The Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) program was established to raise the professional standard in broadcast meteorology and encourage a broader range of scientific understanding, especially with respect to environmental issues. Among radio and television meteorologists, the CBM designation is sought as a mark of professional distinction and recognition.
AMS certification holders are highly respected among their peers. Professional meteorologists have confidence that weather presentations made by CBMs will be technically sound and responsibly delivered.
The CBM designation is granted to broadcast meteorologists who meet established criteria for scientific competence and effective communication skills in their weather presentations.
The general public has confidence in the quality and reliability of weather presentations made by broadcast meteorologists who have been certified by the AMS.
Broadcast meteorologists are often the only people in television newsrooms who have a background in science. That makes you qualified not just to deliver the weather, but also to provide more science news to your viewing audience. The AMS Station Scientist initiative helps you quickly respond to breaking news involving natural disasters, hazmat situations, and other events where a scientist can add important perspective and information to coverage of the event. Links to instant information about these and other important subjects are readily available on the Station Scientist site.
Certification holders receive monthly ‘AMS Items of Interest’ e-newsletters filled with useful information such as professional development and networking opportunities, community involvement resources , free weather tools and graphics, and other helpful materials.
AMS certification holders can discuss topics of interest and ask and give advice to each other through the AMS Certification Programs Facebook page, available only to active CBMs and Sealholders. The CBM logo may only be displayed by individuals who have earned the designation. This mark of distinction displayed on your social media sites and during your weather broadcasts sets you apart as an expert in communicating complex weather information.
A 28 point professional development requirement every 5 years helps keep you abreast of new scientific research and tools. Attending conferences, serving as a lead forecaster on special events, mentoring a high school student, participating in a NWS workshop or a vendor sponsored training activity are just a few of the many ways to stay current in the field.
Join hundreds of other broadcast meteorologist at the annual AMS Conference on Broadcast Meteorology and hear the latest research in your field. Make a presentation yourself and share your scientific knowledge and experience as a broadcast meteorologist with other attendees. Enroll in a short course in conjunction with the meeting and sharpen your skills by learning more about climate change, GOES-R and other interesting topics. Better yet, join the Board of Broadcast Meteorology, made up of other CBMs, and become an instrumental part in planning future conferences and events.
AMS certifications have been nationally recognized as the standard in meteorological certification since 1957 and news directors and station manager understand the high level of expertise that comes with receiving the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation. Earning a CBM will set you apart from other candidates and provide you with a competitive edge.
Eligibility requirements revised as of January 2019.
Applications will only be accepted from individuals who hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in atmospheric science or meteorology (or the equivalent) from an accredited college/university. Individuals who do not have a degree in atmospheric science or meteorology must have completed the following degree equivalent coursework:
Whenever possible and where appropriate, course requirements should include components that utilize modern computer and instrumentation labs and facilities. Please keep in mind that some schools may require pre-requisite courses prior to enrolling in the above coursework.
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 remotely by PSI/LaserGrade through an online proctored environment. 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.
After successfully passing the multiple choice 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.
Off-air weathercasts will not be accepted, with the exception of those from applicants not currently employed or not employed as an on-air meteorologist at a local television station. In this case, to better simulate the “on-air experience,” a single take with no post-production is required, and it must be recorded with current rather than archived data. The forecast and required climatology sheet should focus on one specific location.
Past AMS Broadcast Board Chairs Carrie Rose and Rob Eicher offer tips and advice on the CBM weathercast evaluation.
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. An active day may be when weather is the top story in the newscast.
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.
Submitted weathercasts should be of your best work and should follow the guidelines outlined above. If submissions do not meet these guidelines, your grade will reflect any deficiencies.
Example of a Weathercast Submission Graded Favorably
The below links are examples of a weathercast submission that has met the requirements and was graded favorably by the Board of Broadcast Meteorologists. Also included are comments from the reviewers. These have been provided so that you will have a better idea of what to include in your submissions.
Active weathercast example
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.
*Non-members may apply for AMS membership and pay the member rate; application fee does not include a $60 fee paid directly to the PSI/Lasergrade testing center each time the CBM exam is scheduled.
The annual renewal fee for the CBM is $180 for AMS Members and $350 for Non-members.
Acceptable payments: Check (made payable to AMS) or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express)
This study guide provides test topics and references to assist you in preparing for the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) Program written test. Applicants must pass the written exam with a score of 75% or higher. Please review the AMS Disclaimer before visiting the any of the linked sites in this study guide.
The completion of the following COMET modules and VISIT training sessions are recommended as part of the CBM exam study process.
The test will consist of 100 multiple choice and true/false questions covering the topics listed on the page linked below. Links to online instruction are provided for each topic.
When the AMS receives an appeal, an Appeals Committee made up of either 3 Sealholders, CBMs, or CCMs (depending on the certification) is formed. The appeals process does not simply re-evaluate an individual's application. The appeal, to be successful, needs to show that the process failed to be followed correctly or that there were extenuating circumstances that did not allow for a fair evaluation. If the procedures were followed to the letter, and the Board fails a candidate, then that failure must stand. The Appeals Committee will not review any other material except for what was originally sent to the Board in addition to the materials outlined below. If a candidate believes that the Board did not follow the proper procedures and the evaluation was handled unfairly, he/she may appeal the decision in writing (stating the reasons for the appeal) within 90 days from the receipt of notice to the AMS Executive Committee, 45 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108-3693. The fee to appeal is $100 (The Executive Committee reserves the right to waive the fee in cases of financial hardship.) Otherwise, candidates may wish to consider reapplying if they are eligible to do so. Requests for waivers of the waiting period to reapply may be sent to Maureen McCann, AMS Commissioner of Professional Affairs at email@example.com.
(i) A clear and concise statement of the reasons for the appeal specifying all facts in support of a claim that the Original Board's determination was clearly wrong. Reference may be made to material presented to the Original Board.
(ii) Any other written documentation or tangible materials in support of a claim that the Original Board was clearly wrong and the reasons why it was not submitted to the Original Board.
(iii) Any memorandum or argument in support of the claim of appeal.
(i) By a review of the written material and tangible evidence submitted to them as aforesaid.
(ii) In addition to the review of the written materials before them, they may request the Appellant, Chairperson of the Original Board or any other party to submit further written or documentary evidence bearing on the issues.
(iii) In addition to paragraph (i) and (ii), the Appeals Committee may meet personally with the Appellant, Chairperson of the Original Board or any other person.
(iv) The Appeals Committee, in addition to Paragraphs (i), (ii) and (iii), may assume and conduct a review to the full extent as provided for in the Policies and Procedures of the Original Board. There shall be no ex parte communication with the members of the Appeals Committee concerning the subject matter of the appeal. In the event the Appellant, Chairperson or member of the Original Board or any other person makes any ex parte communication with any members of the Appeals Committee, all other interested parties should be notified immediately and given an opportunity to respond.
(i) To affirm the decision of the Original Board.
(ii) To remand to the Original Board with instructions for further processing the subject matter of the appeal before the Original Board.
(iii) To modify in whole or in part the decision appealed from.
(iv) To reverse and substitute its own decision in lieu of the decision of the Original Board.
1Conflict of interest may include business relationships, competition on projects or contracts, or academic relationships.
The Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) Program was inaugurated on 1 January 2005. The goal of the program is to certify that the holder meets specific educational and experience criteria and has passed rigorous testing in their knowledge and communication of meteorology and related sciences needed to be an effective broadcast meteorologist. Since the broadcast meteorologist is the primary representative of the meteorological profession to the public, we, as meteorologists, have a responsibility to help recognize those who are competent.