With more than 10,000 meteorologists in the United States working in various media, government, and private sector roles, only 258 of them have been recognized as a Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM). These scientific professionals are highly regarded by their peers and recognized worldwide as the foremost experts in meteorology and as trusted sources of critical weather information. DTN understands the value of this program and is a top employer of CCMs, with eight certified meteorologists on staff working in various roles.
Only 258 meteorologists in the U.S. have been recognized as CCMs. Eight of them work at DTN.
“CCMs are highly regarded within the meteorology field,” said Kevin Mahoney, the most recently certified DTN meteorologist. “The rigorous process to earning the certification is satisfying as a professional. It inspires me to make meaningful contributions that help businesses make smart decisions about weather impacts.”
Mahoney joins DTN CCMs Brent Shaw, Dan Lennartson, David Moran, DeWayne Mitchell, Jim Foerster, Richard Carpenter, and Tye Parzybok.
Becoming a CCM
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) began the CCM program in 1957 to certify meteorologists qualified to market their services as independent consultants. It is only granted to those who demonstrate a broad meteorology background and detailed knowledge in a particular field of specialization.
The highly sought-after certification is a challenging process. The applicant must be a degreed meteorologist, recommended by three associates, and share a published technical paper for review by a panel of expert meteorologists. The candidate must pass a stringent written examination and an oral examination before a national board of examiners.
Like many professional certifications, the AMS requires those who hold the certification to renew it annually. To maintain good standing, CCMs must also complete additional professional development within five years of certification.
“While it may appear to be a lot of work to become a CCM, there are many benefits for those who hold the certification — and those that work with them,” explained DTN meteorologist David Moran.
Moran became actively involved with the accreditation program after earning his CCM in 2017. He has served on the Board of Certified Consulting Meteorologists and chaired a subcommittee on the CCM exam.
Communicating weather impact to our customers
Today’s meteorologists’ expertise extends beyond forecasting the weather to include the impact of weather.At DTN, meteorologists work in various roles, and those with the CCM designation support many areas of the company. Working in weather operations is the most well-known role for meteorologists, but today’s meteorologists’ expertise extends beyond forecasting the weather to include the impact of weather. DTN meteorologists with specific industry knowledge, like Mahoney, are designated Risk Communicators. These meteorologists assess potential weather risks and create a weather response plan tailored for a specific business or community. The Risk Communicator continues to work with the entity to communicate evolving weather conditions, as well as potential impact.
Mahoney, who typically consults with municipalities and for public events, said the combination of using his scientific expertise and risk planning is what attracted him to become a Risk Communicator. “The CCM certification further demonstrates my expertise and commitment to continued learning so that I can help our customers be informed and prepared, particularly as extreme weather events are increasing.”
“The high number of CCMs working for DTN demonstrates our commitment to lifelong learning and career development, which ultimately is shared with customers.”
— Jim Foerster, DTN chief meteorologist
Other DTN CCMs work in engineering and product development. Meteorological engineers combine their weather forecasting knowledge with engineering training that informs data-gathering processes from satellites, weather bureaus, weather stations, and other sources. These engineers work to develop new mathematical or computer models for interpreting weather, which ultimately can lead to more timely, accurate forecasts. For those CCMs who work in product development, their weather expertise informs new solutions that offer operational intelligence to business leaders, supporting decisions that reduce risk and improve profitability.
DTN Chief Meteorologist Jim Foerster, the most tenured CCM at DTN, has worked in a variety of roles within the company, from weather operations to product development.
“When you work with DTN and its team of meteorologists, you are getting some of the best and brightest minds in the business,” said Foerster. “The high number of CCMs working for DTN demonstrates our commitment to lifelong learning and career development, which ultimately is shared with customers.”