Certified Digital Meteorologist Program (CDM)

The Certified Digital Meteorologist (CDM) designation is granted to meteorologists who meet established criteria for scientific competence and effective communication skills in their weather presentations on all forms of digital media. The general public has confidence in the quality and reliability of weather presentations made by meteorologists who have been certified by the AMS. Digital meteorologists may be a trusted source on scientific topics and themes. Meteorologists who qualify for a CDM include those who produce graphical information, produce content in a digital format, and/or provide independent consultation on a digital format like a private website or social media.

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A respected credential

  • Respect of your peers

    AMS certification holders are highly respected among their peers. Professional meteorologists have confidence that weather content presented by CDMs will be technically sound and responsibly delivered.

  • Professional recognition

    The CDM designation is granted to digital meteorologists who meet established criteria for scientific competence and effective communication skills in their weather content.

  • Confidence of the general public

    The general public has confidence in the quality and reliability of weather content produced by digital meteorologists who have been certified by AMS.

Resources and information

  • Science news to educate your audience

    Digital meteorologists are often called upon to serve their audience or clients by providing clear, scientific information about events beyond weather. That makes you qualified not just to deliver the weather, but also to provide more science news to the public. 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.

  • Monthly newsletters

    Certification holders receive monthly ‘AMS Items of Interest’ e-newsletters filled with useful information such as professional development and networking opportunities, community involvement resources, and other helpful materials.

  • Social media

    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 CDMs, CBMs and Sealholders. The CDM logo may only be displayed by individuals who have earned the designation. This mark of distinction displayed on your social media sites and web pages sets you apart as an expert in communicating complex weather information.  

Career opportunities

  • Professional Development

    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.

  • Networking opportunities

    Join hundreds of other meteorologist at the AMS 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 digital 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 Series and other interesting topics. Better yet, join the Board of Digital Meteorologists, made up of other CDMs, and become an instrumental part in planning future conferences and events.

  • Career Advancement

    AMS certifications have been nationally recognized as the standard in meteorological certification since 1957 and employers and clients understand the high level of expertise that comes with receiving the Certified Digital Meteorologist (CDM) designation. Earning a CDM will set you apart from other candidates and provide you with a competitive edge.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply for the CDM, an individual must hold a degree in meteorology (or equivalent) from an accredited college/university.*

*Some degrees in meteorology may not meet eligibility requirements. Please reference the below list of required coursework to see if your degree program meets the CDM course requirements. Individuals who do not have an equivalent degree in atmospheric science or meteorology must have completed the following degree equivalent coursework:

  • Atmospheric Dynamics (at least 3 semester hours)
     
  • Atmospheric Thermodynamics (at least 3 semester hours)
     
  • Atmospheric Physics or Physical Meteorology (at least 3 semester hours)
     
  • Synoptic Meteorology (at least 3 semester hours)
     
  • Mesoscale Meteorology (at least 3 semester hours)
     
  • Atmos. Meas. & Instrumentation or Remote Sensing (i.e. Satellite/Radar Meteorology) (at least 3 semester hours)
     
  • At least 3 semester hours in Applied/Specialty Meteorology such as: advanced dynamics, agricultural meteorology, air pollution meteorology, applied climatology, aviation meteorology, broadcast meteorology, hydrology or hydrometeorology, physical oceanography, tropical meteorology, and weather forecasting
     
  • Up to 3 semester hours of a synthesizing experience such as work experience, internship, capstone course or research project
     
  • A sequence of calculus (typically 3 courses) that includes:
    • Differential and integral calculus
    • Vector and multivariable calculus
       
  • Probability and Applied Statistics
     
  • Physics (a calculus based course with a lab covering fundamentals of mechanics and thermodynamics)
     
  • An appropriate level of coursework or demonstrated competency in Computer Science in data analysis, modeling, and visualization to allow inferences about the atmosphere; software development; and application of numerical and statistical methods to atmospheric science problems.
     
  • An appropriate level of coursework or demonstrated competency in Communication to effectively communicate and interact with scientific, technical, and lay audiences using scientific evidence; discuss and interpret current weather and climate events and forecasts through multiple modalities, including social media; and craft a scientific presentation and write a scientific report.
     
  • A course covering Earth’s climate system (such as a course on climate change or Earth system science)

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 (applicants who have already earned the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation are exempt from taking the exam). A test of 100 multiple choice and true/false questions will be administered at a test center or remotely by SMT/Promteric 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 SMT/Prometric until you submit a CDM 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 Prometric.

SMT/Prometric User Guide

After successfully passing the multiple choice exam, applicants will receive instructions on submitting work samples for review by the AMS Board of Digital Meteorologists.

Candidates must submit work samples from at least 2 of the 3 below categories, for a total of 6 points. Up to 10 points of work samples are permitted in case you are unsure if one of your samples is satisfactory. All work samples must be time stamped within 2 months before and after receipt of your instructions letter. For example, if you received your letter in July, samples must have been produced between May and September. The categories are as follows:

Category 1) Text discussion, video discussion: 4 points

Text discussion: Are forecast based, with the applicant’s own forecast and reasoning behind it in a clear manner. There must be depth to the content submitted. An active and routine forecast must be submitted.

Video discussion: Live streams or recorded videos are both accepted forms of content, ranging from 1 to 15 minutes. The reviewers will account for the lack of premium weather graphics (IBM, AccuWeather, Baron) technology. One active and one routine forecast must be submitted. Graphics must be legally available for their commercial use.

Category 2)  Hard journalism stories, data or explainer story, weather graphics: 2 points

Journalism Story: These stories will use sourcing, a strong theme and high focus to talk about a community. Content can be submitted via audio, video, or writing. Examples include impacts of coastal flooding on a community, rebuilding in the aftermath of a tornado or showing how great weather for tourist season helped the economy.

Data or Explainer Story: These stories will typically use research, analytical skills, and a strong focus to explain a certain weather event of phenomena. Content can be submitted via audio, video, or writing. Direct sourcing from experts in the field may be used as well. Examples include a recap of a major storm, teaching atmospheric optics or using climatology to show how climate change has impacted a region.

Weather Graphics: A standalone graphic, a sequence of slides or animated graphics can be used to attain these points. It is OK if these graphics were used on broadcast television, video discussions or text discussions. However, this graphic must not be used in any other submission. Content from professional weather data systems (IBM MAX, AccuWeather, Baron, etc.) or from designer applications (Adobe Premiere, Adobe Photoshop, PowerPoint, etc.) are accepted.

Category 3) Social media posts: 1 point

Three social media posts must be submitted to earn the point, each concerning a different weather event. Posts can, but do not have to, be from a mix of social media platforms, or from the same. A Tweet thread will count as one post. Social media videos that are clearly different from other forms of traditional video content are acceptable. For example, Instagram Reels and TikToks are allowed, as well as other native vertical video content that is uploaded into a social media platform. Applicants must indicate if the social media post is a text forecast discussion, a video forecast discussion, data or explainer story. Links to a video or story are allowed but will only be reviewed to make sure that it is relevant to the story. It will not be graded. The board will review the applicant’s social media portfolio to ensure professional conduct. Not every post will be looked at but an arbitrary amount of content will be reviewed by the graders.

Samples may be submitted in Spanish and will be evaluated by the AMS standing Board of Spanish-language evaluators. Please indicate on your application if you would like to submit Spanish-language samples. 

Review Criteria

The Board will review the submissions giving a score between 1 and 5 in the below sections:

5.0 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.0 Fair
2.0 Substandard
1.0 Poor

Category 1

Text Discussion - Accuracy, Readability, Weather Concepts, Spelling and Grammar
Video Discussion - Accuracy, Graphical Content, Explanation, Presentation

Category 2

Journalism Story - Storytelling, Sourcing, Readbility
Data/Explainer Story - Storytelling, Sourcing, Accuracy, Readability
Weather Graphics - Accuracy, Explanation, Presentation

Category 3

Social Media - Posts may be text discussions, video forecast discussions, or data/explainer story and will carry the same treatment as the rubrics listed in the the applicable sections above.

A candidate must score above a 3.0 average in each sample in order to succeed on the evaluation. 

Supporting Documents

Sample CDM Scoring Rubric

Sample CDM Evaluation Sheet

Required Application Materials

Application Fees

  • Application Fee: $330 for AMS Members / $660 for Non-members*
  • Reapplication Fee: $100 for AMS Members / $200 for Non-members
  • CDM Examination Fee: $60 for remote proctoring exam / $75 for exam administered at United States testing facility / $85 for exam administered at international testing facility

*Non-members may apply for AMS membership and pay the member rate; application fee does not include CDM Examination Fee paid directly to the Prometric SMT testing center each time the CDM exam is scheduled.

Appeals Process

This study guide provides test topics and references to assist you in preparing for the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) Program and Certified Digital Meteorologist (CDM) 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.

COMET Modules/VISIT Training Sessions

The completion of the following COMET modules and VISIT training sessions are recommended as part of the CBM exam study process.


Topic References

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.

The Certified Digital Meteorologist (CBM) Program was inaugurated in the fall of 2023. The goal of the program is to certify that the holder meets specific educational criteria and has passed rigorous testing in their knowledge and communication of meteorology and related sciences needed to be an effective digital meteorologist.

FULL PROCEDURES