Chapter News
January 2006


Minutes, Anchorage AMS Chapter Meeting,
January 31st, 2006

Call Meeting to Order: The meeting was called to order by Aimee Fish, President, at 12 p.m. The meeting was held at Mongolian BBQ Restaurant in Anchorage. Introductions were given by all attendees.

Treasurer's Report: $1829.05

Old/New Business:
Heidi Strader, who is part of the donations committee, was working on getting an Alyeska Ski Package donated to the chapter. She also asked the chapter if we would be interested in doing something at the spring carnival at Alyeska Resort during the Slush Cup. The members agreed to have Heidi look into this since she volunteers on the ski patrol at the resort. Aimee thought we could print up some pocket-sized wind chill charts for employees at the resort as part of our chapter outreach. Jackie Purcell, also a member of the donations committee, acquired some gift certificates from Alaska Wild Berry Products to be used for prizes for our forecast contest winners.

The Alaska State Science Fair will be held on March 11th at East High School, and the chapter is looking for volunteers for judging the fair. Aimee passed out a sign-up sheet for anyone who was interested. As usual, the judging will be conducted in two stages. The first stage will occur in the morning for grades K-8 with the second stage occurring in the afternoon for grades 9-12. We will also need someone to represent the chapter at the awards ceremony on Sunday the 12th. Aimee will look into having someone there representing the chapter.

Chapter elections are quickly approaching, and the chapter is seeking nominations for the executive committee. All positions are open and self-nominations are accepted. More information on this will be coming soon.

Our chapter poster was taken down to the annual AMS meeting in Atlanta by chapter member Haibo Liu. At one of our next meetings we plan on having Haibo discuss his experience in Atlanta, including his attendance at the Local Chapter Breakfast. Chapter member Eddie Zingone also attended the meeting.

Main Event: Heidi Stader from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conversation's (ADEC) Air Quality Division was our guest speaker at the meeting. Heidi spoke of her organization's mission, which is to keep Alaska's air clean by monitoring air quality.

The ADEC Air Quality Division was created out of the 1970 Federal Clean Air Act. It is tasked with ensuring compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for such things as chemically-formed ozone, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, lead, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter.

One of the projects the ADEC Air Quality Division is involved in is dust monitoring in northwest Alaska. There have been large amounts of dust and glacial silt in the villages in this part of Alaska, especially during the summer months. This has led to respiratory problems in villages. As a result of the project, some of the villages have had roads paved to reduce the amount of dust in the air.

Another project they are working on is monitoring indoor air toxics or hazardous air pollutants in homes throughout rural Alaska. During the winter months, these homes are tightly closed to combat the harsh cold temperatures outside. This gives rise to a higher level of air toxics from wood burning stoves, cigarette smoke, and stored cleaning solutions that would normally be ventilated to the outside air during the summer months. It was reported that the indoor air toxics were 10 times greater than they were outside. Villagers have been suffering from various ailments, including headaches, because of this. The ADEC Air Quality Division continues to work on this eight-month project to find solutions to this problem.

Other projects within the ADEC Air Quality Division include investigating the sources of "regional haze," the effects of sulfur released into in the air by rural diesel, and monitoring particulate matter in non-attainment areas. They also provide services such as monitoring volcano, fire, and cruise ship emissions and issuing burn permits.

The meeting was adjourned by Aimee Fish at 1:30 p.m.----Jim Peronto.


AMS Chapter Meeting
January 23, 2006

The first general meeting of 2006 took place on January 23rd at 7:00 pm with 13 people present. The location of the meeting was the Shreve Memorial library Braodmoor branch in Shreveport Louisiana. The officers that were present included...

President: Harry Druckenmiller
Vice President: David Biggar
Secretary: Mark Frazier
Treasurer: Douglas Gautrau

The chapter members present (not including officers) at the meeting included…

Jason Hansford
Jonathan Kelly
Bill Murrell
Jason Noren
Doug Oltmer
Patrick Omundson
Leslie Sexton
Andrew Vines

Non members present included…

Mark Murphy

Treasurers Report: Douglas Gautrau gave a report on the amount of the chapter funds and paid dues.

Secretary Report: Mark Frazier presented the minutes of the November 15th 2005 meeting. Mark then explained upcoming events with the ULM AMS student chapter in Monroe LA for early 2006. This would consist of a joint meeting in Ruston and career day for the atmospheric students at ULM.

Following the business part of the meeting, our guest speaker, Bill Murrell of the National Weather Service Office in Shreveport gave a presentation on the damaging wind storms of June 2004.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.---Harry Druckenmiller and Mark Frazier.


The Asheville Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its fourth meeting for 2005-2006 in the Federal Building, downtown Asheville at 11:00 am on Thursday, January 19, 2006. Twenty people attended the meeting.

Business Meeting

Old Business

Mr. Mike Cuevas (vice-president) discussed staying on as President due to the resignation of the former President due to health problems. He asked for help from the membership, and a volunteer to be President if he or she so desires. There still has not been enough snow to announce a winner of the snow forecasting contest.

New Business

John White agreed to be the Science Fair coordinator for our chapter.

Guest Speaker

Mike Cuevas introduced the speaker for the evening, Major Brian Beitler from the Air Force Combat Climatology Center, at the Federal Building, downtown Asheville. His topic was "Weather and HAZMAT response."

Major Beitler was previously assigned to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Washington, DC before coming to Asheville in August, 2004. He was a member of a cross-agency group who developed Federal response plans to HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials) events. He helped support some national security special events such as the Presidential Inauguration, Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and the Democratic/ Republican National Conventions. He represented the Dept. of Defense at various Dept. of Homeland Security joint exercises, the first being in Colorado Springs, November 2001. He was even on the Weather Channel!!

What is a HAZMAT incident? An incident is any release (accidental or deliberate) of a "CBRNE" material. CBRNE is: C-Chemical (example, chlorine gas); B-Biological (example, anthrax); R-Radiological "dirty bomb" (example, cesium-60); N-Nuclear (example, nuclear weapon) and E-Explosive (example, TNT). There are two types of Biological-one is contact only (like Anthrax) and the other is contagious (like Ecoli). Radiological materials can take a very long time to decontaminate in stuff like soil. Also some of these materials can have lasting psychological effects.

How is weather involved? For releases that have positive or neutral buoyancy, the biggest weather impacts are due to: Wind (speed, direction and variability) - where the wind blows will obviously be where "stuff" goes; Atmospheric Stability-using Pasquill Stability Classes (whether there is an inversion or not); and Incident Solar Radiation (especially for Biological incident). With solar radiation, exposure to sunlight will kill most biological agents and weaken many chemicals. Certain weaponized agents can protect themselves with "hardened shells" which reduce the effects of solar radiation.

Some worst-case scenarios include: Chemical-overnight with light winds…throw in a low-level inversion to limit vertical mixing even more! A good case is the Chemical Plant in Bhopal India and its leaking over 27 tons of deadly gases. To this day, the citizens of Bhopal are affected by this poison. With a Biological scenario, moderate winds with lots of variability and stability with a release time right around sunset, give hard to predict trajectories. There is never a good time for either Nuclear or Radiological scenarios.

Some common features of dispersion models are hazard sources (chem/bio weapons or facilities); Weather and transport (historical weather and observations) and effects (population exposure and medical effects).

Who does what when something happens? Fire departments or city/county Emergency Management Centers respond to local events. Often a simple, fast-running computer model such as the NOAA developed CAMEO/ALOHA- (Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations/Areal Locations of Hazardous Atmospheres) is used.

A large-scale response is handled differently. The National Response Plan designates the Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC) as the single federal source of airborne hazards predictions during an incident of national significance. The Dept. of Homeland Security uses this model for instance. Another model for use in a large-scale response is the NOAA/Air Resources Laboratory Hybrid Dingle-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission relies on pre-determined plans.---Susan A. Tarbell.


The Central Illinois Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) met on January 26, 2006 at Ryan's Steakhouse in Champaign, Illinois. 13 people attended the meeting.


National News

Mike Kruk, chapter president, announced that the December 2005 issue of BAMS featured two short articles highlighting the CIAMS in addition to our regular meeting minutes. The first, entitled "Modern/Future Extreme Cold Air Outbreaks", discussed was based on a talk given by Steve Vavrus of the University of Wisconsin - Madison during the 2nd Midwest Severe and Hazardous Weather Conference in October. The second, "Association Between Seasonal Cycles of Teleconnections and Tornado Frequency in the United States", featured material presented by Patrick Frances of Bowling Green State University at the July Central Illinois/Central Indiana AMS joint chapter meeting. For reference, the two articles are on pages 1721-22 and 1723-25, respectively. This is good news for the organization's bid to become AMS "Chapter of the Year". Our materials will be submitted by May 1st and we will find out the winner of the award in October.

Treasurer's Report

After reimbursing several speakers, we have $1407 in our general fund. In addition, Steve Hilberg noted that the final total for the Midwest Severe and Hazardous Weather Conference is in. We spent $2791, for a $903 loss.

Education/Public Outreach

On March 4th, several members of the CIAMS will hand out chapter materials at the Emergency Manager and Media Severe Weather workshop in Lincoln, Illinois. This will serve to increase recognition of and encourage interest in the local chapter. In addition, the Education Committee will administer the Urbana Regional portion of the Science Olympiad Exam. The committee will work with the Lincoln Weather Service Office to draft the Illinois State Competition on April 29th.

Upcoming Meetings

The next meeting of the CIAMS will be held in Lincoln, Illinois on Thursday, March 16th. James Auten from the Lincoln Weather Service Office will discuss the severe weather warning process at the Weather Service. Jay Searles, a local broadcast meteorologist, will speak at our final meeting of the 2005-2006 dues year. Annual elections will be held at that meeting, on Tuesday, May 2nd. Stay tuned for more information!


Eric Snodgrass, master's degree candidate from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois gave a talk entitled, "Synergizing High-Resolution Satellite Data and Radar Data to Assess Trade Wind Cloud Precipitation". Eric was the radar coordinator for the Rain In Cumulus over the Ocean (RICO) field campaign and is an expert in satellite remote sensing with GIS-based applications.

Trade wind cumulus clouds are ubiquitous over the tropical oceans. New, higher resolution satellite data is beginning to show just how widespread the clouds are. However, important questions remain about their role in the global thermal, radiative, and moisture budgets. Chief among these are the questions of which clouds precipitate and how much. Since the clouds are typically far from land, the precipitation must be inferred by using one of three methods : 1) relating the infrared thermal brightness temperature to precipitation rate, 2) passively measuring the microwave absorption of the clouds, or 3) using the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) to actively scan microwave absorption of clouds. However, these methods are not useful for measuring trade-wind Cu, because they are warm, shallow, and typically, sub-pixel in scale.

The RICO experiment was designed specifically to study the microphysics, scale, frequency of occurrence, and generation mechanisms of trade-wind cumulus. In addition to aircraft measurements of the cloud microphysics and environmental conditions, the Scanning S- and Ka- band Dual-Polarization radar assembly (S-POLKa) was located on the island of Barbuda. Various satellite products also were used for this study, including the 275 m resolution Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) imagery.

The main purpose of this study was to correlate the 10 cm radar returns with cloud pixels sampled from the MISR. This was done at 10:45 am local time, which allowed the satellite and radar data to be matched in time. The radar volumes were then mapped to the MISR pixels using a 3-step procedure. First, the radar data was geolocated in three dimensions using a sounding-derived refractive index. Next, the radar's Velocity-Azimuth Display (VAD) wind profile was used to shift pixels to account for drift due to the background flow. Once the MISR and S-POLKa data were time-matched, the radar data were resampled to the MISR grid. Then contaminated echoes (e.g., local island effects, birds) were removed using a combination of image masks, differential reflectivity polarization, and radial velocity quality control procedures. Finally, the S-band change from Bragg to Rayleigh scattering at 5 dBZ was used as a threshold to eliminate all non-precipitation echoes.

The majority of the cloud pixels analyzed using this method showed no precipitation, despite the considerable vertical extent of many of them. Roughly 2 percent of the cloudy pixels had reflectivities greater than 24 dBZ, corresponding to a 1 mm/hr rainfall rate. Out of the 3 organizational patterns of trade wind cumulus, wind parallel bands, multicellular clusters, and outflow bands, outflow bands produced the most rain and wind parallel bands, the least. Overall, the reflectivities indicate that the region experiences an average of .75 mm day-1 of rain, with an intensity peak occurring in the early morning hours. Overall, this means that trade wind cumulus systems are 11-15% efficient at returning latent heat to the ocean, a finding of great importance to the numerical modeling and climate communities.


After questions the meeting adjourned around 9:15 PM.---Mike Spinar, Secretary, 2004-2005 for Nancy Westcott, Secretary, 2005-2006.


The January meeting of the Central North Carolina Chapter of the AMS was held on Thursday, January 19, 2006 at Jordan Hall at NC State University. Vice President Jim Paumier, meteorologist with MACTEC, called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. with approximately 26 members and guest in attendance.

Vice President Jim Paumier introduced the night's speaker Dr. Walter Bach of the Army Research Laboratory. Dr. Bach presented a talk on federal research and development needs, and priorities for atmospheric transport and diffusion modeling.

The Joint Action Group (JAG) for the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research developed a report outlining a research and development plan for providing the atmospheric transport and dispersion (ATD) modeling capabilities needed to meet the established needs of the community.

The users of ATD modeling can vary widely, and include first responders, such as the Department of Homeland Security, emergency response and preparedness planners, military and those in the air quality modeling community. These user work on a local, regional and national scale and are generally concerned with public safety. The users of ATD modeling require an accurate answer while being able to understand and quantify the uncertainty in the model.

The JAG focused on what could be done to improve transport, concentration, and deposition. The improvement needs to these areas were identified through consultation with users, and included the use of complex terrain, techniques to better calculate wet and dry deposition, improvement of boundary layer measurement techniques, and improved quality assurance/quality control check on data used in modeling. The need to quantify the uncertainty of the modeling became an overarching theme of the plan.

Key points of the plan include: For more on the report of the Joint Action Group for the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research, please see the following website:

Dr. Bach ended the presentation at 8:25, and after questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:37 p.m.---Bebhinn Do.


The January 2006 meeting of the Chicago Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was held on January 10 at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.

Chapter member Kevin Kraujalis, a Certified Aviation Weather Observer stationed at Midway International Airport in Chicago, discussed the weather conditions that existed on the evening of December 8, 2005. Shortly after 7 p.m. on December 8, 2005, a Southwest Airlines 737 went off the end of runway 31 center, going through a fence and striking a vehicle on Central Avenue, killing a young boy and injuring others.

Heavy snow fell on December 8 in Chicago with approximately 10 inches of snow on the ground by 7 p.m. at Midway Airport. Commutes that would normally take 45 minutes took over 4 hours.

The observation taken at Midway at 7:10 p.m. (the time closest to the incident with the Southwest 737) indicated a southeast wind at 8 knots, ˝ mile visibility in snow and freezing fog, a broken layer of clouds at 400 feet and an overcast layer at 1400 feet above ground level, a temperature of 25 degrees and a dew point of 23 degrees. The runway visual range was 4500 to 5000 feet.

The active runway was 31 center. Breaking conditions on the first two-thirds of the runway were considered fair to good. Although the wind speed was only 8 knots, the plane was landing in what was nearly a direct tail wind (wind direction 110 degrees, aircraft heading 310 degrees).

Phil Rider, chapter member, cooperative weather observer for Mundelein, Illinois and retired United Airlines Pilot discussed some of the factors involved in landing a 737 in the aforementioned conditions. Mr. Rider's discussion was quite insightful in that it highlighted the thought process, requirements and regulations involved in landing commercial aircraft in adverse weather conditions.

The final report from the National Transportation Safety Board has not yet been issued.

Mr. Mark Ratzer, National Weather Service meteorologist with the Chicago (Romeoville), Illinois office provided a presentation on "Storm Splits and Mergers- Case Study of the May 19, 2005 Northern Illinois Severe Weather Outbreak."

On May 19, 2005, a severe hail and wind event occurred in Northern Illinois. Some of the conditions preceding the severe weather included deep unidirectional wind shear, weak to moderate instability, an upper trough over the Mississippi Valley, a 105-115 knot jet max into Western Iowa, divergent flow, a deep closed upper low near Minneapolis-St. Paul, an occluded low at the surface near Minneapolis-St. Paul, and a triple point in Northeast Iowa. The feature moved from southwest Wisconsin to northern Illinois by the afternoon. Warm sector temperatures were in the low 80's with dew points in the 60's.

Four severe storms emerged from the above features in Illinois: one in Winnebago and Boone counties, one in McHenry county, one in Will county and one in Iroquois county.

1. Winnebago and Boone counties:

A cell split over southwest Wisconsin with a right moving supercell. The storm produced golf ball size hail and a rotating wall cloud near Roscoe, Illinois at 2110Z. Hail damage occurred from this storm.

2. McHenry County:

A collision or merger with left moving cells occurred. Intensification occurred several minutes later into a right moving supercell. This storm tracks to the southeast and produced hail damage.

3. Will County

Multiple splitting cells developed over northeast Iowa and moved into Illinois. A long lived cell intensified over DeKalb County, Illinois and transitioned from a supercell to a bow over Kendall and northwest Will Counties. This storm produces damaging hail and wind in Shorewood, Illinois. Golf ball size hail and 60+ mile per hour winds were reported.

4. Iroquois County

This storm developed along a large outflow boundary. The ensuing supercell produced large hail and transitioned into a bow echo when it moved into Indiana. Baseball size hail (2.75") was reported at mile marker 302 on interstate I-57.

After reviewing the synoptic situation after the storm, the following was noted: a deep unidirectional westerly wind profile existed, the spectrum of the storm intensity propagation, both left and right moving cells with ill-defined splits and longer lived right moving storms with large hail.---Raymond Waldman.


January Minutes:


A Giant Awakening.......Global Change and the Antarctic


Chris Rapley, Ph.D., CBE, British Antarctic Survey

Meeting Notes:

January's meeting of our local chapter was a very interesting, change-of-pace, gathering at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. We came with hopes of gaining helpful insight to the question of whether the warmer climate change is perhaps anthropogenic. Before the schedule of events, Dr. Rapley met with our group for a small Q & A in a nearby conference room; a very intimate one-on-one session that was attended by about 10 of us. Afterwards, there was a formal cocktail hour in the museum's dinosaur exhibit sponsored by British Petroleum with the host being the British Consulate-General of Houston. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Rapley gave his Antarctic "slash" climate change lecture in the IMAX Theater for an audience of 150. The information below was obtained from the HMNS website and included in our local chapter monthly newsletter. ---Patrick Blood.

Minutes for January 12, 2006

National AMS Membership

Renew your National AMS membership if you haven't already - or if you haven't yet, join! The website is

Cy's Eyes

-From 6-9 p.m. this Friday night, there is an ISUtv-related gathering at the Communications Building. It is a pop culture Trivial Pursuit event with free food and open house.
-Cy's Eyes is a great opportunity to practice the art of broadcast meteorology. Or, if you don't want to be in television, you can still work behind the scenes in the control room or operating a camera. It's on ISUtv Channel 18 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-6:50 p.m. If you want to join, be at the Communications Building at 6:00 p.m. on those days. It's loads of fun and not too hard at all (plus it looks good on a resume, of course)! Email Janet (thatsme [at] iastate [dot] edu) or Matt Taller (mteller [at] iastate [dot] edu) for more information.
-We will have a practice show this coming Wednesday.
-If you want to learn how to use the Genesis machine, get ahold of Scott (slincoln [at] iastate [dot] edu), Kaj (kjomara [at] iastate [dot] edu), or Chris (biff016 [at] iastate [dot] edu).


-Congrats to those who placed well in recent rounds, as well as those who won out of the Iowa State participants.
-Remember to forecast by 6 p.m.!
-If you haven't paid Janet yet for NCWFC costs ($4), pay her!!! She cannot be reimbursed until we have all the participants paid up! If you do not pay her by next meeting, you will be called out!!!

Social Chair

-Wednesday and Thursday are good days for snow tubing/skiing at Seven Oaks in terms of low rates for college students. Watch your emails once (if?) it gets cold again, because this event will be on short notice.
-We may do an end-of-year faculty-student picnic. Information/discussion will be coming in the future.
-Intramurals are winding down, but team bowling and softball are coming up. Again, watch your emails.

Academic Chair

-Let Chris (biff016 [at] iastate [dot] edu) know your class schedules so he can set up group study sessions.
-If you'd like to be a session leader for a class, please email Chris. He is also retiring from helping with Phys 221 study groups, so if you're interested, let him know.
-Please help out your fellow classmates by offering to lead a session!


-A book review is in the works.
-Geoff would like to put together an ISU Meteorology board game. If you have any ideas (such as "inside jokes" in the department), let him know (grgforce [at] iastate [dot] edu)! He'd love to hear your ideas.
-Also, send him any AMS-related pictures you may have.

Workout Group

Since we're all busy/lazy college students, the idea has been formed to start an AMS Workout Group. If you didn't sign up tonight, email Janet or Geoff, including your interest (running, lifting weights, etc.). Expect more information soon!

AMS Annual Meeting

AMS Annual Meeting is in two weeks. There will be pictures and stories at the next meeting.

Central Iowa National Weather Association

-The 10th Annual Severe Storms & Doppler Radar Conference will be held March 23-25 in West Des Moines. Registration fee is $65. Visit for more information. -There will also be another ISU Alumni Luncheon for current and past students in the meteorology program. The department will cover $10 per student attending. ISU AMS will cover the additional $5 cost (after a vote in favor of said provision).
-Talk to Elise (elisevj [at] iastate [dot] edu) if you're interested in attending the conference.
-We will be organizing hotel and driving arrangements closer to the conference.
-The next meeting will be at the NWS office in Johnston on Thursday, January 19 at 5:30 p.m. If you need a ride or would like to join, contact Elise


If you have any ideas for games at VEISHEA, please let Justin (jgehrts [at] iastate [dot] edu) if you have any ideas. Since we raise money through people playing the game at VEISHEA, we need fun ideas!

Spring Break Trip

Currently, the thought is to go to Boulder, Colorado. However, if you have any ideas for other locations to visit OR if you're interested in going, please contact Colin (orasky [at] iastate [dot] edu) ASAP!


Due to lack of interest, there will be no apparel orders this semester. However, if you'd like AMS apparel, contact Elise. We have a variety of extras available.

Tours/Field Trips

-Due to a snowstorm, the NWS visit in Johnston was postponed. Email Heather (miraje [at] iastate [dot] edu) your weekday evening availability so she can schedule a night to visit the NWS.
-Spotter training is coming! Watch your email inboxes when more information is available regarding a date and time for the class.
-A weekend trip to Minneapolis to visit the Northwest Airlines facility, the science museum, and possibly the North-Central River Forecast Center in Chanhassen is in the works. Information will be sent out as it becomes available.

Ham Radio

Janet would like to get a group together to get a ham radio operating license. If you're interested, email Janet. We will have group studying; there is a test with a fee to receive your ham radio license.

Edwards Elementary Science Night

This coming Tuesday (January 17) is the first Science Night of the year from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Edwards Elementary. Please email Elise if you'd like to help but didn't sign up at the meeting.

Tornado/Microburst Simulator

We will hopefully have the opportunity to visit ISU's very own tornado/microburst simulator. If this comes to pass, it will be a joint AMS/NWA event. Again, watch your email for details.

Next meeting Tuesday, February 7 in Agron 3128 at 7:00 p.m.

If you have any suggestions, please put them in the AMS mailbox in the office next to the Map Room or visit the ISU AMS forums on the ISU AMS page.---Justin Gehrts.


In late January and early February, the 86th Annual AMS Meeting was held in Atlanta, GA, marking the closest location of the meeting to Tallahassee since the 82nd Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL in early 2002. As a result, the North Florida Chapter of the AMS saw over fifty members in attendance for at least part of the festivities. The highlight of the meeting was the Local Chapter Breakfast on Tuesday, January 31st, attended by at least five chapter members and officers including both current President Pat Taylor and Past President Chris Bennett, where the chapter received the official award for AMS Local Chapter of the Year for the 2004-2005 chapter year for its outreach efforts in the Tallahassee region.

Outside of the breakfast and award ceremony, while in Atlanta, we partook in the sights of downtown, including CNN Center, the new Georgia Aquarium, and Centennial Olympic Park, attended many informative talks and sessions, and supported those members who were presenting research at one of the conference's many sub-conferences. Reunions with former friends were accomplished throughout the week. As has been the tradition for three years running now, the chapter worked with the FSU Dept. of Meteorology to identify strong candidates to receive travel funding to the meeting; through this process, over ten members were at least partially funded to travel to Atlanta. In addition, another 4-6 members, including Liane Claytor, Charlie Woodrum, Amanda Hopkins, and Christelle Castet, received undergraduate or graduate scholarships from the national AMS to attend the meeting in some capacity. Also for the third year running, the chapter displayed a poster in the formal poster viewing section of the conference, highlighting recent chapter activities and outreach efforts.

With numerous members in attendance in Atlanta, the next chapter meeting will not keep with tradition and focus on memories and recollections from the recent AMS conference. However, many will not soon forget the memories of Atlanta and we are already looking forward to the 87th Annual Meeting in mid-January 2007 in San Antonio, TX. While it is quite a bit further away from Tallahassee than Atlanta, if recent history along the west coast is any indicator, the North Florida Chapter will once again be well-represented at the meeting. See you in San Antonio – or, at the least, at our 3rd Annual Chapter Banquet, to be held at Chez Pierre in downtown Tallahassee on February 17, 2006. Speaking will be Sir Harold Kroto, a Nobel Laureate and Sir Francis Eppes professor in chemistry at Florida State University. Tickets range in price from $15-$25, depending on the dish ordered, and are available from any chapter officer member.---Clark Evans.


Tuesday January 24, 2006


January Meeting Minutes---Evan Kuchera.


The Packerland Chapter of the AMS held an informative meeting on January 3 at the Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) operated by Lockheed Martin Information Technology. The AFSS is located at Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB) in Green Bay. The featured speaker was Mr. Doug Streu, a Senior Meteorologist and Evaluation Officer with the National Weather Service (NWS). His office is located at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The title of Mr. Streu's presentation was "An Overview of the NWS/FAA National Pilot Weather Briefing Program"

The following is a short summary of Mr. Streu's presentation:
A multiple choice question to start: What is the greatest cause of weather related fatalities in a given year? Choices were; A. Tornadoes-54, B. Flooding-86, C. Lightning-43, D.Rip Tides-41. Actually, the answer is none of the above. There were 240 aviation fatalities due to weather factors in 2004. These fatalities were not on scheduled airline flights, but rather smaller, private or corporate aircraft. An overview of the history of weather services to pilots was reviewed. Prior to October of 2005, these services were provided by the FAA at local flight service stations. Upon the completion of a contracting-out study, the FAA has contracted with Lockheed Martin to provide pilot services, at a cost savings to the taxpayers.

The NWS office in Oklahoma City is made up of a group of five NWS employees and is funded by the FAA. Their mission statement is "To provide weather training and evaluation for employees of the FAA who will be tasked with supporting air traffic operations throughout the United States". Basically, their goal is to keep pilots out of harms way.

AFSS employees conduct approximately 25 million pilot weather briefings a year, which carries a great responsibility. Initial qualification training includes weather analysis, weather satellite interpretation, and a course on the NWS WSR-88D weather radar. Periodic refresher training is conducted, along with an initial oral certification, proficiency exams, random evaluations, and facility evaluations provided by the NWS.

The future of the NWS role in AFSS operations is in transition, with the changeover to Lockheed Martin. 58 AFSS locations in the lower 48 states will consolidate to 20 during the next 3 years. New technology will improve efficiency to the pilots. Pilot weather briefing content and procedures will remain generally the same. For more information on this subject, go to:

In local chapter business, expect information soon on upcoming meetings during the next several months.---Dale Walker.


The January meeting of the Penn State Branch of the American Meteorological Society, held on 12 January 2006 at 6:00 pm, featured a 2005 Penn State graduate, ENS Matthew Glazewski. He spoke about his experiences with the NOAA Corps, a uniformed, yet unarmed branch of the US Service. This meeting was ideal for students interested in government (i.e. National Weather Service) or military employment following graduation.

Glazewski explained that NOAA Corps is one of seven uniformed services of the United States and an important part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. To become an officer, one must first go through a training period lasting about three months, somewhat similar to what is experienced by those entering the Army, Navy, or Air Force.

NOAA Corps officers are trained in a variety of fields, including meteorology, oceanography, fisheries science, and engineering. Corps members can also serve as security officers. The uniformed service offers its own ships and planes to provide support for its missions. In his presentation, Glazewski discussed how NOAA Corps conducts various types of environmental and scientific missions. The Corps manages research projects, participates in diving operations, maps the seafloor, places tsunami warning buoys, and surveys waters affected by natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. When mapping the seafloor, Differential GPS (DGPS) is used to identify hazardous locations.

Glazewski explained that there are a wide range of benefits associated with working for the NOAA Corps. Graduates who are adventurous and desire to travel the world are a perfect fit. Adding that great financial benefits are included, officers make a decent salary, and the government is committed to paying for graduate school in the future. NOAA/NWS also look favorably upon hiring those who serve in the NOAA Corps, tells Glazewski. NOAA Corps officers serve anywhere from two to perhaps more than twenty years. They may take breaks or leave the Corps as needed.

On a personal note, Glazewski shared some of his experiences with the group. After completing his training, he was assigned to a ship on the coast of southeastern Alaska. In discussing some of his most interesting experiences, Glazewski admitted that he and his peer officers discovered a shipwreck by mistake. The ship was lying at the bottom of the sea less than a mile from the coast. It was an important discovery because the top of that ship rested just 30 feet below the surface of the water and its location posed a threat to large passing ships. His ship stays close to the Alaskan coast and is rarely away from port for more than a few days at a time.

To learn more about NOAA Corps, please visit the following website: B. Hagen.


Everyone met around 6:15 p.m. for dinner at Barley's Taproom in the Old City of Knoxville. After dinner, the meeting commenced at the Biosystems Engineering and Environmental Science Building on the U.T. Ag Campus. Our guest speaker was Dana Miller (Oak Ridge National Laboratories) who spoke about "The Wind, the Rain, and the Trees - Hurricane Histories from Oxygen 18 in Tree Rings".

The following was a synopsis of her talk: "In light of the recent hurricane season, it is clear we need a larger alphabet. We could also use a better understanding of tropical cyclone activity and the climate factors affecting this activity, frequency and intensity. Paleoclimate reconstruction using geological proxies is fundamental for understanding climate change on time scales beyond the instrumental record. Long term records of weather expressions like tropical cyclone activity can provide information about long-term forcing factors that govern such weather variations. Tree rings preserve uniquely high resolution and precisely dated records of environmental influences. Oxygen isotope compositions of tree-ring cellulose primarily reflect source water, which carries a clear isotopic signal of tropical cyclone activity. This study presents a 220-year record of oxygen isotope compositions of alpha cellulose in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) tree rings of the southeastern U.S. that preserves evidence of past tropical cyclone activity and suggests the potential for a detailed record of tropical cyclone occurrence extending back many centuries. Newly recognized tropical cyclones (e.g., 1857 event) and first evidence for impact of the Great Hurricanes of 1780 on the southeastern US are also captured."---David Gaffin.


The January 2006 meeting of the Twin Cities chapter of the American Meteorological Society convened at 7pm at Blegen Hall of the University of Minnesota. Vice President Shelby Winiecki called the meeting to order. Secretary/Treasurer Chris Bovitz related the gist of the previous meeting at the studios of KARE. In the Treasurer's Report, he mentioned that the chapter had nearly 40 members.

Shelby asked for volunteers to staff the Minnesota Children's Museum's "Meet the Meteorologist" Saturday mornings from March 11 to April 29. Staffers would spend a couple of hours performing some simple demonstrations to grade-school-age children and answering questions.

The Science Museum of Minnesota is holding a Science Summit on March 31 and April 1. Doug Dokken and Kurt Scholz will be bringing their vortex simulator.

Science fair season is coming up, and a request for judges was made. Interested parties should contact one of the officers.

Kevin Huyck of the Speaker Committee mentioned that plans have become fluid for our February speaker, an ex-forecaster for the Austrian weather services. A number of suggestions were offered, and Kevin said he'd follow up on them.

Chris was asked about progress on the new Web site. He said that he found a site which costs about $35 per year. He will work on getting things set up there before the St. Thomas server we're currently using goes away. The national AMS has web space available for chapters, but Chris felt having our own domain would be advantageous.

We then heard from our featured speaker, Kenny Blumenfeld, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. He presented an update to his senior project, an investigation of the origins of cyclones which bring heavy snow to the Twin Cities. Before he presented his results, he showed some statistics regarding annual snowfall in the Twin Cities. The standout feature of the history was the anomalously high snowfall totals for the winters of 1981-'82 through 1985-'86, bookended by a couple of lean snow years. He didn't offer a suggestion as to this pattern.

Kenny's investigation of the storm tracks revealed 4 main regions of cyclone origins: Colorado, Alberta, Deep South (Lower Mississippi River Valley), and Wyoming. The lows which originate from Colorado are the most frequently occuring of the set, while the storms which come from the Deep South are the heaviest snow producers.

In the discussion which followed his presentation, it was offered by a member that the summer of 1980 was hot and dry for the South Plains, and a year and a half later, the 5-year period of heavy snowfall began for the Twin Cities. The Southern Plains is currently in a severe drought. Does this mean we'll have a period of heavy snowfall starting next summer? Only time will tell.---Chris Bovitz.


Meeting Notes
January 13, 2006


~$250 with bake sale before teacher's donations

NOT money & partying

- 1st Meeting next Friday, Jan. 20th @ 11:30 a.m. (Speaker: Holly Searcy, NCAR Trip)

- AMS Conference (Poster, Ty Martin (print @ Kinko's)
- Science Olympiad (Saturday, Feb. 18th)
- Tour? (NWS, MIPS, etc.)

- Career Panel
- Science Fair (March 14th & 15th; April 7th)

- Elections
- Barry Roberts, President of the Huntsville AMS (Work tour)

- Spring Banquet (Through Huntsville AMS)

- Break

July - Picnic---Holly Searcy.


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