Statements of the AMS

A Statement on Policy and Procedures
in Commissioning and Issuing Formal Statements of the AMS,
as adopted by the Council on 26 September 1985


  1. Authority and Procedures
  2. Types of Statements by the AMS
  3. Time in Force
  4. Guidance to the Drafting Group
  5. Statements in Force

Authority and Procedures

The Council is authorized to approve and disseminate Statements on scientific matters and on matters pertaining to public policy.

Furthermore, the Council has established a Committee on Public Policy (COMPUP), which is responsible for preparing Statements, subject to approval by the Council. This Committee consists of the President, who is Chairperson, the President-Elect, the three most recent Past Presidents willing to serve, and the Chairperson of the Scientific and Technological Activities Commission (STAC). In most instances, recent practice has been for the Chairperson of STAC to delegate the assignment of the drafting of the Statement to an appropriate technical committee of STAC.

In matters of urgency, and when the Council is not in session, the Executive Committee is authorized to issue Statements based on not less than a two-thirds vote.

Where the Society wishes to address specific recommendations to a particular agency or individual, a different procedure will be followed. Namely, the President, with the approval of the Council or COMPUP, will write a letter expressing the views of the Society.

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Types of Statements by the AMS

  1. Assessing the scientific or technological state of the art and/or comments on weather-related hazards: generally addressed to the public at large.
  2. Urging action on policy matters of concern to the science or the profession: generally addressed to the Congress and/or the executive branch of the federal government.
  3. Calling attention to urgent scientific or professional matters: generally addressed to the membership of the Society.
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Time in Force

Each statement shall be reviewed as appropriate, and at least every 5 years, by the appropriate originating body; this body shall recommend continuation, lapse, or a revised version of each Statement. If there is no such action, any Statement automatically lapses after 6 years.

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Guidance to the Drafting Group

In particular:

  1. Such Statements will not be used to plead special causes within the profession or to interfere with the internal affairs of a government or private agency.
  2. They should avoid any attempt to demand the impossible or urge the obvious.
  3. Before preparing a Statement, the authors should ask: Who will be concerned with the message? What is the audience to which it is addressed? Is it intended to be useful to a group of specialists, a wider meteorological constituency, or to the public at large? How will it be used: as a basis for guiding official action, or as a matter of public information?
  4. Any previous Statement on the same subject should be referenced and indicated as having been superseded.
  5. Examples of Statements that seem to be a good length and at an appropriate technical level for their intended audience are those on Weather Forecasting and on Weather Satellite Operation by Private Industry.
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Statements in Force

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© 1996 American Meteorological Society