Chapter News
March 2010


March 23rd, 2010 Meeting Minutes 

The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 2nd meeting of 2010 on March 23rd at 630 pm at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, LA with nine Chapter members present.

Chapter President Jason Hansford presented information on becoming a dual National Weather Association Chapter.  Since there are several members of the AMS Chapter who belong to the National Weather Association, and with a unanimous vote, it was decided that we would submit an application to the NWA to propose a dual Ark-La-Tex National Weather Association Chapter. 

Keith Stellman, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Shreveport, LA, gave a presentation on the severe weather outbreak that occurred on October 29, 2009 and the extensive flooding that followed in the Ark-La-Tex.  Stellman discussed the weather pattern that set-up over the Ark-La-Tex during most of the month of October that led to the severe weather outbreak, as well as the flooding event.  The specific dynamics of the afternoon on October 29th that caused several supercell thunderstorms to develop that produced 22 tornadoes was also discussed in depth.  The presentation also included several pictures of the extensive damage that occurred.

The meeting ended with a discussion on how to increase attendance of the local AMS meetings.  Chapter President Jason Hansford will expand the mailing list to include some local HAM Radio Operators and weather watchers. Secretary Marcy Novak will promote meetings through her TV station.

The following Chapter members were present:

Jason Hansford (President)
Marty Mayeaux (Vice President)

Leslie Sexton (Treasurer)
Marcy Novak (Secretary)

Bill Parker

Ken Falk

Armando Garza

Keith Stellman

Nick Fillo

The meeting adjourned at 745 pm.---Marcy Novak.



March-April Newsletter.---Andrea Bleistein and Samantha Segall.



Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 

Start Time: 7:03pm


After welcoming the attending members, President Hatteberg introduced Pete Effertz for a presentation about the AMS Spring Break Trip.



The group went to Ft. Worth on first day. While there, they went to six flags and stayed at the Best Western Beach Front Hotel. They then toured an extremely nice TV station and visited a Weather Museum in Galveston. The museum had a lot of fun weather information and gadgets. Wednesday, the Spring Breakers visited the NASA facility and got to see the old mission control center, the new mission control center, the Spaceflight meteorology group, and the Mach-up facility (where astronauts train). Sadly, they did not get to actually meet any astronauts. Since it was really nice on Wednesday, they went to the beach and enjoyed the sun. But while there, they could not resist doing some derivations and station plots in the sand. They also got to see some Hurricane Ike damage while in Galveston. On Thursday, the group made its way north to Norman, OK. While there, they visited NSSL, SPC, and the Norman WFO offices. While at the WFO, they realized there was a big snow storm headed their way. They tried to beat this home, but sadly got stuck in Kansas on Friday due to snow. They did eventually make it home safely.

President Hatteberg


There will be a Severe Weather Awareness Day on Tuesday, April 6th from 10:00-12:30 at ­­­­­­­­Gerdin Business Building on campus. The Emergency Management, Police and Fire Departments, and NWS- Des Moines will be there, and we were also invited. This event is to help our community improve their understanding of severe weather. We have been asked to have a booth to help explain weather in general. If you are interested in helping out, please email Rachel Hatteberg at

There will be a Weather Radio Programming Event with the Central Iowa Chapter of the NWA on Saturday, April 24th from 9:00am – 1:00pm. The NWA has asked us to provide a couple students at the East HyVee in Ames and HyVee in Ankeny for this occasion. It is a lot of fun, very simple and a great way to help out the public. We would like to have about 2 people per time slot. If you are interested in helping out, please email Rachel Hatteberg at

We will have a Radio Programming Training event on Monday, April 12th at 4:30pm in Agron 3128. Email Rachel if you cannot make the training but would still like to learn how to program weather radios. The training will not take very long.

The ISU AMS is attempting to get in touch with middle and high schools in Story County. We contacted the schools in the area, but only Ames High School has responded. They would like for us to come in and give a short presentation on meteorology: career opportunities, courses, etc. The date has not yet been set, but it will be approximately 30 minutes to an hour long talk. Please watch for an email update on this event.

Vice President Hoffman


We will once again have the AMS Table at VEISHEA this year on Saturday, April 17th from 8:30am - 4:30pm. If you have not attended VEISHEA before, there are tents everywhere on campus and many different groups represented. Families, alumni, and facility come by our tent, and this is a great way to show them what we are doing in the AMS. We will have GR up and running, the tornado machine, face painting, and a trivia board displayed. We will be giving away this year’s calendars, and will have a sign-up sheet for next year’s calendars. We are hoping to have 3-4 people per shift and Tyler Roney will be there all day to keep things running smoothly. If you are interested in helping out, please email Tyler at

Spring Clothing order forms are due Wednesday, April 7th. There is now a folder in Agron 3008 to sign up for the shirts. You can get the shirts in numerous colors, but please remember the print will be white. The shirts will be approximately $10.

Iowa State Meteorology window clings are still for sale for $5.

Treasurer Wittrock


The current balance is $5085.23.

If you went to the conference and are suppose to be reimbursed, please see Justin for the forms. He will have two forms for you to fill out so you get your money back. Contact Justin at

Secretary Minniear

We will be having a Weather Radio Programming event at ISU this year. It will be on Wednesday, April 14th from 3:00-6:00pm in the second floor commons of Agronomy. There will be one hour time blocks if you are interested in helping out. Please contact JoBeth at if interested in helping at the event or with publicity. Please remember, there will be a radio programming training on Monday, April 12th at 4:30pm for people who do not know how to program.

There will be a Spotter Talk by Jeff Johnston on Tuesday, April 6th at 1:30pm in the Gallery at the MU. This is a good opportunity to hear more about severe weather before the season starts! Also, if you go, please take down suggestions for how the talk can be improved to better suit the public. We will likely work with the NWS next fall to make these talks more “public friendly.”

Social Chair Witter


The first intramural volleyball game was Tuesday at 9:30. Please watch for an email update from Rachael for the next game. The first softball game is still being worked out because there is a conflict with Cy's Eyes.

The first broomball game will be April 7th at 11:15pm on the West court. Rachael only signed up one team, so come to play if you want. The dues for broomball are $5.

We will have a bowling night coming up soon at the Underground at the MU or at Perfect Games in west Ames. This will likely be a Friday night in the next few weeks. Please watch for email updates from Rachael.

The Spring Picnic will be Sunday, April 25th at 1 pm at the Innis Grove Park. Please email Rachael at if you would like to sign up to bring food.

Academic Chair Rabideau


If you are interested in being on the judging committee for the Post Contest, please email Shannon at Hopefully we will be getting more posters before the deadline. We plan on sending a reminder out to the teachers this week.

Please send your review session leaders your exam dates, especially as finals approach.

Check out the Career page to see updates on scholarships. Most are coming close to their due dates.

Don’t know what electives you should take? Check out electives list at Email Shannon at with recommended classes, especially those that satisfy requirements.

Webmaster Carletta

You can still sign up for the forums at Please email Nick if you have problems with the website.

Historian Lueck


Please send photos to Ryan at or upload them at They can also be uploaded to the ISU AMS group on Facebook. Please send pictures to Ryan by the 17th so he can finish the scrapbook before VEISHEA! Pictures are still needed from the Spring Break trip and the Severe Storms Conference. Check out new photos on bulletin board outside 3128!

Don’t forget to get your weekly weather history knowledge with “This Week in Weather History” in 3008!

Cy's Eyes on the Skies with Mair and Alliss


Cy’s Eyes on the Skies has been going pretty well. There was a Tape Session at conference, so last Wednesday, they canceled the show to get tapes ready for everyone. There have been a few small hiccups in the show, but overall, things are going well. There are only 3 weeks left for Cy’s Eyes this semester, and the last show will be the Senior Show. Please tune in!

There will be another Critique session coming up soon. Please watch for email updates from Ryan and Andy.

Severe Weather Information


There will be a Severe Weather Tutorial Monday, April 5th at 4:30 pm in Agronomy 3128. Please come to find out all you can about following severe weather this season.

WxChallenge update with Ryan Alliss


Eric Mykleby is currently 53rd in the nation and the top 64 forecasters advance to the WxChallenge Tournament. Keep up the good work Eric!

We will have our own tournament within ISU so everyone can keep forecasting. Please look for an email from Ryan with more information. There will be a prize for the winner. We are currently forecasting for Fargo, ND.

If you interested in taking over WxChallenge and Iowa State Daily forecasting, please email Ryan at You need to know basic html and have forecasted regularly to get this position. A current sophomore or freshman is preferred.

 Forecast Discussions are Mondays at 4 pm in Agronomy 3128.

Past President Hobbs


Jeff Duda won the last period in the Iowa Forecast Contest and is leading the current period. Congrats Jeff!

You can still join this contest as it continues through the summer. It’s FREE!

Outreach Chair Suess


There are numerous science nights coming up. These are a lot of fun, and it is always interesting to work with kids. We make anemometers, bring the tornado machine and conduct other experiments. Upcoming events include:

              Meeker Elementary – Thursday, April 8th 5:00-8:00pm

              Fellows Elementary – Thursday, April 22nd 5:30-8:30pm

Spring Fury will be Saturday, April 24th from 9:00am -3:00pm. For this event, we will bring a computer and show the virtual storm. We need one person who knows how to run virtual tornado and would like 1-2 people per time slot. Please email Liz at if you would like to help out with any of these events.

The calendar photos will be posted on the forums, so please vote on your favorites to make the calendar! A slide show will be posted on Liz’s website with a link in forums. Either list your top 13 favorites in the forum or send Liz an email listing them. Please make sure to specify which one you would like for the cover. Also, remember this is a seasonal calendar, so try not to pick all winter pictures or all severe weather photos.

A motion was passed to cover KaliedoQuiz expenses for food and gas up to $125. 



Nominations can be submitted to until Monday, April 5th. Rachel will then send out an email of all nominated. Each nominee needs to write a paragraph introducing him/herself to the club, his/her experience in the club, and why he/she should receive the position for which he/she is nominated. The paragraphs needs to be submitted to by Sunday, April 9th. These paragraphs will be sent out before the meeting so everyone can look over them. If you do not send a paragraph in by the due date, you will not be allowed to run for the position. If you are interested in running, you can email the respective chair for more information on the position and nominate yourself.

Current Nominations:


JoBeth Minniear

Rachael Witter

Nick Carletta

Vice President

Tyler Roney

Elizabeth Suess

Nick Krauel

Pete Effertz


Ryan Spies

Ryan Lueck

Joe Halvorson


Steph Melton

Brittany Konradi

Kathleen Lewis

Sam Santeiu

David Coberly

Anthony Lueck

Social Chair

Nathan Gogo

Sam Edster

Robert Nelson


Josh Allen


(none at this time)


Sam Schreyer

Laura Hoagland

Lyndee Clark


Ethan Milius

Kristy Carter

Christina Alt

Bryce Link

Ian Nichols


Magen Yates


End Time: 8:11pm



NEXT MEETING: ELECTIONS! Please come so we can vote!

Tuesday, April 20th 7:00 in 3140 Agronomy---JoBeth Minniear.


Meeting Type: General Assembly

Meeting Date: March 31, 2010

Attendance: 26

Meeting in Session: 8:35 pm


Introduction (Secretary Samantha McGraw)

Melissa Burt (Speaker)

Meeting out of Session: 8:55 pm---Samantha McGraw.



Minutes from:

March 9th, 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

Laura Burns

Nichole Shotwell

Andrea Neumann

Miranda Hilgers

Garrett Jepsen

Dan Koller

Melissa Becker

Alec Davis

Nicole Bart

Amanda Mills

Shawn Palmquist

Justin Weber

Scott Rowe

Mike Lanciki

Kelly Buer

Call to Order:

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

Past Minutes:

The minutes from 2-23-2010 were read.

Officer Reports:

-President’s Report: none

-Vice-President’s Report: none

-Secretary’s Report: none

-Treasurer’s Report: Our balance is $4041.96

New Business:

-Baked good sign-up. Keep the baked goods coming!!

-50/50 Contest (see Fundraising) $1 for each guess. Box is up on 4th floor by the secretary’s office.

-Spring Trip-going to Thief River Falls Hotel/Casino/Waterpark. April 10 and 11 Will be a fun time! *Have to have volunteered at 2 fundraising events

-Spring Picnic- Sunday, May 9th

-Big Event is May 1st! Giant community service project that UND puts on campus wide.

-Skywarn Spotter Training-storm spotter training by the National Weather Service. Will possibly incorporate it with a meeting. (Go over to NWS after meeting is done)  April 6th-meeting with pizza then training afterward.

-Hot dog fundraiser-May 3rd-6th.

-Website is being created!! It is a Google site and will incorporate all of the things currently on the Ez Lms page.

-Apparel orders Due Friday!!!!! 

-Fundraising Committee

-50/50 contest still going on-GF Flood Crest height. Entries due April 1st.

-Baked good still going on.

-Need to help in at least 2 fundraising events to go on spring trip. (Baked goods counts as ½ an event each week you bring stuff)

-Hot Dog fundraiser coming up

-Banquet Committee

Slideshow needs to be made! Bring pictures to Dan Koller via a USB drive, cd, or by emailing them to the AMS email.


-Activities Committee

-Super Science Saturday-April 17th. Looking for people who can volunteer at that.

-Photo Contest is going on-Spring is the topic!

-T-Shirt/Apparel order form Due Friday!!!!!

-BROOMBALL is gonna happen!!!! Our team name is: the Supercells!!!!


- Apparel orders are due Friday!!! Get those to Justin Weber

-50/50 contest entries due April 1st.

-Next meeting we will be nominating people for next year’s officers! Please come to be nominated!



-The meeting was adjourned without objection at 5:37pm.


Minutes from:

March 23rd, 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

Garrett Jepsen

Justin Weber

Ed Townsend

Dan Koller

Andrea Neumann

Miranda Hilgers

Nicole Bart

Melissa Becker

Alec Davis

Amanda Mills

Kelly Buer

Nichole Shotwell

Scott Rowe

Tim Logan

Ben Schink

Call to Order:

President Kelsey Watkins called the AMS meeting to order at 5:00

Past Minutes:

The minutes from 3-09-2010 were read.

Officer Reports:

-President’s Report: none

-Vice-President’s Report: none

-Secretary’s Report: none

-Treasurer’s Report: Our balance is $4041.96 


Old Business:

-Apparel Orders were due.

-The website is being worked on-Talk to Miranda if you have input or want to help.

-50/50 Contest ended. Crest happened Saturday..nobody entered…

New Business:        

-Baked Goods Sign-Up-Bake treats and package them up to sell for 50 cents. Can also buy packs of pop and bring those up as well. Baked Goods counts as ½ a Fundraising service. Need 2 services to go on Spring Trip.

-Spring Trip to Thief River Falls-April 10th and 11th

              -Please in know by this weekend if you are going.

-Spring Atsc Picnic-May 9th

-Big Event-May 1st

-Skywarn Spotter Training-April 6th After meeting in Odegard 356.

-Hot Dog Fundraiser Sign-Up-May 4th or May 6th

-Broomball!! Starts next week. First game Tuesday, March 30th at 10pm on the Olympic Ice at the Ralph. Schedules can be found online on the RecSports page at the Wellness Center.

              We will be making shirts for the team at Leah, Erin, and Kelsey’s apartment Sunday night at 9pm.

Address is: 4297 5th Ave N, The Pines Apt #206B

-Super Science Saturday-April 17 10am to 1pm. Get there an hour before for setup. Showing kids some simple weather experiments.    

-Pictures for Banquet Slide Show-email them to Dan Koller or put cd’s or flash drives in the AMS mailbox.

-Constitution Approval-made some small changes to our old constitution. Was reviewed.

-Nominations were held for next years’ officers. We will vote at the next meeting.

Nominations are as follows:

President: Matt, Miranda, Chris*, Justin

Vice President: Amanda, Laura*

Secretary: Melissa, Ben, Scott

Treasurer: Alec, Mike L.*

*have yet to accept nomination 


- Next meeting is April 6th

-We will be voting for next year’s officers

-Skywarn Spotter training will follow




-The meeting was adjourned without objection at 5:40.---Matt Saari.



March 23rd meeting



                            Tdy last day for ticket sales, headcount due tomorrow so make arrangements!

                            Goal is as many as possible


                            Will accept up to week before voting

                            Banquet tickets make you eligible for office

Golf tournament

                            This Saturday, 9:30am tea-off

                            Helpers see sign-up sheet

                            Todd will be absent, Brad will be the man in charge

                            Course staff will be in charge

                            Need 27 more players!!! Min of 17 at $30 a piece or we take a hit

                            Tomorrow night last chance for sign-up

              Car wash

                            $800 account balance

                            Super Suds

                            $9 for  ultimate wash, $3 goes directly to us when patron uses code

                            Valid at W. Tennessee and N. Monroe locations, all April


                            This Friday, four lanes, 6-8pm

                            $5 per person for two games and shoes

                            Sending out sign-up sheet

                            Facebook event

                            Members and friends

              Origins ’10 Science and Arts Fair

                            Was not supposed to be an annual event, but it’s back

                            Kleman Plaza on Sat April 10th at 10 am

                            Great venue, lots of families, lots of fun

                            If you’re working in a lab, bring it to the public!

                            Physics dept will be there as well

                            Ends hour before spring garnet and gold football game

              Monford Middle School Science Fair


                            April 20th

Guest speaker: Scott Rudlosky, PhD candidate at FSU---Christina Gilbert.



The March meeting of the North Texas chapter of the AMS/NWA was called to order at 705 PM. There were 42 people in attendance. Chapter president Greg Story welcomed guests and first time visitors.

First item of business was a reminder that dues could be paid to Stanley, and that if you pay your dues and agree to sign up for CoCoRaHS you will be given a free rain gauge. Five persons took us up on the offer!

Second item of business was to announce that the roofing industry researchers (the RICOWI group) were going to conduct another hail study in the DFW metroplex this Spring. They will be enlisting our help as last year. Greg showed the attendees what a hail pad looked like and told chapter members that we can get more hail pad plywood holders from Haag Engineering for those who wish to participate. Watch your email for more details in the next week or two.

All other business was held off until next month to allow more time for our guest speaker.

Our guest speaker was Dr.Charles Doswell III, retired NOAA researcher and tornado chaser. Chuck spoke on the topic of the history of tornado forecasting in the United States. The first interest in forecasting severe storms and tornadoes actually began in the 1870's by J. P. Finley. He did amazing research considering it was the 19th century! But after the feeling that these forecasts were needlessly scaring the public, the head of the Army Signal Corps ordered the stop of all efforts to forecast tornadoes in 1887. Then, even though incredible tornado outbreaks occurred in places like St. Louis in 1896 and the famous tri-state tornado, no mandate was given to resume tornado research within the government. It wasn't until World War 2 that there was renewed interest in tornado forecasting. Spotter networks were set up around military bases. The Air Force tasked Fawbush and Miller to begin tornado forecasting for the military. It it wasn't until Fawbush and Miller issued an accurate tornado warning for Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City that their potential was realized. The public and media criticized the weather bureau for not alerting the public of tornadoes as the air force was doing for their military bases.  Finally in 1952 the Weather Bureau agreed and the first public tornado forecasts were issued. One of the first forecasters was Joe Galway. The new "SELS" unit did not get off to a very good start. The first year 1953 saw devastating tornadoes in Waco, TX; Flint, MI; and Worcester, MA. The first head of "SELS" left after 1953. The next year SELS moved to Kansas City with a new head. Meanwhile, Joe Galway continued to do his tornado research based on atmospheric thermodynamics. Then Fujita and other researchers started looking at mesoscale analysis in 1956. From then through the mid 1960's, much progress was made in the SELS forecasting abilities. Then came the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak April 11, 1965. A rift occurred between research meteorologists and SELS forecasters, and Allen Pearson took over as head of the SELS unit. It was shown that an integrated warning system was necessary at a national level. Severe storm forecasting grew into the 1970's as the empirical methods of Fawbush and Miller were fully implemented and became better understood (interaction between observable large scales vs. storm scale using pattern recognition). Another historical event occurred with the super outbreak of tornadoes on April 3, 1974. This led to the formation of the techniques development unit in SELS where research and operations could work together. But by the 1980's the original researchers left to go work for NSSL, while SELS worked more on technology rather than science applications. Nevertheless, improvement could be seen in tornado statistics that having a SELS unit was paying big dividends to the American people in the saving of life and property. In the 1990's SELS was renamed the Storm Prediction Center and was moved to Norman, Oklahoma, to be co-located with the NSSL. Since then there has been growth between researchers and forecasters, while storm chasing projects such as Vortex has increased the visibility given to severe local storms. As observational data, tools and models advance simultaneously the possibility of progress in tornado forecasting exists.

Chuck took questions and answers, and his presentation was enjoyed by all.

The next meeting will be April 20, with Dr. Dave Barber being our guest speaker. His talk topic will be titled "The Development of a Weather Web Page and Some Applications."---Greg Story.



On Monday, March 8, 2010 the Northern Arizona Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held it's fourth meeting at the National Weather Service office in Bellemont, Arizona.

The meeting started off with a barbeque cooked by Vice President Nick Petro. The start of the meeting included a nomination for new member Chris Outler to be our new Treasurer. This motion was open for all attending members to second. Chris Outler is now the Treasurer of our local chapter. The meeting was then turned over to President Andrew Latto who gave a presentation that discussed the processes involved in operational forecasting. Andrew focused on demonstrating the various models, their differences and how they are resolved. He ended his presentation by answering questions about storm spotting and misc., and helping people find various forecasting resources at

Nick Petro then ended the meeting by taking those in attendance on a tour of the NWS office.---Andrew Latto.



“Recap of Winter 2009-2010 Weather” by Mark Nelsen, KPTV Meteorologist, and Charles Dalton, NWS Meteorologist.

On March 16, 2010, we had 36 attend this technical meeting, hosted by KPTV studio in Beaverton. OR-AMS President Bobby Corser welcomed folks and gave the opening remarks. Kyle Dittmer summarized the nominations for the annual spring election.

Mark’s initial slide proclaimed: “Big Start Turns into Big Snooze.” We went from a very active weather season to a very quiet one. November 2009 saw a good variety of weather events.

Huge coastal swells, especially at Cape Disappointment, occurred in November. Lightning strikes, especially along the Oregon Coast, were reported Nov. 7th. Lincoln City saw a short-lived EF-0 tornado (Nov. 6th) 65-85 mph, that damaged 11 homes and no fatalities. Mt. Hood saw heavy snow by Nov. 14 – earliest ever opening. A coastal wind-storm hit on Nov. 16 with peak gusts of 98 mph at Newport, 68 mph at Lincoln City, and 91 mph at Willipa Bay (WA).

The key weather word for December was “cold.” Dec. 8-12 saw Portland metro area lows of 10-18 degF. This caused a “big freeze” (but no snow) and led to the Columbia River Gorge sleet/freezing rain event of Dec. 12. I-84 and OR-Hwy 34 were shut down. The freezing rain went to the southern Willamette Valley and Eugene. The Dec. 29 snow event in Portland took many by surprise. December 2009 was the 4th coldest December on record.

January started out furious then went whimpy by mid-month. A major rain storm dumped 3 to 4.5 inches around Mt. Hood on Jan. 4-5th.

A powerful event, as recorded on TV, was the Crown Point – Vista House wind-storm of Jan. 7th. Gusts of 93-100 mph were recorded. Councilor Steve Pierce got his 5-minutes of fame on national television while trying to help a local reporter (

The weather turned warm and quiet very quickly. It was the warmest January for some stations. Record highs warmed Astoria on Jan. 11th, 63 degF, Vancouver on Jan. 19th, 60 degF. February stayed quiet, warm, and boring. Portland West Hills saw light snow fall in early March.---Bobby Corser.



On March 16th, in lieu of the regular Monday night meetings on the University of Tennessee Ag campus, the Smoky Mountain chapter met on a Tuesday evening to attend an interesting seminar (part of the Hill Lecture Series) closely related to our group's science/weather outreach mission. Before the meeting, a few people met for dinner at Panera Bread near the UT campus, and discussed the upcoming science fair and AMS-SMC officer elections. After dinner, around twelve members met at the University of Tennessee's University Center where Richard Harris talked about "Covering Climate Change in a Changing Media Climate". Richard Harris is an award-winning journalist who reports on science for National Public Radio's news magazines: Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

The following was a synopsis of his talk: While almost all climate scientists agree that global warming is happening, there has been a decline in interest about doing something about this problem in recent years by the public. Has the political climate somehow soured people on this topic? Do people feel that it’s so big a problem, they now choose to bury their heads in the sand and not worry about it? The theme here is "almost all climate scientists agree it is happening, but there has been some disagreement on the extent of how much warming is taking place". The extent could have a great impact on the end results. What can we do to get the right messenger out there? Polls show we went from "some interest” to "most people being interested and believing it's happening” to now a big decrease in that number. What do we need to do to get people’s interest back on the issue before it’s too late? "We've lost the momentum on this very major problem, and somehow we need to get it ba ck" was the basic theme of this talk. Mr. Harris summed up his talk with two basic questions: "What can we do to get people back to caring and believing global warming is real and is happening?" and "Who will be the right messenger?" ---David Gaffin.



March Chapter News.---Lindsay Rice.



The Texas A&M Student Chapter of AMS met on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 7pm. We discussed upcoming trips to NASA and the NWS in Houston, as well as a trip to the TESSA Conference in Colleyville, TX. In addition, we took nominations for TAMSCAMS officers for the 2010 - 2011 school year. Finally, Chris McKinney and Dan Reily from the NWS office in Houston/Galveston came to speak to our members about details of a career in the weather service. Our next meeting will be on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 7 pm.---Rita Matos.



President Chris Bovitz called the March 2010 meeting of the Chapter to order at 7:15pm on March 8, 2010.  Secretary-Treasurer Bryan Howell and Newsletter Editor Kevin Huyck were in attendance along with 23 members and guests.  The meeting convened at Gluek’s Restaurant in Minneapolis, MN.

The meeting began with the customary introductions followed by a reading of the March meeting minutes.  A motion to accept the minutes was made by John Wetter followed by a second from Craig Edwards and approval from the membership.  The February Treasurer’s report was presented next with a motion for approval from Jim Marusak and a second from Craig Edwards.  The report was then approved by the membership. 

Preparations are being made to start a local chapter of the National Weather Association.  Newsletter Editor Kevin Huyck has taken the lead on this project and presented the membership with an update on the process.  The letter to the NWA has been completed and will be sent around over the coming weeks to gather signatures of local members.  When this is completed, Kevin will send the letter to the NWA.  Anyone wishing to sign the letter is asked to notify to Kevin. 

Two amendments to the Chapter constitution have been proposed and were read to the Chapter. 

Amendment 4: The role of the Newsletter Editor is re-classified from being a parliamentary position to a chairmanship of the Newsletter Committee.

Amendment 5: The parliamentary position of Secretary-Treasurer is divided into two parliamentary positions, Secretary and Treasurer.  The Secretary will be the administrative focal point for all Chapter activities and duties include maintaining a listing of current membership, transcribe minutes of meetings, and submit those minutes to the AMS and the newsletter editor for inclusion in the Local Chapter News in the case of the former and the newsletter in the case of the latter.  The Treasurer is responsible for providing accurate financial records and is a co-signer on any financial accounts the Chapter has or may be opened.

These amendments will be voted on at the April meeting in order to be in place in time for the May elections.

              At the February meeting, sponsorship of a break at the upcoming Northern Plains Workshop in Sioux Falls, SD was discussed.  The Sioux Falls AMS Chapter is estimating that the total for all breaks will be around $300.  After much debate, a motion to provide up to $150 was presented by Craig Edwards.  After a second from Bill Togstad, the membership narrowly approved the motion.

              President Bovitz next spoke on the upcoming Chapter elections.  Nominations need to be in soon so as to appear in the April newsletter as per the Chapter constitution.  Upcoming events of interested to Chapter members include:

March 25-27: 14th Annual Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference in Des Moines, IA

March 26-28: Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair, St. Paul, MN

April 9: Dinner with Chuck Doswell, O’Gara’s, St. Paul, MN

April 10: Minnesota Skywarn Workshop, St. Thomas University, St. Paul, MN

April 20: April meeting at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN (tentative)

April 21-22: Northern Plains Convective Workshop, Sioux Falls, SD

Chapter members will be presenting at the Doppler Radar Conference in Des Moines and the Northern Plains Workshop in Sioux Falls.  The Chapter is also a sponsor of the Skywarn Workshop.

              Secretary-Treasurer Bryan Howell then made a motion to adjourn the business portion of the meeting with a second from Jim Marusak and approval from the membership.  The business meeting was then adjourned at 7:47PM.

The evening’s speaker was Larry DiVito, head groundskeeper at Target Field, presenting on Weather Preparations at Target Field.  DiVito started in the groundskeeping field while working as a high school baseball coach in California.  From there, he went on to the Pawtucket Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers and then became the head groundskeeper for the Washington Nationals.  While with the Nationals, he oversaw the field being installed at the new Nationals Stadium.  He then came to the Twins organization as the first head groundskeeper at Target Field. 

              DiVito then went on to talk about the construction of the playing surface at Target Field.  The sod comes from a farm in Fort Morgan, Colorado and is a top quality Bluegrass blend.  This farm was chosen for its similar climate and being able to provide a backup supply if needed.  A small patch of this sod is growing outside of Target Field as well for any repairs that may be needed.  This same sod is also used at Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado, which experiences similar conditions.  The field itself is made up of multiple layers.  The base is composed of fine sand, which comes from Elk River, MN.  The next layer is pea gravel and this layer includes the piping for the field heating and irrigation system.  The heating system itself is comprised of some 40 miles of pipe.  Another layer of sand is on top of the pea gravel followed by the sod. 

              Drainage for the field is quite good, with the outfield grass being able to drain up to 5 inches of liquid per hour.  The infield dirt, however, can only handle 0.05 inches per hour, which is why a tarp is used on the infield.  The warning track dirt also suffers from poor drainage, but this is mitigated by small drains at the base of the wall to handle the runoff.  The rainwater from the field is collected and held in storage tanks, where it is then reused to wash the seats and walkways of the stadium.  More uses of this water are being explored and this is the first major stadium to have a system like this.  This system is helping the facility in its goal of becoming LEED certified, which would make it the second LEED certified stadium after Medlar Field in State College, PA.   

              DiVito showed numerous photos of the playing surface as it was being constructed, which was a challenge at times trying to coordinate with the other contractors who were finishing other aspects of the stadium.  Following his presentation, DiVito answered numerous questions about the new field and other aspects of Target Field.  The meeting was then adjourned at 8:55PM.---Bryan Howell.  



Monthly Meeting:  Friday, March 12, 2010


The fifth meeting of the UAHuntsville student chapter of the AMS for the academic year began at 11:40 am on Friday, March 12, 2010, with President Chris Schultz calling the meeting to order.  The meeting began with guest speaker Dr. Geoffrey Stano of Ensco, Inc., NASA SPoRT presenting his career path and giving advice for the job search.

After our guest speaker, chapter business began with Chris Jewett giving the Treasurer’s report.  Chris went on to show the design for the hoodie sweatshirts and proposed design for a chapter banner.  The sweatshirts will be $16 (for members) and an order form will be mailed out to the membership.  Polos will also be for sale again at the price of $16.  An email vote on the banner will be conducted since the banner is estimated to cost $120 since over 50% of membership approval is needed to go ahead with the ordering process.

Vice-President Elise Schultz gave an update on the Severe Weather Poster Contest.  Posters are to be postmarked by April 2nd.  We will vote on the finalists on Tuesday, April 13 12:00-1:30 pm in NSSTC 4078 (NASA Conference Room). All of NSSTC will be invited to vote.   Awards for the finalists and winners are still being sought.  If you have any ideas of places who would donate an award please see Elise.  The finalists will be again displayed at the Panoply Arts Festival, April 23-25 at the National Weather Service Booth.  We will be seeking volunteers to help man the booth.  Look for an email on this in April.

Vice-President Schultz represented the Education Outreach committee as the chair, Sandy LaCorte, was unable to attend the meeting.  The committee would like to put on a Weatherfest type of event here in Huntsville possibly this fall.  This would take a lot of planning and everyone being involved.  The plan is to work together with other weather professionals in the area including the NWS and others.  Those members in attendance liked the idea and the committee will continue to move forward with exploring the possibility including location, date, etc.

Next, President Schultz asked for 2 or 3 volunteers to help judge the special AMS award at the Alabama State Science Fair on April 2nd.  Email or see Chris is you would like to help out.

President Schultz gave the chapter an update on making UAHuntsville Storm Ready.  Chris and NWS WCM Dave Nadler have a meeting with Kevin Bennett (UAHuntsville Planning and IT Administrator, Faculties and Operations) on Monday, March 15 to move forward with the Storm Ready process.

Vice-President Schultz discusses the idea of a Resume/CV workshop as a professional development activity for members of the chapter. Members will be encouraged to bring their resume or CV and the group will constructively critique them together.  This activity is planned for April.  Look for an email update as a final date is selected.

If you would like to join our tam and take part in the Crohn’s and Colitis Take Steps Walk May 22, 2010 email Sandy LaCorte.

Nominations are currently being accepted for next year’s President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Webmaster positions.  Email President Schultz with your nomination.  Nominations are accepted up until the time of elections at our next meeting.

Our next meeting will be April 23, 2010 at 11:30 am in NSSTC 4065.

There were 14 members in attendance. The meeting was adjourned at 12:28 pm.---Stephanie Mullins.



March 11, 2010 Meeting 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Our March meeting began with announcements from Big Event, T-shirts/Polos, and the Field Trip.  Big Event, a campus wide volunteer service project, has a record number 59 volunteers that will be working alongside others from the university in the community to help others.  T-shirt and Polo orders are due Thursday April 1.  This year we are offering an additional option to our characteristically fun t-shirts by offering a polo with the OU School of Meteorology logo.  Along with our new incentive program, SCAMS has created a field trip that would allow students to explore a particular area of meteorology further. This year a group of students will be traveling to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality to learn about how pollutants are measured.  At the March meeting we also began our nominations process for our officer elections to be held in April.  Our speaker for this meeting was Dr. Jeffery Basara of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.  Dr. Basara spoke about the importance of urban meteorology, the mesonet, and the micronet. The challenge of urban areas is that usually mesonets are placed in open regions without many surroundings to get an accurate ‘big picture’ of the weather patterns.  Since nearly 2/3 of the population is in urban areas it would seem beneficial to understand the physical processes that occur in an urban environment. Dr. Basara has been working with a team to design a micronet system that has several phases in process in Oklahoma City. The projects goals are to understand the effect of the urban heat island, determine the impact of severe weather on Oklahoma City, and assess the relationship between urban atmospheric processes and public health.   In addition to 3 new mesonet sites, there are 40 current micronet sites are placed on traffic lights about 9 meters in the air.  These sites measure 2D sonic winds, air temperature, pressure, humidity, and have an impact sensor. The sites take data every minute, collecting 640,000 observations daily.  Dr. Basara presented 4 events with particularly interesting results from the micronet data including: the urban heat island and the effects of the heat wave event from July 30 – August 8, a cold front as it moved through the city, an unusual windstorm, and a supercell that had rapid development due to the apparent aid of heat from the city.   Dr. Basara’s excellent speaking skills and interesting presentation was a welcome addition to our March meeting.---Stacey Hitchcock.



Monthly Meeting:


              The Monthly Meeting was held on March 11th at 10:40 am. A total of 21 members attended.  During the meeting we discussed the preparations for the Weather Fest and for the Hot Dogs sales of this month. Also, we talked about the elections for the new directive 2010 to 2011. The meeting concluded at 11:30 am. 


Extraordinary Meeting:


              An extraordinary meeting was held on March 18th at 10:50 am. A total of 17 members attended.  This extraordinary meeting was held to finish the Weather Fest’s preparations. Meeting concluded at 11:50 am.


Activity: Weather Fest and “Avión Caza Huracanes”


              On March 27th we had our third Weather Fest at Roosvelt Road Airport in Ceiba. This activity consisted in educating children, parents, teachers and general public about meteorological concepts using various experiments. The purpose of this activity, besides educating, was to create interest in Meteorology  as a professional career. The Weather Fest was done simultaneously with the Visit of “el Avión Caza Huracanes”, which is an activity done annually to raise consciousness about the risks that hurricanes represent to our society and the safety measures to prevent any disaster.


Hot Dogs Sale:


               We had a Hot Dogs Sale on March 10th as a fund raising activity.




Teach the Teachers Workshop

DATE:                            March 23, 2010

LOCATION:                  University of South Florida, C.W. Bill Young Auditorium, Tampa, FL 33620

PRESENTATIONS:    The Teach the Teachers Workshop was one of the most widely attended and successful meetings sponsored and funded jointly by the West Central Florida Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and the College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Florida.  Dr. Jennifer Collins, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of South Florida orchestrated the educational experience and served as the emcee to the event.  Dr. Collins provided an overview of the workshop to an audience of over eighty-five attendees. She also recognized contributions from donators, the guest presenters (Figure 1), the members performing the experiments and former Chapter award recipients. 

Figure 1: Dr. Jennifer Collins, Assistant Professor, University of South Florida Department of Geography and WCFLAMS Chapter Vice President introduces Guest Speaker, Dr. John Knox of the University of Georgia to attendees of the Teach the Teacher Workshop.

SPEAKERS:  Dr. John Knox, Department of Geography, University of Georgia: The Forecast FactoryMs. Danielle Groenen, National Weather Service (NWS) Volunteer: CoCoRaHS: A Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network.  Mr. Charles Paxton, NWS and University of South Florida (USF) graduate student: The Use of Computer Models in Weather Forecasting – Examples from Research Conducted at the University of South Florida.  Dr. Don Chambers, USF College of Marine Science: Sea Level Rise and its Impact on Florida.

Guest speaker, Dr. John Knox, from the University of Georgia Department of Geography, along with his PhD student Aneela Qureshi co-presented a highly interactive session entitled “The Forecast Factory” and taught an audience of teachers, as well as several weather enthusiasts, the history of weather forecasting.  Dr. Knox explained how before the 1950’s, weather forecasting was based on intuitions, myths, and rules of thumb. In our modern era, weather forecasting is based on science and complicated equations. 

              Dr. Knox led the group in an active-learning role-playing exercise that metaphorically recreated L.F. Richardson’s original vision for numerical weather forecasting as well as the modern methods for numerical weather prediction.  Dr. Knox’s presentation did an excellent job of engaging the audience and provided a foundation of learning and resources for teachers, no matter the grade level.  Dr. Knox has published this approach in the Journal of Geoscience Education (2000, pp. 579-580).

              Ms. Danielle Groenen, a volunteer for the National Weather Service, presented CoCoRaHS, or the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network. CoCoRaHS involves the use of rain gauges and hail pads to take daily measurements.  There are very specific requirements for recording data, and the audience at the Teach the Teachers workshop was fortunate enough to be in an impromptu learning session. The rain gauge was explained, as well as proper location and measurement techniques. The rain gauge is a great tool for getting students involved in weather forecasting as they gain hands on experience collecting valuable data.

The third presenter of the evening was Mr. Charles Paxton, Science and Operations Officer with the NWS and also a USF graduate student of Dr. Collins pursuing a PhD in the Department of Geography.  Mr. Paxton spoke on the use of computer models in weather forecasting; especially in two research projects where Dr. Collins and Charles Paxton (and collaborators) published results. The first project was a smoke and fog event that produced tragedy on Florida’s Interstate-4 during January 2008. The second project was on Southwest Florida warm-season tornadoes.  Mr. Paxton mentioned four types of models which include the grid point, spectral model, statistical, and hybrid models (the latter of which is a combination statistical-dynamical model). Mr. Paxton went on to describe the use of computer modeling in their research on the meteorological conditions leading up to the 70 car pile-up on I-4 in central Florida. Also described was the use of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) computer model to imitate conditions prior to and during a Florida tornado event. This research will likely lead to better forecasting ability, as the model forecasted a mesocyclone seen in observations on the day of the actual event. Please see the following articles for related material.


Collins, J.M., C. Paxton and A. William, 2009: Southwest Florida Warm Season Tornado Development. National Weather Association’s Electronic Journal of Operational Meteorology, 2009-EJ12.

Collins, J.M., A. N. Williams, C. H. Paxton, R. J. Davis and N. M. Petro 2009: Geographical, meteorological, and climatological conditions surrounding the 2008 interstate-4 disaster in Florida.  Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences. Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences, 32: 153-162.

A link to these works can be found at


The fourth and final presenter of the evening was Dr. Don Chambers from the College of Marine Science at USF.  Dr. Chambers presented on sea level rise and its potential impacts on Florida. Dr. Chambers described that a rise of sea level is caused by heat flux, melting of grounded ice, and local wind-stress and ocean circulation. The tools for measuring sea level change include island tide gauges, GPS, gravity (which was described as being the most unique and important), satellite altimeters, and laser altimeters. Dr. Chambers suggests there is evidence of acceleration of sea level change in the Gulf of Mexico, and due to subsidence and soil erosion, Florida is at risk. Also noted was the heavily populated coastline of Florida producing a greater risk and the need for mitigation efforts.  

Each attendee received a CD of weather experiment activities which were also presented to the attendees by several WCFLAMS members. Survey responses from participants were very positive. The following testimonials are included as examples.

TREASURER’S REPORT: The West Central Florida Chapter of the AMS account balance, as of March 23, 2010:  $1,048.19.

CONCLUSION: The meeting was attended by an outstanding audience of 85 educators, AMS members, National Weather Service employees and representatives from local media. In addition, an elaborate, home-cooked buffet dinner and dessert was provided to all members, courtesy of Kim Bolton and family – the mother of the WCFLAMS Chapter’s youngest member, Matt Bolton, who is a home-schooled high school student planning to pursue a career in meteorology. Donations were also obtained from Publix, Walmart, the USF Office of Undergraduate Research, USF’s School of Global Sustainability and the USF Alumni Office.---Brian LaMarre and Jennifer Collins with contributed material from Alicia Williams.





Start of Meeting 5:48 PM


Next Baseball Cleanup


Relay for Life:


Wild Weather Day:


Meeting concluded at 6:14 PM---Richard J. Krupar III.



The Severe Weather Club has been very busy so far this semester.  It seems that ever since we got back from Atlanta for the annual meeting, things have been pretty hectic.

We spent the entirety of the past few weeks preparing for Severe Weather Awareness Week (Feb 28 - Mar 6), where we made tri-fold flyers that sit on the tables in the Union and at Residence Halls.  On that Monday, 12 representatives (in total) went to the dorm's hall government meetings to share a short presentation on severe weather safety with students.  It was really a great opportunity and was very rewarding to know that the students would at least be a little prepared in case severe weather struck.  Last year we went to one residence hall, but now we decided we should expand our operations across campus.  We are looking forward to seeing what other opportunities would arise on campus for us to talk! 

This past Friday we trekked over to Lincoln Elementary School here in Macomb to discuss severe weather topics with 2nd graders, and it seemed that the kids and the teachers really loved what we presented.  We split into three groups, each contained 2 club members.  Our groups consisted of convection (storms), flooding, and heat safety as well.  We gave them a short presentation with fun graphics that helped them understand, and then we conducted experiments in the front as well.  It was really a fun and rewarding opportunity as always!

Ever since our first meeting this semester we have been looking to see if we could get our campus Stormready.  We understand this is a rather big task to take on, but its definitely possible to achieve.

We have some pretty fun things planned this year, including heading to Bushnell High School to help judge a science fair, set up a booth at an environmental summit at Macomb High School and Taste of Macomb where club members would fix some sort of food dish to sell.  This would be a great way to warn the community about severe weather as well.  We also are partnering in a blood drive with another student organization, and holding a spaghetti dinner later in March, where a portion of the sales will go to a community that has been hit by a natural disaster of some sort (mudslides, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc).  We have talked about holding tutor sessions, where a junior or senior meteorology major can help any freshmen or sophomores that are struggling with a certain class.

Some fun club outings we have planned include having a game night (not really an outing I guess), going to a storm spotter training session, and heading to a state park and spending the afternoon there relaxing and cooking out.

Stay on the lookout for more updates!---David Anderson.






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