Chapter News
January 2008


January 11, 2008  


Call Meeting to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Kristine Nelson, at 11:35 a.m. The meeting was held at the Aviation Technology Center at Merrill Field in Anchorage.   


Treasurer’s Report:  AMS ANC Chapter funds are currently at $2,342.50

                                    This amount includes $450.00 for the local scholarship.

Old/New Business:   





  We have a winner! Congratulations to Elsa Dieckgraff, a Dimond High School student and summer hire at the Anchorage Weather Forecast Office for three of her high school years. Elsa is multi-talented.  Besides working at the Anchorage WFO, she is fluent in German and Japanese, and plays oboe in her high school band and pit orchestra.  She has also performed with the Anchorage Youth Symphony.  She won the AMS Anchorage Chapter $450 local scholarship.


  Deadline is Feb. 8th, 2008 and must be postmarked by that date.  The deadline for the AMS HQ receipt of the Anchorage Chapter Scholarship recommendation is likely 3-7-08.

The Minority/Industry Scholarship is not out at this time. The Website is:

Science Fair


Alaska Science & Engineering Fair will be March 21-23, 2008.

Darrell volunteered to help judge on March 22nd.   Louise volunteered to help hand out awards on the 23rd.

Guest Speaker: 

  Kathleen O’Keefe, President - Anchorage Amateur Radio Club


  Kathleen O’Keefe is a lifelong Alaskan, growing up in the Anchorage bowl.

Both she and her husband are licensed amateur radio operators.  This interest in radio, since its early citizen’s band days, has involved working with many different civil groups.  They have worked with Suicide Prevention Crisis Centers locally, and helped to broadcast sporting events such as cross-country and sled dog races.

They currently monitor frequency 147.27 and 147.30.

  AARC was founded as a club in 1947, receiving a certificate as the Anchorage Amateur Radio League. There were others too, the Polar Amateur Radio League and the Military Affiliated Radio System.

Back in those days, women weren’t allowed to participate….but of course that has changed. And so has amateur radio through the decades.

In 1960, prior to the big Earthquake in Alaska, AARC members met with public officials about disaster planning. And largely because of that cooperation, public agencies

Sought help from ham radio operators.  Crippled by the earthquake’s devastation, local governments relied on those ham radio broadcasts to maintain contact with the Lower 48.

Again in 1985, after the failure of a large underwater communications cable, ham radio operators helped relay emergency traffic.

The club takes on a number of adventuresome tasks such as helping support the Yukon Quest out of Fairbanks, the Iditarod in Nome, the Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage, the Red Cross and summer events such as the Walk for Hope.

AARC is now an official part of the State of Alaska and Municipality of Anchorage Emergency plans.  But they need more people to get interested and earn their own licenses!  And the best part, no more having to learn complicated codes!

As one earns the different levels of license, you are assigned different bands. Bands are assigned to operators by the Federal Communications Commission.  There are High Frequency, Very High Frequency, Ultra High Frequency and Military Amateur Radio System.

Ham Radio is so sophisticated now that we can converse with astronauts manning the Space Station orbiting the Earth. This has been done already at the

Challenger Learning Center in Soldotna by Mr. Hershberger.

Kathleen invites us all to look into getting our licenses as amateur radio operators. 

In Alaska, Nome boasts of having the highest percentage of amateur radio licenses holders at around 70%.

A big event to come is an Amateur Radio Convention to be held in Anchorage this year, celebrating their 50th year.  It will be held in the first week of August 2008.  And they expect some international participation. 


Annual AMS Meeting

Jim Peronto is attending the 88th Annual Meeting in New Orleans and will bring the New Chapter Poster to the meeting. 


Our next meeting will be February 7th, 11 am at the Anchorage Forecast Office.

   The speaker will be Heather Hasper on Disaster Training.



Motion to adjourn by Kristine Nelson, second by Mike Grueber.

The meeting was adjourned by President Kristine Nelson at 12:55 pm.---Kristine Nelson.



Meeting Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Meeting in Session:  Meeting is called to order by president Morris Langworthy at 9:06pm.

President’s Report: Welcome Back! Many new faces. Basic interest atmosphere and it’s processes, fundraisers, community interest programs, community outreach, weather discussions. We also attend weather conferences (hopefully 2!). We’re playing a treasure hunt! While you’re eating pizza, find 3 people you have something in common with outside of CMU and weather. GO!

              Registered E-Board with Student Life, AMS, transferred Cort (new treasurer) onto account. Adopt a family was a success. We raised $220.  T-shirts are still being sold.

E-board Report

Vice President Allison: In order to be an active member, you must join a committee (fundraising, jobs/internships, activities, Public Relations). We do campus chalking, table tents, etc. Committee sign up sheet will go around, and you may sign up for a new committee this semester.

Treasurer Cort: Handles club funds and collects dues. If you are a new member, dues are $10 a semester or $15 a year. Currently we have $3,024.72 in our savings account and $34.97 in our checking. We are looking in to a Visa check card which would be useful to reserve hotel rooms at conferences, etc. The check card is free, as we are considered a business. Cash card passed, we will clear it with the university, and get 1 card.

Secretary Katie: Attendance sheet is going around. If you are new,

Jacob SGA: First SGA meeting was about an hour. They are trying to get people to go to “Rock the Rose” Arena for wresting. Prizes are rewarded to Registered Student Organization with the most people to show up. 500 free t-shirts available to first 500 people. Care packages to women and children of Iraq. If you want to do this as an organization or individual, talk to Jacob. There will be no school next Monday. Monday 7am breakfast, march at UC rotunda at 11am, 7pm guest speaker at Plachta. Wednesday Peace Vigil, Unity Ball 6pm Friday in the Rotunda. Funding for conferences through Student Government is $12,000.

Dan Webmaster: New webmaster administers website. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions, let him know. Dan will buy webcam at a reasonable price, and he will get instrumentation up and running as soon as the club votes on it and he buys it.

Conferences: On the forum, the buzz is Iowa, Oklahoma, and Indiana.

If you really want to go to a conference, you can not get on the list unless we get some form of deposit. Club votes to require deposit to hold a spot for conferences. We’ll put that towards something like a hotel or fuel expenses. March 27-29 are the dates for the Iowa Conference. Approximately 16-20 members want to go. Paul Markowski from Penn State is the keynote speaker. Valparaiso, Indiana is a great starter conference because it is only 1 day, and is much cheaper. 

Advisor: NWS has an application for student volunteers for Summer 2008 in Grand Rapids. May-August is the time period, and you will be dealing with Nathan Jeruzal who did the Fire Weather presentation for us last month. Next Tuesday, Dr. Baxter, Orf, and Mower will speak on process of getting in to Grad school, what you need to get in, and answer questions.

Peer Education: If you’re doing research and want to share it with the club, talk to Morris and you can do a presentation (about 15 minutes).

Open Floor: January 28 weather challenge starts back up.


Meeting Date: January 22, 2008


Meeting in Session: President Morris Langworthy begins the meeting at 9:02pm. Morris hands the floor over to Dr. Orf and Dr. Baxter.

Presentation:  How do I get into grad school? What do I do to get in? Should I go to grad school?

Broadcasters: Want grades to be relatively decent. The most important part of broadcasting is experience!!! You want to practice in front of green screen, start at the bottom and work up. Internships are very important. Talk to professors to get signed up and earn credit. Personality, your “look”, and what the network wants are all taken into account.  You will need to make a tape prior to interviewing at a network using the software to show off your skills. There are things beyond grades that will help you land a job. Develop a relationship with the professors outside of class so that they know you and are willing to write recommendations.

Undergrad Research:  Professors are NOT required to help you do a research project! There is a possibility that an advisor’s time will be full, so plan ahead and ask at least a semester in advance. There are really only 2 ways to do research. One is to work with professor to do research, and the other is to do your own research under supervision of an advisor. Writing skills are very important!

Grad School: Getting into grad school is one thing, but getting an advisor to pay for you is something totally different. Professors have grants that they write in money for students. You can get free tuition, and even get paid for research that helps your advisor. Very few students pay for grad school themselves.

President’s Report: If you want to be a member of the AMS, go to SCAMS@CMU and click on the link to fill out your form. If you are a first time member, SCAMS will reimburse you half of the $15 fee. See Cort for a refund check.

Vice President’s Report:

If you’re interested in being a chairperson, talk to Allison. Committees meet tonight after the meeting.

Treasurer: $3,044.72 in savings $34.97 in checking. If you haven’t paid your dues yet, please pay them or we’ll hunt you down!!!

Webmaster: He put up a new poll on Monday. 

SGA Report:  There was no SGA meeting this week.

Peer education:  Come see Morris if you are interested in doing a presentation

Meeting Adjourned:`President Morris Langworthy adjourns the meeting at 9:51pm.


Meeting Date: January 29, 2008


Meeting in Session: Meeting was called to order by President Morris Langworthy at 9:07 pm.

Presentation: A presentation about current weather was put on by members Dan Burkhart and Dave Hampton. Topics included current radar, fronts, and current precipitation. Mount Pleasant is

President’s Report:

Benefits of being in club include first time AMS membership half off. Later in the semester we will bring in people who will talk about resume building. It is statistically shown that members have higher grades than non-members of SCAMS. Iowa Conference is March 27-29th. There will be a deposit that you must put down to secure your spot. Deposit due date is February 26th. The conference is the 12th Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference.

Vice President’s Report:

Committees met for the first time last meeting. For Public relations, we talked about going to a local elementary school, but they haven’t got back to us. They also discussed modifying the SCAMS board on the first floor of Dow. Fundraising talked about possibly selling gift certificates to La Senorita. Activities talked about taking a trip to the casino. Super Bowl is this Sunday, they were thinking about possibly having a party for it.

Jobs and internships talked about updating the jobs and internships board.

Treasurer’s Report:

Currently, we have $3063.72 in our savings account, and $34.97 in our checking account. Cort deposited $10 in dues and $9 for t-shirt sales.

Secretary’s Report:

SGA Report: If anyone has any new ideas that does not involve academics, let Jacob know. SGA is looking into getting the campus more green.

Webmaster: Dan got the barometer working on the weather station, but now the temperature is messing up, so he is working on it. Current meeting minutes are posted on the website. Our weather station is currently reporting on

Open Floor: What is the chance of not having class tomorrow due to all this rain freezing?

Morris: It won’t happen.

Isabella county (reportedly) does not have much salt left.

Stephanie just got back from New Orleans and has info about weather service, how to write a resume, what grad schools are looking for, etc. She will be presenting next week.

Meeting Adjourned:  President Morris Langworthy adjourns meeting at 9:39pm.



 January 17, 2008

Vice President Jerry Watson announced tonight's speaker Dr. Ryan Boyles, State Climatologist and Director State Climate Office of North Carolina.  Ryan Boyles is a native of Durham, NC.  He received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from NC State University (NCSU).  He completed the latter in 2006 under the guidance of Dr. Sethu Raman.  The doctoral research involved developing a radar-based mesoscale precipitation climatology for NC.  Ryan’s association with the State Climate Office (SCO) began when he entered the graduate program.  He became State Climatologist upon the recent retirement of Dr. Raman.

Ryan's talk followed a course of what happened last year, drought wise; how we got to where we are and what is coming next.  The Climate Office is a public service located on the NCSU campus.  One third of the economy in North Carolina is dependent on climate to include tourism and agriculture.  Advanced research done by the Climate Office is leveraged with university resources.   

Drought is defined as below average precipitation over a time sufficient to cause impacts.  Severity is measured largely by impacts on the following:

Agriculture and Forest Resources

Water supply


Economic Development 

We rely on many indices for objective drought depiction to include:

The Palmer Drought Indices

Standardized Precipitation Index

Stream flow percentiles

Ground water levels

Reservoir Inflow

Data only goes back about 100 years.  The U.S. Drought Monitor - National Depiction of Drought conditions is a compilation of the above. 

How did we get to our current state of drought?  North Carolina had the 2nd driest summer on record.  We had the hottest August on record.  We had minimum impact from tropical storms.  We received a small amount of rain from a system in October.  It was then a dry November.  Overall, 2007 was (unofficially) the driest year on record.  In April the Drought Monitor showed western North Carolina with drought conditions.  The drought scale is as follows: 

D0 Abnormal

D1 Moderate

D2 Severe

D3 Extreme

D4 Exceptional

The D4 Exceptional category only has a less than 2% probability of occurrence. 

In June and July things really started to get dry with drought conditions spreading from the west across the state.  November was no better.  The end of December showed expansion of the D4 conditions.  However, there was a slight improvement in the mountains.  The monitor is somewhat suggestive, but can be combined with other indices.  It takes months to get into drought conditions and months to get out.  Climatologists tend to hold off on introducing drought until there is strong consensus.  Many agencies that contribute guidance include National Weather Service, US Geological Survey, Tennessee Valley Authority, Duke Energy, and US Army Corps of Engineers Once drought is introduced, adjustments are cautiously made with most indices in agreement on the severity.  NC has one of the most active drought analyses of any state.  Different states have different procedures.  The National Drought Mitigation Center is the lead agency and compiles documentation on policy and procedure.   

What were the conditions in 2007 that brought about drought?  The Bermuda High sat over the Gulf of Mexico instead of Bermuda. Airflow into NC was from the north and northwest, instead of southwest.  This arrangement brought flooding to Texas, but dry air to North Carolina.  Four indicators, including the Palmer, were graphed and showed fairly good agreement.   

Is this drought unprecedented?  Some things to consider include: 

We have limited observations from the last 125+ years. 

The demand on the water supply has increased.

Tree rings show that a drought around 1585 was possibly the worst. 

Furthermore, we are currently experiencing La Nina conditions, which include cooler tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures.  The opposite, El Nino, would produce warmer Pacific Ocean temperatures.  The likelihood of below normal precipitation will thus continue through the spring along with La Nina. 

Where are we heading from here?  Typically, the winter jet carries storms and moisture along the Ohio Valley and west of the Appalachian Mountains and we have few to zero coastal storms.  Thus little recovery is anticipated in the coming few months.  In order for substantial recovery to occur, we need 22-30 inches of precipitation over the next six months in central and eastern NC.  That amounts to 2-5 inches above normal needed for water supply recovery.  Ground water will recover more slowly.  February, March and April are still expected to be below normal.  Looking out to summer the forecast is not as easy to determine and is currently qualified as EC (equal chances).  There is not much guidance to go on for summer 2008.   

Agriculture is the most sensitive during planting and growing season.  Timely rainfall can still lead to successful crops in non-irrigated fields, which will depend on location and strength of Bermuda High.  We are not likely to recoup what we need in a timely manner.  Lake Jordan has twice the water drainage area that Falls Lake has and is more likely to recover.  Most surface and groundwater reservoirs may not fill.  If water supplies are not full in spring, there will be big problems possible for summer. 

In summary, Ryan stated that some recovery is expected, but likely not enough. Crops can still have a good year and it depends on late spring and summer precipitation amounts.  There is not much skill/confidence in summer forecasts at this point.  Irrigation may still be limited.  Widespread restrictions on watering are expected.  More information can be found at Godfrey.



January/February Newsletter.---Steve Tracton.



7 pm January 17th, 2008

Welcome back!  Hope everyone had a nice Winter Break and is ready to get involved with plenty of activities to get involved with.

Science Nights- is a great way to get involved with the community by teaching elementary students a little about weather while having a fun time doing it.  Activities consist of making clouds with cotton balls, anemometers with Dixie cups and of course running the tornado machine!  Everyone is welcome to help out, a signup sheet was passed around at the meeting, but if you were unable to attend and would like to help contact Chris at or Rachel at for further information.   There are two opportunities to participate in:

Edwards Elementary Science Night-Tuesday January 22, 2008 from 6-8pm

Sawyer Elementary Science Night-Thursday January 31st from 6-8pm

Alumni contact list- a list was made up with contact information of former students.  Information consists of email addresses and their current employment.  This list will be available in the map room soon and can be a very useful tool for anyone looking for guidance in the field as well as mentors for research. 

We still have some AMS Calendars and apparel for sale if anyone is interested contact for further information.

The AMS is happy to announce the new additions to our meteorology family:  Lillian Grace Clark and Isaac David Flory.  Congratulations!  The chapter purchased gifts and cards for the families.  The cards were signed at the meeting by all members.

Severe Weather and Doppler Radar Conference- March 27 - March 29 2008 at the
West Des Moines Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center.  Great opportunity to attend many great presentations on some of the latest breakthroughs in weather topics.  For further information about this conference visit:

Pam Daale scholarship- The scholarship is dedicated to Pam Daale, who was a popular meteorologist in Iowa and Colorado before her death from cancer. Last Year's Pam Daale Scholarship was awarded to Chris Schaffer, a Junior in Meteorology at Iowa State University.  Applications are still being accepted and can be found at: Deadline for applying is February 8th, 2008.

Lecture series –Running on ice January 29th, 2008 7pm in Gallery Memorial Union

Tourswe will be taking tours of Des Moines National Weather Service and ABC5 sometime later this semester.  Dates will assigned later.  Attending these tours can give a sense of what actually occurs behind the scenes at these weather offices.  Also gives the chance to ask questions about their jobs and what they do on an everyday basis.

Storm Ready-we will be assigning groups and team leaders to try and start making some progress in making the Iowa State University more storm ready.  This will consist of posting signs about where to go during a severe weather event.  Most signs that are posted now are out of date and many buildings don’t even have directions on where to go during severe weather events.  This is another way that we as an organization can get involved in our community and do our best to try and keep the public safe during these events. 

Tornado Machine: Contact Ben McNeill if anyone is interested in helping work on making improvements to the machine.  This machine is used for many community involvements and will reflect our organization better with a few improvements.  Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Treasurer: Current balance: $990 After all transactions have taken place with calendar sales, our new balance will be: $2638.18.  Fundraiser ideas are currently being taken, please email Bree at with any ideas.   Also members of Cy’s Eyes need to pay Bree their $6 dues ASAP!

Academic: Class schedules were taken and will be compiled by Chris and then section leaders will be assigned and review sessions held.  Be sure to tell your section leaders when tests are so they can arrange review sessions.  If you were not able to attend the meeting, send Chris your schedule at:   Attending these review sessions is like having a free tutor, so take advantage of them.

Social: One team intramural opportunity which is team bowling.  A sign-up sheet was passed around and teams will be assigned if enough interest is expressed.

Seven Oaks ski trip-Saturday February 9th, 2008 from 4-9pm at Seven Oaks which is located west of Boone on Highway 30.  Tentative leaving time is 3:30pm from agronomy.  A sign-up sheet was passed around for those interested signed up.   Cost is $22 per person for rental and lift fees.  Can bring friends, the more the merrier!  This is a great opportunity to get away from your studies and have fun with all of your meteorology friends.

Forecast contests

National- January 29th, 2008 is when the contest starts back up.  The first city of the new year is New Orleans.  If interested in joining this semester email  by Wednesday January 23rd, 2008.  Cost is $3.  View all updates on the WxChallenge website at:

Local- Forecasting has already begun in the local contest currently forecasting day 2 for Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Ottumwa and Mason City.  Anyone can still join this contest and the cost is free. For further information visit:

Kaleidquiz-radio quiz challenge that lasts 4pm march 7th to 6pm March 8th. Questions are asked every 7 minutes about various topics.  A sign-up sheet was passed around for those interested.  For further information about this event contact  

AMS Spring Break: The choices for destinations for the trip have been narrowed down to: Kansas city which has Science City, NWS Aviation Weather Center, and NWS Missouri Basin River Forecast Office. Twin cities which has Science Museum, Meteorolgix and NWS North Central River Forecast Center.   Boulder Colorado which has NCAR and UCAR, which are well known research organizations.   A sign-up sheet was passed around for those interested any further ideas contact Jason or Scott Lincoln.

Community Page – getting a community page set up on the AMS homepage that represents the club as a whole and what we do for the community, etc.  This will be a great new addition to the website.

Cy’s Eyes- last show wasn’t held because miscommunication with studio supervisor.  Also are in the process of getting a new green screen since the one we had is not useable anymore.  Also be sure and pay your $6 dues ASAP!

Webmaster-send Ben any new IT ideas you may have for improving the website at

Historian-continue sending any pictures of the members of the club to Jeff Edmonson at

Next meeting 7pm Tuesday February 12th, 2008---Brandon Engelson.




January 30, 2008 General Business Meeting

Attendance: 34 (Including Executive Board)

Start Time: 7:03pm

              The Lyndon State College AMS & NWA welcomed back its members to another exciting semester by holding a General Business Meeting.  President Steve LaVoie first recapped the 2007 AMS Can Drive.  The club collected $75 and 95 cans, which were given the Lyndon Food Shelf as a holiday donation.  The president then recognized members of the club who attended the National AMS Conference held in New Orleans.  Steve then moved on to our Northeastern Storm Conference.  The agendas for the conference are currently being finalized and will be available to members soon.  He reminded the club that anyone interested in doing a poster presentation should see him immediately.  The AMS is also currently working on a joint event with Plymouth State during the month of April.  The president then finished his portion by informing the members that AMS Officer Elections would be held during the second week of April.

              Vice President Mike Swan discussed the AMS registration process to the active members of the club.  He explained the online registration process and the deadlines that had to be met for the AMS members.

              Secretary Alex Jacques quickly recapped the AMS Winter Ball held on January 26th.  The dance was a big success and Alex thanked the numerous members who helped with set-up and clean-up.  Alex finished by informing the club of bulletin board updates, including an active member list and photos from the Winter Ball.

              Treasurer Hayley LaPoint informed the club about the prices for active members who registered for the Northeast Storm Conference.  If anyone was experiencing financial issues in registering for the conference, they should see Hayley immediately.  Hayley also updated the club on the search for a new faculty member for next year.  The process has been going well and the meteorology department currently has three candidates in place for the position.

              Rich Maliawco, our Public Relations Director, reiterated that the Winter Ball was a huge success.  He was pleased that a lot of people showed up for the dance.  Rich thanked all the members for their hard work during all the fundraising events.  He finished by reminding the club that the deadline for the NESC Photo Contest was this Thursday (1/31).

              Community Outreach Officer Josh Redinger informed the club about an Outreach Meeting that would take place next Tuesday (2/5) at 7pm.  The meeting would be for another Science Fair mailing as well as a discussion on another school visit in the spring.

              Historian Scott Jaeger quickly informed the club that the NESC Friday Night Tribute was coming together nicely.  Members from the five past executive boards will come together for a special tribute at the Storm Conference.

              The AMS then conducted an 8th Person Award vote.  The nominees were Kathryn Mozer, Alison Ciaramitaro, and Karen Sague.  Each spoke about their contributions to the club over the past two months.  A vote was conducted, and Kathryn Mozer won the award.

              The LSC-AMS & NWA then concluded the General Business Meeting with a candy raffle.

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




January Meeting Minutes.---Brandon Miller.



On Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 the North Florida AMS held its January meeting. Charlie discussed a snow event taking place in Los Angeles as this meeting’s Today in Weather event. He then announced that we would have approximately 25 students and 5 professors from FSU attending the 88th Annual American Meteorological Society conference in New Orleans.  Hazardous Weather Awareness Week (HWAW) will be held Feb 4 – 8, 2008 through the State Emergency Operations Center. Many participants include, the North Florida AMS, FSU Emergency Management, and The American Red Cross. Our booth will be on Wednesday, February 6th, and volunteers are needed from 10am – 2pm. Representatives from our chapter will need to discuss topics such as weather safety, FSU being a Storm Ready University lightning, fire hazard, severe weather, and hurricanes.

Tiffany Johnson volunteered to coordinate for HWAW for our chapter. She suggested ideas such as a presentation for hazardous weather at a dorm, making flyers for each themed day, chalking on the Saturday and Sunday before around FSU’s campus, contest between organizations that are involved, and a preview about HWAW at the Student Life Center.

Following Tiffany, Andy announced the next programs committee to be January 29th at 4:30 PM at Momo’s on Tennessee St. The committee will be discussing details about the banquet (tentatively Feb 28th), and a baseball tailgate in late February. Kevin announced the chapter’s account balance of $2,292.69 and the basketball tailgate for FSU vs. N.C. State on Jan 26th at 1:30 PM, starting the tailgate at 10:30 AM. At the next membership/fundraising committee meeting (Jan 30th at 7 PM) Kevin will be planning the mini-golf tournament tentatively scheduled for April 8th. Help is needed to find sponsors and prizes. Liane announced the next bake sale to be Wednesday, February 20th from 10 AM – 2PM in the Love building, and the Publicity Committee meeting to be January 31st at 4:00 PM at Momo’s on Tennessee St. Five to ten members from our chapter are needed to judge posters for HWAW on Thursday, January 31st at 10:00 AM at the American Red Cross. Jessica then announced that the Science and Education committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday Jan 31st at 4:45 PM in 353LOV. The committee will be writing lesson plans, and planning for science fair judging in February.

Dr. Livingston graduated from Princeton University - A.B. (1955-1959), followed by post-graduate study-1961-1963 at Columbia University. Afterward he continued his graduate study in 1963 at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and then earned his M.S. and Ph.D. at the Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami from 1964-1969. The long-term research effort has included multidisciplinary (ecosystem) analyses, population/community studies, determinations of food web organization, and the impacts of various anthropogenous stress factors. The overall research effort of R. J. Livingston for the past 37 years has involved continuous, long-term analyses of various river and coastal systems. Dr. Livingston has also performed research in north Florida lakes for over 35 years. A descriptive database has been coupled with laboratory and field experimentation to evaluate how aquatic systems function and how human activities affect the various parts of these systems. This work has included multidisciplinary systems analyses, population/community structure, trophic interactions, and the impact of various forms of anthropogenous stress on a range of physical-chemical and biological processes. The validation or verification of bioassay results with field data from rivers and coastal areas has been an integral part of the research effort.--- Liane Claytor.



January 29, 2008   Joe Schaefer  (SPC)

5:30 PM  Food served

5:40  Officers 'debriefed' members about the goings-on of the AMS conference!  Students encouraged to join/get involved in the new elementary education outreach program created by OU SCAMS.

5:55  Joe presents "storms of 2007, the extended version" to the delight of all.  Many questions were fielded and discussion had about the previous year's events.

7:00 PM  Students reminded of the upcoming Groundhog's Day department event!---Kim Klockow.



The January 2008 Omaha-Offutt AMS chapter meeting was called to order by president Evan Kuchera at 12:00 pm at the Lo Sole Mio Restaurant on the 18th of the month.

For the first order of business, Vice President Steve Augustyn discussed the 6-9 month postponement of the Omaha-Offutt AMS chapter hosted conference due to conflicts with other conferences scheduled to take place during the same time period, which it is believed will likely deter potential conference goers from attending.  The conference program committee would like to make a good first impression with this conference, and it has been noted that if attendance is low this would be difficult to do.

Next, chapter member Gordon Brooks discussed Weather Explorer Post, which he noted has grown markedly, and announced that additional speakers and “storm chase involvement” would be welcome, and also requested that anybody with spare weather information or expertise contact him if they wish to contribute.

It was then announced that the Spring agenda is nearly set;  Mark Conner will discuss stratos amateur radio on February 12;, March 4 the meeting speaker will be Chris Snyder from NCAR, Chuck McWilliams will be the April guest speaker, and May we hope to arrange a tour of the new AFWA building.

Evan Kuchera next announced the possibility for a career fair, noting it would be discussed in greater detail later.  He also mentioned that a speaking volunteer was being sought out to speak at a 7th grade OPS science fair.

Next, the December meeting minutes were summarized.

Chapter treasurer Tiffany Bendorf next gave the treasurer’s report – the current chapter balance is $2,236.81 with 81 members.

Next, it was announced that chapter member Jen Alexander was elected to the national AMS council.

The business portion of the meeting was then adjourned at 12:14 pm.

The guest speaker for the meeting was Becky Adams, giving a presentation titled “Mesoscale Surface Pressure and Temperature Features Associated with Bow Echoes.”  Here follows the presentation overview: 

The meeting ended following Becky’s presentation at 12:50 pm.---Steve Augustyn and Scott Rentschler.



“Rain and Your Brain…How Weather Affects You” by Louise Lague, M.A., N.C.C.

Thirty folks attended this dinner meeting held at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Clackamas.  We enjoyed great food and company.  Our guest speaker was Louise Lague, a practicing counselor who specializes in mid-life issues. 

Louise emphasized that weather drives our mood and activities.  What about body regulation with dark, cloudy weather?  About 50% of the general population is affected by dark weather, 35% gain weight and have trouble waking up, 12% fight the doldrums, and 3% develop clinical depression.  No one really knows the details of “darkness and depression.”

In the early 1900s, the Industrial Revolution fundamentally altered our way of life with electric lights, heat, and migration from rural to city life.  Life was driven by economic concerns and became increasing at odds with the natural world.  The seasonal influence of the weather has been minimized due to new medical drugs. 

In 1984, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was coined and bright light therapy was offered.  Modern complications include depletions (money, energy, sleep), expectations (holidays and New Year’s resolutions), and increased inflammation (e.g., arthritis).  Women are more affect by SAD than men.  People over 60 are more weather sensitive.  The “gloomiest day” of the year is January 23, according to an empirical formula.

By 2000, Positive Psychology says that focus on what works and not what is wrong.  An Alaskan Eskimo study concludes that a “let’s sleep in” mentality during winter prevented SAD symptoms.  Urban Eskimos suffer from SAD, as do white and black co-workers.

If you can’t sleep in, then party.  A number of holidays occur for the short days of autumn-winter: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.  Modern additions include: MLK Day, Super-Bowl Sunday, Groundhog Day, President’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day.

Solutions: take steps to change your thoughts and attitude, it is temporary, permission to semi-hibernate, use 10000 lux light for 30 minutes (in the morning, preferably), leave town (weekend retreat), get out of the house, sit by a window, go outside, light a fire, wear bright colors, exercise 30 minutes per day, protein enhanced meals, more vitamin D, and little alcohol.  Consider fun activities-hobbies, crafts, projects, rhythmic action, and laughter.  After the talk concluded, Louise answered several questions.  We appreciate Louise sharing her expertise with us!---Kyle Dittmer.



January Meeting Minutes.---Brian Hulse.



January meeting minutes

The AMS 88th annual conference in New Orleans was an enriching experience for all PSUBAMS members in attendance.  The student conference was beneficial because it addressed many of the concerns junior and senior meteorology students face.  Inspirational stories from engaging meteorologists provided hope for future careers.  A vast array of speakers taught students about resume building, various career choices, and graduate school.  During the student BAMS town hall meeting, PSUBAMS officers learned much from others BAMS chapters.  We were particularly impressed with Florida State’s efforts to become storm ready.  PSUBAMS also strengthened its ties between the other two Pennsylvania schools in attendance- Millersville and California University of Pennsylvania.  In the future we hope to strengthen the connections between our schools.  The remainder of the week was just as informational as the student conference.  The numerous lectures and symposiums kept all PSUBAMS members constantly traversing the conference center.  This was the first meteorological conference for many PSUBAMS members and the presentations provided a brief description of the current research of many prominent scientists in the field.  Many PSUBAMS and Penn State alum also had posters on display throughout the week.  The student poster sessions allowed members to learn about research completed by peers and colleagues.  In addition to attending the lectures and posters, PSUBAMS members focused on networking for the remainder of the week.  On behalf of all PSUBAMS members, we thank the American Meteorological Society for a wonderful conference experience.---Maria Zatko.  




All Members Meeting

Date: January 30, 2008

Minutes: 7:00-7:30pm

Board Members in Attendance: Melissa P, Heather D, Katie P, Norm S, Jeff V, John S, Andy D, Peter A

Total: 40


              Norm presented his experience at the NCAR Undergraduate Leadership Workshop held last summer in Boulder, Colorado. Juniors interested in attending this summer were encouraged to contact him for more information. The application can be found online and the deadline is 29 February 2008.

            The Northeastern Storm Conference (NESC) was the main topic of discussion at this meeting. The conference will be held March 14th through 16th of 2008 and will be hosted by Lyndon State College. Members signed up and paid the reduced cost of attendance, picked a meal choice for the banquet dinner, and chose same sex room assignments (4 people per room).--- Heather Dinon.



January 31 2008 Meeting


During January 2008, our meeting included a lecture by Mike Umscheid of the Dodge City, Kansas National Weather Service office, concerning the May 4, 2007 tornado that devastated Greensburg, Kansas. The March meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, March 25, will host storm chaser Jon Davies, with a presentation entitled 20 Years of Storm Chasing: Busts, Thrills, and Things Learned.---Nathaniel Reynolds.



The January meeting of the Smoky Mountain Chapter of the AMS was held on the 28th. A few people met first for dinner at Calhoun's on the River in Knoxville, and then moved to our usual meeting place on the University of Tennessee Agricultural campus. Around twenty people attended to hear David Gaffin (Senior Forecaster with the National Weather Service in Morristown) speak about "On Severe Winds and Foehn Warming associated with Mountain-Wave Events in the Western Foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains".

The abstract of his talk was: "Widespread reports of wind damage (large trees and power lines down) occurred in the southern Appalachian region on 23 December 2004, 17 October 2006, 25 February 2007, and 1 March 2007. Especially hard hit were the western foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Camp Creek area in the foothills of southeast Greene County, where numerous trees were reported down which closed almost all roads in these areas. In addition, several homes were damaged and a few barns were destroyed in the Camp Creek area. The magnitude of these winds in the foothills (measured at over 100 mph) was surprising, since they far exceeded the wind speeds forecasted by the operational computer models. Another surprising finding was that most of the severe damage was confined to a narrow area along the foothills of the mountains, rather than in the higher elevations where stronger winds are normally expected. It was ultimately determined that these high winds were caused by mountain waves. Besides the high winds in the foothills, mountain-wave events also create a significant aviation hazard due to extreme turbulence and a temperature forecast challenge in the central and northern Great Tennessee Valley due to foehn warming. Foehn winds are more commonly known as the "Chinook winds" near the Rockies and the "Santa Ana winds" of southern California (where wildfires normally erupt during their occurrences). The purpose of this talk is to (1) examine the similar characteristics of the four mountain-wave events with extreme winds of 23 December 2004, 17 October 2006, 25 February 2007, and 1 March 2007, and (2) examine their associated foehn warming in the Great Tennessee Valley." ---David Gaffin.



January 2008

The main focus of Chapter activities revolved around the 88th Annual American Meteorological Society Conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 20-24, 2008. Michael Allen [President], Matthew Owens [Treasurer], and Nicole Persons [Historian] were given the opportunity to attend via the student work study program. Chad Meehan, a chapter member, also attended the conference events. Students participated in the 7th Annual Student Conference and Networking Reception which focused on the job market and graduate opportunities. These students also attended presentations on a variety of research topics including global warming, climatology, severe weather, and the future technology of the Federal Aviation Administration. The Southwest Pennsylvania Chapter also received third place in the student poster contest and honorable mention for their 2007 efforts. Current students were able to meet up with alumni from the program in both a social and professional setting to discuss future projects and plans. Chapter adviser, Dr. Chad Kauffman, was appointed to the Local Chapter Affairs Committee of the AMS at the meeting as well. Students participated in the Post-Katrina tours, which offered a unique perspective on the devastation that occurred in 2005. The experience of the AMS Conference allowed students to obtain first-hand professional experience, discuss future opportunities with employers, and provided a historic venue of New Orleans, Louisiana.

With the help of Caitlin Lawrence, an additional 50 students were visited at Carmichaels High School/Middle School. The students played “Weather Jeopardy” and had a question and answer session afterwards to ask any and all questions they had about weather and our meteorology program. In addition, calls were placed to establish visits with the California and Ringgold area school districts. Both agreed that they would love to have us come and teach to their students about weather. With the help of chapter member Lori Lehrman, plans are still in the works to collaborate on an educational outreach venture within the Pittsburgh Public School system.---Reece Todd.



The January 2008 meeting of the Twin Cities AMS was called to order at 7:01 p.m. at the Twin Cities WFO by president Chris Bovitz.  Introductions were had among the dozen or so members and potential members present.  Bovitz read an account written by member Karen Trammell of the December meeting at KSTP-TV.  In the treasurer's report, Bovitz said our balance was about $883 after expenses of $44 and incomes (dues) of $222 since the November meeting, when the balance was $705.

Lisa Schmit displayed a printed proof of the poster from the poster committee which she will be presenting at the national AMS meeting.  It was received well by the membership in attendance, but the cost of the poster was greater than expected.  It was suggested and agreed by the members there that we display the poster at the upcoming Government Expo at the Mall of America and possibly at the Metro Skywarn workshop in April.  Bovitz will look into the cost of a booth or a sponsorship, similar in cost to what we did last year.

We will need another newsletter editor next year, as the current editor, Kurt Sholz, will need to devote time to being chair of the math department at St. Thomas University.  No one expressed interest at the meeting.

Bovitz mentioned the upcoming science fairs at which we typically judge.  He mentioned that if anyone wanted to volunteer to contact Karen Trammell.  Our new traditional award is a weather radio; judges should contact Bovitz to acquire one.

The speaker for the night was Bill Sites, hydrotech at the North Central River Forecast Center.  His presentation was about his career aboard a NOAA Corps ships.  He spent 23 years in the Corps on 10 assignments, starting in 1982, with breaks.  NOAA Corps is the seventh uniformed service of the U.S., and they have a hierarchical structure similar to the Navy.  The people who work in the Corps are naval officers who work with all components of NOAA and other related government and private entities in research efforts.  Sites spoke of many adventures and missions he was on, from working in the Caribbean installing tide gauges to counting dolphins and whales in the eastern Pacific.  He also spoke of life aboard a ship, about the shifts, the meals, and the camaraderie which comes about for spending so much time aboard a ship.  He quizzed the crowd about nautical terms and showed some examples of night-time navigation.---Lori Bovitz.



SCAMS@UIUC meeting minutes—Thursday, January 31, 2008


AMS Annual Meeting Review:

A total of 10 students from the department attended the Annual Meeting in New Orleans in mid-January.  The week long trip included attending the student conference on the weekend, a Hurricane Katrina damage tour, and attending various conference sessions during the week.  Attending the Annual Meeting is a great way to meet other people in the field, and with financial help from both the university and the department the cost of attending was very reasonable.  It’s not too early to start thinking about the next Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for January 11-15, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Boy/Girl Scout Weather Merit Badges:

The department is organizing a program to help local Boy Scouts earn their weather merit badge.  It is scheduled for the afternoon of March 1st, and we are looking for 4-5 volunteers to help out at the event.  If you’d like to volunteer and weren’t at the meeting, let us know!  Additionally, Marilé has provided us with a workbook for earning the Girl Scout weather merit badge, so we are hoping to renew our efforts to work with local Girl Scout troops.

Weather Station:

The department has approached the club with the idea of setting up a weather station.  SCAMS would be in charge of finding, setting up, and maintaining the system, with the idea that making it a club responsibility would help keep the station operational from year to year.  The department is willing to fund a relatively inexpensive system, but if we can get a working system in place that everyone is happy with, it could be upgraded in the future.  Ideally we are looking for a system that could wirelessly provide one minute data.  Jason Keeler has offered to help look into different systems.  If you have any suggestions, please contact Jason (

Science Olympiad:

We are looking for volunteers to help both write and proctor tests for the regional and state competitions.  Writing the test will require meetings in February and March to come up with test questions, and proctors are needed in March and April.

February Speaker:

We have contacted a local family that has installed solar panels and a wind turbine to power their house with renewable energy about speaking at our February meeting.  More information to come.

Treasurer’s Report:

The t-shirt sales went really well, and have greatly improved our financial situation.  We were able to sell 61 shirts for a $330 profit, leaving us with a total balance of $540.  If anyone has yet to pay their dues, they are $2 for the year and can be paid to Amanda (

Future Ideas:

We are in the process of trying to organize a joint meeting with the Central Illinois AMS chapter.  Other ideas for club activities include visiting elementary schools to provide weather education, science fair judging, and participating in Skywarn spotter training.  We are also considering taking the idea of having a photo contest and expanding it into creating a calendar out of the top 12 entries.  Other schools have had some success partnering with other organizations to extend the contest throughout the larger community.  If anyone has any other ideas or would like to help with anything, let us know by emailing!

Our next meeting will be in February.--- Faye Barthold.




Minutes from:

Tuesday, January 15th, 2007

Clifford Hall, Rm. 264

5:00 p.m.

Members Present:

Alan Borho, Advisor

Kira Dordal, President

Katy Olson, Vice President

Becki Legatt, Secretary

Kelly Kramlich, Treasurer

Kevin Skow

Dan Koller

Michael Phillips

Andrea Neumann

Aaron Hommerding

Kelsey Watkins

Matt Saari

Leah Tatarak

Erin Bertschi

Shawn Palmquist

Sydney Souza

Mitch Beck

Peter Johnson

Call to Order:

              President Kira Dordal called the AMS meeting to order at 5:00 PM.

Past Minutes:

            Past meeting’s minutes were read.

Officer Reports:

Secretary’s Report: Past meeting’s minutes were read.

Vice Pres Report: none

Treasurer’s Report: The current balance is $1838.38. 

Guest Speaker: Adam Theisen gave a presentation about his student summer internship with NASA in Virginia.  He talked about 3 different internship programs through NASA.  Information sheets were passed around with links for the application websites.  If anyone has questions they can stop by Adam’s office on 4th floor Clifford Hall. 

Old Business:

No old business


New Business:

Committees met to plan things for the semester

The Who’s Who wall should be up soon.



-A sign up sheet next week for goodies on 4th floor will be passed around at the next meeting.     

-We want to do a hot chocolate fundraiser this semester.  A date will be set next meeting.

-We may sell concessions at the Ralph next year and share the games with an aviation group so we wouldn’t have to work every game.


-The photo contest for January is up and running with the theme of space weather.  The deadline is tonight at midnight.

-Who’s Who Wall are being printed and will be up within the next week

-UND vs. NDSU bike race in the spring open to anybody, recommend $10/person to race food at end of race down to Hillsborough and bring you back, more info in the spring

-AMS trip ideas for the year: Science Museum of MN, Ski trip (location TBD), waterpark/casino.  A vote of present members was taken: museum (11), skiing (5), casino (1).  We will look into a trip to the science museum of MN. 

-We discussed working with schools this semester.  Possibly going to talk with jr. high aged students or maybe judging local science fairs.            


-A formal letter has been created to be emailed out to all 4 banquet speakers nominees.


-No more business for the semester


-Al went to a workshop for automated auditing of transcripts at the union.  It will make things a lot simpler to check to see if students have met all requirements for graduation in certain degrees.  It will soon be available to professors but it won’t be available to students quite yet.  Students may be receiving an email about this in the future.  If you’re interested in checking this out before registering for classes talk with your academic advisor. 


Meeting was adjourned without objection at 5:45.---Becki Legatt.



Chapter News – January 2008

              From January 20th – January 24, 2008 twelve students represented our chapter at the 88th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society at New Orleans. We had the opportunity of compete in the Student Chapter Poster Competition, and we obtained the second place. We also participated in different conferences, meetings, extracurricular activities and exchanged ideas with meteorologists and students about summer internships, academic opportunities and other topics of interest.--- Nestor Flecha.



Friday, January 11th- South Eastern Coastal Atmospheric Process Symposium (SeCAPS) meeting. 2pm in Coastal Weather Research Center. We planned in depth activities to go on at the symposium. We also put together a pannel of speakers.  

Wednesday, January 16th- MET Club meeting. 4:30pm. Guest Speaker: Dr. Wesley Terwey (USA).  

Wednesday, January 23rd- Officer meeting. 3pm.  

Monday, January 28th- Intramural Basketball Game. (Jetstreaks) 9:30pm  

Wednesday, January 30th- SeCAPS meeting. 4:15pm---Miranda Hayes.



Polar Orbiting Weather Satellites

The January meeting of the West Central Florida Chapter of the American Meteorological Society took place at the Colonnade restaurant located in Tampa. The guest speaker was Mr. Daniel Noah, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Ruskin. Noah presented on the history and current technology of polar orbiting weather satellites.

Noah started off the meeting by defining the shallow layer of the troposphere and the high elevation of the satellites. He explained how satellites must be at least 96 km above the earth to counter the effects of friction.  He posed the question, “Why Don’t Satellites Fall Out of the Sky?” His explanation included several factors, specifically a blend of gravity, centripetal force and momentum which keeps the satellites in orbit.  He used illustrations with a ball on a string being swung in a circle to demonstrate this.  He explained how the satellites are continually ‘falling’ around the Earth, to keep with the curvature of our planet and that there is a 5 meter drop in the satellites for every 8000 meters of orbit, and this happens in 1 second.

Noah then went into details about the different satellites.  The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) orbits the earth once a day.  The satellite is at a fixed position over the earth at an elevation of around 40,000 km (the same as the circumference of the earth).  This satellite orbital velocity matches the rotation of the earth, to maintain its fixed location over the planet.  Noah noted that the advantages of the GOES satellite include a full disk image of the earth, rapid scans if needed, while the disadvantages are less resolution and distortion problems over the poles.  Error must be increased for storms that are located further away from the equator due to this distortion, as there will be displacement from where the storm is actually located over the ground.

Noah then continued to discuss the Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES) which hover nearly 805 km above the Earth’s surface. This satellite is ‘sun synchronous’ meaning that its orbit stays relative to the sun in the same location; the earth rotates beneath it. The track of the orbit is slightly tilted so it does not go exactly over the poles.  This way, the satellite will have slightly overlapping tracks for complete daily coverage. The advantages are much higher resolution data.   Since the satellite orbits 14x a day, or 10 degrees of latitude in 3 minutes, it only takes 102 minutes for the satellite to make a complete orbit around the planet.  Disadvantages include only getting ‘swaths’ of data, and inability to get a loop of data since the satellite only passes over any given area twice a day.

Noah then discussed the history of weather satellites, showing images of the satellites he was discussing. The first liquid propelled propellant fired in 1926; in 1947 the first unmanned rocket carried a camera into outer space, recording a picture, and then falling back to earth.  He went on to discuss Sputnik, the first artificially made object to actually orbit the entire earth in 1957.  It was the size of a basketball and took 98 minutes to orbit the entire planet.  In 1960 TIROS had tape recorders inside to capture the data.  A television signal captured the image with a wide angled camera lens. This satellite weighed 122 kg.  Today, NOAA satellites weigh approximately 2,232 kg and have different recording devices.

As Noah went through the history of satellites, he showed many pictures and images of the various satellites and how they have drastically changed size and shape over the years.  He even covered some of the next generation satellites and how signals and capturing data will improve in the years to come.  He gave several informative websites for the members to learn more such as when a satellite is overhead, he suggested visiting However, for us AMS members living in Florida, this happens when we are likely asleep! He also suggested the following website where you can sign up for an email to be sent to you alerting you when something interesting is occurring above your zip code. To see Noah’s power point presentation and to view video of his presentation, please go to the chapter’s website at

Figure 1: POES Image

---Jennifer M. Collins.



January Newsletter.---Paul Gehred.





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