Royal Meteorological Society

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The Royal Meteorological Society is a long-established institution that promotes academic and public engagement in weather and climate science. Fellows of the Society must possess relevant qualifications, but Associate Fellows can be lay enthusiasts. Its Quarterly Journal is one of the world's leading sources of original research in the atmospheric sciences.


The Royal Meteorological Society traces its origins back to 3 April 1850 when the British Meteorological Society was formed as "a society the objects of which should be the advancement and extension of meteorological science by determining the laws of climate and of meteorological phenomena in general". Along with nine others, including James Glaisher, John Drew, Edward Joseph Lowe, The Revd Joseph Bancroft Reade, and Samuel Charles Whitbread, Dr John Lee, an astronomer, of Hartwell House, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire founded in the library of his house the British Meteorological Society, which became the Royal Meteorological Society.[1] It became The Meteorological Society in 1866, when it was incorporated by Royal Charter, and the Royal Meteorological Society in 1883, when Her Majesty Queen Victoria granted the privilege of adding 'Royal' to the title. Along with 74 others, the famous meteorologist Luke Howard joined the original 15 members of the Society at its first ordinary meeting on 7 May 1850. As of 2008 it has more than 3,000 members worldwide. The chief executive of the Society is Professor Liz Bentley.


To promote meteorology as a science, profession and interest.


Anyone with a genuine interest in the weather, its impact or the science behind it, or in the interface with related disciplines, such as hydrology and oceanography can join the Society. The Society is made up of weather enthusiasts, practitioners, students and scientists from across the world.

There are four different membership categories:

  • Honorary Fellow
  • Fellow (FRMetS)[2]
  • Associate Fellow
  • Corporate member

Associate Fellows may be any age and do not require any specific expertise in meteorology. Fellows normally require a formal qualification in a subject related to meteorology plus five years experience and must be nominated by two other fellows. Corporate membership of the Society is open to all organisations that wish to support the Society’s charitable objectives, offering an opportunity to show corporate leadership and to play an active role in supporting the Society programme of work. Schools are also welcome to join the Society and there are many benefits available to participating schools. These include borrowing scientific equipment, education and careers resources and access to grants for meteorology projects.

The Society holds monthly National meetings, usually held on Wednesday afternoons, with a variety of topics throughout the year. Both Fellows and Associate Fellows receive the monthly magazine Weather.

Programmes of work[edit]

The Society has a very broad programme of work including:

  • developing education resources for primary and secondary schools and for teacher CPD
  • promoting public engagement and dialogue on weather and climate science
  • providing evidence-based policy support to Government
  • encouraging continuing professional development (through NVQ/SVQ) and offering professional accreditation as a Chartered Meteorologist (CMet)
  • awarding grants and bursaries to young scientists working in meteorology
  • recognising excellence through the programme of international awards and prizes
  • developing quality standards for meteorological service providers
  • publishing five international science journals
  • a comprehensive national meetings and conference programme


The society regularly awards a number of medal and prizes, of which the Symons Gold Medal (established in 1901) and the Mason Gold Medal (established in 2006) are pre-eminent. The two medals are awarded alternately.

Other awards include the Buchan Prize, the Hugh Robert Mill Award, the L F Richardson Prize, the Michael Hunt Award, the Fitzroy Prize, the Gordon Manley Weather Prize, the International Journal of Climatology Prize, the Society Outstanding Service Award and the Vaisala Award.[1]


The society has a number of regular publications:[3]

  • Weather: a monthly magazine with many full colour illustrations and photos for specialists and general readers with an interest in meteorology. It uses a minimum of mathematics and technical language.
  • Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: as one of the world's leading journals for meteorology publishes original research in the atmospheric sciences. There are eight issues per year.
  • Meteorological Applications: this is a journal for applied meteorologists, forecasters and users of meteorological services and has been published since 1994. It is aimed at a general readership and authors are asked to take this into account when preparing papers.
  • International Journal of Climatology: has 15 issues a year and covers a broad spectrum of research in climatology.
  • Atmospheric Science Letters: an electronic only publication for short communication.
  • WIREs Climate Change: a journal about climate change
  • Geoscience Data Journal: an online, open-access journal.

All publications are available online but a subscription is required for some. However certain "classic" papers are freely available on the Society's website.[4]

The Society also runs theWeather Club a free membership club for people interested in weather.

Local Centres and Special Interest Groups[edit]

The society has several Local Centres across the UK.[5]

There are also a number of Special Interest Groups which organise meetings and other activities to facilitate exchange of information and views within specific areas of meteorology.[6] These are informal groups of professionals interested in specific technical areas of the profession of meteorology. The groups are primarily a way of communicating at a specialist level.

The current special interest groups are:



Other related links[edit]


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