The question of the direction of the atmospheric sciences is a difficult one, and it cannot be answered in a definitive way or with a high degree of certainty. I would like to try to give you my biased viewpoint on the situation in atmospheric sciences today, as far as the research aspect is concerned.
The field of atmospheric sciences today is full to overflowing with top-notch scientific research programs. At the same time, funds for conducting this research are limited and much more difficult to obtain now than in previous years. To paraphrase the words of Charles Dickens in his Tale of Two Cities, “It is the best of times; it is the worst of times.”