History of the AMS

The American Meteorological Society was founded in 1919 by Charles Franklin Brooks of the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, Massachusetts. Its initial membership came primarily from the U.S. Signal Corps and U.S. Weather Bureau and numbered just less than 600. Its initial publication, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, was meant to serve as a supplement to the Monthly Weather Review, which, at the time, was published by the U.S. Weather Bureau. Many of the initial members were not practicing meteorologists, but after the dues were raised from $1 to $2 in 1922, the weather hobbyists began dropping their membership, and the Society moved toward a membership made up primarily of professionals in the field.

The thirties and forties were a period of significant advancement in the atmospheric sciences, and the AMS made a substantial impact through the publication of fundamental contributions to the science in the Bulletin, the production of books and monographs, and the organization of specialized meetings. During and after World War II, activity in meteorology increased at a phenomenal rate because of the key role it played in support of military activities—both in terms of ground operations and aviation. A large number of meteorologists were trained as part of the wartime effort. After the war, both the military and civilian sectors had a substantial number of meteorologists in their ranks. The Society saw substantial growth during this period, and with the departments of meteorology that were formed during and just after the war carrying out research and producing new meteorologists, the activities of the Society in terms of publications and meetings increased. C.-G. Rossby served as president of the Society for 1944 and 1945, and developed the framework for the Society's first scientific journal, the Journal of Meteorology, which later split into the two current AMS journals: the Journal of Applied Meteorology and the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences.

The role of the Society as a scientific and professional organization serving the atmospheric and related sciences, which was established so well in the first few decades of the Society's history, has continued to the present. The AMS now publishes in print and online ten well-respected scientific journals and an abstract journal, in addition to the Bulletin, and sponsors and organizes over a dozen scientific conferences each year. It has published over 50 monographs in its continuing series, as well as many other books and educational materials of all types. The AMS administers two professional certification programs, the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) and Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) programs, and also offers an array of undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to support students pursuing careers in the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences.