Chapter News
February 2006


The first Chapter meeting of the spring season was held on February 21st. The meeting convened at 700 PM at the National Weather Service (NWS) office in North Little Rock with 13 members and guests present.

Chapter President Chris Buonanno conducted a short business meeting.

The program for the evening was a presentation by Joe Goudsward, Senior Forecaster and Incident Meteorologist (IMET) for the NWS at Little Rock. The presentation covered the National Weather Service's Fire Weather Program. Topics covered included national fire statistics, the benefits of prescribed burning and the wildland - urban interface. Focus then shifted to the local NWS fire weather program and the services that are provided by the Little Rock NWS office which includes fire weather forecasts, spot forecasts and IMET support. The role of the IMET and his specific duties and equipment were also discussed at length. Joe is routinely detailed to wildfire sites across the country during the wildfire season. He recently traveled to Texas to provide IMET support to the state during a large outbreak of wildfires.

During and after the presentation, the group participated in a question and answer session.

The meeting was adjourned at 830 PM.---Newton Skiles.


David Stettner and Howard Berger, from the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) University of Wisconsin’s (Madison) Tropical Cyclone Research Team, presented "Satellites, Tropical Cyclones and The 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season" to the Chicago chapter in February.

Stettner started the presentation with a link to the CIMSS web site,, visited by many tropical weather professionals. He goes on to show the various stages of Hurricane Katrina on infra-red satellite imagery and explains how satellites are used in tracking hurricanes. Vectors are derived from satellite imagery by tracking tracers (clouds or water vapor) through successive images to analyze tropical cyclones. He then talked about the various questions meteorologists want to know in forecasting tropical cyclones and shows satellite derived products to help track these storms. Stettner discussed tropical cyclone intensity estimation using the Advanced Objective Dvorak Technique (AODT) which involves pattern recognition using satellite derived products. Satellite derived steering current imagery from Hurricane Wilma was shown as an example of direction and speed detection of these systems. The early interaction with the Saharan air layer satellite product was shown which is the shortwave and longwave infra-red band difference off the coast of Africa. Stettner concluded his portion of the presentation by proudly pointing out the mention of UW-CIMSS in the National Hurricane Center tropical depression Zeta discussion from January 6, 2006.

Berger began his presentation with tropical cyclone research and field campaigns of (CIMSS). Hurricane Wilma’s concentric eye wall and consequent secondary eye wall formation was shown and discussed. Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) was a NASA study with CIMSS in which five minute rapid scans were shown of Hurricane Emily and how critical movement of this storm was observed using this product. Berger then goes on to discuss global climate change and tropical cyclones. He notes that sea surface temperatures are warmer than they were fifty years ago and implications of stronger and more numerous cyclones are possible but climate model studies have been ambiguous. Berger then looks into the demographics of Florida and surmises that there is a positive relationship between the number of hurricanes and the population of Florida. However, he states, that the impact of growing wealth and population in coastal areas are more of a factor than human induced behavior in global climate change. Berger concludes the presentation saying that high surface sea temperatures and low shear were mainly responsible for the active 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season.

Preceding the main presentation, meteorologist Mark Russo from Chesapeake Energy showed amazing Hurricane Katrina storm surge video footage from Kennard Jackley, a resident of Slidell, LA.---Raymond Waldman.


February 9, 2006

Pay your dues!!
It's the beginning of a new semester, and a good time to pay your dues! Dues are $15 for the year, $8 for a semester ($7 for freshmen). Freshmen who would like to be in the club are required to pay dues this semester. Give your dues to Pat or leave them with your name on them in the CCAMS envelope in 1125. There are lots of events planned this semester that will be free or reduced in price for dues paying members.

Major Requirements
Over the past few years, there have been numerous changes to the courses needed to graduate with a major in atmospheric science. If you have any questions at all about what requirements you need to fill in order to graduate or what courses you need to be taking, please talk to your advisor or to Wysocki to make sure you are on the right track.

Northeast Storms Conference
The Northeast Storms Conference is an annual student conference organized by Lyndon State College. Unlike the AMS conference, the majority of presentations are by students, meaning that most of the presentations can easily be understood even by freshmen. The registration deadline to attend this year's conference (March 10-12 in Saratoga Springs, NY) was this weekend, so anyone who was interested in going should have already submitted the necessary information to Owen. If you have already committed to attending this conference and have any further questions, please contact Owen (ohs3).

Alumni Weekend
It's spring semester, which means it's time to start thinking about Alumni Weekend. For those who don't know, Alumni Weekend is an annual event generally held in late April during which we invite atmospheric science alumni back to campus. The weekend features a Friday evening reception for alumni, faculty, and students in Bradfield, a Saturday morning panel discussion about different career options from the returning alumni, and a Saturday afternoon barbeque. We are going to need lots of help in order to make the weekend run smoothly. There will be a separate Alumni Weekend planning meeting coming up in the next few weeks where we will discuss putting together the mailings, reserving rooms, getting food, and general coordination of the entire weekend, so watch your email.

Weatherphone has started for the semester. Check the back door in 1102 for a list of forecasters and their afternoon forecast times, and come to weatherphone!

Forecast Discussion
An idea that has been discussed for years but never put into practice is to have a forecast discussion once a week involving both faculty and students. Since it has been next to impossible to find a time that would make everyone happy, we are now looking into creating either a forecast discussion listserve or message boards in association with the CCAMS website. The idea is that weatherphone forecasters, in addition to writing the public synopsis that is included with the weatherphone email, would also write a more detailed discussion that would be sent to a separate list. This list would primarily consist of students, but we hope faculty will join it as well, giving everyone a forum to discuss their take on the weather.

Social Events
Keeping with tradition, check your email for the date and time of a CCAMS bowling night at Helen Newman sometime during the next two weeks. It will likely be either a Wednesday or Thursday night. As an incentive to pay your dues, bowling will be free for all dues paying members. Give your dues to Pat, leave them in the folder in 1125, or bring them to bowling, and bowl for free!

Relay for Life
Relay for Life is an event organized by the American Cancer Society to both raise awareness about cancer and raise money for ongoing cancer research. We would again like to put together a team for the Cornell University/Ithaca College Relay for Life, which will be held overnight April 1-2 in Barton Hall. If you are interested in participating, or want more details about what this all entails, talk to Gretchen (gtg5).

Finally, Steve Lyons of the Weather Channel will be visiting Cornell February 21-23. A variety of seminars and other opportunities to meet with him are planned, and more information will be coming soon. If you are interested in the Teach to Reach program, which provides additional instruction for under served students in the Ithaca area, contact Kim (kbc6). Also, we're hoping to have an issue of Ithacation published soon. If you have anything to contribute (pictures, stories, weather experiences, etc) please email them to Dan Bader (dab82) or Dan Zarrow (daz8).---Faye Barthold.


DC-AMS Minutes
Monday, February 27, 2006

The DC-AMS meeting began at 11:30 AM. Attendees socialized and enjoyed a light lunch. At 12:20 PM Vice Chairperson Bryon Lawrence started the brief Chapter business meeting by announcing the need for more volunteers to help judge the local and regional middle and high school science fairs. He encouraged the meeting attendees to check the DC-AMS website for the science fair schedule and to contact Nancy Lee, the DC-AMS Representative-at-Large, to sign up. Mr. Lawrence then announced the upcoming meeting at the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) on the evening of Wednesday, March 8. This meeting would feature a viewing of Saturn and the moon through the observatory's 12 and 26 inch refractor telescopes. It would also offer a tour of the Time Services building which is the home of several atomic clocks. Lastly, Mr. Lawrence announced that the DC-AMS has T-Shirts and mugs for sale and that soon membership renewals and DC merchandise could be purchased directly from the DC-AMS website.

Chairperson Jason Samenow reiterated the need for volunteers to help judge science fairs. He then discussed the chapter's involvement in the upcoming Washington Academy of Sciences (WAS) symposium. Following this, Mr. Samenow introduced the guest speaker, NOAA Administrator, Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.).

Vice Admiral Lautenbacher posed the question of why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a good idea. He stated that the Earth is a very complex system. The ocean and the atmosphere are closely coupled, each greatly influencing the other. NOAA has the facilities and talented staff to study the atmosphere, the ocean and climate. It produces weather forecasts, monitors changes in the ocean such as El Nino and produces climate outlooks. Each has potential impact on the United States and Global Economies. NOAA plays a key role in monitoring the state of the oceans and the atmosphere and in producing forecasts/outlooks for use by the public and policy makers.

To study this complex system, the United States and the International Community have launched the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) as a vehicle to provide integrated observation and data management. The goal of GEOSS is to increase the understanding of the Earth and how it works. An intergovernmental group has been formed with over 60 member nations to focus on the challenges facing the global environment and to share observations and scientific data that will benefit humanity. The first session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-1) was held in May 2005 in Geneva. A 10-year implementation plan has been drafted to guide the work of GEO. The United States Group on Earth Observations (USGEO) is focusing on several near term opportunities. These include understanding the effects of the environment on human health and well-being, reducing the loss of life and property from disasters, improving weather forecasts, managing energy resources, protecting water resources, understanding climate change, supporting sustainable agriculture and forestry, and protecting the world's oceans.

Vice Admiral Lautenbacher stated that response to Hurricane Katrina represented a "one NOAA response". Combined efforts from several NOAA agencies resulted in weather forecasts, wetland assessments, aerial assessments, NOAA NRTs surveyed waterways and hazmat teams responded to oil/chemical spills. In addition to this, NOAA was involved in water quality sampling and taking biological samples to ensure the safety of fish along the Gulf of Mexico Coast. Vice Admiral Lautenbacher lauded the efforts of the forecasters at the Hurricane Center, the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center (LMRFC) and the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices both for producing timely and accurate forecasts and for interacting well with the media to convey the grave dangers the hurricane posed.

Vice Admiral Lautenbacher discussed science in the media. He said that NOAA does not promote policies which attempt to squelch science and free thinking. He stated that NOAA does have a press policy the purpose of which is to provide protection for the scientist and to ensure the media are speaking with the right experts. Scientists are not discouraged from discussing their views and ideas. However, when NOAA scientists speak on behalf of NOAA and its stand on scientific issues, the scientists are expected to abide with the NOAA press policy. This allows NOAA to take a uniform stand on environmental issues. According to Vice Admiral Lautenbacher, the real issue is internal feuding between the meteorologists, climatologists and physicists within NOAA on issues such as the link between global warming and stronger hurricanes. This feuding does not help NOAA's cause. More tolerance of ideas between these groups will benefit NOAA's mission and allow it to take a more unified stand on environmental issues.

In order to keep up with rapidly changing technology and to remain an important and useful agency, NOAA's National Weather Service has developed Tiger Teams. There is an IT team, a concept of operations prototype team and an aviation demonstration team. These teams are working in a time when Federal Budget cuts to agencies such as the FAA are causing NOAA to reevaluate the way in which it provides aviation forecasts and water resources management. NOAA is continuing to invest in education, including ocean literacy, atmospheric literacy, environmental literacy grants, and the Ernest F Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship program. Education is a key tool in ensuring that people understand earth's systems and make educated decisions in how they interact with their environment.

References O'Connor.


February 22nd:

Theme: "Houston......We Are Sinking......." Unfortunately, our speaker never sent us his notes from this late winter talk. I was unable to attend, so I have included his "statement" below. As I understand, it was an engaging talk & very interesting.....yet refreshing as it wasn't centered on a meteorological topic.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to present our Subsidence Update to your group. I will try to keep it short to allow as much time for questions as you like. My colleagues, Tom Mitchell and Jace Houston, may help answer some of the more difficult questions. The best approach seems in giving you a brief history of subsidence in the Houston and Galveston areas while providing some history of the districts that were created to deal with subsidence prevention. While regulations are what we do, there are some other efforts that include the measurement of the change in elevation that provides very useful information to the overall community. Likewise, our efforts are involved in ensuring water is there for our growing region; meeting water consumption demands as well as teaching and pushing the philosophy of water conservation. It is our goal to pursue these varying parts of our mission in a fair and equitable manner.”– Ron Neighbors.

Minutes for February 7, 2006

Cy's Eyes

NCWFC Intramurals Spring Break Trip Advanced Spotter Training NWS Visit Treasurer's Update Weathernews Forecast Contest Minnesota Trip KaleidoQuiz AMS Exercise Group Historian Notes 10th Annual Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference Severe Weather Talks Upcoming Events FINAL TWO MEETING DATES!

Tuesday, March 21 @ 5:00 p.m. (Pizza at 4:45 p.m.) - OFFICER NOMINATIONS
Thursday, April 20 @ 7:00 p.m. - OFFICER ELECTIONS---Justin Gehrts.


Start time: 7:01PM

Sean Andrew Ryan Brian Jim End time: 7:38:PM---Jon Cunningham.


Throughout the month of February the Millersville University local chapter caught up on organizing the Northeast storms conference trip that will be taking place the second week in March. During the meeting on February 8th the officers held nominations for next year's office. We were discussing updates to the constitution February 8th. During the meeting held on February 15th the officers and Dr. Clark, the chair of the local chapter, started a mandatory meeting to propose changes to the AMS constitution. There were refreshing changes made to the constitution that will carry on year to year. Just to name a few: five dollar dues were agreed upon instead of past four dollars, the new officer position of Webmaster and his/her duties, and that all elected officers become national members of the AMS. During this meeting we also had a guest speaker come and talk about Air Quality. Michael Ridgeway came to the meeting to discuss Air Quality and its part in the community. He is looking for partners to help create a power point presentation for middle school teacher to present air quality information to their students interested in science. He needs experts to put this presentation together and we are joining forces with him and his team to make this work for the community. The Millersville Local Chapter is also involved in a mentor program. As an activity with this program the officers have signed 30 mentors/mentees on an intramural softball team for Millersville. This is a great activity to involve everyone in the program.---Jodie Frazee.


The North Florida Chapter held its 3rd Annual Chapter Banquet at 7pm on February 17, 2006 at Chez Pierre restaurant in downtown Tallahassee, FL. Approximately thirty-five chapter members were in attendance for the banquet, doubling as the chapter’s February meeting.

This year’s featured speaker was Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Sir Francis Eppes Professor in the Dept. of Chemistry at Florida State University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1996 for his work on “buckyballs,” chains of 60 atom carbon clusters. The title of his talk was “Architectures in Nanospace,” a look into the background of his work along with some of the societal outreach efforts he spearheads locally and in the United Kingdom. More information on his works can be found at his personal website at

During dinner and before Sir Kroto’s talk, President Pat Taylor and Vice President Geoff Wagner unveiled the recently received banner from the national AMS recognizing the North Florida Chapter as the AMS’ 2004-2005 Local Chapter of the Year. Over fifty chapter members were in attendance at the 86th Annual AMS Meeting in Atlanta, GA, with five in attendance at the Local Chapter Breakfast on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 to receive the Chapter of the Year award. In the coming months, chapter efforts will be continued to develop educational outreach programs in the Tallahassee community as well as professional development and social activities for our members.

The banquet was concluded at approximately 9:30pm. The next chapter meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 23rd, 2006 at 7:30pm in Rm. 353 of the Love Building on FSU’s campus. The speaker will be announced at a later date.---Clark Evans.


Tuesday February 6, 2006

---Christy Wall.


February Meeting Minutes---Evan Kuchera.


Spring 2006 Newsletter---Peg Zenko.

Meeting Minutes-February 16,2006

Kevin Wondra, an Operations Consultant for Wisconsin Public Service, delivered a talk titled "Weather Impact on Energy Load Management and Production". The session was held at the UWGB campus. The following is a summary of the presentation:

Weather affects every aspect of the electrical utility business. Electrical utility companies schedule maintenance on generators during low-demand periods, i.e., spring and fall, and never in the summer. It is cheaper to generate electricity when temperatures are cooler. Wet coal limits the amount of electricity produced from a unit quantity of coal. No sales taxes are charged to customers during the coldest months of winter. The companies' public affairs divisions share energy saving tips with its customers. Regulations prohibit disconnection of utility service to customers during the winter. Power transmission lines have greater capacity to carry electricity when cold. Fuel procurement costs, including natural gas prices, change with demand and the long term weather or climate forecasts. In fact, Hurricane Katrina caused natural gas prices to rise because of the disruption of supply.

The electrical utility business is regulated by the State of Wisconsin, which serves as competition to the business, whereby there is an annual negotiation to determine or forecast the average rate (price) for services during the ensuing year. However, wholesale prices for electricity are volatile, potentially changing every five minutes as set by supply and demand. The price may change by as much as 100%. High demand months increase company revenues, while low demand months tend to decrease revenues. The State of Wisconsin also requires electrical utilities to maintain 118% capacity to meet peak demand.

Weather conditions cause the load on the electrical grid to fluctuate. Extreme or unseasonable weather can cause load to increase to the point where there is a great strain on the system. These events are more troublesome on the electricity markets than on other commodity markets for two reasons. First, unlike other commodities, electricity cannot be stored. This means there must be electrical generation to supply the load at all times. Generators must be built to serve the load even if they are only used during the most extreme weather events, sometimes only a few hours a year. Second, since end users of electricity usually face an average annual electric rate rather than the actual wholesale rate at time of strain on the system, they have no incentive to reduce consumption during these times. High demand forces higher cost generators to be activated and higher cost fuels to be used.

Many trends can be seen in electrical usage through the year. Hot weather causes a dramatic jump in demand, more than cold weather does. In fact, a one degree change in temperature upward in the summer can cause a seven fold increase in demand! Cold weather demand is relatively flat, but warm weather demand has many spikes. Higher demand is also observed during the winter holiday period. Cloudy days exhibit more demand than sunny days. Daily peak demand periods vary seasonally through the year.

Programs are being introduced across the country to give an economic incentive to customers that are willing to reduce their electrical use during extreme demand periods. Customer's bills are reduced, while the reliability of the electrical system is improved.

In local chapter business, look for more information soon on our next session, scheduled for March 28th at 7PM.---Dale J. Walker.


Meeting Minutes
Thursday, February 9, 2006

Meeting was called to order by Brian F. O'Hara at 5:30 pm PST.

Brian O'Hara introduced Dr. Melanie Wetzel, student chapter faculty advisor, who welcomed those in attendance.

Brian O'Hara gave a presentation discussing why many undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and professional meteorologists and climatologists in the Reno area wanted to start a student chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He discussed the many opportunities that students and other members would have for education, professional development, networking, and leadership development

Attendees then discussed possible activities and field trips the chapter could be involved in the future. These included:
Trips to: One project that was suggested was for the chapter to collect cloud photos and other photos of atmospheric phenomena.

Elections were held for chapter officers. Elected were Brian O'Hara (president), Phillip Marzette (vice president), Serena Chew (secretary), and Lance Soule (treasurer). Brian Billings was elected as chapter web administrator. Adam Kochanski volunteered to assist in web duties if needed.

A Constitution Committee was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws for the student chapter. This constitution is required by AMS Headquarters for all chapters. Attendees who volunteered to be on the Constitution Committee were Anna Fast, Julide Koracin, Subhashree Mishra, Brian O'Hara, Lupita Paredes, and Lance Soule. It was hoped that the committee would be able to have a draft constitution to present to the chapter members at the next meeting on Thursday, March 9th. The draft constitution could then be discussed. Chapter members could propose changes to the draft. A final draft could eventually be approved by a majority of the members, and then sent to AMS Headquarters as the chapter's constitution and by-laws.

The chapter voted to fix annual individual dues at $10.00.

The chapter voted to have monthly meetings on the second Thursday of each month during the fall and spring academic semesters (Sept. through Dec., and Feb. through May).

The meeting was adjourned at 7:06 pm PST.---Brian O'Hara.


February Newsletter---Arthur Umland.


TAMSCAMS had a great first meeting of the new semester! After the officer reports, we discussed the many trips and events we have going on this semester. For instance, traveling to NASA for a tour and participating in Aggieland Saturday and Adopt-A-Beach. We also discussed internships in Meteorology for students who are unfamiliar in that area. We heard from the HAM Radio Club and Texas Aggie Storm chasers about upcoming events. We then adjourned upstairs to the 12th floor for pizza and snacks.---Melissa Polt.


The February meting of the Twin Cities American Meteorological Society was held on Tuesday, February 21, 2006, at the Steak and Ale restaurant in Bloomington, Minnesota. Our speaker was Doug Barr of Barr Engineering spoke about global warming versus warming the globe.

Doug said that the term "global warming" was mainly applied to a rise in surface air temperature over the land masses. But the phrase "warming the globe" was applicable more to the earth-atmosphere system.

The source of all heating of Earth is the Sun, and for most purposes, it is constant. The amount of solar energy received by Earth is in the form of shortwave radiation and can be described by the equation ES= r2RS(1- ). Earth gives off radiation according to (long wave) blackbody properties: EE = 4 r2 TE4. The outbound radiation equals the inbound for an Earth with a constant temperature. However, they key is how that energy is spread around the Earth-Atmosphere system. Doug opined that the Earth system seeks a balance, so that ES= EE is always maintained. And since ES is constant, EE must be constant, and therefore, Te is constant.

So if the premise of global warming is a temperature increase near Earth's surface, then it must be cooling somewhere else. Doug suspected that cooling would be in the middle to upper troposphere. This would have the effect of increasing the mean atmospheric lapse rate. Also warmer temperatures would allow more water vapor. These two factors would cause more frequent and more intense storms due to the greater availability of fuel and the greater atmospheric instability.

But what can humans change (if anything)? Referring back to the ES equation, we can't affect albedo much, which depends greatly on clouds, snow and ice, and land use (but this is of negligible relative influence. But Doug had an "a ha!" moment and realized that there is another source of energy.

The burning of fossil fuels is releasing energy which was stored a long time ago. The mining of these fuels is creating heat, the use of these fuels to generate electricity is creating heat, and the use of electricity creates heat to the tune of 1.2 x 1013 W. He calculated this would cause a rise in temperature of 0.006 ºC.

So he remains firm in his hypothesis that energy in equals energy out, and that any increase in temperature of the Earth-atmosphere system is compensated by an increase in longwave radiation, thus cooling the system.

After Doug's presentation, we the business portion of the meeting ensued, and much of it revolved around future events. Doug Dokken and Kurt Scholz would not be available to bring their tornado simulator to the Science days at the Science Museum of Minnesota, and there were no volunteers to fill the voice. But Lisa Schmit, coordinator of the "Meet a Meteorologist" portion of the "The Magic School Bus Kicks up a Storm" exhibit at the Minnesota Children's Museum, said that the March slots were full, but we still needed people for April. Interested people could send an e-mail to

And on that, Chris Bovitz said that we have a new web site: Along with that are a number of new e-mail addresses for the officers and various committees.

Rich Naistat -
Shelby Winiecki -
Chris Bovitz -
Kurt Scholz -
Kevin Huyck - (speaker committee)
Other e-mail addresses are mentioned elsewhere in this report.

Chris also mentioned his desire to reconstruct the chapter's constitution and by-laws, which seem to have evaporated sometime in the last few years. A committee was set up for that, and ideas and suggestions can be sent to

Future meetings were then discussed. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 15 in either Roseville or Stillwater. Kyle Peterson from WineHaven Vineyards will discuss how weather affects the growing of wine grapes. This meeting will be at another restaurant, one which will allow Mr. Peterson to bring in wine for our tasting. Our April meeting will be on Tuesday the 11th at the meteorology department of St. Cloud State University. We will be an audience for students to practice giving their presentations before the college's Science Colloquium the following week. We have scheduled another meeting in April, on Friday the 28th, where we will bring in Tim Samaras. Plans are still fluid, which will solidify soon (we hope). Jonathan Cohen reported on his investigation of having dinner and/or meeting at the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Inver Grove Heights. He will get more information about this, but it looks like we will do this. It will occur at the May meeting.---Chris Bovitz.


February 7, 2006

This was our first meeting of the semester and so we mainly discussed what is to come for the Spring 2006 semester. Events to consider participating in include a trip to Iowa during Spring Break for the 10th Annual Severe Storms and Doppler Radar put on by the Central Iowa Chapter of NWA, Relay For Life, and the Weather Challenge put on by the University of Oklahoma. We also began to discuss Severe Weather Awareness Week at KU. We proposed constructing a booth and handing out information. We are also trying to plan a few social events which may include pizza and a movie while making posters for Severe Weather Awareness Week, going to a SkyWarn storm spotter training session put on the the NWS, or having dinner out. And a bonus to the meeting was hearing about the National AMS Conference in Atlanta which a few of our members were able to attend.


February 2, 2006

SeCAPS: (Southeast Coastal and Atmospheric Processes Symposium) This year's SeCAPS will be held March 31-April 1 in the John Counts Room, which is located on the bottom floor of the Mitchell Center. Intramurals: The meteorology club has an intramural basketball team that is currently playing on Thursday nights at 8:30 p.m. in the Jag gym. We are in desperate need of female players, but anyone is welcome to play. If you would like to play, please meet the team at the gym thirty minutes before the game each Thursday night.

Upcoming Events: AMS Student Conference: Several of our members attended the 5th Annual AMS Student Conference in Atlanta, GA this past weekend. These students spoke to the club about their experiences at the conference and what a great opportunity it was to speak to future employers. They also showed a brief powerpoint presentation consisting of pictures they had taken at the Conference.---Tara Golden.



February 2006
National Weather Service
Ruskin, FL

Our 2nd convergence of the season was held at the National Weather Service in Ruskin. For this meeting we were treated to a presentation of weather satellites given by meteorologist and Local Chapter Vice Chairman Charlie Paxton.

Charlie began with an informative power-point presentation starting with the basics of weather satellites: the history of the different satellites, the two main types of satellites (geostationary and polar orbiting), and the differences between the two. He went on to explain the different types of imagery (VIS, IR, Water Vapor) and the differences in the wavelengths (for instance, longer IR wavelengths are better for detecting colder temperatures while shorter wavelengths are best for detecting warmer temps).

His presentation was filled with beautiful and interesting images that were informative as well. We saw the different types of enhancements used with various images, and Charlie pointed out their roles in forecasting. Especially interesting to those of us in hurricane prone areas are the IR images that show ocean temperatures. We learned about the loop current in the Gulf of Mexico and this current was very prominent in the satellite images. He showed additional images that indicated deep ocean water temperatures, which is vital to hurricane forecasting.

He then taught us that there are many other uses for satellite images, including detecting fires, dust, (he showed amazing images of African dust crossing the Atlantic ocean) ice floes, volcanoes, and severe weather satellite signatures. Satellite imagery is even used in detecting chlorophyll molecules in vegetation, and Charlie showed examples of all these uses.

He went into detail about TRMM (tropical rainfall measuring mission). He explained how microwave, VIS and IR channels all combine to provide excellent hurricane data, again vital to forecasters. Charlie showed amazing images of Hurricane Rita and how the data can be used to make 3-D images of these spectacular storms.

We also learned about QuickScat, the NASA polar orbiting satellite. These scans provide vital information on rainfall rates and wind data. An especially interesting part of the presentation was the deadly 2004 tsunami images taken with Quickscat. We learned that scientists were able to detect wave heights during the tsunami from these invaluable images.

Charlie, as always, used humor throughout his presentation. He had little 'intermissions' where he would show interesting films and images, such as storm chasers getting caught in a hailstorm (and the ensuing chaos!). At one point, on a satellite image of ice floes, he had a little hockey player skating around! This was especially amusing to the hockey fans in the audience. It was an informative and very interesting (as well as entertaining) presentation.

After Charlie's presentation, the members were treated to a brief tour of the operations center of the NWS. The on-staff meteorologists and technicians took their time explaining their jobs and the AMS members were able to ask questions. We even got to see one of the deflated NWS weather balloons that are launched twice a day from that facility.

Andy Johnson conducted a brief business meeting to start the evening off. He showed us the poster he created for the AMS Annual Meeting upcoming in Atlanta. The poster included photos of various meetings and beautiful scenes from our local area. Various upcoming meetings and our annual banquet were discussed as well.---Andy Johnson.


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