Chapter News
February 2013


February 25th, 2013 Meeting Minutes

The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 1st meeting of 2013 on Monday, February 25th at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, LA.  This meeting began at 6:50 pm shortly after a fish and shrimp dinner was served, with twenty-two members present.

The meeting began with Chapter President Jason Hansford offering an introduction to several new members from the Barksdale Air Force Base 26th Operational Weather Squadron (OWS) and Operational Support Squadron (OSS).  Following his introductory remarks, Hansford also conducted the 2013 Chapter Officer elections, in which Leslie Sexton was voted to remain as Treasurer, while Bryan Walter and Jason Hansford maintained their positions as Vice President and President, respectively. Alex Sigler was voted as the new Chapter Secretary, which had been vacant since 2011.

President Jason Hansford gave a presentation entitled “2012-13 Drought and the Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Outlook for the Ark-La-Tex Region”. This study compared the drought status from late summer of 2012 through the present time, with the ongoing wintertime rains having improved drought conditions over much of the area. However, his analysis indicated that more rain will be needed across extreme Northeast Texas, Southeast Oklahoma, and Southwest Arkansas to completely eliminate drought conditions over those areas. Hansford added that neutral ENSO conditions in the Equatorial Pacific is expected to persist through this spring and possibly the summer, with ten previously neutral years (going back to 1950) indicating below or much below normal rainfall for much of the region for the year. This analysis coincides with CPC’s springtime temperature and precipitation outlook, as well as the spring Drought Outlook, which maintains drought conditions over the northwest third of the Ark-La-Tex. After the presentation, Hansford solicited members for ideas for future chapter meetings to be held this spring and summer.

The following members were present:

Jason Hansford, President                       Christopher O’Brian                   Michael Bui

Bryan Walter, Vice-President                   Matthew Stanley                         Mario Valverde

Leslie Sexton, Treasurer                           Amanda Nelson                         

Alex Riley, Secretary                                 Ryan Tharp

Anthony Dawson                                       Andrew Livecchi

Brian Kabat                                               Kelly Spencer

Ken Falk                                                    Robyn Harris

Matt Hemingway                                        Ryan Harris

John Mussey                                             Billy Andrews                                       

David Bonnette                                         John Beck

The meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.---Jason Hansford.  



February 5th, 2013 – 8:00 pm

136 McBryde Hall - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA

Meeting called to order at: 8:00 pm


President, Amanda Weigel


Meeting adjourned at: 9:00 pm

Members in Attendance: 26---Hans VanBenschoten



Meeting Date: February 5, 2013

Attendance: Kim Andre, Ahmad Bajjey, Stephanie Bonney, Bryan Burlinyame, Matthew Convis, Greg Cornwell, Lauren Duggan, Dean Eisenmann, Katie Flynn, Faith Fredrickson, Mike Gasiecki, Steven Hall, Blake Hansen, Kimberly Hartmus, Jade Johnson, L.B. LaForce, Shaye Lenze, Ryan Purdy, Adam Solarczyk, Claire Smith, Erica Smith, Tim Thielke, Mike Wagner, Emily Wahls, Don Wight, Peter Woolcox, Dan Zbozien

Start Time: 9:00pm

President Reports:

Contribute to the Chris Snider Benefit also to send a card to Chris Snider

End Time: 9:45pm---
Rebecca Rogers.



During February, in addition to our monthly meeting (summary below), our outreach officers were hard at work. Kevin Shaw, our science fair coordinator, ensured that we would have judges covered for all of the upcoming science fairs in March. Katy Shontz, our outreach event coordinator, organized two outreach events that are set to take place in April. We also had a social event on February 28th to give our more social members a chance to network with other members. Finally, we have been working with the UMD AMS chapter to plan the annual DC-AMS banquet, which will be held on the UMD campus this year.

Notes from our Feb Meeting:

On Saturday, February 9, the DC-AMS chapter collaborated with NOAA and the metropolitan Washington DC weather community presented "Extreme Weather: DC Edition."  WJLA-TV morning meteorologist Jacqui Jeras moderated a panel that included:

The main topic of discussion was the June 29, 2012 derecho that marked the beginning of an extremely hot and humid weather in the Washington DC metro area.  A crowd of about 150 adults and children were engaged in the 90 minute presentation. One of the highlights of the afternoon was the enthusiastic response of an eight-year old boy, who had a perspective on short-term forecasting that was as enlightened as any of the "adults" in the room.  As our moderator Jacqui Jeras pointed out to the youngster, "one day I'm sure you're going to be coming to get my job!"

Winter Newsletter.---Katie Collins Garrett.



The High Plains AMS Chapter held a teleconference, with a webinar, on Monday, February 11th, at 11:30 AM CST.  There were 25 members logged into the teleconference.  President Bill Taylor/North Platte, Neb. welcomed everyone to the phone call, and quickly introduced our guest speaker, Barbara (Barb) Mayes Boustead, a Journeyman Forecaster from the Omaha, Neb. NWS.  Barb’s topic, “Laura’s Long Winter:  Story of the Hard Winter of 1880-81” was both entertaining and educational.   This story began with Barb and others reading a series of books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, made famous from the TV series “Little House on the Prairie.”  Barb and her co-author went back in climatological record books to confirm, or prove wrong, the very dramatic winter storms Mrs. Wilder wrote about.  Digging up reliable weather data from the 1880’s is quite challenging, as data is very limited.  Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote 4 of her 8 books while in De Smet, SD.  Barb was able to verify the weather presented in the “Laura’s Long Winter:  Story of the Hard Winter of 1880-81”.  The winter of 1880-1881 in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Missouri can legitimately be claimed as one of the coldest and wettest winters on record – ever!  A “badness” index, named the AWSSI index, was developed to rank winter storms, and 1880-1881 ranked the worst on record.  One interesting fact Barb and her research partner came across was the mention of a Native American who visited Laura Ingalls, and told her that every 3rd winter would be bad, and every 7th time of a third winter would occur, it would be extremely bad.  This sounds like nice folklore, but the weather records do not support it.  The webinar ended with a few question from our members. 

The business meeting followed the webinar.  Treasurer Scott Bryant, Lead Forecast at Hastings, Neb. NWS, reported our total ledger balance was $5883.70, with $2140.00 in the Jim Johnson Fund.

There were 2 new members added since our last meeting.  Next on the agenda was the election of officers.  All current officers will remain in office.  Our President will be William (Bill) Taylor/North Platte, Neb.; our Vice President will be Jeremy Wesely, Hastings, Neb.; the Treasurer will be Scott Bryant, Hastings, Neb., the Secretary will be Tim Burke, Dodge City, Kan.; and Past President will be Mike Umscheid, Dodge City, Kan.  Congratulations to all officers and thank you for serving this Chapter.  The status of the High Plains Chapter was discussed at length.  Since travel funds have nearly vanished within the NWS, it was thought we need to think hard about turning our annual conference into a virtual, or partially virtual, conference.  Fewer members would have to travel, and thus fewer funds would be spent on traveling.  This year’s conference will not be held, but more intense thought and planning would be devoted to a 2014 conference.  Also, the subject of face to face local chapter meetings was discussed.  We are going to work on this, with possibly one of the late Spring or Summer meetings being held in Norton, KS.  One suggestion brought up was to maybe refund one driver (or so) from each office to drive their POV, reimbursing travel costs from our treasury.

The phone meeting adjourned at 12:55 pm CST.  Our next meeting is tentatively in late March, and could possibly be held in Norton.  Stay tuned.---

William Taylor and Tim Burke.



February Chapter News.---Sean Stelten.



Meeting Minutes for February 28, 2013

I.  Call to Order

The fifth NWA/AMS meeting of the 2012-2013 year took place on Thursday, February 28th at WFO Jackson, MS.  The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm.

II. Roll

The corresponding secretary, Alan Gerard, passed around a sign-in sheet for attendees. 13 people were present.

III. Minutes Approval

Recording Secretary Eric Carpenter summarized minutes from the previous meeting held at WFO Jackson, MS in January.  The minutes were approved.


IV. New Business

A treasury report was given by the treasurer, Jason Brand, at about 7:10 pm.  The treasury had $303 as of 2/28/13.  Joanne Culin, NWA Chapter President, then followed by introducing our guest speaker for the evening, Senior Forecaster Chad Entremont from WFO JAN.  Chad’s primary topic was on the diagnosis of the tornadic debris signature (TDS) in dual-polarization (dual-pol) radar data.  His presentation began with an overview of dual-pol radar principles and a description of the most popular dual-pol products. 

Chad spent a considerable amount of time going over examples of how dual-pol technology can better detect heavy rain, hail, snow, and, of course, TDSs.   But the majority of the presentation focused on dual-pol TDS analyses from three tornado events:  one case in Georgia from last March, and two recent cases in Mississippi, including the devastating Hattiesburg EF-4 tornado.  In each of these events, a TDS was evident, and Chad provided analysis and interpretation of them through the corresponding dual-pol products.   

There was discussion among the group concerning the advantages of having TDS confirmation in severe weather warning operations, particularly in tornado emergency situations.  There was also thoughtful discussion on the debris types that might be more noticeable in the dual-pol CC product.  More information on dual-polarization radar principles and products can be found at:

Following the TDS examples, Chad provided an update on the new warning format that is scheduled to be implemented soon at WFO JAN.  This new style will be easier to read, and it should facilitate faster response by emergency managers, media, and the general public during life-threatening situations.  Chad discussed the reasoning for the changes and gave a thorough description of the new format.  Examples and additional information on the new warning format can be found at:

V. Adjournment

The meeting concluded at approximately 8:57 pm and it was adjourned.---Eric Carpenter.



Our February GBM was held on Wednesday February 6th.  There were 35 members in attendance and the meeting lasted around 50 minutes.  

President Jeb Postle first apologized to the club about if there had been any misunderstanding about the stolen money. We, as a board, did not intend to accuse any member of the club. Jeb also talked about the Northeastern Storm Conference coming up in March. He hoped that as many people that could go would.  He also announced a community service event to work at a soup kitchen with one of our Math Professors on Saturday February 16th. 

Vice President  James Sinko talked about a survey that will be on the website.  It will be for evaluations for board members to give us new ideas and better serve the club.  He also said if anyone had any questions about their registration to contact him. 

Secretary Matthew Davey expressed that there were many more events this month for those who needed to be active by storm conference.  These included sending emails to professionals that you know to try to get them to the conference.  Also, Matt will need helping making and stuffing nametags prior to the conference. 

Torrence Gaucher, Treasurer, spoke about the payments needed before storm conference.  There is a deadline and those who do not pay in time may incur a late fee.

Amanda Curran, Public Relations spoke about the sign up for all of the events mentioned by Matt and Jeb and told everyone to stick around after the meeting for the Events Committee Meeting.  

Kayla Flynn, Community Outreach, excitingly talked about the Science Fair we will help host in March.  There have already been 15 middle & elementary schools that have replied and will bring hundreds of students from around the area.  She will have sign-ups for volunteers to  can help judge the projects.---Matthew Davey.



Members Attended: 22

Start: 8:01 pm

End: 8:16 pm

Northeast Storms Update: One selected Junior dropped out, so 1 of the 4 alternates were chosen as a replacement
-Michelle Serino was chosen

-We are in need of 2 volunteers who are going to NE Storms to drive to Vermont due to difficulties on finding/ paying for rental van(s) (Need to know by Wednesday (2/6)! The trip may not be possible if there are no volunteers to drive)

Possible Fundraisers for the Upcoming Semester: Red Robin, Gertrude Hawk

Possible Events: Snowtubing, Snowball fights, Scavenger Hunt, Movie Night, Easter Egg Hunt

We need ideas/opinions for the group study sessions suggested by Dr. Clark!
-Earth Science classes, Physics classes, Math classes, etc.

-Will probably be on Wednesday nights, possibly Mondays when AMS does not have meetings/events

-Tutoring for certain classes can be held in certain rooms

-Specific times could also be designated for certain subjects (15 minutes for physics, 15 minutes for math, etc.)


Attendance: 27 people
Start: 8:29 pm
End: 8:39 pm

*Megan Nielsen elected as co-chair* 
3 Volunteer opportunities: 
-April 28, 2013 (Kite Day): About 3,000 kids attend and are given the task of making a kite or bring their own kites to fly. Our members are asked to make a presentation. (Rosa, Megan, Stephen, Scott, Ian, Dan, and Joey). 
-Meals on Wheels (Church): More information will be provided by Jess Taheri . Anyone with an interested is encouraged to contact her.
- Lancaster Science Factory: During spring break. Any student on campus during break that is available should contact Jess Taheri. (Rosa, Tyra, Rosa)
PWAD: April 20, 2013
Sabrina- Advertising 
Kate- Co-chair
Chelsea- Decorations
Evan- Money
Food- Rebecca and Kaitlin 
Went over the general format of the flyer which will be sent out asap. Anyone who wants to join a committee or anyone with any ideas regarding possible booths or prizes are encouraged to contact Tyra Brown through facebook or email.

STUDY SESSION: 2/11/2012

Start: 8:05 pm

End: 9:06 pm

Total: 61 minutes

Attendance: 27

This was a meeting of students from all grades to come and work on material for class that they were having problems with or had work due for the class.  Upperclassmen helped underclassmen with classes they already took.  Students were free to work on whatever they wanted to, which included: Physical Meteorology, Remote Sensing, GIS, Atmospheric Dynamics, and various math courses.

Speaker Series

20 February 2013

Attendance: 48

Start: 8:31pm

End: 9:37pm

Total: 66 minutes

Naval Oceanography- Dr. Commander Emil Petruncio

Open Officer Meeting

25 February 2013

Attendance: 12

Start: 6:32pm

End: 6:57pm

Total: 25 minutes








AMS Meeting Minutes (2/5/13)


AMS Meeting Minutes (2/26/13) 



February 20th, 2013

40 attendees

Opening Remarks:

Officer Information:


President – Max Tsparis:


Vice President – Nikki Perrini:

                      -    Running of the Banquet

                      -    Date: February 28th, 2013

                      -    Location: Mr. Robotos at 8:00 PM

Treasurer  -  Lauren Visin:

                   - Karaoke Night: TBD

                   - Bear Paw Tubing: Tentatively April 14th

                                       1. Bring tubes from home during Spring Break

Secretary  -   Matthew Brady:


Science and Outreach -  Connor Dacey:


Past President  -  Jonathan Belles:

-  Date:  March 26th, 2013

                  -  Location: LOV307 at 7 PM

               -Date: TBA

Nominations for 2013-2014 Chapter Board Members (Officers)

Science and Outreach:

Sean Viale, Antonio Cruz, Erin Clanahan, Pete Dellagrotta, Connor Dacey


Brandon Daly, Kirsten Chaney, Alli Keclik, Alex Boothe, Pete Dellagrotta


Braden Robinson, Tawana Andrew, Bianca Hernandez, Pete Dellagrotta

Vice President:

Lauren Visin, Brandon Daly


Nikki Perrini, Lauren Visin, Antonio Cruz, Pete Dellagrotta

Speaker – Dr. Robert Ross

Research Associate

      Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL


 “The Scientific Career as Self-Discovery”

– How I got through it and how I made it and help you!



Self Discovery

Breadth of Intellectual Being


Early Interests in Weather:


College & Education:

Was a revelation (transformed him at the age of 24

Teaching at Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Research at Florida State University

Wider Intellectual Connections

Concluding Remarks:

Banquet Announcement:

Dr. Richard Knabb

                  Director of National Hurricane Center (NHC)

                  Former Tropical Expert at The Weather Channel (TWC)

Date: March 22nd 6:00 PM Location: University City Club

Only 43 Tickets Available!!!      
First Come First Serve!


Next  Meeting/Officer Elections

Find us on the Social Media sites (continuously updated):

    - Facebook: northflams

    - Twitter: @northflamsnwa

    - Website:

    - Gmail:

Schedule of Events:

                  *All dates are not completely finalized and are subjected to change

Meeting Ends: 8:50 PM---Matthew Brady.



-Officers encouraged members to continue applying for internship, research, and volunteer opportunities with the AMS and NWS.

-Our peer mentoring program is going strong and we have put together group peer mentoring nights so all mentors and mentees can mingle and grab a bite to eat.
-This past month the chapter has held three peer speaking presentations: one by two current undergraduates pursuing a career in broadcast and two presentations with meteorology alumni.  The alumni shared what they are doing now, jobs and grad school, and also gave advice to the undergraduates about applying for school and jobs and what to expect after graduation.

-OUCAMS members are still participating in the WxChallenge.

-Chapter members successfully helped California University of Pennsylvania for the third year in a row with StormFest.

-Students were active in the selection of a new meteorology faculty member.

-OUCAMS’ advertising chair organized an apparel sale for the chapter.  Polos were designed for the chapter to wear to outreach activities and other events promoting the chapter such as student orgs fair.
-The chapter is currently preparing to visit Athens City Schools to give weather demonstrations next month.

-Since elections are coming up in March, officer meetings have been opened to all members looking to run for a position on the board. This will help them get a better idea of how meetings are run, who has what responsibility, and what goes on behind the scenes.---Elise Dolinar.



This month, our Community Outreach officer, Ashley Poreda, organized our own Weatherfest! A local elementary school was interested in bringing their fifth graders to our school for a tour of our student television station, WTOP, a presentation in our  meteorological experimentation lab of our instruments, and a forecasting presentation done in our forecasting lab! Our club advisor, Dr. Scott Steiger, was also able to show the students a balloon launch outside! Both the students, teachers, and club members who helped out had a great time.

Our club is also putting together our fourth annual conference, the Great Lakes Atmospheric Science Symposium (GLASS)! GLASS is our student-run conference held each year to bring students and professionals together to present recent projects and findings with others in the meteorological community. Registration is currently open at our student-run website, and will be open until April 13, 2013. The conference will be held on April 20, 2013, and all are invited to attend! Watch for updates on our website as details become available.

For more information, visit us at Pirraglia.



The past 12 months have been good for the Palmetto Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (PAMS).  Our highlight was our visit to the facility of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) in Chester County, South Carolina on July 25th, 2012.  IBHS is a non-profit organization which is wholly supported by the property insurance business to conduct scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss.  You may have noticed that IBHS was in the news recently when they released their study on hail damage.  They graciously gave us an entire tour of their facility and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being at the nerve center of their research projects!  Attached is a group photo of the PAMS members and our IBHS guide during the tour.  You can look at more photos of the tour.  Just go to and click on "Photo Gallery".  Also, check out our Facebook page at


We also had a Fall meeting in November in Columbia, SC that featured talks on the operations of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and how they respond to natural disasters (such as severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes), the upgrades in weather monitoring by the Richland County Emergency Services in Richland County, SC and Federal Aviation Administration's Contract Weather Observing program with respect to South Carolina.

In the agenda, the President of PAMS will lead a panel of judges to grade weather-related science projects from middle and high school students at the University of South Carolina (USC) Science Fair in Columbia on March 15th and the next PAMS meeting will be a Mini-Technical Conference that will be held on March 21st at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport in West Columbia, SC.---Wes Behrend.



Meeting Minutes

February 11, 2013


[10 members and both Professors]

Next meeting:

March 4th 2013 4:14pm Conference Room



We have a Facebook page and the email sent out has the link to it. Join please. I will post event times and meeting dates there and periodically through school email. We are going to "elect" Vice-President, and Secretary and these positions will run until May 2014 this first time I think two junior should be "elected" because of seniority and the fact seniors will be graduating in May 2013 and there is no need to hold two election in one semester.



President: Allen Payne
Vice-President: Vincent Brown
Secretary : Carlee Loeser

Term runs till May 2014 then we will hold elections again and Next time they will be ballot cast because that is one requirement from the AMS.



The February 2013 meeting of the Twin Cities Meteorological Society took place at The Original Gabe’s by the Park in St. Paul on February 19, 2013.  When the meeting started, there were six members, but because we did not have a business quorum (only two nonofficer members were there), no business was conducted.  Our speaker started around 7:15 p.m.

Bruce Wilson was with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for the past 33 years and is a senior water scientist at Emmons and Olivier, Inc.  His presentation was about how climate change is affecting us.  He also spoke about how our knowing of where we’ve been in past can help us understand where we’ll go in the future, especially in regards to the state’s water resources.  In his time at the MPCA, he has modeled and worked on every major watershed in Minnesota.

Wilson spoke mainly about how climate change impacts are affecting Minnesota.  There is more variability in quality and quantity of precipitation, which has caused a shift in the hydrologic cycle.  This variability has effects on many aspects of public policy, from public safety to water supply, commerce, insurance, and disaster remediation.

As an example, Wilson recalled the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes project of the 1990s.  As part of the $14 million, 10-year project, sediment basins were created, and they were expected to last for 25 years.  They filled with sediment in five years.  Most of the sediment captured was larger pieces of rock (gravel versus sand) implying stronger stream flow.

Wilson spoke of “nutrient pulses”:  When bogs and other soils dry out and then get heavy rain, nutrients such as phosphorus which have accumulated in the soils get flushed out.  This nutrient-rich water flows into streams and lakes.

Stream flow variability has a number of causes:  changing landscapes (agriculture to impervious cover), droughts, intense storms (power washing of the landscape), and stark shifts from dry to wet periods resulting in the aforementioned nutrient pulses.

Storm water management looks at the 1-to-2 year storm for water quality, but groups looking at flooding consider 100-year events.  Wilson said we should be designing systems for 3-to-5 day wet periods.

Hotter summers in Minnesota have led to longer growing seasons and longer non-ice periods (on lakes) during the year.  More deaths can be attributed to heat waves, urban heat, higher dewpoints, and power failures.  Warmer rainfall will lead to warmer streams and thermal loading in streams.  Algae and bacteria which have been limited to tropical areas have been found in Minnesota.

Wilson spoke of his work on Atlas 14, a precipitation frequency update from Technical Publication (TP) 40.  The TP 40 analyses were created from data in the 1930s to 1950s.  There were many fewer precipitation stations and data then.  Atlas 14 will use data through 2009.  (At least 10 years of automated data is needed.)  For the Twin Cities, the 50- and 100-year storm frequencies show a 30% increase over TP 40.

Phosphorus has been a component in storm water runoff.  When storm water which contains high levels of phosphorus (more than 50 parts per billion) enters ponds and lakes, it causes algal blooms, which removes oxygen from the water bodies and kills other organisms.  Wilson said that if the first 1.1 inches of runoff on-site, much of the phosphorus can be removed.  As an example, engineered wetlands around the Florida Everglades reduced inflows with phosphorus concentrations of 300 to 600 parts per billion (ppb) to 20 to 50 ppb.  Iron can be used to remove phosphorus from water and soil.  In urban areas, enhanced sand filters, sediment basins, rain gardens, tree trenches, and pervious pavement can help to remove 80 to 90 percent of phosphorus.

Wilson has illustrated that effects due to climate change in Minnesota are not just theoretical; they have been observed.  Precipitation and runoff patterns have changed in the past 30 years and will likely continue to do so.  Public policy needs to take into account these changes.---Chris Bovitz.



Monthly Meeting: Friday, February 22nd 2013

The fifth meeting of the 2012-2013 school year for the Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society met on Friday, February 22nd 2013 at 1:00pm in the NSSTC, room 4065. The first item on the agenda was a student led weather briefing by graduate student Lamont Bain. A few weeks ago, the graduate students at UAHuntsville started up a weekly weather briefing for Fridays at 1:00 pm that are open to the entire building (NSSTC). During the weather briefing, Lamont talked about the previous winter storm that occurred in the plains along with the severe weather near the coast as well.

The second item on the agenda was the Treasurer report from Ryan Rogers on the chapters budget. The current balance is $605.29. President Matt Saari then began to talk about the prizes we might want to get for the Severe Weather Poster Contest this year. All letters have been sent out to the schools around the Tennessee Valley and the posters will be on display at the NSSTC on April 12th 2013 to be voted on.

Last weekend, February 23rd, the AMS/NWA chapter had a group of students from the Radar and Severe Weather research group travel up to Nashville, TN for their second annual Severe Weather Awareness Day. The students took up the two research vehicles MAX and M3V to show off at the event, while the other students worked the UAH booth. That same day back at home in Huntsville, other students were working the Science Olympiad event. Saturday, March 2nd the AMS/NWA chapter will be volunteering at the local Habitat for Humanity here in Huntsville.

Coming up on March 7th is the North Alabama Science Fair and the Alabama State Science Fair on April 5th. We will be sending judges over to the event to hand out awards to the winners. The award will be a pre-college AMS membership! Next month at the March meeting, we will take nominations for next years’ officers for the club. During the weekend of March 22-24 we will have students traveling to the Mississippi State conference to present their research. Lastly, we had approximately 30 members attend the February AMS/NWA meeting.---Danielle M. Kozlowski. 



Meeting Minutes for Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Meeting

Geography Building Room 200C

Jared Rackley, President

Matt Daniel, Vice President

Minh Phan, Secretary

Lauren Lindsey, Treasurer

Members mingle and munch on snacks from Chick-Fil-A for a few minutes. Officers introduce themselves to new members.

5:30 –President, Jared Rackley, calls the meeting to order.

New Business



Meeting Adjourned at 6:30PM.---Minh Phan.



Our first meeting of this semester was held on 6 February 2013 and lasted 30 minutes. During this meeting we voted on a new Vice President, Andrew Muniz. We also talked about the following topics:
-AMS Conference Debrief
-Potential tours during the semester
-Club T-shirts
-Fun activities

Our most recent meeting was held a month later on 6 March 2013 and lasted 25 minutes. During this meeting we talked about the following:
-Upcoming AMS conferences and financial aid for attending those
-NWS Cheyenne Severe Wx Seminar on May 2
-Upcoming tours
-Potential faculty candidates
-Extracurricular/ fun activities

---Kody Gast.


February 12, 2013

This meeting was held at the National Weather Center in Room 1350.  The meeting opened with Vice-President Bethany Hardzinski welcoming everyone and asking everyone to pay dues.

Kate-Lynn discussed Whose Line dates and asking people to volunteer and come.  She also discussed Relay for Life on April 20th.

Next, the FEMA field trip was discussed.  Roughly 20 people are interested, but the date does not work therefore we will postpone to the fall or spring.

Next, our speakers were introduced.  Kim Klocow and Rand Peppler discussed tornado stories in Central Oklahoma, with town hall meetings to help understand local knowledge and beliefs.  They went into great detail that can be found the SCAMS Secretary binder.

The meeting closed with a Q&A session and then concluded.---Megan McClellan.



Meeting Minutes – WCFLAMS Chapter

WCFLAMS Panel of Broadcasters


February 22nd, 2013 at 11:00 AM


University of South Florida

C.W. Young Building, Room 206

4202 E. Fowler Ave

Tampa, FL 33620

 Photo Cred:  Kim Bolton


Speakers (Sitting Down, left to right):

Meteorologists Paul Dellegatto (FOX 13), Mike Clay (Bay News 9), Bobby Deskins (WTSP), and Brooks Garner (WFLA).

Photo Credit:  Matt Bolton


Dr. Jennifer Collins is an Associate Professor of the Environmental Science and Policy Program at the University of South Florida. Jennifer is the President of the West Central Florida Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, Vice Chair of the Climate Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers and serves on the NWA's Specialized Operations Committee on Tropical Cyclones.


Mr. Brian LaMarre has been the Meteorologist-In-Charge at the NWS in Tampa since 2007. Before that, he worked with the National Weather Service in various field office and Headquarter positions. He graduated from Western Connecticut State with a degree in Meteorology in 1994. Brian is currently one of the Vice Presidents for the Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference.                                                               


Panel Members:

Mr. Bobby Deskins is a meteorologist at WTSP.  He has a degree in Engineering Technology from the College of Southern Maryland, a degree in Geography from UNC-Wilmington, a degree in Geosciences from Mississippi State, and completed the Broadcast Meteorology program at Mississippi State.  He holds the CBM Seal of Approval from the AMS, and has won an Associated Press award for Best Weathercaster.

Mr. Mike Clay is the chief meteorologist on Bay News 9. In 1997, he helped launch Bay News 9 as the original meteorologist on Your Morning News. He was awarded the AMS TV Seal of Approval in 1995 and later upgraded to the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal. Mike also holds the National Weather Association's TV and Radio Seal of Approval.


Mr. Paul Dellegatto is the chief meteorologist for FOX 13. As a native of Natick, MA, he attended Lyndon State College for meteorology. He later graduated from the University of Rhode Island with degrees in Meteorology, Geography, and Marine Affairs. Paul's weather passion is severe weather and tropical meteorology, which serves his viewers well.


Mr. Brooks Garner is a meteorologist at WFLA News Channel 8. Brooks holds the National Weather Association and American Meteorological Society Seals of Approval. Brooks played a brief role in a Hollywood movie, as a St. Louis broadcast meteorologist alongside Forest Whitaker and Renee Zellweger in "My Own Love Song" (2010).


The focus of this meeting was a panel of local broadcast meteorologists. Due to popular demand, this was the second annual panel of local broadcast meteorologists held at the University of South Florida.  The four meteorologists were asked questions regarding the active 2012 hurricane season, recent weather-related tragedies (e.g. Tropical Storm Debbie and Hurricane Sandy), and the impact social media has had on communicating weather, among other topics. The meteorologists took turns, and in some cases went back and forth in conversation with each other, to answer the various questions. Dr. Jennifer Collins and Brian LaMarre hosted the event.

The meeting began with a brief introduction from the Chapter President, Dr. Jennifer Collins.  She mentioned the two upcoming WCFLAMS meetings in March and April, a talk about data acquisition by Vembu Subramanian and the Annual WCFLAMS Meeting and Banquet held at Brios in the International Mall of Tampa with guest speaker Kerry Emanuel from MIT, respectively.  Dr. Collins then proceeded to introduce the four meteorologists on the panel:  Bobby Deskins, Mike Clay, Paul Dellegatto, and Brooks Garner.

The first topic that the moderators discussed was the active 2012 hurricane season in which there were 19 named storms, 10 of which reached at least category one status, and two of the storms were major hurricanes (Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Sandy).  One storm in particular, Tropical Storm Debbie, had a major impact on the Tampa Bay region, causing massive flooding and tornado damage.  All four meteorologists agreed that the severity of Debbie was due to the positioning of the storm and not the intensity, and that it was hopefully a wake-up call for individuals who have not taken tropical cyclones seriously.  The positioning of Debbie was one of the worst case scenarios for a tropical cyclones hitting the Tampa Bay area as 10-15 inches of rain fell during the event causing massive amounts of standing water and flooding, most notably the flooding of Bayshore Boulevard under 4 feet of water.  The panel also talked about the influx of tornadoes into the Tampa Bay area associated with Debbie, which resulted in a life lost.  Brooks Garner mentioned a dry air aversion on the backside of Debbie that enhanced tornado formation, and Mike Clay noted that the National Weather Service at Ruskin did an excellent job of communicating and forecasting the tornadoes as warnings were issued well in advance, even with multiple confirmed tornadoes on the ground at a single time.

The panel then discussed the original El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forecast of the season, but which actually neutral and for a short period, then La Niña.  El Niño tends to decrease tropical cyclone formation by increasing shear over the Atlantic Ocean; however, the 2012 season was actually one of the most active seasons in the recent century.  All the panel members stressed that pre-season predictions are just not suitable for forecasting the amount of hurricanes during a season, as the science is not there.  Since, ENSO during the season cannot always be predicted prior to the start of hurricane season (June 1st), hurricane prediction numbers cannot be relied upon.  However, even if we were able to predict numbers, it does not tell anything about where the storms will make landfall, if they make landfall, which is the real destructive factor of a tropical cyclone.  

Another major topic that the panel discussed was how social media has impacted the meteorologists’ jobs, and as a whole communicating risks.  All four panel remembers stressed how beneficial social media is, and that it has revolutionized meteorology for the good.  In particular, Bobby Deskins was out-spoken on how he uses social media.  He mentioned that it allows the viewers to get more personalized contact with the meteorologists, and allows them to respond to everyone’s questions.  In fact, Paul Dellegatto mentioned that prior to social media, the only means of contact were direct calls using a telephone or hand-written letters; now there is nearly 24-hour access to each of the meteorologists.  Bobby Deskins referenced how he not only transmits information, especially about severe weather using social media, but it is a great tool to acquire information also.  For example, information can be gathered from the National Hurricane Center from twitter, and even personal videos are used to share phenomena such as tornadoes, waterspouts, flooding, and more.  Social media has also been instrumental in managing on-air cut-ins during severe weather.  Due to the wide-spread coverage region that each station broadcasts for, there has to be a fine balance for when to cut-in during TV programs, and social media has certainly helped mitigate this.

Steve Jerve, of WFLA, explained that social media has changed the way broadcast meteorologists report on the weather. “Social media has blown up. For us, it’s quite a phenomenon to watch,” he said. “People are engaged in social media of all ages and it’s where people are. You can find a lot of information on Twitter and watch it on your phone. Phones are just transforming everything. You can put pictures or video on there even before the networks have it.”

The final topic that the moderators asked the panel members about was one memorable weather event that piqued the interest of the meteorologists, and ultimately drew them to their careers.  Paul Dellegatto referenced the 1978 blizzard as he was in Boston at the time.  He remembered the massive amounts of snow associated with the event, which completely shut down the snow-prepared Northeast corridor.  Bobby Deskins referred to watching lightning storms form and move over the Potomac River when he was a child.  Mike Clay remembered when he was a child watching a live newscast, well before tower cameras or social media, in Texas of a tornado passing directly by the news station.  Finally, Brooks Garner noted that he experienced Hurricane Lori when he was a child, which impacted the Northeast when he lived in Rhode Island.   

The meeting concluded with a social lunch event at Antonio’s Pasta and Grill.  Nearly 15 individuals attended the social, with some proceeds spent on the bill donated back to the chapter for the Dewey Stower’s Merit Award.


The meeting was co-sponsored by the Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning at the University of South Florida.  We had an outstanding turnout, with over 40 individuals in attendance including:  AMS members, USF students from a variety of disciplines, and members of the weather community and public. The new chapter banner was displayed. Past and future meeting information for the Chapter can be found online here: Hartnett and Jennifer Collins.




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

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

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