In an attempt to define human needs toward which resources in the atmospheric sciences ought to be directed, a compilation is made of a recent seven-year total of deaths, injuries, and damages attributed in ESSA's Storm Data to various categories of element and classes of storm. It is found that in the United States cumulus convective storms kill many more people than do extratropical storms and tropical cyclones. Dollar damages from convective and from tropical storms are comparable.
Estimated costs of damage due to air pollution are an order of magnitude larger than direct damage due to all other atmospheric sources combined, but are regarded as indirect costs, for which no counterpart due to other sources is available.
An improved capability for safeguarding society from convective storms and a study of the ways in which atmospheric science can benefit society through the abatement and control of air pollution are seen as urgent needs which require augmented allocation of resources.