Analyses of atmospheric sciences data and models are heavily dependent upon statistical and probabilistic reasoning. Statistical methods have played an important role in establishing physical relationships of atmosphere–ocean–land interactions and in the development and verification of numerical forecast models. There is no reason to expect statistics to play a lesser role in the years ahead. Yet there has been and remains minimal formal training in statistics and probability for atmospheric sciences students in the United States. This is in sharp contrast to other fields such as the social sciences. This paper describes issues surrounding the general weakness in formal statistics education for both undergraduate and graduate atmospheric sciences students, and the minimal collaboration between statisticians and atmospheric scientists. Recommendations are offered on statistics curriculum guidelines for undergraduate and graduate atmospheric sciences students, and on improving the overall interaction between the statistics and atmospheric sciences disciplines.

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*Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada.

+Department of Statistics, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

#Department of Soil, Crop and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

@School of Meteorology and Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

&Department of Statistics, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.