Society news

A change in theWeather Club

It is now two years since theWeather Club was launched as the public outreach arm of the Society. Through the encouragement and support of the Society, it has been able to achieve its prime aim of improving the understanding of weather and climate. We have endeavoured to do this through an award-winning quarterly magazine, a dedicated Club website and a range of wider outreach activities.

Unfortunately, in these times of financial constraint, it is not possible to sustain the publication of theWeather magazine beyond the winter 2012 issue. Current members of theWeather Club will be informed separately detailing a refund that will be sent out in the New Year.

The Society would like to stress that theWeather Club itself will continue but with a modified range of benefits. The new-look Club will offer:

  • An interactive website with weather features and news updates
  • Information about events and meetings on the weather
  • Opportunities to participate in national activities, including the Great British Weather Experiment and competitions, and to speak to experts about the weather
  • A new quarterly newsletter full of weather news stories and short features

All this is offered absolutely free – all you need to do is to register with theWeather Club to ensure that you can keep up-to-date. Details of how to register will follow in the New Year.

The Society sincerely hopes that current members of theWeather Club will still wish to remain part of this community as we continue to seek to achieve our original aims.

Chartered meteorologist

Dr A J Bennett FRMetS has been approved by Council for accreditation as a Chartered Meteorologist of the Royal Meteorological Society.

If no objections are raised in writing by 15 March 2013 to the Secretary of the Accreditation Board then this accreditation automatically becomes effective from that date. Objections must provide evidence that the Fellow concerned does not meet one of the criteria set out in the details of the Accreditation Scheme, which are available through the website ( or on request from the Society.

Climate Science Communications Group

The Society has set up a new Climate Science Communications Group which met for the first time in October 2012 under Emily Shuckburgh's Chairmanship. The 3-Year Strategic Plan for the Society aims to address the public perception of climate change by significantly raising the understanding of, and engagement with, climate science, particularly amongst the general public and in policy programmes. The Group met again in December to investigate a number of ideas in more detail. Activities taken forward by the Group will be reported on this page throughout this year.

Conferences in 2013

2013 will be a busy conference year. The University of Reading is hosting the European Meteorological Society (EMS) conference and a meeting of the International Forum for Meteorological Societies (IFMS), as well as the Society's student and amateur meteorologists conferences for which the conference committees met in November 2012 to commence work.

Dates for the conferences are:

  • 7–9 September: Student Conference
  • 9–13 September: EMS Conference
  • 12–13 September: IFMS Meeting
  • 13–15 September: Amateur meteorologists Conference, in association with the Climatological Observers Link (COL), the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO) and the Cloud Appreciation Society

The Weather Memory Bank

The Society has been working in partnership with the University of Nottingham, University of Exeter, and the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers to develop the Weather Memory Bank project. This is funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council and aims to enhance the role of arts and humanities perspectives on environmental values and change, through policy, practice and public discourses.

The project investigates how people relate to and remember their local weather and particular weather events they have experienced throughout their lives. It also considers what or who informs people's understanding of climate change. Different experiences and memories are central to the way in which information on long-term climate change, and short-lived weather events, is gathered and transmitted across generations.

The weather has been woven into human experience of life in many ways. It shapes our daily routines and has been inscribed into the cultural fabric of communities in the form of oral history, myth, tradition, folklore and technological adaptation. Occasional dramatic events seem to have as much effect on people's memories as ‘normal’ conditions and seasonal variability. The project team is keen to see if there is a tendency to remember the past with more detail or accuracy if it is related to unusual or extreme weather events, such as storms, floods, heavy snow or droughts.

The Weather Memory Bank is also concerned with the way in which everyday experiences and locality influence public understanding and conceptualisations of climate change. Where people live and work, their histories, cultures and values help shape how different people comprehend weather as well as how they understand the idea of climate change.

To listen to those who have already contributed to the project or to get involved yourself, visit the Weather Memory Bank website at by.cfm?brandLink=climate&key=qwerty.