
  • American Meteorological Society is celebrating 100 years
  • Attendees represented various sectors of weather, water and climate science

The American Meteorological Society was founded in Boston in 1919 and initially was comprised of members from the U.S. Signal Corps and U.S. Weather Bureau. Since then, it has grown to a membership of nearly 13,000 members from around the world.  A scientific and professional organization serving the atmospheric and related sciences, the AMS supports a wide range of programs including scientific journals, scholarships, academia and certifications. 

Each of the weather experts at Spectrum News 13 is an AMS member with the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation.  The Society has administered certification programs for broadcasters dating back to 1957. 

Over 5,500 meteorologists descended upon Boston for the conference which had over 2,700 oral presentations.  Attendees represented various sectors of weather, water and climate science from around the world. This included over 200 broadcast meteorologists, and 800 students.  

Among the youngest presenters was a group of students from Lake Nona High School in Orlando.  They have been working in conjunction with the 45th Weather Squadron conducting research on several areas including launch weather criteria and the causes of weather-related deaths in Florida. 

Their research is one of the many examples of what how our understanding of weather has evolved over the last 100 years.  While the conference was largely in celebration of these accomplishments, the centennial meeting was also a chance to reflect and look forward. 

One of the ways this will happen is with the creation of a new club for weather enthusiasts, which is expected to launch during this upcoming year. Another area in which the Society will grow is with K-12 educators. The AMS recently announced the new Certified AMS Teacher program, as a way to recognize and support educators actively engaged in raising earth science literacy.

Weather professionals, hobbyists and students can participate in the AMS locally. A Central Florida Chapter of the AMS was recently established in 2019, and a Space Coast Chapter is also active in Brevard County.