Chapter News
December 2007



Climate Change in 2008 - A Series of Informative Talks

Please see our flyer for details.---Paul A. Roelle.

December Meeting Minutes.--- John D. Gray.



Minutes, Anchorage AMS Chapter Meeting/Christmas Dinner, December 15th, 2007        

Call Meeting to Order: The meeting/dinner was called to order by Kristine Nelson, President, around 6:15 p.m. The meeting was held at the Villa Nova Italian Restaurant. 

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer was not in attendance

Old/New Business:  No business was discussed as the main reason of getting together was for the holidays and to collect toys for our annual Holiday Toys for Tots drive.

Main Events:

Our first main event of the evening was to count up the amount of toys our members and affiliates brought to donate to the Toys for Tots charity.  A total of twelve toys were graciously donated to this wonderful cause.  A great big thank you goes to all who brought in a toy.

Our second main event was a talk given by Larissa Wilhelmi, a wine expert from Specialty Imports, Inc.  She spoke on how weather affects wine growing, tasting, and making, and also graciously donated 6 bottles of assorted wines and champagne.  She started out with how champagne was started.  In the European countries where wine was being produced, the Champagne region of France had a problem…it became too cold in the winters to make the standard version of wine.  The cold caused the yeast to become dormant and keep sugars from converting to alcohol.  Then, in the spring when temperatures warmed, dormant yeast would generate carbon dioxide and “fizz”.  A monk by the name of Dom Perignon liked this fizz and elevated it to a celebratory drink…hence the link to the brand name.

Larissa then went on to talk about wines, specifically Washington state wines.  She explained that many good wines come from the eastern side of the state all because of past and current weather.  A long time ago, glacier-dammed lakes in Montana melted and a massive flood carried fertile soil into Eastern Washington State.  This side of the state was prime for growing of grapes since it was very dry, all the Pacific moisture being wrung out by the Cascade Mountains to the west.  Grapes do not like rain as water can make its skin mold or absorb water and ruin the fruit inside. Another factor in the region being so good for vineyards is that its water table is so low, and therefore the vines have to go very deep for its water source.  Every 7-10 years, a deep freeze spreads over the region, but with the roots extending so far down, most plants won’t be completely killed off, just the top and the bugs.  However very hard freezes, like the one they experienced in 2006 killed off 2/3 of the crop.  A way to help protect this from happening is to locate vineyards at higher elevations to escape very cold drainage air where it will be warmer at ridges than in the valleys below. 

Her presentation included a Riesling, a Chardonnay, a Merlot, a Syrah and a Cabernet Sauvignon and she gave us little facts on each including what meals each goes with best.  We then followed up the presentation with a delicious meal and more conversation about the relationship between weather and wine…a very interesting and tasty relationship I might add!---Lisa Reed.



Meeting Date:  December 4, 2007

Attendence: Dave Anderson, Megan Babich, Meghan Bagnasco, Jeraca Benson, Catherine Bodak, Julia Bonk, Allison Britton, Chrissy Bukowski, Dan Burkhart, Chris Burling, Matt Clark, Aric Cylkowski, Alex DeSmet, Katie Dupree,  David Hampton, Adam Hart, Amanda Hazard, Nathan Heath, Michael Heitz, Mike Hesche, Annie Hoezee, Kimberly Hoogewind, Brandon Hoving, Nathan Inks, Stefanie Klimowicz, Morris Langworthy, Chase Meder, Kayla Moore, Nathan Niedzwiecki, Jacob Owens, Aaron Sanders, Cort Scholten, Greg Thornthwaite, Sarah Trojniak,  Kailey Wass

Meeting in Session:  9:02

President’s Report:     Last week we had a speaker, we thank all who came to the presentation.  We also would like to thank everyone who has donated in support of adopt-a-family, thus far we have $211.  T-shirts are still available, if you ordered one, pick it up! 

Vice President’s Report:NOTHING NEW!


Treasurer’s Report:    In our treasury, we have:

Savings   $3120.01           Checking $256.16

Secretary’s Report:     Attendance sheet was passed around.

SGA Report:

Rep says long-winded goodbye. 

Constitution Amendments:

Amendment #1.  Adjusting the two types of members by adding allowance of honorary members.

VOTE:  Clear majority, amendment has been made.

Amendment #2.  All attendees of the first meeting will be allowed to vote during the first meeting. 

Amendment to the amendment:  No money to be spent.

VOTE:  Clear majority, amendment has been made.


Elections are held in a step down style.  If you run for president and lose, you can step down to VP and so on down.  Please keep speeches under a few minutes. 


President:  Morris

VP:  Aric/Allison

Treasurer:  Cort

Secretary:  Chase, Katie, Alex, Aric

SGA:  Jacob, Aric

Webmaster: Morris, Dan (Morris stepped down)

New Eboard is as follows:

President:  Morris Langworthy

VP:  Allison Britten

Treasurer: Cort Scholten

Secretary:  Katie Dupree

SGA rep:  Jacob Owens

Webmaster:  Dan Burkhart

MEMBER OF THE YEAR:  Brandon Hoving

Meeting Adjourned:  10:10---Katie Dupree.



Monthly Meeting Minutes

December 13, 2007


Vice President Jerry Watson introduced the night’s program, John McHenry, Chief Scientist, Baron Advanced Meteorological Systems whose talk was titled, “Advancements in Hydrological and Air Quality Forecast Operational Systems at BAMS”

John started out by stating that his main drive was to get ideas into operational systems.  John discussed hydrological advancements gained in The Destructive Water Abatement (DESWAT) project, run by Lockheed Martin.  NASA was also involved.  BAMS was a subcontractor.  The project will evolve into a national system in Romania.  John is the chief modeler.  The project goal is to advance distributed hydrological modeling.  The goal of the project is to better describe behaviors of watersheds, which are fractal.  There are similarities between various size basins.    The technique involves coupling a very high resolution hydrological model with MM5.  There are four components to surface modeling: 

One needs to take into account all major processes in land surface model.  A case study conducted over Cowpens Watershed, which lies in North Carolina and South Carolina, was performed using data from Tropical Storm Tammy in October 2005.  John described the watershed and hydrostations.  He described results for various points in the watershed, showing observations versus the model simulation.  Gauge corrected data signals were used to estimate rainfall forcing.  This was compared to corrected radar data in layer one of the distributed hydrology model.

The system was then deployed to Arges River, Romania.  Bucharest is located in the southeast part of this basin.  A 1 km grid resolution was used with a 668x772 grid; with the digital elevation mode (DEM) stripped out of MM5 and WRF.  The system was deployed on an IBM system.  The Romanian Space Agency acquired digital terrain sampling for mapping the basin.  The modeling system is still undergoing research and development.  Romania is using the model to show recognition of life and property, which is a prerequisite to their entrance into the European Union.  They are getting close to having a system that is coupled.  Some techniques come from the Sparse Matrix (SMOKE) model. 

In January 2007 the Arges Basin was unusually warm (there was no snowpack, even at the highest level of the Carpathian Mountains) and dry (there was little rainfall during fall and winter months).  Normally, Romanians have a relatively high frequency of snowpack-melt flood events.  Two model types used are: 

  1. Semi-distributed model
  2. Lumped hydrological forecast model.

The National River Forecast Center is part of the project in Romania.  They are implementing a flash flood forecast system to be deployed along with the above models.

Another of John’s projects is titled, “Assimilating AURA Derived Trace Gas Retrievals and MODISAOD into an Operational Multi-pollutant Air Quality Forecast Decision Support System”.  This project studies aerosols and fine particulates.  End users include Department of Energy, NASA, various NOAA programs, and EPA Regional Offices, State and Local agencies, television stations, and regional planning organizations, such as VISTAS.

A major goal is to achieve a GEOSS unified network of environmental observations.  Data would be used to drive MM5, and subsequently, SMOKE and CMAQ.  A final goal is to link air quality with hydrology and water quality using the NASA Land Information System (LIS).  Met data also would feed LIS and then would feed back to MM5 and/or WRF.  They also hope to unify biogenics with LIS.  BAMS is making good progress.  John showed OMI derived NO2, MODIS aerosol retrievals used to show surface aerosol observations and combine with satellite information to depict quasi 3-d representation of PM2.5.

Planned research schedule for data assimilation:

Potential pitfall - gaseous assimilation may be very tricky.  It may prove more appropriate to use these techniques in an inverse modeling approach to adjust emissions inputs.  Any improvements in 3 to 5-dimensional observations of chemical species will help, as we currently do not know what pollutants are doing aloft.  John’s final remarks included the need for a program in the US to study upper air chemistry, especially sulfate chemistry.  Model evaluation is ongoing.---Janice Godfrey.



Chapter Newsletter.--- Steve Tracton.




December 5, 2007 General Business Meeting

Attendance: 42 (Including Executive Board)

Start Time: 7:05pm

              President Steve LaVoie began the meeting by informing the club on the latest happenings with the 33rd Northeastern Storm Conference.  The next mailing for the conference would be on December 13th at 8pm in the METLAB.  He also talked quickly about the NESC registration for active club members.  Steve reiterated that in order to be an active member a person must complete five or more events and attend two-thirds of the General Business Meetings.  He finished with a quick update on the numbers for the AMS Holiday Can Drive through today (Wednesday).

              Mike Swan, our vice-president, recapped Internship Night with was held on November 13th.  Every meteorological field was covered by some sort of internship and many members attended.  Mike then added on to Steve’s talk earlier about registration.  He explained that registration for the Northeastern Storm Conference should be online in about a week or so.  He also informed the club that he is currently contacting people to be panel representatives during the NESC Panel Discussion.

              Secretary Alex Jacques set a deadline for a bulletin board update by this coming Friday.  He reminded the club that there were plenty of opportunities left to gain the five events needed to be an active member.  He also stated that there will be an Events Committee Meeting held on December 6th to discuss the AMS Winter Ball.

              Treasurer Hayley LaPoint recapped the financial success of the AMS Talent Show.  She mentioned that further updates will be coming about costs for the Northeastern Storm Conference.  She also gave a quick update on the LSC Student Government Association and informed members that she would be making a presentation to them about our happenings over this last semester.

              Rich Maliawco, our Public Relations Director, told the club that the First Inch Contest had been completed and that the winner had received their prize.  He then moved on to congratulating and thanking those members who helped or performed at the AMS Talent Show.  The next event mentioned was the annual Movie Night.  The club chose and then voted first on a genre and then on a movie to watch.  Rich then repeated what Alex said about a committee meeting taking place on Thursday.  At that meeting Winter Ball ticket shifts will be decided, a theme will be voted on, and decorations will be chosen.

              Community Outreach Officer Josh Redinger thanked members of the club who attended the school visits to West Burke.  He also let the club know that the school was interested in doing a field trip to the school at some point this year.  Josh finished by telling the club that another meeting will be forthcoming next semester for a Science Fair mailing.

              Historian Scott Jaeger revealed to the club that our newest event to the Northeastern Storm Conference is in the planning stages.  It is a Friday Night Tribute that will honor members of the last five LSC-AMS & NWA executive boards.  Each member gathered will speak for a few minutes.  Scott then switched gears to the Annual Photo Contest.  The deadline for the contest is January 31st, 2008.  The weather photos selected would appear in the Northeastern Storm Conference booklet.  Scott also requested photos of AMS events so that they could be archived for future use.

              The LSC-AMS & NWA then concluded the meeting at 7:35pm with a candy raffle.

End Time: 7:35pm---Alexander Jacques.



On Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 the North Florida AMS held a special December meeting at the Florida Emergency Operations Center. Operations Officer Jim Roberts addressed the chapter with a safety briefing and briefly discussed the various types of emergencies the EOC deals with including: severe weather, wildfires, and bio terrorism. Following Jim Roberts, Charlie Woodrum hosted the final round of Weather Jeopardy. Richie Scwerdt and Marv Fortune (330 points) were finalists against Jason Adams and Lorenza Cooper (270 points). The winners received one point each toward the Member of the Year Award. Kevin McKee then announced the basketball tailgates for Duke on January 16th and N.C. State on February 3rd. The AMS calendars were sold at the meeting for $12 a piece. All 57 have been sold with $218.13 earned toward the chapter. The account balance is $2,820.56 after the deposit from the calendars.


Charlie then introduced Ben Nelson as this month’s speaker. Ben moved to the sunshine state to begin attending Florida State University in August 1995. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology in 1999, he began an internship with the State Meteorologist’s office at the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  He served as an assistant meteorologist through June 2004. 

Ben was promoted to the State Meteorologist position in July 2004, just weeks before Hurricane Charley devastated portions of southwest and central Florida.  He was deployed to Charlotte County two days after Charley’s landfall and gained valuable field experience.  Two weeks later, Ben was recalled to the State EOC as Frances moved into the western Atlantic Ocean. Mr. Nelson was recognized for his work during the 2004 hurricane season in the Governor’s State of the State Address to the Legislature on March 8, 2005.  Eight hurricanes impacted Florida in less than 15 months’ time during Mr. Nelson’s first two hurricane seasons as the State Meteorologist.

The State Meteorologist supervises the State Meteorological Support Unit at the Florida Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee. This unit focuses on operational meteorology and acts as a liaison between Florida’s National Weather Service offices, the National Hurricane Center, Florida’s Water Management Districts and the State Emergency Response Team.


Ben Nelson discussed the State Emergency Response Team’s (SERT) involvement in Katrina, the disaster assistance process, and deploying special response teams to local governments. From June through November the EOC is focused on hurricanes and other natural disasters. December and January focus on Hazardous Weather Awareness Week (HWAW) while February through May is mainly about training and wildfire season. This year HWAW will be February 4-8. 

More information can be found at Claytor.



December 4, 2007   5:30 PM   Dewayne Mitchell   (WDT)

5:30 Food served

5:45  Dewayne Mitchell of Weather Decision Technologies speaks about forensic meteorology, his career path, and answers a myriad of student questions and comments. 

7 PM  Students reminded to consider AMS conference!  Secretary gives a talk about the importance of going to national meetings.---Kim Klockow.



The December meeting of the Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS convened at Greek Islands on the 5th of the month.

Chapter President Evan Kuchera called the business meeting to order at 6:00 PM.

Recording secretary Scott Rentschler began the business meeting by reading the minutes from the September meeting.  The chapter voted and approved the minutes.

Treasurer Tiffany Bendorf then gave the treasurer’s report, noting that the chapter currently has 78 members and the treasury is solvent.  The chapter voted and approved the report.

Evan Kuchera then announced that the chapter forecast contest is up and running.  Evan also announced who was currently leading the contest, told everybody who has been leading the contest each week.

Chapter Vice President Steve Augustyn then gave the chapter an update on the weather conference being planned for late 2008.  Steve informed the chapter that NOAA will be hosting a climate workshop during the October 20-24th, 2008 time period in Lincoln, which could potentially reduce the number of people that would attend the conference the chapter is planning to host in early November.  As such being the case, the date for the conference has been pushed back to November 17-18th.  Steve then informed the chapter that the current aspect of hosting the conference being worked out is the putting together of a formal announcement for the National AMS site.  Chapter updates for the conference planning will be posted on the Omaha-Offutt website.

Corresponding Secretary Karen Sittel announced that she had 6 volunteers to help with judging a science fair next Tuesday, and requested that they contact her.  Karen also informed the chapter that there would be 3 science fairs in March, and requested that anybody who would like to volunteer to be a judge contact her.

Karen then requested that the chapter allocate $100.00 towards the purchase of science fair prizes.  Chapter member Phil Johnson recommended that $200.00 be allocated, in case more prizes are needed.  The chapter voted and approved the request.

Evan then recognized several guests attending the meeting, introducing Greg Carbin from the SPC and Hastings AMS/NWA chapter president Rick Ewold.

Evan opened the floor for any member announcements.  No announcements were made, and the business end of the meeting was concluded at 6:43.

Dr. Ken Dewey then announced the Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium to be held on March 29, 2008.  He noted the symposium would have keynote addresses from John Davies and Mike Umscheid.

Gordon Brooks then announced that weather Explorer Post would be starting up in January, and anybody interested could contact him.

The guest speaker for this evening was Greg Carbin from the SPC, and he gave his much anticipated presentation on the top ten weather events of 2007.  His selections (in no particular order) are:

  1. The late 2006 / early 2007 ice storms to hit the Midwest.
  2. The east/central Florida tornadoes to hit on the 2nd of February.
  3. The 14 February Nor’easter.
  4. The 1 March Enterprise, AL tornado.
  5. The 28 March high plains tornado outbreak.
  6. The 4 May Greensburg, KS tornado.
  7. The April-June Georgia-Florida drought and fires.
  8. The May-June-July heavy rains in plains.
  9. The Summer heat/drought/fires in the western US.
  10. The October 21-25 California fires.

---Scott Rentschler.



Winter news.---Brian Hulse.



December Meeting Minutes:

Dr. John Scala, both a television and private consultant meteorologist, spoke to PSUBAMS about his current research project involving a case study of the December 1st, 2006 tornado outbreak in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Scala is working closely with the National Weather Service (NWS) in State College, PA in order to analyze the rare outbreak that occurred.  Dr. Scala initially discussed the atmospheric conditions that created an abnormally strong frontal system in early December.  He highlighted the tightly packed temperature and moisture gradients which provided much of the fuel for such a vicious storm.  In addition to the large number of severe weather reports, there were three tornadoes observed in Pennsylvania on December 1st.  For the month of December, the F1 tornado in Greensburg, Pennsylvania was the first ever tornado in the state; the F1 tornado in Halifax was the first fatal tornado in the state; and the F2 tornado in Fairview Heights was the first F2 tornado in the state in recorded history.

 Dr. Scala specifically focused on the tornado in Halifax, PA.  The duration and exact path of this tornado are currently unknown; however, Dr. Scala and the NWS are using site evidence to determine the direction and length.  Dr. Scala presented PSUBAMS members with various post storm photographs and maps of the affected area. The map in Figure 1 shows the wind damage near Halifax due to both the tornado and downbursts. Figure 2 is a photograph that highlights the path of the tornado in Halifax based on home and tree damage.  By reviewing the evidence found in and near Halifax, a more concrete analysis of the tornado could be formulated.  Dr. Scala was an inspirational speaker for all members and his enthusiasm for this research was immediately bestowed upon all in attendance.

After the presentation with Dr. Scala, PSUBAMS held a meeting for all those attending the 87th annual AMS Annual Meeting in New Orleans.  PSUBAMS, in cooperation with the Penn State Department of Meteorology, Campus Weather Service, and the University Park Allocation Committee was able to fully pay for 19 Penn State meteorology students to attend the 2008 event.  We anxiously await the opportunities that will arise during the Conference.  The fall semester proved to be one of success for PSUBAMS and we hope to continue this success next semester.---Maria Zatko.   


Figure 1.  The tornado path is represented by the pink line and downburst damage is represented by the green outline.  Halifax is about 14 miles SSE of Harrisburg, PA.



Figure 2. A schematic showing the tornado path and damage swath over Halifax, PA



Executive Board Meeting

Date: December 4, 2007

Minutes: 5:00-5:15pm

Board Members in Attendance: Melissa P, Heather D, Katie P, Norm S, Jeff V, Andy D, Josh F, Lindsay V, John S

Other Members in Attendance: Matt B


              A letter regarding the NESC has been received from Lyndon State. The paperwork will be filled out as soon as possible.

            The winners of the Snowfall Contest (Bill Leatham and Justin L’Italien) will be notified and given their prizes. Congratulations to both of them!

            The professors’ opinions will be sought out in regards to judging the Photo Contest submissions.

            The next All Members Meeting will be held Thursday, December 13th at 7pm with an executive board meeting at 6:30pm. Pizza and soda will be served. Heather will post signs for this event and Melissa will send out a reminder email. The main focus of the meeting will be distribution of the long-sleeve t-shirts.

            Norm will be picking up the softball and long-sleeve t-shirt order from Laconia this weekend.

            The WSI trip was a huge success. About ten members were able to tour the facilities and get a closer look at the work environment of the weekend weather crew.

            The AMS Newsletter will be complete by next week with the final inclusion of the President’s Message. All events that have occurred during this semester will be included, with the exception of the WSI trip.

            Finally, the Alumni Grant application is due by this Friday, December 7th.


All Members Meeting

Date: December 13, 2007

Minutes: 7:00-7:30pm

Board Members in Attendance: Melissa P, Heather D, Katie P, Norm S, Jeff V, Josh F, Lindsay V, John S, Andy D

Total: 30


            The AMS long-sleeve t-shirts were distributed and/or sold at the beginning of the meeting.

            Katie P displayed the winning pictures of the Photo Contest to all members.

            The AMS Newsletter created by Katie P was handed out to all members.

            Jeff V reminded members to pay their dues as soon as possible.

            Heather gave a brief overview of the Northeastern Storm Conference (NESC) hosted by Lyndon State College every year. The executive board took an approximate head count for attendance at the conference. This year NESC will be held in Springfield, MA from March 14th through 16th of 2008. Approximately 20 members expressed interest in attending.

            A date for the yearbook picture will be determined in the near future and members will be notified.

            Chris Smith presented some fundraising ideas which included a golf tournament, poker tournament, or Guitar Hero tournament as fundraisers.---Heather Dinon.



Meeting Minutes

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The meeting was called to order by chapter president Phillip Marzette at 5:34 pm PST.

Map discussion:  Chapter member Matt Young led the evening’s map discussion.

Evening’s program:

President Marzette introduced the subject for the evening’s program.  The chapter was to discuss the education program in the atmospheric sciences and how it affected the field of atmospheric science and also its students.


There was a lively discussion with many chapter members voicing their impressions and concerns about the field of atmospheric science.  There was a general consensus that those of us currently in the field need to encourage high school and college students to, not only consider pursuing one of the many areas of atmospheric science, but to also increase their knowledge of math and science.  Many members expressed interest in performing outreach into the community in order to encourage young people to study math and science in general, and atmospheric science in particular.

Officer reports:  There were no officer reports this meeting.

Committee reports:

Brian O’Hara (of the weather calendar committee) reported that the 2008 weather calendar sales continue to go well.  Borders Bookstore, Sundance Bookstore, and the UNR Bookstore are selling our calendars.  Brian placed an advertisement for the calendars in the Reno Gazette-Journal newspaper.  The advertisement will run 10 times during the month of December.

Continuing business:

Brian Billings reported that the Fantasy Weather League is going strong with six people participating.  Brian has placed a link to the Fantasy Weather League on the chapter’s webpage.

New business:  Chapter member Shar Samy discussed some of the outreach that scientists at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno have participated in during the recent past.  He mentioned the “science boxes” that DRI scientists have created.  These boxes contain items that students can use to perform scientific experiments.  Shar said that the student AMS chapter could create something similar that would help elementary and high school students perform experiments and learn about meteorology.  Shar said that he will keep the chapter posted on outreach efforts that he is making with local schools.  He also encouraged chapter members to consider helping to create “weather boxes” for use in outreach, and to help in giving presentations to local schools.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:02 pm PST.---Brian O’Hara.



School is on the holiday break, and as such OSSCAMS has suspended it’s biweekly meetings until we return.  Here are the minutes for our December meeting. 

First on the agenda our president talked about cooperative efforts between OSSCAMS and the Biology club for an event on Earth Day.  Next We discussed the importance and benefits of becoming an AMS student member, and encouraged those who had not yet done so to become one.  Our vice president then talked about guest speakers that will becoming to meetings next semester. 

Being close to finals OSSCAMS officers (headed by our treasurer) were holding Meteorology 210 review sessions for the freshman in the department.  Our treasurer also gave the good news that OSSCAMS was going to get tier three club status (the highest status a club can attain) meaning OSSCAMS will have a much larger budget next year. 

We then discussed our fund-raisers for next semester, these included the Fajita Grill fund-raiser, and our club T-shirts.

Our Public Relations officer discussed our current involvement with the North Rose-Wolcott Highschool meteorology club, and brought up the idea of visiting them next semester and doing joint club activities.

The winner of our fall semester snowfall contest was announced, and the rules for the spring semester snowfall contest were explained.  We had one of our members talk about an Internship in sterling Virginia, members were encouraged to apply and ask questions.  Lastly we held a brief forecast discussion as there were conditions present for a significant on campus Lake Effect Event.  Then we wished all members good luck on finals, and a safe and fun holiday break.---Ted Letcher.



The December meeting, held at the KSTP studios, was a huge success.  Approximately 25 people attended the meeting that was hosted by KSTP meteorologists Dave Dahl and Rob Koch.  The meeting began a little before 6:30 pm, and attendees were first moved to the studio and allowed to watch the creation of the 6:30 pm newscast, as well as the filming of a couple of weather teasers set to air between 7 pm and the 10 pm newscast that evening.  A tour of the studios then ensued, featuring tour guide, Rob Koch, including the production booth, the graphic design studio, and the weather studio itself.  Unfortunately, we were unable to access the radio studios also contained in the building, but we were able to walk by and peer into the windows.  One interesting “did you know” learned from the tour is that the KSTP studios straddle the city limit boundary between Minneapolis and St. Paul, something that was done purposely so as not to show favoritism toward either one of the cities.  Following the tour, everyone gathered in the studio once again, where Dave and Rob showcased a couple of their favorite storm chases before answering a bevy of questions.  The meeting wrapped up around 8:30 pm.  Thanks to Dave and Rob, our wonderful hosts, for a very fun and informative look at life as a KSTP meteorologist!---Karen Trammell.



Meeting Minutes:

5 December, 2007:  15 people were in attendance.  The meeting began with a photo slide show.  First, we re-capped events that took place throughout the fall semester.  Discussion then moved towards items under consideration for spring semester 2008. Some of these activties include: Bowling—Every Wednesday @ 7 pm, Potluck Movie Night, Sporting Events such as the Avalanche, Nuggets, UNC Hockey games, and a Poker Night.  We discussed plans for possible visiting speakers, including Steve Rutledge (CSU) and Mike Nelson (Denver News 7).  New emphasis was placed on attending the National Storm Chaser Convention in Denver.  We went over T-shirt designs and how they are to be purchased.   Chapter members elected Sean Rocheford as the chapter’s next Secretary, after the position was vacated by graduating senior Amy Dreiling. Travel plans were finalized for student’s preparing to attend the AMS Annual Meeting.  Results of the fall-semester “Guess-casting” contest were announced. Dr. Nesse was the champion after guessing that 0.27 inches of precipitation would occur during the month of November, whereas 0.24 inches was observed.  The meeting adjourned at 6:23pm.---Paul Nutter.



The University of South Alabama AMS chapter participated in the following activities in Dec:  

- Canned food drive for Waterfront Rescue Missions. Turned in 70 cans on Dec 10th

- Holiday break Dec 12th- Jan 6th---Miranda Hayes.



Weather Stations

Examining the weather station at University Village (a retirement home) in Tampa, FL was the topic of discussion for the December 2007 meeting of the West Central Florida chapter of the AMS. Roy Leep, who was the presenter at this meeting (resident of University Village and retired FOX 13 Meteorologist) explained the set up, instrumentation and communication of the weather station at University Village. Leep, who requested that his weather station be put in on his arrival as a resident five years ago (and who additionally negotiated maintenance assistance and office space) has the MKIII weather station operated from RainWise Inc which broadcasts up to 400 ft (The latest model, the MKIII-LR, broadcasts to a range of 1 mile). It is attached on the roof approximately 100 ft high. The rain gauge is attached to the support. The data from his weather station is downloaded every five seconds to receivers. He has two PC’s that are dedicated to receive data. Both computers receive data, prepare local graphics and upload the data to the server in Kansas City. This data is then transmitted back to University Village. The software on the computers consists of Weatherview 32 and Ambient which manipulates the data and produces a variety of graphics. In addition, Leep has a web cam with a beautiful view of the lake and also pointing towards University Mall. Leep has nine monitors in his office which show the past track of the weather parameters being displayed.

The weather station continues to transmit if there is a power outage as it runs on solar power and the PC interface would hold a certain amount of data. Leep notes however that lightening is a hazard with these instruments. He advises to get extended warranties as there is a good chance that they will be used. Lightening especially causes electrical surges which gives spikes in the wind speed data. Leep noted that at the end of each month, he sends out an edited review of the weather in the monthly University Village paper called the Village Voice. He noted a need for this editing especially during thunderstorms when the wind speed data spikes.

This weather station plays a role in the community of University Village where people in the 36 acre campus who have access to cable can view the weather and also there are monitors showing the weather displayed through a 20 minute slide show in the common areas. In addition, the weather station plays a role in the local community where residents of Tampa and the surrounding areas can tune in to Channel 95.

Leep’s presentation can be viewed on the chapter’s website at
Current local weather conditions (tabular and graphic conditions updated every 5 minutes) can be viewed at For detailed weather conditions (a breakout of all the weather sensors and their readings updated every 5 minutes) go to To view near real time weather station information and archived data (updated every 2 seconds) go to

To see the conditions recorded on University Village’s web cam, go to Roy Leep can be contacted at

Figure 1: Presenter, Roy Leep, gives tours of his office and shows the graphics on the computers to AMS members (JoAnn Sullivan, Kortnie Pugh, Alica Williams and Troy Benson)---Jennifer M. Collins.





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Phone: 617-227-2425; Fax: 617-742-8718