Committee on Severe Local Storms

The Committee on severe local storms promotes AMS activities and represents the segment of the AMS research community engaged in understanding the structure and predicting the behavior of hazardous deep convective weather phenomena. This primarily includes the analysis, prediction, and understanding the structure and dynamics of severe thunderstorms, either as isolated cells or organized clusters, and associated hazards including damaging winds, large hail, lightning, and flash floods. This also includes the hazard information communication process, climatology of hazards and storm environments, and classification of hazard severity (e.g. enhanced Fujita scale for tornado intensity). We oversee a specialty conference every two years, promote outreach and community engagement activities, and review additions and changes to the Glossary of Meteorology along with updating AMS statements related to severe storms.

We welcome comments and suggestions from our community, so don't hesitate to contact us.

Our most recent meeting was held in Portland, OR from 7-11 November 2016. Co-chairs Jan Houser and James Marquis led a great conference with near record number of attendees (318). At the meeting, awards were presented to the top three student oral and poster presentations. Congratulations to our student award winners:


  • 1st - Jessica McDonald (St. Cloud State, Hollings scholar), "Insights into Predicting Tornado Development Using NEWS-e Vorticity Forecasts"
  • 2nd - Tomas Pucik (ESSL) "Future Changes in Severe Thunderstorm Environments over Europe"
  • 3rd - Samuel Childs (Colorado State Univ) "Cold-season Tornadoes: Climatological, Meteorological, and Social Perspectives"


  • 1st  - Brock Burghardt (Texas Tech) "Improving Spread Characteristics in a Convection Allowing Ensemble"
  • 2nd - Tristan Kading (Univ. Connecticut) "Simulated Interaction of an Idealized Squall Line with a Cool Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer"
  • 3rd  - Anja Raedler (Munich Re) "Additive Logistic Regression Models for Convective Hazards and their Application to Reanalyses and Climate Scenarios"

Join us at the next AMS annual meeting in Seattle, WA (22-26 Jan. 2017) where we will conduct a special symposium on observation needs for the severe storms community.