Pleasing the Society

I am now a meteorologist – a full fledged meteorologist. I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt some pride when one of our anchors announces me as Meteorologist Geoff Fox.

Now I move to the next step, getting an AMS Seal.

First, an explanation of terms. AMS stands for The American Meteorological Society. The ‘seal’ is the AMS Seal of Approval for Television Weathercasting, and it’s awarded by the Board of Broadcast Meteorology. Phew – no wonder they shorten it to AMS and seal.

The AMS would like to preserve the integrity and scientific efficacy of weather forecasting. My boss wants me to present an understandable and useful forecast. Sometimes those two are at odds with each other.

In order to get the AMS Seal, I must submit three airchecks (tapes of a weather broadcast) from three consecutive days. Actually, that’s a great idea. It seems important to watch a candidate’s forecast in context. My tapes are distributed to members of the board who individually pass judgment. My understanding is, this is not an easy group to please.

A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, just got his rejection note within the past few weeks. The comments were brutal – and I think this guy is very good.

Once your tapes go in, the board takes months to come up with its verdict. I have heard lots of grousing over this. I have no clue what takes so long, and I’m a little new in the organization to complain, but there are few things in this modern era that take six month, especially when the actually work of judging takes a few hours at most. I’m sure I’m missing some nuance which explains the timeframe… maybe not.

I started collecting my airchecks last night. I’d like to have my three before the week’s end. My plan is to have this out the door as soon as possible, but first have some folks with experience (my friend who’s just been shot down, a former member of the board, etc.) look and make sure I’m on the right track.

There is lots of talk on some weather bulletin boards concerning the relative value of having the seal. After 21 years on the air here in Connecticut, will more people be inclined to watch because of it? I don’t know. But, I’m sure I’ll enjoy seeing the ‘seal’ on the air next to my name the same way I enjoy hearing meteorologist.

3 thoughts on “Pleasing the Society”

  1. Is the Seal in the form of an oversized ring, which one would dip in hot wax on a secret envelope containing the forecast?

    That would be medieval and quite cool. If you don’t get one, you should make one.

  2. I don’t know if you remember it or not but when you first came to WTNH (Action News) the competition began touting the fact their guy was a meteorologist and had his “seal”. You know where I’m going with this…we seriosuly considered “renting” a real seal and doing a promo saying, “…their guy has a seal, our guy has a seal.” Now times were a bit looser back then and a lot of our promotional ideas came after a few beers at the local watering hole but I still think it would have made a great spot. Meteorologist or not you continue to be the best I ever worked with.

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