Chapter News
June 2006


ASHEVILLE

The last meeting of the Asheville AMS Chapter, 2005-2006 year, was held on Thursday, June 29, 2006 at the Colburn Earth and Science Museum in downtown Asheville, at 7:00 pm. Susan Tarbell introduced the co-directors, Tom and Linda Wilson. A new atmospheric science exhibit had recently been added to the museum. We were given a tour of the new exhibit by Jim Fox, coordinator of this exhibit. Linda and Tom Wilson welcomed us and asked us for our help in keeping this exhibit a "dynamic" one. Everyone present thought the exhibit was very nice. The meeting was then adjourned by Susan Tarbell.---Susan A. Tarbell.



CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY/SOUTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA

On June 22, Southwest Pennsylvania Chapter member and student of California University of PA Casey Zuzak traveled to Boston, Massachusetts with chapter advisor Dr. Chad Kauffman to learn about graphic displays using WSI. This educational experience helped Casey Zuzak learn many new features and techniques with the ShowFX software. Many of these new applications will be added to weather forecasts available through the Chapter webpage and on-campus broadcasts through California University Television (CUTV). Zuzak is slated to give a presentation on his newly learned skills at the second Chapter meeting of the fall semester. The presentation will enable him to pass his knowledge onto other chapter members who are aspiring to be proficient in media delivery of weather forecasts.---Michael J. Allen.



DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

The Annual DC AMS Science Fair Banquet was held on 13 June 2006. It hosted by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Tyson's Corner VA. The guest speaker for the evening was Broadcast Meteorologist Kim Martucci, WUSA 9 News team.
Chapter Chairman, Jason Samenow, stated in his welcoming remarks that the DC Chapter's primary role is Education and Outreach, and the two most important activities in this role are Science Fairs and Scholarships. Each year the chapter invites all of the local Science Fair winners for the Academic Year -- with winning projects dealing with environmental issues -- and their parents to attend the Science Fair Banquet. This year 20 students and their parents of students, along with chapter members and guests, attended the Washington DC Chapter of the AMS Annual Science Fair Banquet.

Chapter Vice Chairman, Bryon Lawrence, announced the results of the election of Chapter Officers:

Chairperson: Jason Samenow
Vice-Chairperson: Michael Fortune
Treasurer: CDR Mark Gunzelman
Corresponding Secretary (Newsletter Editor): Kevin Ambrose
Recording Secretary: Camden Walker
Representative-at-large (Science Fair Coordinator): Nancy Lee
After dinner, guest speaker Kim Martucci discussed how she got in to the weather career field as well the path that brought her to her current position as the WUSA TV 9News This Morning (5-7am) on-air Meteorologist. Ms Martucci said that she choose weather and broadcast meteorology because she was always curious about the weather and had great teachers that encouraged her love of meteorology. She also said that her budding love of everything to do with the weather was also fed by the birth and explosive growth of the Weather Channel.

Kim received her meteorology degree from Cornell University. While there, she did a Broadcast Meteorologist internship at a local TV station, and as a result decided that on-air Meteorologist was a good fit for her. Before joining the channel 9 news team, Kim was the Chief Meteorologist for WBRE-TV in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for two years. Martucci also worked as a meteorologist at WFXT, the Fox Owned and Operated station in Boston. Before that she was a weekend meteorologist at WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, New York, WAFF-TV in Huntsville, Alabama, and WRCB, the NBC affiliate in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

As the morning on-air weather Broadcaster, Ms Martucci's day starts at 4:00 AM. She begins by assessing the environment on her 45-minute drive in to work. Once at work, she assesses all of the weather observations and computer models, working with Chief WUSA TV 9News Meteorologist Topper Shutt and the rest of the WUSA TV 9News Weather Team. Just before she goes on air she works on the on-air weather graphics.

Martucci's total involvement in the science of meteorology extends to her off-work pursuits -- her number one hobby is tornado chasing. She recounted her most exciting excursion into tornado alley during which she spotted and filmed twelve tornados. The story she broadcast about that trip helped earn her an Emmy Award nomination as best weathercaster in New England.

The students set up their projects before the meeting began, the chapter members voted on the top three projects. Following Ms Martucci's remarks, Chapter chairman, Jason Samenow, announced the winners and awarded cash prizes to:

First Place: Mariana Cruz
Project: Wind Resistance - Analyzing House structures

2nd Place: Michelle Denny
Project: Solar Energy: a bright idea

3rd Place: Austin Toner
Project: New Orleans soil - what went wrong?

He also announced that the DC AMS 2006 Scholarship winner is Charlotte Seid, a recent graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology; she will be attending Harvard in the fall. The pictures from the 2006 DC-AMS Science Fair Banquet are available at the DC-AMS website on the Science Fairs Page: www.dc-ams.org. Thanks to all for making this a very successful event! Have a great summer!

June Newsletter---Lauraleen O'Connor.



NORTHEAST OHIO

http://www.ametsoc.org/chapters/neohcams/neohcams.html
Officer elections were completed on May 6, 2006.

Officers are as follows...
President: James Kosarik (primary contact)
Vice President: Ronald Hahn
Secretary: Brian Shell
Treasurer: Dick Vader

The chapter officiated 3 science fairs during the spring, the Northeast Ohio Lakeshore Counties Science Olympiad at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland on February 25, the Northeast Inland Ohio Science Olympiad at the University of Akron on March 4, and State Science Day at the Ohio State University in Columbus on May 6. All were well attended, certificates were given out, and prizes awarded at the State Science Day.

We had two meetings so far this year, on February 25, Peter Manousis, Science Officer of NCEP in Camp Springs Maryland, spoke to the group. On May 6th, Rick McCoy, Director of Emergency Management of Van Wert County, Ohio spoke. We are currently planning our summer and fall meetings.---Jim Kosarik.



NORTH FLORIDA

On Friday, June 9, 2006, the North Florida Chapter participated in the first-ever WCTV Community Hurricane Town Hall meeting in Carrabelle, FL. Organized by WCTV Channel 6, the CBS affiliate in Tallahassee, the meeting was designed for local residents to meet with local officials and learn about their roles in hurricane forecasting, preparedness, and outreach, plus ask any questions they have relating to hurricanes in general. Located along the Big Bend coastline approximately 50 miles southwest of Tallahassee, Carrabelle and nearby locales were hard hit in 2005 by the unexpected storm surge from Hurricane Dennis.

Approximately 25 local residents were in attendance for the meeting. Speakers included the WCTV team of meteorologists, Mike McCall, Rob Nucatola, and Ray Hawthorne; Mel Kelly, the Mayor of Carrabelle; Bob Goree, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS office in Tallahassee; as well as representatives from the Capital Area Red Cross, Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, Carrabelle and Franklin County Police Departments, the Franklin County Director of Emergency Management, and the insurance industry. In attendance for the North Florida Chapter were President Jessica Fieux and Vice President Clark Evans. Speaking near the start of the program, immediately after a presentation on hurricane forecasting and the storm surge from Hurricane Dennis by Bob Goree from the NWS, our presentation focused upon who we are as a chapter, our role in the community, and our task of teaching those in the community about the science behind hurricanes and their impacts.

Practically all aspects of hurricanes, from information dissemination to preparedness to the local response to a storm, were covered by the various speakers. The response within the community was very favorable, particularly with respect to the open floor for questions at the conclusion of the meeting. From the North Florida Chapter’s standpoint, it was a very productive meeting, allowing us to teach the basics behind hurricane tracks and the importance of conveying the right message of the science behind hurricanes to the public. The meeting also provided a forum to improve the visibility of our programs, not just within the community at large but within the professional community as well; many outreach possibilities in conjunction with the Capital Area Red Cross opened up as a result of our participation.

We are working to acquire pictures and video from the event in Carrabelle for dissemination on our website, http://www.northflams.org/. The next Town Hall meeting, the second of four scheduled, will be held on Friday, June 16th at 7pm in Perry, FL at the Taylor County High School Gym. Additional meetings will be held on Friday, July 7th in Thomasville, GA and Saturday, July 15th in Tallahassee, FL, the latter of which will also be the first annual Community Weather Day. Supporting materials from the Carrabelle and Perry presentations as well as general information about all of the Town Hall meetings may be found by visiting our website and clicking on the “WCTV Hurricane Town Hall Meetings” link at the top of the page. Additional information on our programs into the summer and fall will be made available via e-mail and our website over the coming weeks as we enter into our 5th chapter year.


On Friday, June 16, 2006, the North Florida Chapter participated in the second of four WCTV Community Hurricane Town Hall meetings for the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season, this time in Perry, FL. Perry is located approximately 50 miles southeast of Tallahassee along the eastern Florida Big Bend. The timing of the event could hardly have been better, given the direct impact from Tropical Storm Alberto earlier in the week. Organized by WCTV Channel 6, the CBS affiliate in Tallahassee, the meeting was designed for local residents to meet with local officials and learn about their roles in hurricane forecasting, preparedness, and outreach, plus ask any questions they have relating to hurricanes in general.

A much larger turnout was seen in Perry as opposed to Carrabelle, with approximately 175 local residents in attendance. Speakers included the WCTV team of meteorologists, Mike McCall, Rob Nucatola, and Ray Hawthorne; Emily Ketring, the Mayor of Perry; Bob Goree, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS office in Tallahassee; as well as representatives from the Capital Area Red Cross, Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, Perry and Taylor County Police Departments, and from local hospital and emergency workers. In attendance for the North Florida Chapter were President Jessica Fieux and Vice President Clark Evans. Speaking near the start of the program, immediately after a presentation on hurricane preparedness by Chris Floyd of the Red Cross, our presentation focused upon who we are as a chapter and our role in the community as well as a brief introduction into the science behind why T.S. Alberto brought its impacts to the Big Bend region.

The next Town Hall meeting, the third of four scheduled, will be held on Friday, July 7th at 7pm in Thomasville, GA at The Plaza Restaurant. The final meeting in the series will be held on Saturday, July 15th in Tallahassee, FL, also serving as the first annual Community Weather Day. Supporting materials from the Carrabelle and Perry presentations as well as general information about all of the Town Hall meetings may be found by visiting our website (http://www.northflams.org/) and clicking on the “WCTV Hurricane Town Hall Meetings” link at the top of the page. Additional information on our programs into the summer and fall will be made available via e-mail and our website over the coming weeks as we enter into our 5th chapter year.---Clark Evans.



PACKERLAND

Summer Newsletter---Brian Hulse.



UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA - HUNTSVILLE

UAH AMS Meeting Notes
June 29, 2006

BJ Barbre, President, started the meeting at 2:30 p.m. and began the meeting talking about a Student Conference that is scheduled for fall. Pawan Gupta is the chair committee for organizing the conference; the committee will include anywhere from 4-5 students. There is a possibility that the chapter will ask the UAH College of Science for help with fundraising and food.

There is a summer picnic scheduled for July 16th, from 2:00-7:00 p.m. on Green Mountain. It will be a joint picnic between the UAH AMS and the Huntsville AMS Chapter. Ty Martin has agreed to bring his grill to help with the cooking. Assignments for what to bring will be made later. The Student Representative, Calvin Elkins, is responsible for comprising a student survey to be distributed to the students before fall semester. He will seek assistance from former Student Rep., Chris Hain.

Possible fundraising ideas were discussed in order to raise money for the budget. Ideas included collecting dues for each semester at $5/student and selling T-shirts and coffee mugs with an AMS logo on them. Collecting dues will help the chapter monitor their membership and encourage participation from the members. Also, the chapter will possibly ask the department for a specific budget once a plan is drawn out. Calvin Elkins will design multiple T-shirts in order for the club to vote on one design.

The Orientation Luncheon for this coming fall semester will be scheduled around late August or early September. This luncheon is scheduled every year in order for new students to meet other students and faculty.

A possible workshop will be conducted in the fall by the Huntsville NWS Forecast Office with the help of Wayne Mackenzie. This workshop will show how the NWS administers severe weather warnings and various other topics; the theme of the workshop will be "During the Storm." The chapter will sponsor this event.

Finally, after an official election that took place earlier in the year, the following officers will have the authorization to sign off on the UAH AMS account at the Alabama Credit Union: Robert "BJ" Barbre, President; Chris Jewett, Treasurer; and Dr. Kevin Knupp, Faculty Advisor.---Holly Searcy.



WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA

AMS Meeting Minutes for:
Banquet Meeting 6/6/06

Our final convergence of the 2005-2006 year took place at the Tampa Bay Yacht and Country Club. This is the night where our members get to socialize and have a wonderful dinner together in a beautiful setting. For this meeting we were fortunate to have Dr. Robert Weisberg, professor of physical oceanography at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science.

Dr. Weisberg chose a very timely and important topic for his presentation - the scenario of a hurricane like Ivan making a direct hit on the Tampa Bay area and what the storm surge effects would be. He used actual hurricane Ivan data to apply that case to central Florida. To say the least, the results were quite alarming.

Dr. Weisberg started out with definitions of storm surges and the factors that cause and influence them, such as wind stresses, atmospheric pressure, friction, and coastal slope. He then proceeded to show us NOAA generated images of inundation of the coastline, first with a 5' rise in sea level and then with a 20' rise in sea level. This really gives you an appreciation of how truly susceptible this entire area is to storm surge.

But the model simulations were even more striking. To do this, 3 factors are necessary: a high resolution physics based circulation model showing flooding over land, a high resolution water dept and land elevation data set to superimpose over the model, and accurate pressure field data to drive the model. The FVCOM (Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model) is a state of the art model for storm surge simulation. Dr. Weisberg thoroughly explained this using graphs and charts.

He then began the "Ivan simulations" - he took the track of Ivan and rotated it east towards the west Florida coast, as if Ivan was heading directly for our coastline instead of moving north as it did. He showed the wind charts on landfall first, showing where the strongest winds were in relation to the coastline. This of course is a huge factor in the storm surge sequence. He zoomed in on specific parts of Tampa and Pinellas coastal counties, and ran simulations on the storm surge relative to MSL (mean sea level) and also simulations on storm surge relative to land levels. It was shocking to see how many areas were becoming inundated by storm surge even hours before (and after) landfall. The simulations were smooth and in 'real time', showing how as the storm progressed, storm surge inundation was overtaking certain regions (some areas are much more affected than other areas). People were literally gasping as they watched this dramatic presentation! Some areas could be inundated with over 20' of storm surge, and this does not even take into account other factors such as waves on top of the storm surge and excessive rainfall.

A storm of the magnitude of Ivan would certainly cause massive devastation and destruction to our entire area. Dr. Weisberg touched upon evacuation routes and how many of them would be completely unusable even hours before a landfall. Communications would be completely lost in many areas. He also discussed construction codes - older homes are especially vulnerable, as building codes have changed and older homes actually have lower floor levels among other factors that make them much more dangerous to ride out a storm.

In summary, Dr. Weisberg stated to the group that in a worst case scenario, storm surge potential is enormous, almost unimaginable. Even a moderate storm could do extreme damage. He briefly discussed how accurate prediction of landfall 48 hours beforehand is extremely difficult - and this is when evacuations must be done. The high density population makes the problem even greater. The rapid rate of expansion of homes in these vulnerable surge areas is also alarming. He believes that the public, as well as city planners and builders, needs to understand these facts and to take them very seriously. He then followed up his presentation with a very lively question and answer session.

Before Dr. Weisberg's presentation, Andy Johnson began with a brief business meeting. Among some of the items discussed were the officer's election results. The officers currently in place have been re-elected to serve again next year. The officers are: President Andy Johnson, Vice-President Charlie Paxton, Secretary Laura Monk, Treasurer Nancy Knight, and Webmaster Dan Noah. Also, longtime AMS member Dr. Dewey Stowers presented the $500.00 Merit award to Chris Hook for his work on sea breezes and their effect on central Florida's weather.

Regular meetings will once again resume in September 2006.---Laura Monk.



WRIGHT MEMORIAL

June Newsletter---Mary Bedrick.



 



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