Chapter News
January 2014


Winter Newsletter---Katie Garrett.



We are excited to announce that the first official meeting of the new East Carolina University Chapter was held 15 January 2014. To encourage student attendance at the meeting, we posted weather trivia cards around campus for students to collect and bring with them to the first meeting for the chance to win prizes. Since this first meeting, our chapter has grown to twenty-three members (11 undergraduate, 6 graduate, 6 staff).

The goal of the chapter is to provide members with information and opportunities in the atmospheric sciences to prepare them for a career in meteorology. Additionally, we hope to take advantage of being based out of a Geography department by extending our reach and educating those in other disciplines about the atmospheric sciences. Planned activities for this spring semester include a Conference 101 session, bowling, “Grad Student Experience” talk series, tutoring at local high schools, a trip to the Greenville, NC airport, a trip to Morehead City NWS, and a kayaking adventure.

We are especially appreciative of the faculty and staff within the Geography, Planning, and Environment Department. Their support and generous donations have provided the initial funding for the successful start-up of the ECU AMS Chapter. We are very excited about the new ECU AMS chapter and have grand visions for the chapter. We would love to hear any ideas and suggestions you may have!

Contact for club and suggestions (

Co-presidents: Holly Lussenden and Christopher Zarzar

Treasurer: Robbie Munroe

Secretary: Stephanie Hoekstra

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Rosana Nieto-Ferreira

---Christopher Zarzar.



The High Plains AMS Chapter had a virtual meeting on January 8th, 2014 at 2 PM, with 25 members present.  The call began with a webinar from Greg Carbin at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK (see below).  The meeting started with President Bill Taylor of WFO North Platte, Neb welcoming everybody.  Treasurer Scott Bryant, from WFO Hastings, Neb gave an up-to-date report on the treasury.  Scott also indicated volunteers were needed from each office for the Jim Johnson Scholarship committee.  The next subject discussed was the upcoming High Plains conference in Hastings, Neb.  The Conference is planned for August 6th and 7th.  Registration fees will be waived for student presenters.   Student presenters will be partially compensated for travel, and the details are being worked out.  The conference will be low cost.  Anyone wanting to present at this conference should send your abstracts to Rick Ewald, Hastings, and Neb. WFO.  Our Chapter website will have periodic conference updates.   Our chapter is now a Tax Exempt, 501-3 organization.

Greg Carbin’s webinar was entitled “Meteorological Memories of 2013”, or “The Top Ten Weather Events of 2013”.    Greg went through the year (2013) in review somewhat chronologically.  From January 28th  to 31st, over 700 reports of severe weather were received, including the EF3 killer tornado at Adairsville, GA, and the EF4 devastating tornado at Hattiesburg, MS which caused over $94 million in damage.  The next event on the list was the February 7-10th Nor’easter, which saw Portland, ME set an all-time snowfall record of 40 inches.  This storm was 35 years to the date after the famous Feb 7, 1983 Nor’easter in the same region.  Number 3 on the list was the Mar-Apr flip-flop between 2012 and 2013.  2012 was unusually hot, and 2013 was cold.  Also, this normally stormy period was relatively quiet, with only 14 tornadoes reported, the fewest for Mar-Apr since 1969.  During May 18th to 20th, it was the only time in U.S. history that with 3 consecutive days of EF4-5 tornadoes occurred.  Shawnee and Moore, OK (again) both got hit by EF5 tornadoes on May 20th.   There were 26 people killed in tornadoes during this 3 day period.  Number 5 on the list was the May 31st El Reno, OK tornado.  The rating of this tornado is still in question, either an EF3 or EF5, and is the widest tornado on record at 2.6 miles.  This was a very large CAPE day.  Actually, due to back building, very heavy rain fell in the Oklahoma City area, with 7-8 inches recorded at OKC.  A new rainfall record for May, 14.62 inches, was set at the OKC NWS office.  The next weather event was the Derechos of June 12-13th.  Next, were the wild fires of the Southwest, during June 29th to 30th.   There were 19 firefighters lost in the fire near Yarnell, AZ, the most firefighters lost in over 81 years.  Number 8 was the July to August 17th flooding, in areas that were seeing a drought.  Philadelphia saw 8 inches of rain in one day, a record for them.  Ninth on the list were the Colorado floods from September 9th to the 15th.   For this 7 day period, Boulder received 12.91 inches of rain, or about 75% of the normal yearly rainfall for Boulder.   The last weather event on this Top Ten list is the Nov. 17th severe weather outbreak – the most active one day tornado outbreak of 2013.  There were 3 Killer tornadoes, mainly in IN and IL.  There were 7 deaths total.

The next meeting is planned for March, and will attempt to be a face to face meeting.---William Taylor and Tim Burke.



January Chapter News.---Sean Stelten.



January 30th 2014

General business Meeting

7:00 Meeting called to order


Executive board evaluations: Feedback we found:

Thought on the structure of the meeting

Circle discussion instead of board sitting at the front of the room

Member involved with the planning of events

            Small tasks

            What would members want to do?

Speaker after the meeting tonight

Matt Dipirio

½ and event for staying

ECM is 1/3

Next GBM will Wednesday in RBC very important Right before the conference

Storm Conference

Registration open until February 14th

Pay online with credit card

40th Storm Conference

Idea on location-

Hartford-Crownwell Hotel and

Mechanics Hall Worchester

Airport location

Saratoga Spring- alumni pushing for it

Springfield- Previous evaluations were not positive



I have lots and lots of nametags to fill out cut out and put in there holders

Will give you events and maybe candy

The event tracker will be updated more often and is updated as of right now

If there are any problems let me know

Josh and Josh

Voted on Pens and lanyards


Sign up for Rhode Island trip sandy reconstruction trip

Science fair put on by sigma zeta

Events after storm conference will roll over

From 9:30 to 3:30


Help scan the booklets to put them online for the 40th conference

2 books get you 1 event


Fire weather/Skywarn training

Events will roll over to after elections---Haley Bouley.



AMS General Meeting

Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Start Time: 8:30 p.m.

End Time: 8:59 p.m.

Attendance:  32

Total Minutes: 29



January 13th, 2014 Minutes

Meeting began at 7:05pm

Science & Outreach

Upcoming Meetings and Events:

Upcoming Meetings & Events:


A Sampling of AMS Scholarships:

Summer Internship Opportunities!


Vice President


Guest Speaker – Kevin Peters, Leon County Emergency Management Director

Next General Chapter Meeting

Wednesday February 19th, 2014 7:00 pm---Brandon Daly.



-Dr. Ryan Fogt explained to our chapter what the world renowned "Polar-Vortex" is

-The AMS poster got completed

-Scholarships and internships were discussed again

-More outreach opportunities were discussed

-StormFest was brought back up to gather a rough estimate of who would be interested

-12 undergraduate students went to the AMS conference in Atlanta, along with two of our professors---Morgan Wentling.



January Meeting 2014

Grisanti's - Omaha

The fifth meeting of the season for the Omaha-Offutt Chapter of the AMS/NWA was held at Grisanti's Restaurant in Omaha on Friday, January 24th.  Approximately 40 members and guests were in attendance.  Our speaker for the evening was Mr. Victor Gensini from the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.   His talk was entitled "Dynamical Downscaling of Severe Thunderstorms: Past, Present, and Future."

President Tom Shih called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.  He announced that this meeting would be his last meeting for the season as his temporary deployment away from Offutt AFB will take effect shortly. 

Vice President Barb Mayes Boustead announced that she would serve as "Acting President" for the remainder of the term during President Shih's deployment.  The club gave President Shih a hearty round of applause for his service to his country and to the chapter. 

Announcements regarding upcoming meetings were made.  The February talk was announced to be a discussion of the catastrophic blizzard in western South Dakota in early October of 2013 and the tragic impacts the blizzard had on the area livestock.  Both the date and the specific speaker were still to be finalized.  The March meeting was tentatively announced as Dr. Clark Evans from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for March 20th, with the title of the talk yet to be finalized.  The April meeting was tentatively announced as Dr. Bob Henson of UCAR for April 3rd, with a topic to be discussing the communication of weather and climate.

Recording Secretary James McCormick announced that the December minutes had previously been emailed and asked for a motion to approve said minutes.  The motion was approved.

Treasurer John Roth gave the Treasurer's report including balances, incomes and expenses, as well as bank account and petty cash totals. 

Old business was requested from the floor.  Nancy Gaardner was presented with a plaque for receiving the Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award through the National Weather Association recognizing her outstanding ability to provide weather information to the public through her column with the World Herald.  She had been previously recognized by the National Weather Association in Charleston in the fall of 2013. 

A motion to approve an extra allocation for Greg Carbin, the speaker at the December meeting, was brought forth and approved following detail that previous funding allocations were not sufficient to cover his trip.  An allocation of $125 dollars was also approved for the travel for Dr. Henson for the April meeting. 

No new business was brought to the floor.

A motion to recess the meeting was brought and approved at 6:37 PM to eat dinner and to listen to the presentation.  No further business was brought following the meeting, and the meeting was adjourned.---James McCormick. 



The Holy Grail of Wind Gusts Finally Achieved @ Crown Point

Looking for some weather excitement in this seemingly "dead" winter, several of us Oregon AMS folks made yet another trek up to Crown Point on Friday, looking for winds stronger than ever before. We analyzed Friday morning's suite of model data and thought we had a good chance at it, so we headed up there. Alas, at 1:49pm, Matt Sloan and I recorded a peak gust to 122 MPH on his Maximum gauge with nothing more than holding the cups out the sunroof, parked at the bottom of the steps of the Vista House. If you look carefully at the picture (attached) you will see that the needle will not go further than 122mph as there is yellow "stopper" in the way. We witnessed doors being ripped backwards on cars, people falling down, items blown away (over the 600ft cliff) including truck canopies and the like. We even saw a "cameo" by KPTV weatherman Andy Carson.

Here is a quick compilation of short video clips and picture (attached). I do not envy the video of the car door getting peeled back. Video and photo courtesy to KOIN-TV, Larry Cloud, Tyler Mode, Matt Sloan.

* Video #1 - KOIN-TV newscast package -

* Video #2 - A 115 MPH gust caught on camera by AMS member Matt Sloan - 

* Video #3 - AMS member Tyler Mode captures this guy opening his car down the WRONG way -

* Video #4 - This is going to hurt! Tourists knocked down hard -



Enjoy the entertainment and make sure to check out the long range models for early February. It "could" get interesting once again, if you like it cold! We shall see!---Steve Pierce.


The Oswego State Chapter has been very busy for the beginning of the spring semester thus far. We have been planning multiple different venues to be attending to allow our fellow meteorology majors to be able to get out and explore what other schools have been up to. We are also planning these venues to allow them to network and build relationships with people who are already working in the field of Meteorology.

In the coming weeks, February will be a very busy month for the club as we are planning a trip to the NWS in Buffalo, NY on February 22nd. The goal of this trip is to allow our fellow classmates to get a taste of what the NWS looks like and what it is that they do. They will be able to get a feel of what it is like to work for the government sector. We are setting up the possibility of visiting WKBW-TV news station as well in Buffalo, NY as part of the meteorology career is broadcast meteorology.

One of the major events that the Oswego State Chapter will be attending is the NESC (Northeastern Storm Conference) held in Rutland, Vermont from March 7-9, 2014 this year. The club met back in January to begin planning who, what, and how we would be attending this conference. We came up with a plan to have all the members’ signup during the very beginning of February. Also, the club made a contract for all members to sign saying that they will not bring alcohol, drugs or anything that will put the club into trouble.

Next, the Oswego State Chapter is planning its own conference in May at SUNY Oswego. This conference is called GLASS-(Great Lakes Atmospheric Science Symposium). This is held every year at the school and will be discussed in further detail in the February minutes. This will be the 4th annual conference at the school. The only thing done during the month of January was to pick the date of the conference which will be May 3rd as of now and to get the list of potential invites to send out during the month of February.

Weatherfest is one other topic that the club will be discussing much more during the month of February in which we try as a club to get local high schools and elementary schools to come up to Oswego to learn a little about meteorology and to become a little more familiar with it.

The Oswego State Chapter is also preparing a team to march in the Relay for Life here on campus in March. The date of the walk is in on March 29th.

The Oswego State Chapter is also preparing to get the club hoodies with some logos of the club embroidered on them, but this will be looked at much more during the course of the semester.

Overall, the Oswego State Chapter is very busy right now as many things will be occurring this spring and hope for the best for all of our club members.---Michael Vuotto.



The January meeting of the AMS Smoky Mountain Chapter was held on a Thursday (the 30th), when around five members met for lunch with Dr.

Marshall Shepherd (president of the national American Meteorological Society) at Calhoun's on the River restaurant in Knoxville. After lunch, several members went to the University of Tennessee library to attend a special lecture (hosted by the UT Geography Department) from Dr. Shepherd entitled "Can cities create or modify precipitation, storms, and floods? Have we answered this question and what is next in 2014 and beyond?".---David Gaffin.





The January 2014 meeting of the Twin Cities Meteorological Society was called to order by President Mike Griesinger at 7:03 p.m. on January 20 at Gluek’s Bar and Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.  Vice president Jim Marusak, Secretary Chris Bovitz, Treasurer Jim Taggart, and 12 other members and guests were in attendance.


Bovitz recapped the November meeting, and the summary was approved.

Taggart gave the treasurer’s report:  We have about $1,000 in the bank.  Bovitz was reimbursed $73.50 for speaker umbrellas from the national AMS.  We gained one new members since the December meeting. The report was approved.


Griesinger brought up upcoming science fairs.  We have volunteers for a couple of them, but we could use more.  Griesinger has weather radio prizes; see him if you’re going to judge at a fair.


The membership approved to sponsor the Minnesota Skywarn Workshop for $125.  The event will be at the Minneapolis campus of St. Thomas University on April 12.


Bovitz gave the current standings of the winter weather contest.


Newsletter editor Jarrod Schoenecker updated us on the newsletter:

The new name is The Blue Norther.  (It will be explained in the February newsletter.)  To contribute articles, send them to Schoenecker at by the 7th of the month.  The newsletter will be out on or near the 10th of the month.


The business portion of the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m. to listen to our speaker, Kenny Blumenfeld.


Blumenfeld spent some time teaching at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville and at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  He does some work with Hennepin County Emergency Management.


He started by telling us that he thinks introductory meteorology classes teach the wrong thing.  For students who will only hear these topics once, the facts and hard science are accurate, but boring.  The weather connections need to be made explicit, and there were few – if any – books that did this well.


Blumenfeld talked about how he is making a film about winter in the Upper Midwest in a style similar to the nature specials by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).  He is starting with winter, but will do all the seasons.  The movies will be meteorologically comprehensive, but it will involve the human element, including interviews.


For his winter movie, there will be three interwoven pieces:  Winter has a personality; its loveable villain character is shaped by  the conspiring elements of darkness, cold, and snow; and the health of that character is in serious decline.  Locally, this non-universally loved character defines our region and who we are.  Some people love it and embrace it; others tolerate it.


Records show that the extreme cold that we like to claim about winter is moderating.  All the cold and harsh measures of winter, from its depth to its breadth, are decreasing in intensity.  Examples he gave were the number of subzero daily low temperatures in in the Twin Cities, the lengthening of the growing and ice-free seasons, and the decreasing length of the snow cover.   Winter’s changing is taking our state with it.  Changes have been seen in forests, pests, and lakes. 


Despite all this happening, winter will still be the coldest and darkest time of the year.  There will still be a rebirth everything, and we should be able to keep our bragging.


Blumenfeld answered some questions from the group after his presentation.---Chris Bovitz.



Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, January 14th 2014

The fifth meeting of the 2013-2014 school year for the Student Chapter of the American

Meteorological Society met on Tuesday, January 14th at 7:30 pm in the NSSTC, 4th floor classroom 4065. The first item on the agenda was the treasurer report from Sarah Stough. Currently the AMS chapter has $903.49 with a recent donation of $110 and $71 from the snack fundraiser, so in total the chapter has $1,084.49. As for the weather fest account, a couple of exhibitors and sponsors have contributed to the fund and there is currently $2,099.05.

Next, the Yankee Candle fundraiser was mentioned about us participating again this spring semester. Emily Foshee will continue to be in charge of getting the order forms passed out to the students by the next meeting in February.

Third item on the agenda was for Kelcy Brunner, the ATS student representative to talk a little bit about the AMS annual meeting in Atlanta this year. Kelcy passed around a list that had names of both students and people in the building who had presentations and/or posters at AMS so that we were aware of our fellow students and their accomplishments. She also passed around a sign-up sheet for the students in the chapter who plan on attending AMS to put down their contact information, the hotel they are staying at, what days they plan on being at the conference, and if they had a poster or presentation, when that is. This list is to help the students in our chapter coordinate rides to Atlanta if possible and for others to go support their fellow students at their posters and presentations. President, Aaron Kaulfus also talked about getting help from the students in our chapter to help with making our AMS student chapter poster for the contest, and passed around a sign-up sheet for those who wanted to help out.

Fourth item on the agenda was Charanjit Pabla, talking about the WxChallenge competition for the spring semester. It costs $3 to participate for this semester and the money and registration form is due to him by January 24th at 4 pm. The first meeting for the WxChallenge participants will be on January 27th. Although weather fest meetings are usually held separate from the AMS meetings, the students talked about the event for a few minutes. We wanted to nail down what the best way was to advertise for the event and shirts for volunteers and how they could stand out from everyone else.

Next on the agenda was for Aaron to talk about some important events coming up soon during the spring semester such as, Science Olympiad, North Alabama Regional Science Fair, the Alabama State Science Fair and Habitat for Humanity. Sign-up sheets were passed around for all of these events. Science Olympiad will be held of Saturday, February 15th and a few of our AMS members will be giving out exams on meteorology, road scholar and dynamic planet. The North Alabama Regional Science Fair will be held on Tuesday, March 11th from 8:45 am until 2:30 pm. Again we will have a few small groups of our AMS members be judges for the fair. The Alabama State Science Fair will be held on Friday, April 14th and that again is an all day event and we will have students volunteering as judges for this as well.

As for Habitat for Humanity, we passed around a sign-up sheet with multiple weekends in the spring for students to choose from. We will decide on a weekend when we get everyone’s scheduling information. For our January AMS member event we are going to try and have a chili/dessert evening with all of the current undergraduate and graduate students involved in AMS and also include the new students who started this spring!

One of the final things we discussed is when meetings for the rest of the semester would work best for everyone. It looks like we will be having our AMS chapter meetings on Monday at 12:45 pm for the remainder of the semester. Lastly, we had approximately 22 members attend the January AMS/NWA meeting, a few of them being new students. We hope to keep adding new students into the chapter as the semester progresses.---Danielle M. Kozlowski.



The University of Georgia Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its first meeting of the spring semester on Wednesday, January 22nd in the Geography Building on the University of Georgia campus. Chapter funded pizza and snacks were served first while chapter members mingled and the meeting was called to order by Chapter President Matt Daniel at 5:35PM.

President, Matt Daniel provided a few announcements about the upcoming national AMS conference in Atlanta, Georgia. He also reminded the members attending the conference to fill out the sheets being passed around about hotel, transportation, and other logistical information.

Vice President Dean Pryles then introduced our guest speaker, Dr. Greg Forbes, severe weather expert at The Weather Channel.

About the Presentation from Guest Speaker, Dr. Greg Forbes: Dr. Greg Forbes spoke to the UGA AMS chapter about “Interesting Aspects of Severe Weather of 2013.” He opened his discussion with a few facts including that 2013 had the quietest tornado activity in sixty years with 33% tornadoes below normal when measured as a percentage of normal. Dr. Forbes then transitioned to share some of his own personal research with the chapter. Currently, he is researching if climate indices provide any skill in predicting a highly active tornado year or vice versa.  Although his work is currently inconclusive, Dr. Greg Forbes is continuing to study the effects of the ENSO, PDO, PNA, and NAO over a period to time to see if there is any correlation to severe weather. He also introduced the chapter to the research of Paul Markowski, specifically his work on “Tilting of Vortex Lines and Low-level Mesocyclogenesis.”  After giving a brief review of severe weather forecasting, Dr. Forbes walked the audience through a few case studies from 2013. This included the October 4th tornadoes in northeast Nebraska and Iowa, the January 29- 31 outbreak that spawned the Adairsville, GA tornado, and the May 31st El Reno tornado. Dr. Forbes broke down each tornadic event to minutes explaining the development of the storms by looking at radar, radar velocities, and correlation coefficients as well as damage caused by the tornadoes. He even shared The Weather Channel video that captured multiple vortices during the El Reno tornado.

After his presentation, Dr. Greg Forbes took questions from the audience. The questions included inquiries about the AMS conference town hall meeting on the EF Scale, the differences in predicting tornadoes with frontal systems vs. tropical systems, the recent changes in the SPC outlook, and the comparison in the super outbreak of 1974 and 2011.

At the end of the meeting, President Matt Daniel presented our speaker with a small gift on behalf of the UGA AMS chapter and thanked him for taking the time to speak to our chapter.

President Daniel adjourned the meeting at 7:03PM---Molly McCollum.



Minutes for General Meeting

January 21, 2014

This meeting was held in Room 1313 of the National Weather Center.  Addison welcomed everyone back to the new semester.  For time commitments, Dr. Courtney Schumacher will be presenting first, and then we will discuss business.


Dr. Schumacher is from Texas A&M discussing the SMART-R in research with the MJO.  The MJO is a 30-60 day oscillation that propagates East.  People should care because impacts the West Coast flooding cycle.  The MJO also enhanced tropical cyclone genesis.  This particular research project was called DYNAMO/CINDY/AMIE; different organizations called it different things.  For more information, feel free to listen to our podcasts or YouTube channel.


Next, the business portion of the meeting was conducted.  We discussed incentives (in depth), the AMS conference, volunteering with the EOC in Stillwater, Relay for Life, Big Event, and training underclassmen on the Outreach activities.  Brian also demoed the new website.


Several upcoming events include Groundhogs Day, Mr. Meteorology, Benefit Bash, and future speakers.  Our March meeting will have Bill Read, the Former Director of the National Hurricane Center.  The April speaker will be Gary England.


Our last business topic was electing a new Junior Representative.  Zack Zounes was elected.


The meeting was then dismissed.  Our next meeting will be in February 11, 2014 at 6:30 in NWC 1313.---Megan McClellan.



On January 16, we celebrated our first monthly meeting of the New Year. In this meeting we discussed future activities, including the Chapter’s attendance to the the 94th AMS Meeting & 13th Student Conference during the first week of February. The annual Weather Festival, which will be held in March, was also an important topic. Fundraising activities were also discussed, as well as our official shirts, an upcoming Valentine’s Day Pool Party, and a conference with NCAR’s Dr. Mary Barth about Atmospheric Chemistry, that is also in agenda. Attendance was great and we are ready and motivated for this New Year’s upcoming activities for our Local Chapter.




January Meeting Minutes.---Lindsay Rice.



For the second year in a row, our chapter is sending undergraduate students to the AMS Annual Student Conference, this year in Atlanta, GA. Many of our graduate members attended these conferences during their undergraduate education and felt it was invaluable for their career and graduate school selection. Our chapter is sending two students this year who have an interest or are currently applying to graduate schools. The purpose of sending them is to allow them to network with other students, potential graduate school advisors, and gain new research knowledge.

Additionally, our 8th annual Severe Weather Awareness Day is fast approaching, scheduled for March 8th. With over 1,600 attendees last year, our chapter along with members of the Atmospheric Science Group at Texas Tech aim to bring severe weather safety awareness to the communities of West Texas while also teaching about science principals. Our chapter partners with the National Weather Service Lubbock office, Science Spectrum, American Red Cross, Levelland Emergency Communications Team, South Plains Storm Spotters, National Wind Institute, and Texas Tech University to put this event on each year. Various experiments are presented along with fun craft stations for young children to aid in teaching about safety when severe weather strikes and what causes these dangerous storms.---Aaron Hill.  





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