To earn the CBM, broadcasters must hold a degree in meteorology or equivalent from an accredited college or university, pass a rigorous written examination, and have their on-air work reviewed by a Board of examiners to assess graphical content, explanation, and presentation skills. In addition to the initial educational and test requirements, CBMs must earn 28 professional development points every five years in order to maintain their certification.
CBM applicants meeting the eligibility requirements are required to pass a written examination and a weathercast review. The process is as follows:
Applicants must pass a “closed book”, qualifying examination to demonstrate knowledge of general meteorology. A test of 100 multiple choice and true/false questions will be administered by PSI/LaserGrade testing center, which has various locations around the country. Applicants must have a grade of 75 or higher in order to pass the written exam. You will receive information on how to register for the exam once you apply. Please note that you will be unable to register for the exam through PSI/LaserGrade until you submit a CBM application and receive an acknowledgment letter from AMS. If you would like to retake the test, please contact AMS Headquarters before you re-register at PSI/LaserGrade. CBM Exam Study Guide
After successfully passing the “closed book” exam, applicants will receive instructions on submitting two working weathercasts for review by the AMS Board of Broadcast Meteorology with one of the submissions coming from a day on which the weather would be considered “active”; the other from a day on which the weather would be considered “routine” for the broadcast market. The definition of “active” may vary from one market to another; for instance, an “active” day in the central United States could mean thunderstorms, while an “active” day on the Pacific coast could be rain and fog, and an “active” day in the Great Lakes could mean lake effect snow. Some other examples of an active day could be involving tropical weather, a snowy morning that impacts the commute, wildfire coverage, heavy rain and flash flooding, dense fog or poor air quality. Your active day should showcase your best work on a day when a weather event will impact your viewers and may have the potential to be a threat to life and property. A “routine” day should showcase your best work on a quiet, typical weather day. The submissions do not need to be from consecutive days; however, they must be from the time period of two months prior to the request to submit air checks, to two months after the notice. The Board will review the submissions based on three criteria:
a) Graphical Content - This category will be used to evaluate the visual presentation and clarity in creating the proper storyline to the local weather.
b) Explanation - Reviewers are asked to determine whether or not the candidate has given scientifically valid explanation of the processes that produce the recent, current, and anticipated weather conditions
c) Presentation - This criterion is intended to measure the candidate’s ability to communicate the weather story to their audience.
A candidate must score above a 3.0 average in each category in order to succeed on the evaluation.