Chapter News
April 2003


Meeting Minutes, 10 April 2003 meeting of the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

On the evening of 9 April 1953, an historic tornado-producing thunderstorm developed over east central Illinois. It wasn’t the severity of the tornado that made it historic, however, even though it was quite intense. Operators of a weather radar at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), University of Illinois, detected a “hook echo” on that historic night, which was the first documented to be due to a tornado.

Figure Captions:
(left) Don Staggs shows locations of the radars and of damage caused by the tornado of 9 April 1953.
(Photo courtesy of Steve Hilberg)

(right) President Ed Kieser (left) presents letters of acknowledgement from the national Executive Director the the American Meteorological Society to Don Staggs (middle) and Glenn Stout (right).
(Photo courtesy of Steve Hilberg)

The Central Illinois Chapter of the American Meteorological Society commemorated this event with a special meeting hosted by the Illinois State Water Survey. Over 60 attendees listened to an overview of radar meteorology both at ISWS and throughout the U.S., culminating in the development of the WSR-88D network. This overview was given by Steve Hilberg (ISWS). Three ISWS employees at the time of this historic observation were honored at this event, including Don Staggs, Glenn Stout, and Stan Changnon. Don Staggs described what occurred on that day and the next morning when he reported it to others in the program. He showed videos of 1) several of the radars operated by the Survey during that time period, 2) damage caused by the storm, and 3) a time-lapse video of the hook echo itself. Glenn Stout described the evolution of the atmospheric sciences program at the Illinois State Water Survey at that time and discussed the major goals of the radar-related projects. Stan Changnon could not be present. Each of the special guests was presented letters of acknowledgement from the national Executive Director of the American Meteorological Society.

President Ed Kieser opened the meeting at 6:45 PM and outlined some of the major activities of the Chapter. Of particular interest is the Midwest Conference on Severe and Hazardous Weather, which is being organized by Vice-President Mike Tannura. While the conference is still months away, keynote speakers have already been lined up: Dr. Louis Uccellini (Director of NCEP), Dr. Gregory Forbes (Severe Weather Expert, The Weather Channel), and Dr. David Robinson (New Jersey State Climatologist). The latest on the conference can be found at Other chapter news included efforts to update the Chapter By-Laws, upcoming chapter elections, and an essay contest for school-aged children organized by Dr. Walter Robinson, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

The meeting adjourned around 9:30 PM. David Kristovich, Secretary, 2002-2003.---David Kristovich.


Thursday, April 17, 2003

Chairman Frank Schiermeier announced that several student members of the chapter had been awarded fellowships or scholarships from the national AMS, including Rich Yablonsky, Tracy McCormick and Danny Pydynowski of NC State. Frank also announced that Gary Lackmann from NC State won the AMS Editor’s award for 2002 and that AMS President Joe Friday would present that award at the chapter banquet in May.

Secretary Mike Brennan from NC State introduced the first speaker for the evening, Rod Gonski, longtime chapter member and lead forecaster at the Raleigh National Weather Service office to discuss the new NWS national digital forecast database (NDFD). The NDFD marks a major culture shift in how the agency prepares and transmits its products to users.

Rod introduced two other members of the Raleigh NWS office, Meteorologist-in Charge, Steve Harned, and Information Technology Officer, Jonathan Blaes.

Steve noted that the advent of the Internet changed everything, including the NWS, where the modernization had been designed and completed without the Internet in mind. The ability to now transmit large amounts of data in graphical format allows the NWS to provide more information to its user community. One main change will be a transition from a “push” service, where the NWS transmits products to all users at a certain time to a “pull” service where users can pull out the products and information they want when they need it. The availability of information will also allow users to create their own customized products, for example one snowfall forecast map for all of North Carolina from the seven NWS offices that service the state.

Steve said that this is the most difficult and complex change that has ever taken place within the agency in his 35 years of service. He noted that this change is necessary, especially the transition from textual to graphical products, if the agency is to remain relevant in the future.

Jonathan Blaes discussed the technical aspects of the digital database. For many years, text has been the primary dissemination method for NWS products, but graphics allow the NWS to convey a much larger amount of information to the user. Software has been developed that creates text products from the digital database.

The forecast is prepared through the Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS), which contains several elements, including the gridded forecast editor (GFE). These tools are used at the individual office that prepares the grids for its own region. Then the grids are sent to a central location where they are joined to create the national digital forecast database (NDFD), which is a “seamless” mosaic of the digital forecasts from NWS offices nationwide.

Rod Gonski discussed the NDFD issues that the everyday forecaster faces in the office. He pointed out that in the past, considerable amounts of time were spent manually typing out the forecast, and that the idea of creating a digital forecast image from which words could be extracted from is a good idea, in principle.

The official implementation date for the NDFD is September 30, 2003. Public forecasts will be impacted first, with NDFD working its way into aviation, fire weather and marine forecasts as the system evolves. The forecaster spends most of the time in the GFE, but uses other components of IFPS to complete the forecast preparation and generate text products from the grids.

Although the forecaster still uses observational and model data to get a conceptual model of the meteorological situation and the forecast, one major problem with the system at this time is that it does not allow the incorporation of large amounts of observational date (surface observations, satellite, radar) into the front end of the forecast process. Grids may be initialized off one of several available model choices and edited by the forecaster, or the forecaster may simply edit existing grids from the previous forecast shift.

Grids are constructed and edited for various weather elements out to 7 days, including maximum and minimum temperature, probability of precipitation, sky cover, temperature, dewpoint, and wind speed and direction.

Much of the original software development occurred in field offices, especially Charleston, WV. Working with the grids is quite flexible with various ways to display the information as well as view grids from surrounding offices. Eventually, the goal it to create a rolling forecast database where the grids are updated as often as necessary to ensure that the NDFD is constantly up-to-date. The transition from gridded products to text products is still difficult at this point and requires additional editing from the forecaster to alter the computer-generated text.

Jonathan then discussed some of the advantages of graphical forecast over text products. This benefit is seen in mountainous areas where one zone would encompass a county with different elevation. In a text zone forecast, the county would be broad brushed with a forecast to account for general conditions, or the most populated area. However, graphically, great detail could be displayed in fields such as maximum temperature.

Eventual developments will allow web users to pull out grid point forecasts on a point-and-click map with text or with an element meteogram for the closet grid point to the user-selected location. Sample graphics and updates will be available on the national NDFD website at and on the Raleigh NWS page at

Further information on NDFD is available in two recent AMS publications:

Mass, C. F., 2003: IFPS and the future of the National Weather Service. Wea. Forecasting, 18, 75-79.

Glahn, H. R., and D. P. Ruth, 2003: The new digital forecast database of the National Weather Service. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 195-201.

Users are invited to provide feedback to the NWS about what they like and don’t like about the new products as well as send information about products they would like to see.

The talk ended around 8:45 p.m. Questions from the audience focused on the need for neighboring offices to better coordinate their forecasts and how the NDFD would be verified. Steve said that coordination efforts were already accelerating, with the use of chat software that allows forecasters to interact in real time with forecasters at other NWS offices. Verification efforts for the NDFD will begin in late 2003 or early 2004.---Michael Brennan.


Ten members of the High Plains Chapter of the AMS met on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2003 at the Smoky Hill Country Club in Hays, KS. Three of the attendees were new to our chapter; two from WFO Goodland, KS and one from WFO North Platte, NE. The meeting started off with a fine meal and casual conversation, as members acquainted or reacquainted themselves with fellow members. With several quality chapter members recently transferring, it was nice to see new enthusiastic faces at our meetings. After lunch, a succinct business meeting was held, followed by an intriguing presentation by our guest speaker, Pete Wolf, SOO from WFO Wichita. Pete's presentation was a report of findings from a study he conducted using the WES training device, stressing the importance of Meteorological Situational Awareness and it's influence on performance during severe weather events. A link to Mr. Wolf's paper will soon be available on our chapter website; check it out!

President Mike Moritz called the meeting to order, the past meeting minutes and treasury reports were read and accepted. Secretary Tim Burke reported on Chapter of the Year activities: he had emailed the WCM's from each of the 4 WFOs in our chapter area, asking for input on chapter members participating in outreach activities. Tim is compiling material for the AMS Chapter of the Year application. He will send this report to the officers for review, before it is sent to AMS headquarters by the May 1st deadline. Vice President Jared Guyer brought us up to date on the planning of the 7th Annual High Plains Conference, set for October 8-10th in Hastings, NE. Many of the details are set, and information is being updated on our web site: Several prominent speakers have been lined up, and this looks to be another dynamic conference. Abstracts are still being accepted, and first-time presenters are encouraged to submit. Anyone working on a project or paper should consider presenting it at this low-key, non-stressful conference. We strive to make it a comfortable environment to share your work. We will once again be offering $500 to the best student presenter. Matt Gerard pitched a proposal for our conference T-shirt, utilizing the services of,. Matt will give a report on the feedback he receives at our next meeting. Mike Moritz reported on the National AMS conference, and the Local Chapter breakfast he and Dan Nietfeld attended. His main message was that the national level of AMS really wants information passed upward, on local chapter activities. The next meeting is tentatively set for July or early August, and will most likely be in Hill City, KS or McCook, NE.---Tim Burke.


APRIL 2003

Date: Thursday April 24th 2003

Speaker: Dr. Bernard Meisner, NWS Southern Region Headquarters

Program: "An NWP Primer" (or "NWP for Dummies")

A Numerical Weather Prediction Primer

This presentation was suitable for a general audience and took a look "under the hood" to explain the basics of numerical weather prediction.

The questions posed prior to the meeting included: How are computers programmed to provide forecasts of atmospheric parameters such as temperature, humidity, pressure, wind, and precipitation?

Dr. Meisner started with the so-called "primitive equations" (Newton's Second Law of Motion, the continuity equation and the energy equation). He explained how these equations and other relevant physical processes are represented in a computer model of the atmosphere. We also discussed the various approximations and underlying assumptions.

Dr. Meisner went on to describe several post processing procedures, such as Model Output Statistics and neural networks that are used to convert the raw model output to measured variables such as surface wind, temperature and precipitation. The presentation concluded with a summary of the characteristics of the NWP models used by the American weather services.---Liz Murphy.


Lyndon State College Chapter:
American Meteorological Society
Executive Board Meeting: April 10, 2003

Start: 6:15 pm

President Cegeon Chan

Vice President Gabriel Langbauer President Cegeon Chan

End: 8:10 pm---Amy Lawton.



On April 2, 2003, some 35 members and guests attended a symposium on local meteorological partnerships sponsored by the Monterey Weather Enthusiasts (MWE). The MWE is an AMS-affiliated chapter on the Monterey (CA) Peninsula. Members of the symposium panel were:

* Captain Chris Gunderson, Commanding Officer of the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC),
* Ms. Pat Phoebus, Acting Superintendent of the Naval Research Lab's (NRL) Marine Meteorology Division,
* Mr. Dave Reynolds, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Central California National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO), which is collocated with FNMOC and NRL,
* Dr. Carlyle "Chuck" Wash, Chairman of the Department of Meteorology at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), and
* Mr. Jim Vanderzwaan, Lead Forecaster and Weather Anchor at KSBW-8 in Salinas/Monterey, CA.

Local Chapter President Doug Miller of NPS introduced the symposium moderator, Carl Thormeyer of FNMOC. Symposium panel members were each given seven minutes for an opening statement. Salient points included:

Gunderson spoke of the importance of distinguishing between "PowerPoint partnerships" and "real partnerships", and cited examples of each. He stressed the need for the nation's major NWP processing centers to collaborate in current and future endeavors in today's climate of decreasing budgets for all, and cited the close relationships between FNMOC, NRL and NPS. He also spoke of developing real partnerships between FNMOC, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA).

Phoebus spoke of the expanding role of NRL Monterey, and the close working relationships with both FNMOC and NPS, especially in areas involving numerical weather prediction (NWP).

Reynolds explained the NWS WFO responsibilities to the general public, emphasizing the partnerships with local government agencies involving protection of life and property. He stressed the close working relationships with the other organizations represented on the panel. These include educational opportunities at NPS, common research opportunities with NPS and NRL, and cooperative training efforts with FNMOC.

Wash talked about the recent Air Force-Navy inter-service agreement to provide the postgraduate education for more Air Force meteorologists at NPS, and stressed the close working relationships with NRL, FNMOC and NWS on research projects of common interests such as the PACJET and CALJET winter storm data gathering efforts.

Vanderzwaan emphasized the role of the television meteorologist in serving as a key bridge between weather product generation organizations such as the NWS WFO and FNMOC, and the general public. He also stressed the importance of weathercast credibility. To this end, KSBW has hired several part-time on-air meteorologists from NPS and FNMOC to enhance scientific credibility of the weekend weathercasts, and to tap highly talented resources in a partnership approach.

Following these initial presentations, the floor was opened to questions. One major focus was a discussion on how to exploit and consolidate numerous independent real-time weather and ocean databases throughout coastal Central California. To this end, the Monterey Weather Enthusiasts has initiated a Web page, which among other things, could serve as a common repository for these data.---Carl D. Thormeyer.


The North Florida Chapter of the AMS held its annual spring meeting to elect officers on Wednesday, April 16, 2003, at 6:30pm in room 353 of the Love Building on the campus of Florida State University. Present at the meeting were approximately fifteen members, including the entire executive board: President Stephanie Abrams, Vice-President Jeff Wood, Secretary Clark Evans, and Treasurer Joe Smith.

President Abrams opened the meeting just after 6:30pm with a short farewell speech as she introduced and called for consensus on the only candidate for the office of President, current Secretary Clark Evans. With no dissenting votes, Clark was introduced as the new President and the meeting was turned over to him.

At that time, President Evans introduced the candidates for the remaining officer positions of Vice-President and Treasurer. Running for Vice-President was Joe Marzen and Robert Banks; for Treasurer, Ariel Rodriguez and Johnathon Conant. The candidates for Vice-President were called upon to state their case as to why they should be elected Vice-President. Following speeches by Joe Marzen and Robert Banks, the candidates for Treasurer were called upon to state their case as to why they should be elected Treasurer.

Afterwards, ballots were distributed to the present members for the voting procedures. By a vote of 13-1, Joe Marzen was elected Vice-President, and by a vote of 11-3, Ariel Rodriguez was elected Treasurer. At this point, with the office of Secretary unfilled, President Evans offered the position to the runner-up in the Vice-President race, Robert Banks. He accepted, though outgoing President Abrams noted that there should be a vote between Robert Banks and Johnathon Conant for the office of Secretary, since both showed interest. Finally, by a vote of 8-5, Robert Banks was elected as Secretary.

In summary, the new executive board of the North Florida Chapter of the AMS is as follows:

The new chapter president is Clark Evans. Formerly chapter secretary, Clark is a rising senior in the meteorology department at Florida State. He can be reached via e-mail at

The new chapter vice-president is Joe Marzen. Joe is a second year graduate student in the meteorology department at Florida State. He can be reached via e-mail at

The new chapter secretary is Robert Banks. Robert is a rising senior in the meteorology department at Florida State and works for the Center for Ocean-Atmosphere Prediction Studies (COAPS) at Florida State. He can be reached via e-mail at

The new chapter treasurer is Ariel Rodriguez. Ariel is a rising senior in the meteorology department at Florida State. He can be reached via e-mail at

At tonight's meeting, beyond officer elections, Treasurer Ariel Rodriguez spoke of his experiences at the 2003 AMS Conference in Long Beach, California. In addition, President Clark Evans' goals for the forthcoming year were outlined, and these will be implemented this summer. Primary examples of these goals include:

* Scheduled meeting times. This has been a big request from the membership and we will be soliciting your input over the coming weeks to determine what time works best for everyone. The intended effect is to increase student membership and attendance at chapter meetings and functions.

* Involvement of the community in general. This includes increased frequency of featured speakers at chapter meetings, enhanced visibility of the chapter in the local meteorological community, and special events designed to target our non-student membership.

* Organization. One of the things the old officer core had hoped to do (but was unable to accomplish) was to have meetings and events organized well in advance. With a full summer to prepare (as opposed to having to go on the fly like the past year), we hope to start the fall with a bang come next year.

* Increased social functions. This includes (but certainly isn't limited to) tailgating and seat sections for football games, further dinners, and events yet to be determined.

* Potential for a summer meeting. Depending on interest and membership level present in Tallahassee over the summer, the chapter may hold a meeting in July or August in order to better prepare for the new year.

* Revamped webpage, as soon as problems with the FSU Meteorology Dept. webserver are fixed and upgrades are implemented.

The new group of officers would also like to thank and commend the outgoing officers - President Stephanie Abrams, Vice-President Jeff Wood, and Treasurer Joe Smith. Their efforts in helping to develop the chapter from the ground up should not go without commendation.

The North Florida Chapter of the AMS will work behind the scenes over the coming months, with a potential meeting tentatively scheduled for early August.---Clark Evans.


The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS held its April meeting at the Nebraska Beef Company on Thursday April 24, 2003. President Gene Wall called the meeting to order around 7:10p.m. Gene, first introduced several guests, Lt. Col. Mike Kelly a reservist and employee of Johns Hopkins University, Mr. John Garner the nights featured speaker, as well as Mr. Brian Thalken and Mr. Jim Kaiser who frequently storm chase with Mr. Garner. Jeremy Wesely, the recording secretary, read through last month's minutes, which were approved.

Matt Sittel gave the treasurer's report and announced the results of last months forecast contest, in which Mike Connelly took first, Dave Keller managed second, and Bruce Telfeyan slid into third place. However, Dave Keller remained first in the overall yearly totals and was followed by Karen Harder-Sittel, and Bruce Telfeyan.

The corresponding secretary, Ms. Cara Combs, handed out the chapter newsletter. Cara also included a handout with information on how to purchase an Air Force Weather Lithograph. The lithograph is the first dynamic depiction of Air Force Weather, showing a full range of the activities and involvement by the men and women of the Air Force's Weather Service.

Phillip Johnson spoke on behalf of the education committee and announced that Faun Morley and Capt. Bill Courtemanche have volunteered to help with next year's metro Omaha science fair. Phillip also thanked all those that helped with the judging of local science fairs. In addition, Phillip informed the members of the education committee's proposal to sponsor a weather exhibit for the Omaha children's museum. He explained that our chapter would need to fundraise around $60,000 in order to bring the educational exhibit to the Omaha children's museum for a 3-4 month exhibition period. Phillip motioned to vote on whether or not our chapter should begin taking the necessary steps to bring the exhibit to Omaha. Bruce Telfeyan seconded the motion. The chapter voted unanimously to sponsor the exhibit.

Bruce Telfeyan, the head of the nominating committee, is looking for one more volunteer to be on his committee. Bruce also encouraged all those present to consider running for an AMS office. He informed members that our chapter was established in 1954 making next year the chapter's 50-year anniversary.

Dr. John Zapotocny discussed with members the possibility of hosting the 2006 conference on satellite meteorology and oceanography. Dr. Zapotocny would like to recommend Omaha as the site of the 2006 conference if the chapter is interested in taking on the responsibility of hosting the conference. The chapter would not be required to cover costs of the conference, but a commitment of time would be necessary. Attendance of such a conference typically runs from 280-350 attendees. Bruce Telfeyan remembered hosting a national conference in the past and that it required a lot of work. However, Bruce thought the effort was worth it since hosting the conference is great for the community as well as for the Air Force Weather Agency. It was also recommended that the Omaha-Offutt chapter join forces with the student chapter out of the University of Nebraska in hosting such a conference. A vote on the matter of hosting the conference was tabled until the May meeting.

Gene reminded members that the May meeting will be member's night and anyone interested in presenting should visit with one of the officers. Before the meeting was adjourned, Dave Keller, John Zapotocny, and Mike Connelly shared their interesting weather stories. Cara Combs then motioned to adjourn and Phillip Johnson seconded the motion.

Speaker (Jonathan Garner)
Jonathan Garner is currently an undergraduate student working towards a degree in meteorology and physics. Mr. Garner is also an avid storm chaser traveling thousands of miles each year from Texas to the Dakotas. He travels with his partner Brian Thalken equipped with road maps, weather radios, digital camcorders, and most importantly, live Internet access via Brian's satellite phone and laptop. Mr. Garner's talk was entitled "The Anatomy of a Storm Chase"

Mr. Garner outlined the forecast process, which begins several days before the event. He and most chasers are looking for an environment favorable for discrete and persistent supercells supporting enough large-scale lift to erode the cap. Some of the more significant ingredients/forecast parameters analyzed include: depth of rich low-level moisture, moderate to high instability favoring persistent updrafts, directional shear, mean shear vector orientation to surface forcing, cap strength, LCL/LFC heights, and presence of a boundary. The bulging dryline and triple point serve as Mr. Garner's most frequent targets. The tools that Mr. Garner finds most helpful include: satellite imagery, radar, surface observations, profilers, and hodographs.

Mr. Garner examined 4 case studies for days on which he had chased. Two of these chase days were tornadic while the other two failed to produce a tornado even though a mesocyclone was present. The largest tornado in which his chase team intercepted was the Throckmorton, TX tornado of April 7, 2002. Mr. Thalken played segments of this video, which incorporated the whole tornadic life cycle from genesis to the roping out stage of decay. Mr. Garner concluded by highlighting the importance of boundaries stating, "Every chase featured occurred in proximity to a low-level thermal boundary (e.g., warm front, stationary front, or outflow boundary)."---Jeremy Wesely.


It was a nearly full house at the UW Green Bay Christie Theatre for NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jeff Last's annual severe weather spotter seminar Tuesday, April ninth. Among those in attendance were members of the Neville Astronomical Society as well as students from UW Green Bay, UW Fox Valley, UW Oshkosh and even from UW Madison.

During his presentation, Jeff stressed how important severe weather spotters are in a successful warning process. While Doppler radar gives those at the NWS an idea of what's going on, the spotters are the eyes and the ears of the NWS during a severe weather event. Jeff also stressed how important it is to attend these training seminars on a regular basis so spotters can recognize cloud features and greatly reduce the possibility of filing false reports.

Last year was a busy year for the NWS Green Bay office. 227 severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were issued, and 15 tornados were reported in their forecast area (northeast and north-central Wisconsin). That's just one away from the single season record of 16 tornados set in 1970.

We are taking nominations for chapter officers over the next week. If you would like to run for chapter President, Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer, e-mail Jim Brey ( Nominations will be accepted through the end of April 17th. Jim will then handle the election process.

Dues are also due for the year. Unlike your utility bills, chapter dues are not going up. It's still $ten dollars... $five-dollars for students. Please send me your money, in unmarked bills (just kidding), to the following address...

1252 Ninth Street
Green Bay, WI 54304

Make out the check to the Packerland Chapter of the AMS.---Scott Patrick.


In March of this year, the SEACAMS chapter got the privelege to go to KOLD News and watch a newscast and get a tour by their chief meteorologist, Chuck George. Not only did we get the chance to see how everything is done in the television world, but we also got to see what weather products Mr. George utilized. The station's general manager was kind enough to buy our chapter pizza after the tour.

In April, our chapter invited Staff Sergeant Paul Walker, an Air Force weather forecaster from Davis Monthan Air Force Base to come and speak about combat weather. With ten years of experience and serving in such places as Oklahoma, Korea, Macedonia, Arizona, and Afganistan, SSgt. Walker spoke of day to day forecasting operations at Davis-Monthan and during Operation Enduring Freedom, and what products the Air Force used and provided to their customer. It was very interesting to hear what little the military had come upon in Afganistan and what products they had to base their forecasts on. While SSgt. Walker was in Afganistan, the meteorologists only had the GFS model and very little climate to help forecast for the armed forces. The Air Force also has difficult requirements for forecasting, including a 4 hour lead time on severe weather watches and 2 hours on warnings. They have a very broad area that they forecast for, yet still needs to be detailed enough to forecast for specific missions in specific areas. All in all, a very interesting and surprising talk that we were all grateful for SSgt. Walker to volunteer to give.

Our next meeting will be our last, where we are having a potluck to just visit and recap the year's meetings. We will also be announcing the new officers for the coming year.----Lisa Reed.


On April 4th 2003, the Southwest Pennsylvania Chapter of the AMS and California University of Pennsylvania's Department of Earth Sciences hosted the 3rd Annual Symposium of the Atmospheric Sciences. This event was a day-long session of invited presentations and student participation. A variety of invited speakers included: Ken Reeves, manager of forecast operations Accuweather in State College; Ken Carey Vice President of the DC AMS Chapter, Major Peter Roohr of Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio; Josh Korotky and Russell Demaris, from National Weather Service Office of Pittsburgh; and keynote speaker Yvette Richardson, Assistant Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University. There were nine speakers total including one student presenter Patrick Taylor, who outlined some preliminary research to be submitted for publication. There was a mid-day student poster session highlighting course research from the previous fall semester. A student weather briefing by undergraduates, Dustin Devine, Wayne Clester and Molly Clawson was delivered during the lunch hour, followed by a broadcast demonstration from the Earth Sciences weather broadcast studio by student forecaster, Dale Cornetta. The weather briefing spurred an impromptu discussion of forecast models, their accuracy, and relevance in making a weather forecast amongst the students and invited speakers. This year's symposium was considered a dramatic success and the 4th Annual Symposium of the Atmospheric Sciences, April 2, 2004, is already in the planning stages for next year.---Chad Kauffman.


Tuesday, April 22, 2003 meeting at Texas A&M

The meeting was called to order at 7:20PM. Feedback Questionnaire's were handed out for the membership to fill out. The Treasurer's report and minutes from the previous meeting on March 18th were read.

Secretary Morgan Gallagher announced that the TAMSCAMS' ladies' softball team won the intramural C league championship. Adopt-a-Beach was announced for the following weekend, April 25th to the 26th. Chapter T-shirts are for sale for twelve dollars from any officer.

Elections for officers for the 2003-2004 academic year were held. The nominations were:

Treasurer: Paul Roller (unopposed)
Secretary: Roger Gass, Jen Via
Vice-President: Morgan Gallagher (unopposed)
President: Travis Herzog (unopposed)

Each nominee gave a speech and votes were tallied. The core officers are:

Treasurer: Paul Roller
Secretary: Roger Gass
Vice-President: Morgan Gallagher
President: Travis Herzog

Amendments to the chapter constitution were proposed. Elections for the Undergraduate Student Council were approved by the membership to be moved from being held in the fall semester to the spring. A new officer position was also added to the constitution. Nominations for Social Chair were taken and the membership voted. The nominees were:

Social Chair:
Brad Hlozek
Jen Via
Justin Horne
Jill Hafford

Each nominee gave a speech and votes were tallied. There was a run-off between Jill Hafford and Brad Hlozek. The first Social Chair in TAMSCAMS' history is:

Social Chair: Brad Hlozek

Elections for Undergraduate Student Council were held and Tanja Washborn and Jill Hafford were approved by the membership.

There are plans for meetings and activities to continue over the summer. The meeting was adjourned to pizza and refreshments.---Morgan Gallagher.


Our host for the April meeting of the Twin Cities (MN) Chapter of the AMS was Dr Greg Nastrom, Chairman of the Meteorology Dept at St Cloud State University. The Dept has a high tech Weather Lab, four full time Professors and about 100 students. We were privileged to hear the results of three research projects involving Meteorological phenomenon.

Brian Billings presented his project entitled "Orographic Flash Floods - the windward side of Mountains". The underlying principle involved condensation of air which has been lifted and cooled to its saturation point. He utilized data from the Moist Low Level Jet, Conditionally or potentially unstable air, and quasi-stationary synoptic system.

Sven Sundgaard brought in principles of Physics to develop a formula for "Prediction of Maximum Daily Temperature". He was able to gather 4 years of sounding data from the Chanhassen NWS site. At the end, he showed the comparison of the prediction using the model and the actual Maximum temperatures for the same period; the result was surprisingly accurate.

Paul Iniguez showed the man-made deviations brought about by a local population center in his study entitled "Thermal Effects of the Twin Cities Urban heat Island". He used data from the Chanhassen NWS facility to develop his model. Then the maps and charts to substantiate the higher temperatures resulting from additional heat generated by the metropolitan area of Minneapolis/St Paul.

All three of these students had a clear hypothesis, substantial data, good graphics and presented their material in a professional manner.---Joan C. Haley.


4/2/03 Final Chapter meeting

-We have a National Weather service tour planned for April 11th at 5:15. Here members of the club will get to have a quick explanation of what its like to be in the weather service as well as we will get to see the balloon launch.

-We have a tour planned to our local TV stations to watch a live weather broadcast on April 25th.

-We have a banquet planned as our final get together at the Old Chicago in the Haymarket on April 27th at 6:00p.m. We will elect our officers for the next year at this banquet as well.

-Also presented were a bunch of pictures from the other student members. Pictures included many of their storm chase pictures. Some of these are up on the website D. Faltin.


The Univeristy of Utah Chapter of AMS met on April 24 to conclude the school year and elect new officers for next year. The following officers were elected:
President: Todd Foisy
Vice-President: Maura Hahnenberger
Treasurer: Dave Myrick
Secretary: Dan Zumpfe
Also, the AMS member of the year was decided upon. In fact, we decided to have two members of the year this year, one graduate student and the other an undergraduate student. Please recognize the following members of the year!
Graduate: Dan Zumpfe
Undergraduate: Brendon Degen
We have had several events since the last time we submitted our meeting minutes. Some of these things have included: continued participation in our educational outreach program, a bowling social in March, a meeting at the beginning of April, the conclusion to our 1st Annual AMS Photo Contest, and a talk given by Don Griffith, a cloud seeder who works in Salt Lake.

Educational Outreach:

We concluded the year having gone to over 20 schools statewide to teach students about basic principles in meteorology.

Bowling Social:

We managed to get over half of the active members as well as some additional non-AMS members out to a bowling social at the beginning of March. If you would like to see some photos from the event, check out our web site:

1st Annual AMS Photo Contest:

Although we had few participants in the event this year, we hope to continue the event next year and expand it even more. Check out the results and the photos submitted once again at:

Guest Speaker, Don Griffith:

We invited a cloud seeder from Salt Lake to talk to AMS members and then treated him to dinner after the talk. AMS members were treated to dinner as well thanks to funding from the Associated Students of the University of Utah organization.---Christine McCue. WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA

Chapter Channel - West Central Florida - April 1, 2003

Dr. Arlene Laing, professor of meteorology at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa conducted a tour of the USF Meteorology Lab. A solar powered weather station is located on the roof of the Social Science building. Sensor data is transmitted to computers at the campus weather station. As much as 9 weeks of data is stored online in increments of 10 minutes. The data is displayed on the USF website in near real time at the following URL:

Research is conducted in the USF Meteorology Lab on the stored campus data. Dell computers are used with a Linux operating system. The USF Lab gathers weather data from around the world, including satellite information, radar, and surface readings via the Unidata Program. Unidata is funded by the National Science Foundation allowing universities access to weather data at no cost.

Dr. Arlene Laing presents
Weather Visualization software at U.S.F.
President Andy Johnson in
U.S.F. Meteorological Lab
University of South Florida (U.S.F.) rooftop weather station

The Unidata software developed manages, analyzes, and displays the data collected. Currently there is a focus on tracking weekly changes in precipitation amounts and temperature at various locations around the world in relation to ENSO.

Members accessed the laboratory computers themselves. Participants saw a three dimensional view of a supercell thunderstorm, including a virtual tornado. The software enabled the user to 'fly through' the storm.---Andy Johnson.


[ About the AMS | Policy Program | Conferences, Meetings, and Symposia ]
[ Education Programs and Resources ]
[ History of Earth Sciences | Journals and Publications | Local Chapter Information | Member Services ]
[ News and Information | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) ]

[ Disclaimer | Contacts at AMS | Email AMS Web Administrator ]

Return to AMS Home Page Click on Logo to Return to AMS Home Page
© 2000 American Meteorological Society
Headquarters: 45 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-3693
Phone: 617-227-2425; Fax: 617-742-8718