Chapter News
April 2005


Greetings from the High Plains Chapter! We are pleased to report the results of our officer elections held in March 2005.

Patrick Burke was elected as the chapter s new President. Patrick is 27 years old, and grew up in Oklahoma City where he developed a strong interest in severe weather and operational forecasting. While attending the University of Oklahoma, Patrick worked in research at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. After graduating with a Masters degree in Meteorology in May 2002, he joined the National Weather Service as a Meteorologist Intern in Williston, North Dakota. Patrick has been a General Forecaster at the National Weather Service Forecast Office (NWSFO) in Goodland, Kansas, since November 2003. He was married in October 2004.

Our new Vice President, Christina Hannon, has been a Meteorologist Intern at the NWSFO in North Platte, Nebraska, since Janurary 2004. Prior to Christina's employment with the Weather Service she received her Bachelor s and Master s degrees, both in Meteorology, from the University of Oklahoma and Penn State University, respectively. While in Oklahoma, Christina also worked in research at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Christina is interested in severe weather and outreach.

Serving a second year as Treasurer, David Lawrence is originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he spent his childhood admiring the various weather patterns common to the Piedmont region of the Mid-Atlantic. As a student, David worked at both the Blacksburg, Virginia, and State College, Pennsylvania, NWSFOs. He graduated in June 2003 from Penn State University and became a Meteorologist Intern at the NWSFO in Hastings, Nebraska. In February 2005, he was promoted to the General Gorecaster position in Hastings. David is 24 years old, married, and expecting his first child in June.

Mike Lammers, newly elected chapter Secretary, is a General Forecaster at the NWSFO in Goodland Kansas, and has been in the National Weather Service for 15 years. Mike began his career as a Meteorologist Intern at Meridian, Mississippi, from June 1991 to September 1994. From September 1994 to October 1998 Mike was a meteorology instructor with the National Weather Service Training Center in Kansas City. Mike has been a forecaster in Goodland since October 1998. Mike grew up in western Alabama near Tuscaloosa. He is married with three children, and his hobbies include fishing, gardening, and cloud photography.

The 2005 officers of the High Plains Chapter look forward to an exciting year of exploring our science and promoting the goals of the American Meteorological Society. For contact, please write to:
or Hannon.


April 2005 Minutes

Mr. Ed Russell: Centerpoint Energy

Ed Russell of Centerpoint Energy was one of the main players in aiding the State of Florida restore its power after being pummeled by four hurricanes last season. He talked to our group on those power-restoring efforts made in the field, by him and his crews, months after the initial devastation.

As the Regional Manager of CenterPoint Energy, Mr. Russell led the utility crews in helping Florida utility companies restore power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses after Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne struck in September. CenterPoint Energy first sent crews to the state in August to help to assist in utilities restoration after both Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Charley took out millions of Floridians' power. In summary, Mr. Russell detailed his personal experiences and the challenges in dealing with Florida's devastating 2004 Hurricane Season.---Patrick Blood.


Tornadoes were focus for the Kansas City Chapter of the American Meteorological Society for late March and early April. Two meetings held in quick succession featured Dan McCarthy of NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and Dr. Tim Samaras of Applied Research Associates. On March 31st, Mr. McCarthy reviewed the 2004 convective season for the chapter, highlighting the changes in the watch coordination process between the SPC and NOAA weather forecast offices (WFO). Dr. Tim Samaras spoke to the group on April 8th about his Hardened In-Situ Tornado PRobe (HITPR), a compact instrument package that provides real-time measurements of temperature, pressure, relative humidity and voltage within a tornado vortex. HITPR was calibrated at the University of Washington wind tunnel to sustain multi-directional wind of speeds up to 320 m/s. Dr. Samaras has successfully deployed HITPR in the paths of several tornadoes since its initial fielding in 1999, including the deadly Manchester, South Dakota tornado of June 24, 2003 in which HITPR recorded a 100 millibar pressure drop in 1-2 seconds. In 2003, Dr. Samaras collaborated with Carson Peterson of National Geographic to enhance HITPR by adding high resolution video recorders to the package that will increase the ability for photogrammic analysis. Dr. Samaras hopes to use the next generation of HITPR in the upcoming VORTEX II experiment for additional in-situ thermodynamic, pressure, photographic measurements from tornado cores.

In other chapter news, the members of the chapter served as judges at Science Pioneer's Greater Kansas City Science Fair. Judges, Joe Lauria, Dorothy Day and Suzanne Fortin, awarded certificates of achievement to Lauren Metzler, Sunflower Elementary, for her study on the effect of atmospheric pressure and Sean Latz, Holy Spirit Catholic School, for his study on the the effect of localized pollutant transport on rainwater. In upcoming outreach activities, Suzanne Fortin will be staffing a table at the Greater Kansas City Science, Engineering and Information Technology Career Fair, on April 16th and will distribute information on careers in the atmospheric and hydrologic sciences. Suzanne Fortin and Lisa Schmit also will be speaking to girls ages 8-14 about their careers as meteorologists at Kansas Starbase's Space Camp for Girls on June 24th. Chapter members were notified that Kansas City is in contention for hosting the AMS Severe Local Storms conference in 2006, and along with the local NOAA NWS forecast office in Pleasant Hill, chapter members were encouraged to assist at the conference if it arises. Finally, officer nominations for 2005-2006 were conducted and members will vote for chapter officers at the May meeting.---Suzanne Fortin.


General Business Meeting: April 20th, 2005
Start: 7:07 p.m. Attendance: 48 (including officers)

President Jim Politis
Jim opens up explaining the process of the election of new officers. Rules and regulations were set and the election process began:

Presidential Voting is First-

Voting Results: Sean Parker is new President
Vice President- Treasurer-
Voting Results: John Miodszweski is new Treasurer
Voting Results: Jon Cunningham is new Secretary
Public Relations-
Voting Results: Ryan Low remains Public Relations
Community Outreach-
Voting Results: Jim Politis is new Community Outreach
End: 8:49pm---Joshua Webber.


AMS Chapter meeting - April 2005

The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS held activities commemorating its fiftieth anniversary on Offutt Air Force Base on April 12, 2005, in conjunction with the Air Force Weather Agency's Heritage Luncheon, held at the Offutt Club. Following the meal, Dr. John Zapotocny made a brief presentation on the chapter's history and current activities, and introduced Mr. Art Gulliver, a long time Air Force Global Weather Central forecaster, and a charter member and former president of the Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS.

Following the conclusion of the luncheon, Mr. Gulliver made a presentation back at the AFWA headquarters. His presentation was titled "A Historical Look at Weather Forecasting and the Omaha-Offutt AMS Chapter." Mr. Gulliver spoke of his own career in weather, starting in Wayne State College and the Army Air Force in World War II, and his post-war career as a forecaster for TWA and the Air Force Weather Central, as the latter moved from Andrews Field to Suitland MD, and then to Offutt AFB in 1955. The arrival of personnel with the central forecasting unit coincided with the start the AMS chapter, the history of which Mr. Gulliver then moved on to discuss. In its first year, 1955-56, the chapter had 49 members, increasing to 80 by 1961. At it's height in the 1970s, membership rose to over 100, reaching 132 in 1979, with AFGWC and Third Weather Wing headquarters on Offutt, National Weather Service offices in Omaha and Lincoln, and private employers. It had the largest membership of any local chapter. Attendance at chapter meetings was sometimes over 100 people. He stated that the largest attendance was 179 for a meeting that featured Dr. Ted Fujita as guest speaker, while a meeting on the Belle of Brownville riverboat drew 150, and tour of the Falstaff brewery drew well over 100. Membership dipped below 100 in 1995 as several government employers scaled back, but it still ranks as one of the largest chapters in the country. He went on to mention the chapter's long history of involvement with schools, including educational outreach, career counseling assistance, and science fair participation.---John Roth.


Meeting Minutes-April 14, 2005

Severe weather storm spotters act as the "eyes and ears" of the NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) during times of severe weather. Mr. Jeff Last, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Green Bay NWS office, presented severe weather spotter training to a crowd of over 130 people during the April meeting of the PCAMS.

Spotters support the NWS and their local community all year round with critical weather information during potentially severe thunderstorms, and also during winter storms. The observations from spotters are an extremely important asset to NWS severe weather operations. Their "ground truth" observations, along with Doppler radar and storm-scale weather analysis, allow NWS meteorologists to make important warning decisions that affect communities and commerce. Weather spotters come from all walks of life-law enforcement, amateur radio operators, public works, and the general public.

The 90-minute seminar included an introduction to different types of severe weather in Wisconsin, recognition of cloud types associated with severe weather, weather safety tips, and forecast operations at the NWS.

In local chapter business, an election for officers is due soon. Please go to: and click on the election link for further details. If you want to nominate a member or yourself, send an e-mail before April 24 to:

The next scheduled presentation will be conducted on May 5 2005, 7:00 PM - "An Evaluation of Long-term Precipitation Forecasts for Wisconsin". It will be conducted by Dr. Steve Meyer, UW-Green Bay, at the UW-Green Bay, Union-Christie Theater. Please join us for another outstanding event.

Packerland April Newsletter---Dale Walker.



Special Guest Speaker
Max Mayfield
Director of the National Hurricane Center.

It was a great evening on Wednesday, April 27, 2004 for Max Mayfield the director of the National Hurricane Center. Max was in NJ for the Emergency Preparedness Conference for the 3-day period from the April 27 till the 30th. 40 + attendees including President Rob Guarino, Vice President Dean Davison, Treasurer Tracy L. DeLiberty, and Secretary Jeff Weinrich.

Quote of the Day "focus on the skinny black line."

Max gave an overview of the 2004 Hurricane season that included four hurricanes to hit Florida. The overview included statistics, which told us that the last 10 years has been one of the most active periods on record. He also brushed on some of the data from last year such as the steering currents, low vertical wind shear, and high water temperatures, which gave the US the right ingredients for hurricanes and their impact on land. Max showed several before and after pictures of the hurricane damage from Charlie Frances and Ivan. Dr. Mayfield also addressed errors in forecasting hurricanes, skinny black line vs. the cone forecast and that interpretation by the public and media.

The presentation was followed by a question and answer period by the Dr. Mayfield and the AMS members.

A special thanks to Max Mayfield for speaking to our group and Jim Eberwine and Gary Szatkowski and the rest of the staff at the NWS in Mt Holly for helping us set this up.---Dean D Davison and Jeff Weinrich.


Date: April 13, 2005
Minutes: 5:00-6:30pm
Attendance: 31
Board Members in Attendance: Jason, Chris G, Chris W, Melissa, Andrew, Lindsay and Dr Hoffman.

We opened the meeting with pizza, soda and socialization.

Jason Melissa Guest Speaker - Paul Flaherty We closed the meeting with some more socialization and a "meet and greet" with Paul.

Next meeting will be May 11


Minutes from the April 5, 2005 meeting of the Southeast Arizona Chapter of the AMS

The last meeting of the 2004-2005 year was attended by about 25 members and guests and took place on the University of Arizona Campus. Our guest speaker was Dr. E. Philip Krider, a professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Arizona, and expert in the field of lightning research. Many of those who attended this meeting have either had Dr. Krider as a professor or had done research work with him at some point in his career. Dr. Krider gave a talk entitled Lightning-A Striking Phenomenon and went into depth about the leading theories of storm electrification, types of lightning, and the nearest neighbor distribution to approximate risk of being struck by lightning here in southeast Arizona.

Dr. Krider talked about how large negative charges are built up in the part of the cloud generally between -10 and -20 degrees Celsius, while the positive charges generally build up in the colder, higher regions of the cloud. Cloud-to-ground lighting essentially is a massive electrical discharge. The return stroke is what produces the large current and does damage to whatever is being struck on the ground. One can tell the direction of the leader propagation by the direction of the branches of the strike. Lightning can strike multiple points on the ground for each of the cloud-to-ground flashes; the average number of strike points is 1.6.---Dawn Fishler.


Here are the minutes from the Tuesday April, 5th 2005 meeting at Texas A&M Universtiy.

President Zachary Glenn welcomed the members for the last time as President before the new officers take over for the next meeting.

Vice President Justin Horne informed everyone on our biannual tip to Texas Adopt-A-Beach which will be on April 23rd.

Secretary Roger Gass gave a recap on the March meeting and informed everyone to check on the website ( ) for updates. Roger then gave a recap on the NSSL and SPC trip to Norman, OK. Also, everyone was informed they could get passes meeting minutes from the AMS website.

Treasure Brady Taylor told the members the financial standing of the organization and that they could buy t-shirts, polos, and car stickers.

Social Chair Keri Turner informed everyone about bowling night, and told them how to sign up.

Shane and Jennifer spoke about changes in TAMMSSDA and informed everyone that the selection for new coordinators is in process.

The 2005-2006 Officer Election then took place. Each candidate spoke to the members about their plans for the organization before voting began.

AMS student membership was once again plugged to the members. Also, volunteers to be a weather observer at the Burton Cotton Gin Museum event were asked to sign up with Zachary.

Then our guest Mark Stephens, Weekend Meteorologist at KXXV/KRHD TV based out of Waco, TX, was introduced. He talked about his education from Penn State University. He then spoke of his AccuWeather experience and his work as a broadcast meteorologist. Mr. Stevens did live weather spots for MSNBC, CNBC, and many places across Texas.

After our speaker, the members were released to the 12th floor for food, social time, and elections results.

2005-2006 Officers...
Chris McKinney
Brad Klotz
Melissa Polt
Emily Riley
Social Chair:
Keri Turner

In March we made a trip to the NSSL and SPC in Norman, OK. Here is a group picture of our members that were able to attend.

---Roger Gass.


The April 2005 meeting of the Twin Cities chapter of the American Meteorological Society was held on April 19 at the National Weather Service's Twin Cities office. We discussed the dinner for the May meeting. We decided upon a picnic near a lake in Chanhassen. Secretary/Treasurer Chris Bovitz will accept payments from members who want to partake of the meal. Details will be coming soon in the newsletter.

Elections of next year's officers was discussed. While an effort was made to keep the current officers in place, nominations will be accepted through the May meeting.

Earlier this month, Shelby Winiecki, Tony Stender, and Chris Bovitz held the first meeting of the Membership Outreach Committee. Chris presented their results, and they can be found in the May 2005 newsletter. Voting on some of these issues will take place at the May meeting.

The main presentation at the meeting was from president Rich Naistat, science and operations officer of the Twin Cities WFO whose topic was the National Weather Service's Advanced Warning Operations course. This is a distance-learning course combined with a disk-based lesson to help forecasters with decision process when severe weather is approaching or imminent.

We were shown part of the course, where a strong storm was developing and moving toward a large city. We were shown radar images and listened in on forecasters watching those images and listening to their thought processes. We were asked to make analyses of the radar and satellite imagery and forecast what we thought was going to happen. Interspersed with the data were conversations between forecasters at a WFO, and what they were looking at and thinking of.

One of the important things to take away from the session was situational awareness. Rich mentioned the three levels of situation awareness: Perception (see it), comprehension (understand it), and projection (forecast it). Projection involves knowing the environment and knowing the evolution of the system. The forecasters who issue the best warnings consider storm structure, storm evolution, and warn for the higher threat area. During a severe weather event, there is a lot of data flowing both in and out of the office, some of it conflicting, and information overload is a danger. A forecaster must comprehend the relevance of each piece of information coming into the office and evaluate its importance in the developing weather event.

Only having a warning out is not good enough. Lead time is important as well as warning for the right reasons. Rich also cautioned us that a forecaster is as good as his or her last warning. For a forecaster, the decisions that they make are the ones that they carry with them. Also, more information for the public is a good thing. The NWS should use its expertise - instead of warning for an entire county, they should warn for the part of a county which has a high probability of experiencing that storm.

Coincidentally, today was the first confirmed (and warned) tornado in the Twin Cities NWS's county warning area. Rich explained how they used the nonsupercell tornado (NST) index presented at the Northern Plains Convective workshop last month. Using this, they accurately in space and time predicted the tornadoes northwest of the Twin Cities. The use of this index was an excellent example of how local research can be quickly incorporated into operations. Rich admitted forecasters were uneasy about putting out tornado warnings without 3D shear correlated in space and time. But the near-storm environment, along with the NST, is what enabled forecasters to accurately warn for those tornadoes.

After the meeting, Rich showed the attendees what actually happened, what the forecasters looked for, and what they did.---Chris Bovitz.


The University of Miami student chapter had its annual chapter elections this evening. Also, during the past semester, our chapter participated in Relay for Life on April 1st, where we raised money to fight cancer. Eight members participated in the all night event. Prior to that, on March 25th, ten members toured the National Hurricane Center. On February 27th, ten members met up to watch the movie Twister and a storm chase video. The two members to contact with comments or questions are the following:

Greg Izzo

Angie Pendergrass


April 6th, 2005
Meeting began at 5:00p.m.

This was the last meeting of the semester, and was the elections meeting. We had pop and pizza for the group present. Our president, Kyle, addressed our group, then announced our end of the year banquet on May 1st. Next we proceeded with the elections, our vice president, Andy, passed out the ballets. We voted for a new president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. There was a tie for secretary, so we had to re-pass out ballets in a revote for secretary. The elections ended as follows....

President - David Teetzen
Vice president - Jake Chalupsky
Secretary - Holly McCarthy
Treasurer - Kayleen Zimmer

Our guest speakers were Dan Nietfeld, the science and operations officer at the Valley NWS and Barb Mayes from the NOAA headquarters in Washington, DC. They discussed the process of getting employment within the National Weather Service. Dan also discussed some programs the National Weather Service offers, SCEP, STEP, and student volunteers. One of our professors, Dr. Mat Parker also discussed a summer job opportunity he will be in charge of this summer. Dan ended the session with by answering the group questions.

We have several pictures up from this meeting at: ---Kelly D. Faltin.


Thursday, April 14, 2005
4:00 P.M. INSCC 490

*Elections were held for next year's AMS officers. Congratulations to those who were elected. The results are as follows:
-President: Tyler West
-Vice President: Laura Kowal
-Tresurer: Alan Moller
-Secretary: Margaret Kimball
*We voted to approve the use of the remaining money in this year's advertising fund. The money will be used to design/purchase pens that will display the AMS name and campus/ski forecast Internet address. These pens will be handed out at next year's Plazafest.

*The Photo contest was another success this year. All the proceeds from this event go to the American Red Cross. The final results are as follows:
-1st Place: Jay Mace
-2nd Place: Griffin Chure
-3rd Place: Paul Ricketts
*Upcoming events:
-Saturday, April 23 : AMS Picnic and Frisbee Golf at Creekside Park
-Thursday, May 5 : Department Awards Dinner ---Maura Hahnenberger.


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