Society news

Society Student Conference 2013

The Royal Meteorological Society's Student Conference will be held at the University of Reading from 6 to 9 September, preceding the European Meteorological Society's Conference at the same venue from 9 to13 September.

This annual conference provides an excel-lent opportunity for PhD students and early-career meteorologists to present their work in a friendly environment. There will be a poster session as well as sessions for oral presentations. We are currently taking abstracts from Masters and PhD students working in fields related to meteorology, as well as from young Met Office scientists. The conference is very broad in scope, so if your research interests do not fit exactly into one of the following categories you are still encouraged to submit an abstract.

  • Climate: Past, Present and Future
  • Atmospheric Chemistry, Composition and Dispersion
  • Weather and Small-Scale Features
  • Oceanography, Hydrology, Cryosphere and Biosphere
  • Atmosphere and Climate Modelling
  • Earth Observations and Data Assimilation
  • Boundary Layer Meteorology

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 May and registration for the conference closes on 30 May. Please contact for more information.


The Society is sorry to note the deaths of the following members during the last few months:

Paul Bartlett, Rutland; F Willy Bombeeck, Brugge; C Caroe, Cheshire; George Alfred Davies, Monmouth; Brian Davis, Queensland; Peter Gildersleeves, Newbury; John Sydney Adcock Green, Rye; David Ian Francis Grimes, Reading; Harry Rupert Heap, Chelmsford; John Lennox Monteith, Edinburgh; David Arthur Morgan, Deal; Gary Noakes, Huntingdon; Barry Parker, Thatcham; Aodhagan Roddy, Galway; Charles Smith, Perth; Terence Spalding, Stowmarket, and Neville Taylor, Rainham.

Request for weather observations in London

Weather observations are a core aspect of weather risk management, including energy trading and financial risk transfer (for example, insurance and weather derivatives). These are major services provided by businesses in the City of London and it is vital to have long-term observations to under-stand how climate change is being experienced in London and to monitor the impacts and effectiveness of adaptation strategy.

Currently, a significant number of academic, public and private organisations make weather observations in London, according to their own diverse set of needs. The London Climate Change Partnership (LCCP), Met Office and Lloyds of London are funding the Observing London Project to assess the data availability and needs of the capital. This work will help enable innovation in weather and climate services so that London can adapt and thrive, and readers of Weather are invited to participate in this original research project: organisations and individuals who use and/ or collect urban weather/climate data in London and elsewhere are being recruited.

To find out more visit

RMetS member awarded Polar Medal

We are delighted to announce that long-term Society member and chair of the Meteorological Observing Systems Special Interest Group, Steven Colwell, has been awarded the prestigious Polar Medal for out-standing achievement and service to the United Kingdom in the field of polar research. The Medal is awarded to those citizens of the United Kingdom who have made conspicuous contributions to the knowledge of polar regions or who have rendered prolonged service of outstanding quality in support of acquisition of such knowledge and who, in either case, have undergone the hazards and rigours imposed by the polar environment.

The first polar award was called the Arctic Medal, and it was presented twice in the nine-teenth century. The Admiralty issued the medal in 1857 for several expeditions, includ-ing the expedition to discover the fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew who were lost while looking for the Northwest Passage in 1847.

In 1904, the Polar Medal was inaugurated to honour members of Captain Scott's first expedition to Antarctica. Subsequently, med-als were also awarded to members of Ernest Shackleton's expeditions in 1907–1909 and 1914–1917. Until 1968, the Polar Medal was awarded to anyone who participated in a polar expedition endorsed by the governments of any Commonwealth country. However, since then the rules governing its presentation have been revised, with greater emphasis placed on personal achievement: Polar Medals are now only awarded to British subjects for their extreme human endeavours in Arctic and Antarctic conditions or to expe-dition members and those working at perma-nently-manned Antarctic bases.

New year's honours

Professor Joanna Haigh, President of the Society and Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College, received a CBE in the New Year Honours list for services to physics. Joanna's areas of expertise include atmospheric radiative transfer, climate modelling, radiation codes for numerical models, interaction of radiation, dynamics and photochemistry in the middle atmosphere, radiative forcing of climate change, solar irradiance variability and its influence on climate, and stratosphere-troposphere coupling.

Professor Brian William Golding, Chair of the Society's Meetings Committee and recently retired from the Met Office, received an OBE for services to Weather Forecasting and the Prediction of Hazardous Weather.

Book on the history of the Met Office wins prestigious prize

The Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) announced their Choice History Award for 2012 as the book History of the Meteorological Office, written by one of our members, Malcolm Walker. The book received Honourable Mention for a thorough account of the scientists, science and achievements of the Met Office from its earliest days to the present. We congratulate Malcolm, who is also the Chair of the Society's History Group and was, before retirement, a member of staff at Society HQ.