Chapter News
July 2013


The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 4th meeting of 2013 on Monday, July 15th at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, LA.  This meeting began at 6:30 pm, with ten members present.

Ken Falk, retired Science and Operations Officer with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, opened with a brief presentation on the April 3rd, 1999 Benton, LA F-4 Tornado, which devastated portions of north Shreveport and Benton during an outbreak of severe thunderstorms on Easter Sunday.  His presentation detailed the mesoscale and synoptic environment in place prior to the tornado, with an analysis of radar imagery of the tornado, as well as other tornadic supercells that occurred that afternoon.  He also displayed several damage pictures taken shortly after the Benton tornado, and answered questions from this event.


Following Falk’s presentation, Billy Andrews, Cooperative Observer with the National Weather Service, and Chapter President Jason Hansford gave a presentation on the historical perspective of tornadoes which have impacted the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan areas, as well as significant tornadoes to affect the Ark-La-Tex.  This analysis began with the May 1st, 1933 tornado which affected Minden, LA.  Damage and fatality statistics were given for each event, as well as pictures and radar imagery (where available).  This presentation also included information on the March 12th, 1940 Shreveport tornado, December 3rd, 1978 Bossier City F-4 tornado, April 2nd, 1982 F-4 Paris, TX tornado, November 15th, 1987 East Texas/Shreveport F-3 tornado, April 3rd, 1999 Benton, LA F-4 tornado, November 24th, 2010 Winn Parish EF-4 tornado, and May 16th, 2013 South Shreveport EF-1 tornado, as well as the area-wide tornado outbreaks of April 23rd, 2000, April 9th, 2009, October 29th, 2009, and April 25-27th, 2011.  Some of these earlier tornado episodes offered great discussion from a couple of retired NWS employees who worked each event, and performed damage surveys afterwards.  Following the presentation, Chapter President Jason Hansford held a short business meeting detailing plans for the next meeting.


The following members were present:


Jason Hansford, President                      Kelly Spencer

Bryan Walter, Vice-President                  Lisa Hawkins

Ernest Ethridge                                        Rhonda Lee

Billy Andrews                                            Matt Hemingway

Ken Falk                                                    Lisa Frantz-May



The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.---Jason Hansford.



The AMS High Plains Chapter held a teleconference on Monday, July 15th at 2:30 PM.  There were 15 members dialed into this teleconference.  The meeting was called to order and a short business meeting followed.  After the meeting, a webinar presentation was given by Jeremy Wesely from the Hastings, Nebraska WFO.  Jeremy’s topic was “Experimental Warning Program, What Does It Mean to the WFO?”  Jeremy also shared with the audience some pictures from the Moore, OK EF5 tornado damage, taken from the damage survey he was invited along while in Norman, OK for the Experimental Warning Program. 


New Business.  Rick Ewald/SOO Hastings, Neb shared that since the new NWS Director, Dr. Louis Uccellini, has indicated he will be promoting more science sharing within the NWS, this may be a good sign for Hastings hosting a High Plains conference next year.  Also, future funding may support more face-to-face local meetings.


Treasurer’s report.  This report was submitted after the July 15th meeting.  The beginning balance of $5,885.44 had $170.71 added to it, mainly from dues collected.  There was one payout of $500 to the winner of Jim Johnson scholarship winner.  This left a Ledger Balance of $5,555.15.  The balance of the Jim Johnson scholarship stands at $1700.   


President William Taylor from North Platte, Neb WFO, reminded everyone to pay their 2013 dues by the end of July, by sending them to Treasurer Scott Bryant at Hastings, Neb WFO.  The next meeting will likely be in September.---William Taylor and Tim Burke.



Don’t Look Now, But California’s Coast is Cooling!

The last meeting of the year was our annual banquet, July 27th, 2013 at Beckham Grill, Pasadena.  We had a good turnout of members and guests, including visitors from San Diego and New York.  Our keynote speaker was Pedro Sequera, PhD candidate from CC-CUNY School of Engineering.  Mr. Sequera talked on, California Coastal Climate Change: Coastal cooling while interior burns.  His dissertation deals with coastal heating patterns, particularly in California.  He and his co-authors have found that although most areas of North America are warming, coastal areas are actually cooling in recent decades.  The premise is that the continent heats faster than the ocean, thus creating a stronger pressure gradient.  This in turn enhances the local sea breeze causing a cooling trend in locations within 60 km of the coast and below 200 m.  This cooling trend was first noted in the San Francisco Bay area, then in the Los Angeles metro region, and later in areas like San Diego and San Louis Obispo in central California.  The implications of this in a time of general warming, is that coastal areas, being cooler, will not use as much energy in cooling buildings, thereby creating a public savings.  At the same time, winters continue to warm, also saving energy as homes need less heating.  Pedro Sequera’s talk stimulated a lively discussion.  Stormchaser, Bill Reid, summarized his 2013 spring adventures with his company, Tempest Tours.  Although he missed the Moore, OK. F-5 tornado, his group encountered 8 tornadoes.  Also among the guests of the LA Chapter, LA County Science Fair winners, Joey Black and Alice Zhai shared their winning projects with the banquet guests.  Joey, an 8th grader, showed, “The Effects of Different Materials on a Fog Catcher,” while Alice, a 10th grader, shared, “Constructing a Multi-variant Regression Model for Hurricane Loss and Its Application to Hurricane Sandy.”  Pedro Sequera ended the evening with a rousing rendition from Rigoletto (he’s also an opera singer).---Steve LaDochy.



The annual Oregon AMS summer picnic was a huge success at Mark Nelsen's house in Corbett with approximately 60 people in attendance. Sunny weather, gracious hosts, a pool, great food and some of the best AMS members in the country made it a great day.


21st annual "Winter Weather Forecast Conference" Date Set

Mark your calendars now for the 21st annual Winter Weather Forecast Conference to be held Saturday, October 26th 2013 beginning at 10am at OMSI in Portland. If you would like to be considered for one of our four open forecast slots this year, please stay tuned for our annual RFP's (Request For Presentations) e-mail that will be coming out in mid August. The deadline for RFP's will be in September, so please think ahead now if you want to present. More details to come in mid-August, so stay tuned!


We Need Your AMS Meeting Topic Suggestions

With more than 175 current Oregon AMS members, we need your input! The executive council will be meeting in just two weeks (mid-August) to make final plans for our fall meeting line up. October is already set and we have a great suggestion for September. But if you would like to present at our November meeting, or know of someone who would, please send your suggestions back via e-mail no later than Sunday, August 11th if possible. Since we normally take a break in December, the next regular meeting after November will be in January. We are always open to hearing suggestions for meetings at any point in the year. If you have a January or later meeting topic suggestion, please get it in now for executive council consideration. Please send all suggestions into any member of our executive council or to: Pierce.


The Southeast Texas/Southwest Louisiana Chapter of the American Meteorological Society / National Weather Association held its 8th meeting on July 13, 2013 at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Lake Charles, LA.  The meeting was called to order by Chapter President Donald Jones at 12:00 PM. 

The chapter funded pizza, snacks, and drinks to eat as individuals arrived and a fun time was had by all.

A sign in sheet was passed around upon which 10 members signed as being present. 

The previous meeting minutes were read by Secretary/Treasurer Ben Terry and the minutes were approved by members present.

Secretary/Treasurer Ben Terry then read the member and financial report which indicated 24 active members and 10 pending memberships with $580 in the general fund.  President Jones then stated that any member that has not paid dues by next meeting will be removed from the chapter’s email list. Everyone present at the meeting paid their dues for the new chapter year, so there was no need to ask for money.

President Jones then announced that our newly elected “Member at Large” was Dr. James Westgate.  No election was needed since the only other nominee, Cedric Haynes, was not officially a member of the organization and was ineligible to run for office.

President Jones then told members that the next meeting would take place sometime in September where Captain William Henning (USAF FT Polk) would give the presentation on Air Force Weather.  The members then decided on Fort Polk as the meeting location.  Members threw out the idea of carpooling and asked about credentials needed to enter Fort Polk. 

Jonathan Brazzell, Service Hydrologist at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Lake Charles, LA, then gave a presentation to the membership on “Storm Surge Modeling”.

The meeting was then adjourned by President Jones.---Donald Jones.





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