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GSD researchers contribute to the AMS Centennial Monograph

March 23, 2020

GSD researchers Stan Benjamin and John Brown were lead authors on a chapter called “100 Years of Progress in Forecasting and NWP Applications” for the American Meteorological Society Centennial Monograph. Co-authors include Gilbert Brunet, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Peter Lynch, University College Dublin; Kazuo Saito, AORI, University of Tokyo; and Thomas W. Schlatter, NOAA Research (Retired). Stan and John and co-authors trace through the evolution of different components of forecasting (NWP, forecasters, media, etc.) over 4 eras (1919-1939, then to 1956, then to 1985, then to present). An early release version of this chapter is available at


Over the past 100 years, the international science community including government weather services, the proliferation of environmental observations, improved scientific understanding, growth of technology, and the media have together radically transformed weather forecasting into an effective, global and regional environmental prediction capability. This chapter traces the evolution of forecasting starting in 1919 (when the American Meteorological Society was founded) over four eras separated by breakpoints at 1939, 1956, and 1985. The current state of forecasting could not have been achieved without essential collaboration within and among countries in pursuing the common weather and earth-system prediction challenge. The AMS itself has had a strong role in enabling this international collaboration.

A day in the life for US forecasters in 1939 ... observations available via teletype were plotted and analyzed, by hand, onto horizontal maps for the surface (below) and other elevations to infer a three-dimensional flow structure. Upper-air charts were considered an essential addition to produce precipitation forecasts.

The AMS Centennial Monograph is a tribute to the past century of innovation within the meteorological community and a source of inspiration for the scientists and researchers still to come. A Century of Progress in Atmospheric and Related Sciences: Celebrating the American Meteorological Society Centennial marks 100 years of scientific research in the areas covered by AMS publications. The monograph will consist of around 27 articles, which together will review 100 years of progress in key fundamental areas of research and the grand challenges in those areas of research in the coming decades.

For more information contact: Susan Cobb 303-497-5093