In November of 1960 a group composed of Warren O. Johnson, Robert M. Ferry, Lawrence M. Dye, Irving F. Hand, Roy Leep, and Gerald Peterson discussed the idea of seeing up an AMS branch (chapter) for West Central Florida, drawing upon meteorologists and others interested in the science and living mainly in the Tampa Bay, Lakeland, and Orlando areas.
An organizational meeting was held February 2nd 1961 at the Tampa Electric Company (TECO). The eighteen charter members attending this meeting approved a constitution and elected the chapter’s first temporary officers – Robert M. Ferry for President (Weather Bureau, Tampa), Warren O. Johnson for Vice President (Weather Bureau, Lakeland), Irving F. Hand for Treasurer (USWB Retired) St.Petersurg, Roy L. Leep Jr. for Secretary (WTVT-TV) Tampa. The Official approval of the AMS Council was granted in April 1961. (Bulletin American Meteorological Society Vol. 42, No. 5, May 1961 page 376)
Currently the West Central Florida Chapter of the American Meteorological Society has about 100 members. Meetings are held in various places around the Tampa Bay Area including The National Weather Service office in Ruskin, local Television Stations, USF, Museum of Science & Industry, MacDill Air Force Base, and Hillsborough Community College. Meetings focus on the science of meteorology, meteorological tools, exchange of information and friendship.
There are no restrictions to being a member of the Local AMS Chapter.