In 2010, leaders of nineteen of the world’s regional and national meteorological societies met in Atlanta in a meeting hosted by American Meteorological Society (AMS) and unanimously agreed to form a first-ever International Forum of Meteorological Societies (IFMS). Two additional Global Meetings were also held in Xiamen, China (3-4 November 2011) and Reading, UK (12-13 September 2013) as detailed under the Meetings tab.
“The fundamental goal of the IFMS is very basic; it is to foster and encourage communication and exchange of knowledge, ideas and resources among the world’s more than sixty meteorological societies. Such exchanges occurred only on a bi-lateral basis or through the efforts of three regional meteorological societies: the African Meteorological Society (AfMS), the European Meteorological Society (EMS), and the Latin American and Iberian Federation of Meteorological Societies (FLISMET).
The IFMS was conceived to be quite distinct from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Whereas the WMO is an agency of the United Nations that deals with observations, standards, data exchange and technology transfer among its 188-member states and territories, the IFMS was meant to focus on advancing the goals and objectives of the world’s professional and scientific societies. The IFMS was intended to be an informal mechanism to facilitate interactions among Societies and, as such, was not planned to have any legal or official formalism. However, this concept did not succeed and IFMS became dormant.
In August 2014, World Weather Open Science Conference (WWOSC) was organized by WMO in Montreal in which three special Panels sponsored by the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) were organized to discuss the “Future of the Weather Enterprise” for public good. The global framework of climate services identified four priority areas: Health, Water, food security and disaster risk reduction.
Recognized leaders in the international Weather Enterprise from all sectors (Public, Private, University and NGO) participated in these panels and presented their views. The two main conclusions which came out of these panel discussions were:
- No national meteorological service by itself can handle all the challenges thrown our way by the Mother Nature. In order to resolve weather related challenges, the four sectors mentioned above must work together.
- Nations must cooperate to create a “Weather Ready Globe”.
Recognizing the importance of the above two conclusions, a meeting was organized jointly by the CMOS and AMS in New Orleans, Louisiana concurrently with the AMS’ 96th Conference.
The new Council whose term lasts till September 2018, has incorporated IFMS as a benevolent organization with well-defined value proposition and a plan to increase cooperation between the Meteorological Societies of various nations to strengthen them and help create a “Weather Ready Globe”.