Chapter News
January 2010


January 27th, 2010 Meeting Minutes

The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 1st meeting of 2010 on January 27th at 615 pm at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, LA.  

Chapter President Jason Hansford discussed the conditions needed to establish a dual National Weather Association Chapter, and solicited feedback from the attending members. Additional correspondence will be conducted with the national NWA organization, with a vote expected during the March meeting. Hansford also conducted the local chapter elections for 2010, with all four elected officers retaining their positions. Thus, Jason Hansford will remain President, Marty Mayeaux as Vice-President, Marcy Novak as Secretary, and Leslie Sexton as Treasurer.

Cody Nichols, Forecaster with the 26th OWS at Barksdale Air Force Base, gave a presentation on a verification program of various MOS products for certain stations he has developed for operational use at his office, and how it can be used in the forecasting process. Parameters included within his verification program were temperatures, dewpoints, wind direction and speed, sky conditions, and ceilings. Nichols agreed to share his program with the National Weather Service-Shreveport meteorologists, for use operationally on the eight verified cities in their forecast area.

The following Chapter members were present:

Jason Hansford (President)

Leslie Sexton (Treasurer)

Cody Nichols

Ernest Ethridge

Kathy Jaafar

Doug Butts

Jodie Nichols (Guest)

Gary Chatelain (Guest)

The meeting adjourned at 745 pm.---Jason Hansford, for Secretary Marcy Novak.



January Chapter Minutes.---Candace T. Hutchins.



Meeting in session: 9:03 pm

Meeting adjourned: 9:pm

Presidents report:

- Scholarships that Dr Baxter wants us to know about

              Look at the board in the met lab for more information

-Important dates to remember:

If you want to volunteer with the NWS the deadlines are: Grand Rapids March 1, White Lake February 13.

Committees: sign up for a new committee.

Treasurers report: If you are a new member then please pay the $10 dues for the semester, or if you didn’t pay for the whole year in the beginning of the year then come pay. No checking or savings report to problems with the online banking.

Secretary’s report: If you are new sign on the bottom of the attendance sheet. If you are returning check your name on the attendance sheet. Please remember to let me know if you are going to be absent. After three absentees a member must repay their dues.            

SGA representative: No SGA meeting this week.


Weather challenge must be done 4 days a week, so please only sign up if you know you are going to be able to commit.

There are still some members who ordered t-shirt that have yet to pick them up.  Please see Laura to pay.   

Meeting date: 1/26/09

Meeting in Session: 8:59pm

Meeting Adjourned: 9:25pm

Presidents Report:. Cloud Trivia!

Conferences: Great Lakes Weather Conference March 10 in Valparaiso  Register by Feb. 26

Severe Storms and Doppler Radar March 25-27  Des Moines IA register by March 13

 FOUS Discussion  next Tuesday met lab at 8pm

Vice President’s Report:. Explanation of what each Committee does and who is in charge

Committee reports:

Public relations: Putting together a relay for life team, it is at the end of April. We are going to focus more on middle and high schools, as well as get involved

more at CMU.

Fundraising: La senoritas was a good fundraiser last semester so we might try that again.  Make 16oz glasses with a design we pick and then sell them to other people on campus $2.50 originally sell them for $5-6 a glass. Bring designs next time. Papa Johns, tropical smoothie are other fundraising options.

Activities: If we get snow then we can do a sledding trip to Island Park. Maybe tubing at Snow Snake. Bowling this semester. We just need to decide if we want to do it earlier or later in the semester. Poker night maybe? Movie night?

Possible date February 16th for Bowling

Jobs/internships: Check out the job board in the met lab. If anyone has an idea for speakers let us know.

Treasurer’s Report: New member $10 dues. Make sure you pay.

Saving $3,700.81

Checking $26.35

Secretary’s Report: Please sign the attendence, as well as make sure that the sheet stays in the row so that all people can sign it.  If you can’t make the meeting, please email me at or

SGA Report: put SOS online, so that we can review what other students have said about the professors.

If you get to the hospital for drinking to much then the hospital won’t call cops and thus you can’t get and MPI.  This is to encourage people to get help if they have had too much to drink.

Webmaster Report: Posted powerpoints on the website from the Chicago conference.


Pick up your T-shirts if you didn’t yet.

National AMS report from Kayla and Cort.---Jenny Frautschy.



Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 

Start time: 7:02 

President Hatteberg welcomed all present and then invited Carl Jacobson, the Chair of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, to present the awards.


Geological & Atmospheric Sciences


We first held the Undergraduate Research Symposium award presentation. A large majority of the meteorology department’s faculty attended to meeting to watch the presentation. Matt Hoffman received the award for best senior thesis and Shannon Rabideau was the runner up. Congratulations for your honors! All the seniors put in an impressive amount of effort on these presentations and the overall quality was equal to that at a professional meeting.

President Hatteberg


President Hatteberg began by discussing all the benefits of becoming a member of the national AMS member. These include:

-a subscription to Bulletin of the AMS

-scholarships and fellowships

-reduced rates to conferences

-access to a special career page

Dues are $20 for the year and you can sign up at: Please contact Rachel if you have any questions at:

Since schedules change every semester, we sent around a mid-year survey. It included the preferred day and time of the meetings, as well as suggestions for things you would like to see done within the club (e.g. social events, outreach, etc).

It’s the time of the year to create a spring t-shirt design! These designs have included meteorology jokes, cartoons, and much more in the past. Please email with your design. The person who creates the design that is chosen by the club will receive a gift card!

We have been discussing have a CPR Training Session this spring. CPR training is a great skill to have and its only $25 to become CPR certified. Please think about this as it will be decided at the next meeting.

Please consider joining the NWA! It is a great way to meet professionals in the meteorology field! We will keep the club informed on the meeting time and date of the next NWA meeting.

We are trying to figure out ways to get more involved with the community. It was motioned and passed to donate $500 to the Red Cross to go to earthquake relief in Haiti. Half of the profits from the remaining calendars will be going to this cause. Many club members are also interested in getting involved in the local Ames area. If you have ideas of community service events we can participate in or an organization we can help sponsor, please email

Vice President Hoffman


The 14th Annual Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference in Des Moines, IA is March 25-27 this year. The non-member student rate is $75 and the member rate is $55. Last year we received partial reimbursements from LAS and we will try to do so again this year. Presentations from old events and new research will be given by: Tim Samaras, Roger Hill, Yvette Richardson, Davis Nolan, Greg Carbin, and many others!! Radar workshops are available as well as a tape-swap for those interested in broadcast. Please email if interested!

The ISU Meteorology Alumni contact list is being updated. This is a great way to get in touch with some of the alumni from ISU that are working in your professional field of interest. This list is above the fridge in the Maproom (Agron 3008) and contains contact information and the alumni’s work information. The updated list should be up within the next two weeks.

Don’t forget to buy an Iowa State Meteorology window cling for $5! It’s a great way to show your support!

Congratulations to Nick Crawl for winning the snowfall contest!

Treasurer Wittrock

The current balance is $3,780.00 and we are still expecting $800 from LAS.

Please pay your intramural and WxChallenge dues ASAP! Justin will be sending out an email to remind you if you owe the chapter.

Sophomore Chair Effertz


This year’s Spring Break Destination is Norman, OK & Galveston, TX. We will leave March 13th and head down to Galveston first and then Norman. In Galveston, we will hopefully be going to a TV station, the Johnson Space Center, Galveston Beach and Six Flags. In Norman, we will be visiting the National Weather Center. The estimated cost of lodging and traveling is approximately $250. The ISU AMS also usually chips in for the traveling costs. If you are interested, please email

 Secretary Minniear

ISU AMS won 3rd place poster at AMS Conference! Check out this year’s poster on the bulletin board! Congratulations!


Social Chair Witter


The first social event of the semester will be Childhood Regression Night on Friday, January 29th at 7:00 pm in Agron 3140. Please bring board games and snacks to share! Childhood regression night consists of board games, play dough, and food! Please come and enjoy past childhood games.

The Ski Trip at Seven Oaks will be either Saturday, February 6th or 13th from 4:00 – 9:00 pm. It will cost $25 to ski or $26 to snowboard. Please watch for an email from Rachel for updates.

Intramural Bowling is now open. It is free at the MU Underground. Please email if you would like to sign up.

 Academic Chair Rabideau


Please fill out a class schedule slip or send your class schedule to Shannon if you did not attend the meeting. If you would like to be a review leader for any class, please email

The Poster Contest is annually held in spring. Please consider helping judge posters this year. Last year’s winners can be seen at

Check out the Career page at Updates for deadlines of scholarships and REUs will be posted! Keep on top of things!

Webmaster Carletta


If you have not already done so, please sign up for the ISU AMS forums at .

Historian Lueck


Please send all photos to Ryan or upload them at You can also upload the photos to the ISU AMS group on Facebook. Bring cameras to all social events to take pictures and help Ryan out! Thanks!!

Check out “This Week in Weather History” in Agron 3008! Ryan updates this weekly and has some very interesting weather facts.

The AMS Scrapbook has been starting! Thank you Liz Suess for helping Ryan get started! This will be brought to future meetings as it is worked on more.

Cy's Eyes on the Skies Update

Dues for broadcasters will be $2 and backstage helpers will pay $1. Please pay the Cy’s Eyes treasurer ASAP!

There will be a critique session for broadcasters coming up soon. Watch for an email updates from Ryan Alliss for more information.

WxChallenge Update


Thank you to all that forecasting almost daily last semester. Remember, if you do not forecast, you are hurting the ISU team! Please keep forecasting. We are currently forecasting for Atlanta, GA.

Forecast discussions will be held weekly on Tuesday at 5:00 pm in Agronomy 3128. These sessions are a great way to learn new techniques and improve your forecasting!

Past President Hobbs

Congratulations to Nick Carletta for winning the last two periods Iowa Forecast Contest!

You can still join contest! IT’S FREE!!! This contest provides experience in aviation forecasting as well as the usual forecast.

Outreach Chair Suess

There are Science Nights coming up, so if have ideas for new activities please email

The first Calendar Committee meeting was held Thursday, January 21. We currently have over 200 photos submitted, but many were eliminated due to bad quality. The deadline for submitting pictures has been extended due to the current ice storm and snowfall. If you have winter pictures, please send them in! If you are interested in joining the Calendar Committee, please email

Calendars are now available for $10. Half of the proceeds from the sales will go to Haiti earthquake relief.

K-Quiz is coming up on March 5 at 4pm to the 6th at 7pm! For those of you who have never participated in KQ, it is a 26-hour radio quiz show. Trivia questions are asked every 6 minutes and other tasks need to be completed during these questions. To do so, we would like to have 15 people actively involved at all times. Please email if you have any interest in participating in this great event!

Presentation - JoBeth Minniear & Rachel Hatteberg


JoBeth and Rachel were chosen to be student workers for the 90th Annual AMS Conference in Atlanta, GA from January 16th to 21st. The first attended the Student Conference, then worked daily for a few hours and attended different presentations and evening events.

The Student Conference was on Saturday and the first half of Sunday. It began with some ice breakers so the students could meet other students from different schools. Invited speakers talked about the many different types of job opportunities in meteorology and how to prepare for graduate school. There were sessions where the speakers interacted with the students and a panel of young meteorologists talked to the students also. Some of the less known areas of meteorology include: space weather, forensic meteorology, and emergency management. There were over thirty schools represented at this conference.

The benefits of being a student worker is the networking, a $25 stipend daily, and the hotel and registration fees are covered. JoBeth worked the registration desk: checking people in and answering general questions. The best part of her job was networking: meeting many researchers, professors, and professionals in the field. Rachel worked with the A/V crew. She ran a computer and timer and assisted with technical difficulties. She also helped speakers upload their presentations. She enjoyed working with the different speakers and making contacts.

There were many different aspects of meteorology covered, including: climate, forecasting, modeling, policy and society, hydrology, oceanography, chemistry, history, instrumentation, aviation, and many others. In the Exhibition Hall, graduate schools and a lot of meteorology companies tried to find new recruits. These companies included: SAIC, Lockheed Martin, NASA, NOAA, Vaisala, Harris, Raytheon, and a lot more.

Several evening events took place also. There was a party sponsored by Harris and many other companies at the Atlanta Aquarium one night. Another night consisted of company and school receptions. These receptions were great ways to meet Alumni from potential grad schools and potential employers. The award banquet took place on Wednesday night.

Overall, this conference was a great way to meet professionals in the meteorology field. Many ISU alumni attended and were very interested in how the program was doing and what the students were interested in. Both JoBeth and Rachel would like to see more Iowa State students attend next year’s conference because it was such a great experience.


End time: 8:15


NEXT MEETING: To be Announced! Check your emails!!


Any questions regarding the meeting minutes can be directed at Rachel Hatteberg ( or JoBeth Minniear (



Meeting Type: General Assembly

Meeting Date: January 27, 2010

Attendance: 56

Meeting in Session: 8:31 pm


Introduction (President Joe Moore)

NE Storms Conference (President Joe Moore)

Science Olympiad

Meeting out of Session: 8:48 pm---Samantha McGraw.




You must be a member of the NF AMS to be an officer

Vote for Christina as stand-in: 29 yes to 2 abstentions

Wx Fest

              10-5 Saturday

                            -muster at 9am

              Volunteers get member of the year points

              Non-crushed cans and bottles

              Volunteers for market wed



              Aloha lady’s talk about sharing life, fearless and flexible

Second place poster!

              Next year’s officers need to get first place now

Golf Tournament

              Postponed til march 27th (Todd  will be absent)

              Killearn will handle most of the details

              Need a few undergrads to help going to business for donations

                            Banks, insurance, real-estate

              Tickets $70, $85

              Prices include 18 holes, tournaments, golf cart, meal

              Tickets and people to play the big push!

              Need 30 players

Bowling Tournament

              End of February perhaps?


              After Atlanta (broke even)

              Balance $370.42

              Have given $900 to Killearn thus far

Chapter Banquet

              Committee sign-up

Sci and Outreach

              Governor’s Hurricane Conference

                            -requires an application

                            -end of May


                            -outreach committee meeting next Tuesday

                            -plan for summer internships NOW, interviews by spring break

                            -look beyond Tallahassee

                                          -Tampa, Mobile, Key West


                            -googling REU’s can give you many

                            -naval research enterprise program

              Alumni and Mike Mogil

                            -he’ll set you up with his summer camp, a great resource for recommendations

                            -alumni want to help!

              Checking the Weather Radios

                            -Dave Bujack* has the list

                            -locked with keys, which Brad has---Christina Gilbert.



The January 2010 meeting was held on the 26th at the North Central Texas Council of Governments facility in Arlington. The meeting was called to
order by President Greg Story at 7 PM. After a short greeting to welcome new members, we had our guest speaker. Martin Lisius, the Chairman &
Executive Director of the Texas Severe Storms Association was our speaker. Martin’s topic was entitled "Storm Chasing: the Science and Beauty".

Martin began his presentation by discussing TESSA, which was founded in 1993 to disseminate information about severe weather, with an emphasis
on education. He has produced several severe weather programs including"StormWatch" for the National Weather Service in 1994. He founded
StormStock in 1993, a storm footage library utilized by TV and film productions, and Tempest Tours, Inc. in 2000, a storm chasing expedition company with now over 100 tornado intercepts since 2003. Every year TESSA hosts the National Storm Conference (which our chapter co-sponsors). Martin, along with Scott Rae, gave a preview of this years conference which will be held Saturday, March 13 in Colleyville. Martin emphasized that storm chasing, in his opinion, is to be for the advancement of the science of storm-scale meteorology, not to be a dare-devil. He also emphasized safety in ones' storm chase as a
priority. Martin showed several interesting photographs of different thunderstorms and tornadoes from his numerous chases. He made a fun comparison between the movie "Twister" with what real storm chasers do. He concluded by showing the television commercial he did several years ago for the Chevy S-10 where he "outran" a tornado to get the best photograph, and discussed how the commercial was produced. His presentation was enjoyed by all who were present.

Following Martin's talk, a short business meeting was held. It was mentioned that we could still use one more volunteer to judge the Dallas Science Fair on February 27. So far Stanley Christmas, Skip Ely and Tracy Burns are lined up to be judges. We also discussed that we will be handing out materials about our chapter at the Tarrant County SKYWARN class on January 30 and at the National Storm Conference in March. Does anyone wish to represent our chapter at the Dallas SKYWARN class on February 20 in Garland? Lastly, Bernard Meisner gave a report on the 90th annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Atlanta the previous week. Congratulations go out to member Jason Dunn for being awarded the AMS Reichelderfer Award for his work in the conception, execution, layout, and coordination for the Texas Hurricane Guide from 2005 - 2009.---Greg Story.



January 13th 2010 Meeting


Meeting Began: 11:09

Hey Met Majors!

Here are the minutes from today's meeting!


Current Balance: $4,427.10
If you have never been to the Great Lakes Conference (in Valparaiso) you will receive $5 off your fee!


No one guessed the first snowfall date for the snowfall contest, but total snowfall accumulation is still part of the contest!
T-shirt contest starts tomorrow!  E-mail your one-of-a-kind design to Ellen at  Feel free to design the front and the back of the shirt. Submissions are due by February 26th.  Winner gets a free shirt!

The AMS/NWA Bake Sale will be held on February 4th from 10:10-2:00pm in Kallay-Christopher! Start thinking of an awesome treat for the bake sale because it's a competition! By paying $1 you get to try a couple treats and vote on your favorite. The winner will recieve half off their Great Lakes Conference registration!

An activities committee meeting will be held in the next few weeks to plan for a hot dog fundraiser and sign-up to watch the table for the bake sale.

Vice President:

If you have not picked up your calendar, please do so.  There are still some for sale at a discounted price of $10.00.

The Great Lakes Conference is going to cost $50.  You must register by February 26th to avoid a late fee of $15. Submissions are due by March 5th.  Don't miss out on this great opportunity, eleven awesome speakers are going to be there!


Due to new ownership, there will not be a coldstone fundraiser next school year.

New website is up! Check it out! Thanks Jason Davis for switching it over!

Meet in weather center tomorrow during chapel if you are going to the national conference.

Will be setting up a meteorology bulletin board in the hall with a section for AMS/NWA updates.

Meeting End: 11:20---Lisa Meadows.



On January 25th, around eight members met first in Knoxville for dinner at Calhouns on the River. After dinner, the meeting commenced in the Biosystems Engineering and Environmental Sciences building on the University of Tennessee Ag campus with around fifteen members present. The speakers were Bai Yang, Jeff Nichols, and Dan Ricciuto of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Bai introduced the AmeriFlux network, which is a state-of-the-art observation system invaluable for quantifying the carbon cycle around the country. He showed many interesting photos, as well as talked about site distribution, instrumentation, and data collection at a typical site. Dan presented the basics on how AmeriFlux data is useful for testing a carbon cycle model. He focused specifically on how the carbon cycle responds to meteorological inputs. Finally, Jeff talked about his PhD research, which involved a fascinating melding of computer knowledge, weather radar, and the habits of bats.---David Gaffin.



President Chris Bovitz called the January 2010 meeting of the Chapter to order at 7:15pm on January 19, 2010.  Vice-president Matt Friedlein, Secretary-Treasurer Bryan Howell and Newsletter Editor Kevin Huyck were in attendance along with nearly 15 members and guests.  The meeting convened at Gabe’s Roadhouse in St. Paul, MN.

In the interest of time, the customary introductions were not held.  Since this was the first business meeting since the October meeting and the September minutes were not read at that meeting, the minutes for September to December were summarized by Secretary-Treasurer Howell.  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Jim Marusak with a second by Tina Taggart, followed by approval from the membership.  Secretary-Treasurer Howell then presented the treasurer’s report for October to December.  Kevin Huyck motioned for acceptance of the report with a second from Stacey Fleenor and approval from the membership.

The officers would like to make some changes to the Chapter bank account so that on-line registrations and a debit card for the Chapter can be obtained.  To do so, the Chapter President and Secretary-Treasurer need to be made joint owners of the account.  Currently, the Chapter Secretary-Treasurer is only a signer with limited access on the account.  Kevin Huyck presented a motion to have President Chris Bovitz and Secretary-Treasurer Bryan Howell made joint owners of the Chapter bank account.  Chuck Schoeneberger seconded the motion with approval following from the membership. 

President Bovitz next brought up a list of expenditures that required approval from the membership in accordance with the recently adopted Bylaws.  The first request was for ten weather radios to be used as prizes at science fairs.  The initial request was for $302.40, but this was modified to $325.00 to allow more flexibility.  The next request was for $126.00 for twelve AMS umbrellas that are given as speaker gifts.  The last request was for $125.00 to cover the cost of a vendor booth at the upcoming Minnesota Skywarn Workshop, which is put together by Chapter member John Wetter.  This is something the Chapter has done in previous years and tends to net five to eight new members.  A motion was then presented by Kevin Huyck for approval of all three expenditures for a total of $576.00.  Doug Dokken seconded the motion with approval from the membership.

Professional development hours (PDH) are now being offered by the Chapter.  Diane Cooper is the point person on this and the Chapter will be sending out notices to local teacher organizations and professional groups that require PDHs. 

A few upcoming events that may interest members of the Chapter were then shared.  The 90th Annual AMS Meeting is currently underway in Atlanta, GA.  The meeting runs from January 17th-21st and Chapter member Lisa Schmit is attending.  The annual Government on Display Expo will be held Saturday and Sunday, January 30th and 31st at the Mall of America.  A few Chapter members will be staffing the National Weather Service table at the event.  Saturday, February 6th will be the South Central/Southwest Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair in Mankato.  The next weekend will be the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair on Friday and Saturday, February 12th and 13th in Minneapolis.  The next Chapter meeting will be Tuesday, February 16th at the NWS office in Chanhassen.  Diane Cooper and/or Michelle Margraf will be presenting on the recent arrival of CoCoRAHs in Minnesota.  Upcoming conferences include the Minnesota Storm Chasing Convention in St. Cloud on February 7th, the Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference in Des Moines, IA on March 25th-27th and the Northern Plains Convective Workshop on April 21st-22nd. 

President Bovitz wrapped up the business portion of the meeting with a status update on the winter weather contest, including current leaders.  Tony Sudano then motioned to adjourn the business portion of the meeting with a second from Jim Marusak.  With membership approval, the business meeting was adjourned at 7:40PM.

Speakers for the night were Stacey Fleenor and Randy Hill from WindLogics.  Ms. Fleenor is an Associate Analyst at WindLogics and spoke on the Wind Analytics Group and started with a brief overview of the company.  WindLogics provides meteorological services to the wind energy industry but got its start in the supercomputing field.  When the company was started in 1989, the focus was on supercomputing and atmospheric modeling in the aviation, air quality and energy fields.  In 2002, WindLogics started to focus primarily on the energy industry and wind energy in particular.  The company was purchased by NextEra Energy Resources in 2006 and now has two locations, a main office in St. Paul, MN and a research and development office in Grand Rapids, MN with over 60 employees at the two locations. 

The Wind Analytics Group is comprised of 8 degreed meteorologists who have completed over 300 projects over the past year. Two main services are provided to WindLogics’ customers by the Wind Analytics Group, with the first being wind energy resource assessments which are used to characterize the wind and energy producing potential for a given location.  These resource assessments can be done in one of two ways.  The traditional method consists of placing a tower at the potential site with an anemometer and wind vane and then collecting data for a one to two year period.  The wind speed at a desired height is then extrapolated by using the Power Law Equation.  Using this method allows real weather data from the site to be used, but it takes time, the data is limited to how many towers are erected and tends to be relatively expensive.  WindLogics uses a different approach.  By utilizing the MM5 mesoscale model (1-5 km resolution) and the Minerve fine-scale model (50-200 m resolution), the same study can be done in as little as 6 weeks.  To improve the model data, tower data is used if available along with a proprietary program developed by WindLogics that uses artificial intelligence to discern and then correct any unphysical or unnatural trends and variability in the model output.  This model data is then normalized to a 40 year average wind dataset which is used to create various statistical representations and GIS mappings of wind speeds over the study area.

The second service provided by the Wind Analytics Group is wind energy consultation services.  The group can advise on turbine design, placement and layout as well as addressing any special or unique issues relating to the client’s area of interest.  Research is also being done into providing solar assessments utilizing SUNY/Clean Power Research satellite data, TMY3 and METSTAT surface data, Meteonorm and on-site instrumentation.  Different energy production tools and the concept of supplementing wind farms with solar energy are also being explored in this rapidly developing field. 

Wind Forecast Meteorologist Randy Hill then turned the focus to the WindLogics Forecasting and Data Center.  Meteorologists in the operations center are responsible for monitoring all data feeds coming into the center, including data over NOAAPORT and from field monitoring sites, which includes meteorological tower data, SoDAR and LiDAR feeds.  Nearly 600 towers across 47 sites are managed by WindLogics across 19 states and Canada, featuring a total nameplate capacity of about 4,000 MW.  Weather event forecasting is also provided by the operations center meteorologists for events such as icing, winds ramping up/down, frontal passages and severe weather including lightning and high winds.  Regulatory compliance monitoring is also performed with real-time data feeds going out to several regional Independent System Operators. 

Numerous questions from the attendees were then fielded by Ms. Fleenor and Mr. Hill before the meeting was adjourned at 8:50PM.---Bryan J. Howell. 




Monthly Meeting:  Friday, January 15, 2010


The fourth meeting of the UAH student chapter of the AMS for the academic year began at 12:30 pm on Friday, January 15, 2010, with President Chris Schultz calling it to order.  He handed the floor over to Treasurer Chris Jewett who began by presenting the financial report, which included the meal provided at the meeting.  He also mentioned that we will be ordering hoodie sweatshirts that sport our chapter’s old t-shirt design.  The shirts will cost somewhere around $15 each.

Next, Webmaster Jon Fairman presented the student chapter poster that will be brought to Atlanta, GA, next week for display at the AMS Annual Meeting.  Members expressed their thanks to Jon for creating the poster and were encouraged to take more pictures at chapter events so we will have more photos to use on future posters.

Vice-President Elise Schultz and committee chair Sandy LaCorte moved the meeting along by talking about upcoming Education and Outreach Committee events.  This year, the Science Olympiad will take place on Saturday, February 20th.  Volunteers willing to write and grade tests relevant to Atmospheric Science for the middle and high schools levels are asked to talk to Sandy ( to sign up to help.  Next, Elise announced the theme for our annual Tennessee Valley Severe Weather Poster Contest for area grade school students: “It’s severe weather time again; plan and prepare in 2010.”  Members that are willing to help with arranging prizes from local businesses are asked to contact Elise ( or Sandy.   Another of our annual volunteer opportunities is approaching, as Elise requested for members interested in helping with judging at the science fair in March.

President Schultz also mentioned that a meeting had taken place just before the holidays for our efforts to get UAHuntsville storm ready.  We are in the initial planning stages, and members interested in helping with this long-term project are asked to contact Chris (

Other events were then discussed.  The idea of attending a Huntsville Havoc Hockey was mentioned, and a kick-off event for the Crohn’s and Colitis Take Steps walk will be held at the Parkway Lanes Bowing Alley on Saturday, March 6 from 1-3 pm.  The Take Steps walk will be on the UAHuntsville campus on Saturday, May 22.  Our chapter will have a team for the walk, so members are asked to think about joining our team.

At the close of chapter business, President Schultz introduced our guest speaker, Dan Schmit of the U.S. Army’s Weather Team located on Redstone Arsenal.  Mr. Schmit gave members an overview of his unique career path and the work that is done within the Engineering Research Consultants group out on the arsenal, including daily forecasts and sounding launches.  He also brought in a radiosonde and balloon for members to see and get to examine.

There were 24 members in attendance, and the meeting ended at 12:37 pm.  Our next meeting will include a tour of Baron Services in the month of February, exact time and date TBA.---Stephanie Mullins.



January Chapter News.---Justin Traiteur.



Minutes from:

January 26th, 2010

Odegard Hall Rm. 356

*5:00 p.m.

Members Present:

Al Borho – Advisor

Kelsey Watkins - President

Leah Tatarak - Vice President

Erin Bertschi - Treasurer

Matt Saari – Secretary

Nicole Bart

Justin Weber

Mike Lanciki

Miranda Hilgers

Shawn Palmquist

Alec Davis

Randy Johnson

Karen Larsen

Melissa Becker

Ben Schink

Garrett Jepsen


Call to Order:

              President Kelsey Watkins called the AMS meeting to order at 5:01pm

Past Minutes:

The minutes from 12-01-2009 were read.

Officer Reports:

-President’s Report: Dues are $15 for the semester unless you paid $30 already for the full year. If you only pay for this semester, your Banquet ticket is not included. If you do not know what you paid, ask Erin.

-Vice-President’s Report: none

-Secretary’s Report: none

-Treasurer’s Report: Our balance is $3524.20  


Old Business:

New Business:        

              Committees did not meet.

-Education/Outreach Committee

-Fundraising Committee

-Banquet Committee


-Activities Committee 



- Broomball is not happening this semester. Are we interested in playing another intramural sport? Possibly volleyball?

-Science fair is happening in Devils Lake. They are looking for judges. It is March 16th (during spring break).





              -The meeting was adjourned without objection at 5:14pm---Matt Saari.


Monthly Meeting:

            The monthly meeting was on January 28th at 10:40 am. A total of 26 members attended. The meeting began with a brief summary of what happened at the AMS 90th Annual Conference. We also discussed the preparations of the Weather Fest Activity and the different fund raising strategies for the new semester. The meeting concluded at 12:00 pm


Activity: AMS Annual Conference

               The Student Chapter had the opportunity to participate in the AMS 90th Annual Meeting, held from January 18th to January 21st at Atlanta. The members of the Student Chapter benefited from different conferences and activities offered during the Annual Meeting. Some members of the Student Chapter presented their posters and had the chance to discuss their investigations we other Student Chapters.



Atmospheres on Other Planets

Katia Matcheva

DATE:                            January 28, 2010

LOCATION:                  Museum of Science and Industry

                                      MOSI Planetarium, Tampa, FL 33617

PRESENTATION:      The January meeting of the local chapter was attended by nearly 50 members. Earth’s atmosphere is studied from the ground up, and there is more information on the troposphere than any other layer, because this is what affects our lives every day. When looking to investigate atmospheres on other planets, it is only possible to examine it from the top layer down to the ground. Since the 1960’s a significant number of spacecrafts have been sent to orbit or land on the six other planets in order to gather as much information about them as possible. Katia Matcheva, a professor specializing in Astrophysics Theory from the University of Florida, focuses her research in this field. In her presentation she discussed the atmospheres in terms of density, obliquity, orbital periods, temperature, and composition.

Matcheva grouped the planets into two families. The first “small” family consisted of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Pluto. She mentioned that as distance from the sun increases so do density, obliquity, and orbital period, or year. Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, does not have any atmosphere and it cannot retain gases. It moves much like our moon, in that it does not rotate, and the same half of the planet is always facing the sun. This is why there is such a wide variation in temperature (100K to 700K). Due to the lack of atmosphere, Mercury is full of craters due to the impacts of particles hitting the surface. These “impact” craters remain visible since there are no winds to resurface the ground, and because of this it is possible to determine the age of the planet.

Venus’ atmosphere is very different from Earth’s. Several missions have been sent to Venus with a mission to discover Venus’ atmospheric and surface composition. The first one was Venera, which lasted from 1970 to 1985 followed by Mariner in 1973, Pioneer in 1979, Magellan in 1989 and the latest in 2005 Venus Express. Matcheva and many other scientists have learned from these space explorations that Venus’s atmosphere is foggy, muggy and sulfuric. Venus has a very thick atmosphere and is entirely covered with clouds, making it difficult to observe from above. There are vortexes at the poles of the planet that house very strong winds. A similarity to Earth is that lightening and volcanoes have been detected on Venus. It takes Venus longer to complete one day (rotation), than it does to complete one year (revolution). The surface temperatures reach up to 800 Kelvin, and there is a constant sulfuric, acid haze. Considering the extreme conditions, it is obvious that no human could travel into this planet, so it is instead studied through the use of radio waves and remote sensing.

Matcheva discussed several of the planets’ similarities and dissimilarities to Earth, concluding that Mars was the most similar. One of the major similarities Mars has with earth are its’ seasons. Mars’ obliquity is 25, which is very close to Earth’s obliquity at 23.4. Obliquity, Matcheva explained is the tilt of the planet on its’ axis. This means that Mars has very similar seasons to earth with colder months in the winter and warmer months in the summer. Mars’ atmosphere is also frequented by giant dust storms. These dust storms will sometimes cover the entire planet blocking out all sunlight.

The other family of planets is known as the “giant” planets. The giant planets include Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The major gases that make up their atmosphere are H2 and He. Jupiter is a very mysterious planet, because it is so difficult to study. Matcheva also spoke about Jupiter’s atmosphere, which is dominated by East and West winds. These winds create bands of dust storms that flow next to each other in opposite directions. Where these winds flow in opposite direction next to each other giant storms are present. Matcheva explained that this is where the “giant red eye of Jupiter” is located. This giant storm has been there for hundreds of years and moves slowly back and forth but seems to remain in the same line of latitude. As of now, this phenomenon is unexplained.

SPEAKER: Dr. Katia Matcheva, Assistant Professor, University of Florida.  Dr. Matcheva’s research interests include physics, and chemistry of the atmospheres of Solar systems planets; radiative transfer models of the atmosphere; dynamics of the upper atmosphere and atmospheric gravity waves.

TREASURER’S REPORT: The West Central Florida Chapter of the AMS account balance, as of January 28, 2010:  $988.19.

CONCLUSION: The meeting was attended by 50 AMS members. Refreshments of cookies, chips, soda and water were available to those in attendance.---Brian LaMarre with contributed material from Alicia Williams.



For the months of January and February, our chapter has met weekly to finalize plans for the larger scale events in which we will be participating during the Spring 2010 semester.  During February 17-19, 2010 our chapter will be participating in the Lubbock Severe Weather Symposium which will be hosted by the Lubbock, TX National Weather Service Forecast Office.  During this symposium, our members will be assisting with registration, guest speaker presentations, as well as presenting some of their own work in the form of a poster or presentation.  Several well-know speakers will be in attendance, including Dr. Charles A. Doswell, Senior Research Scientist, University of Oklahoma/Cooperative Institute of Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS), and President, C. Doswell Enterprises, Inc., Norman, OK; Don Burgess, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS), Norman, OK; and Roger Edwards, NOAA Storm Prediction Center, as well as Texas Tech University faculty Dr. Christopher Weiss and Dr. Kishor Mehta.  This symposium will allow our members and other atmospheric science students to meet with and learn from some of the top researchers in our field, as well as gain valuable experience in conference proceedings and formal presentation of their own research. 

We have been earnestly discussing preparations for the 4th Annual Severe Weather Awareness Day to be held on February 27, 2010 at the Lubbock, TX Science Spectrum.  Our chapter has coordinated this event with the local National Weather Service Office and is expecting an increase in the community turn-out this year.  This event consists of various meteorological demonstrations and hands on activities for both children and adults alike to teach them about weather, including Ask the Expert, where both children and adults can pose weather questions for the experts conducting the event to answer.  We also present those in attendance with valuable information that could help them to more efficiently respond in a severe weather emergency.   The local Weather Service Office hosts Spotter Training classes and tours of the office during the event for many of the reasons mentioned above.  The Atmospheric Science group of Texas Tech also uses this time to display many of the research vehicles and instrumentation used during field projects, such as the StickNets, the newly constructed Ka-Band Radar, and Mobile Mesonets.  Additionally, our chapter coordinates with KCBD News Channel 11 and Chief Meteorologist John Robison to give away NOAA Weather Radios as a door prize, among other items.  Other organizations like State Farm Insurance and the Red Cross will also be in attendance, adding even more diversity to our event.  We have been planning rigorously for these events and are looking forward to watching the preparation unfold!

Outside of planning for these large events, our chapter has begun fundraising for our Relay of Life event scheduled to take place in the month of April and we have established a few days to help clean-up Texas Tech baseball fields after games.  The baseball clean-ups help fundraise money for the organization.  As one can see, our chapter has been quite active and we are proud of our chapter’s participation and how well it represents the American Meteorological Society.---Richard J. Krupar, III.





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