NWA History

The National Weather Association logo represents some of the most common meteorological conditions throughout the world, from sunny and dry to cloudy and rainy. The element of severity, centrally shown as a bolt of lightning, symbolizes the continued need to give greater attention to high impact weather and how it affects our planet. The name of the professional organization is clearly visible below the weather symbols to show the organization's strength and prominence within the global meteorological community.

In 2011, the NWA Membership and Marketing Committee requested and gained approval from the Council to update and streamline the logo utilizing new technology. With strict directions to update, not recreate, Nesnadny + Schwartz, a design consultant firm in Cleveland, provided a fresh visual treatment of the traditional and distinctive logo. This current logo, put into use early 2012, features the same graphical elements of the previous version, which was designed in 1994 by Joe Kelley and Phyllis Morris of Surface Systems, Inc., a NWA corporate member at the time. The rectangular shape of the new logo is a nod to previous generations of the logo. See our "About the NWA" page for more on the logos as well as the NWA in general.

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Individual Membership Count*

DateMembers
August 1976   644
January 1977   1100
December 1977   1230
September 1978   1345
July 1979   1415
April 1980   1280
July 1980   1325
June 1982   1282
December 1984   1600
December 1987   1700
January 1990   1900
June 1993   2050
February 1994   2100
July 1996   2381
July 1997   2607
July 1998   2832
July 1999   2920

Individual Membership Count* Cont.

DateMembers
July 2000  2966
July 2001  2968
July 2002  3056
July 2003  3115
July 2004  3171
July 2005  3085
July 2005  3085
July 2006  3176
July 2007  3145
July 2008  3086
July 2009  3081
July 2010  2995
July 2011  2679
July 2012  2773
July 2013  2551

* Corporate members and subscribers (libraries, offices, etc.) are a further part of the total NWA community.

Executive Directors

Executive DirectorsYears
Jerry LaRue  1977–1980
Randy Racer 1980–1981
 Sol Hirsch 1981–1992
Kevin Lavin 1993–2006
Steve Harned 2007–February 2014
Janice Bunting March 2014–present

Dues Over the Years

YearDues
1976 $5
1977  $10
1978  $12
1979 $14
1984  $20
1989  $25
1995  $28
2006  $42
2010  Dues structure changed to allow electronic receipt of publications: $38 reg; $18 student/retired, add $12 for print copies of Digest & Newsletter
2011  $45 reg; $18 student/retired/active military; add $12 for print copies of Digest & Newsletter (reg member in U.S)
2013 $50 reg; $20 student/retired/active military; hard copies of Digest & Newsletter no longer offered

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NWA History Tidbits:

  • NWA Incorporated December 15, 1975
  • 1976 — First Officers
    • Jerry LaRue — President
    • Tony Tancreto — President-elect
    • Joe Vazzo — Secretary/Treasurer
  • March 1976 — First military NWA officer — Vice President CDR Joseph Ford
  • March 1976 — First private sector NWA officer – Councilor Peter Leavett – NE Weather Svc
  • June 1976 — National Weather Digest defined
  • June 1976 — Local chapter concept adopted
  • August 1976 — Membership 644...this was before any publications or meetings. Strong grass roots recruitment
  • September 1976 — First issue of NWA Newsletter published
  • November 1976 — First National Weather Digest published. Fran Holt, Editor
    • First article "Operational Diagnostic Applications of Isentropic Analysis" by Louis Uccellini
  • December 1976 — First Annual Meeting at Andrews AFB. Two day event with 65 in attendance. Two speakers were Sol Hirsch and Fran Holt.
  • January 1977 — Tony Tancreto president, NWA had 850 members
  • February 1977 — NWA had 30 committees!
  • March 1977 — "Acting Executive Director" — Jerry LaRue
  • July 1977 — 1100 members
  • November 1977 — Second annual meeting at Hanscom AFB, MA
  • June 1978 — First NWA testimony before Congress regarding "NWS Act of 1977"
  • October 1978 — First joint NWA/AMS meeting. "Weather Forecasting and Analysis" at Silver Spring, MD
  • January 1979 — First list of NWA award winners published in the Newsletter
  • January 1980 — NWA office established on Stamp Road, Marlow Heights, MD
  • June 1980 — Jerry LaRue retires. Randy Racer named Acting Executive Director
  • July 1981 — NWA takes position decrying Pres. Regan’s planned 5% cut of NWS
  • October 1981 — Sol Hirsch named Executive Director
  • March 1983 — Newsletter reprinted a letter to the editor to a Beaumont, TX newspaper from a "retired hurricane chaser". Included following statement: "If you are inland, you are safe from hurricanes." (!!)
  • December 1984 — 75 attended Annual Meeting in Atlanta
  • December 1985 — 70 attended Annual Meeting in Kansas City
  • January 1986 — D.J. Kava wrote letter to Newsletter asking if NWA, which was 10 years old, had grown old and soft.
  • December 1986 — 79 attended Annual Meeting in Cocoa Beach
  • December 1987 — 64 attended Annual Meeting in Houston
  • May 13, 1988 — President Ken Crawford sent a letter to all members encouraging increased support for NWA
  • December 1988 — 114 attended Annual Meeting in Denver (almost double previous attendance)
  • December 1989 — 117 attended Annual Meeting in Norman
  • December 1989 — More formal policies for the Digest were instituted. Newsletter format expanded to provide more variety of information
  • September 1990 — First employment listing in Newsletter. Listing included information for federal positions and Accu-Weather
  • January 1992 — Strengthened Broadcast Seal guidelines instituted. Included re-certification requirements.
  • November 1992 — 200 attended Annual Meeting in St. Louis
  • January 1993 — Kevin Lavin named Executive Director
  • February 1994 — 2100 members
  • November 1994 — 253 at Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City
  • Early 1995 — member David Pace wrote articles in successive Newsletters instructing members in obtaining many weather information products from the Internet using e-mail
  • April 1995 — member C. William "Bill" Tazewell begins development of NWA Aviation Meteorology Committee Home Page using his personal Internet Provider Service. Committee chair, Dave Knapp and some other committee members assisted in finding or writing articles to post on that page. Gary Ellrod from NOAA/NESDIS began his page of weather satellite URLs and linked it to the aviation committee's Web site which helped the site see a marked increase in the number of hits.
  • December 1995 — Bill Tazewell added a Home Page on the World Wide Web for the NWA
  • November 19, 1996 — New design and format for NWA Home Page implemented
  • January 1997 — 2400 members
  • May 1997 — 2500 members
  • May 16, 1997 — NWA obtains domain name of "nwas.org"
  • May 16, 2000 — First NWA Electronic Journal of Operational Meteorology article published.
    • "An F3 tornado in Heidelberg, South Africa on 21 October 1999" by Estelle de Coning et al.
  • October 2000 — 2690 members
  • September 30, 2007 — Web site redesign implemented
  • October 2008 — 525 registered attendees at Annual Meeting in Louisville, a new record
  • October 2011 — 625 attendees at Annual Meeting in Birmingham, a new record
  • October 2012 — 425 attendees at Annual Meeting in Madison
  • The final National Weather Digest was the December 2012 issue, published in May 2013.
  • January 1, 2013 — Inauguration date of Journal of Operational Meteorology
  • October 2013 — 452 attendees at Annual Meeting in Charleston
  • June 19, 2014 — Raleigh office closes and two new employees coming on board at new Norman office
  • October 2014 — 530 attendees at Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City (574 if counting exhibitors and office staff)
  • NWA Officers and Councilors since 1975

Thanks to Steve Harned, Charter Member and 25th Annual Meeting Coordinator, for compiling snapshots of NWA History.