Chapter News
May 2002


ARKANSAS

The March 7, 2002 meeting of the Arkansas Chapter of the AMS convened at 705 PM with 19 people attending.

The program for the evening was provided by chapter member Scott Blair. Scott spoke about his storm chases during 2001. He described the equipment he uses on the storm chases including weather instrumentation and computer systems. He is also an amateur photographer.

Scott described a typical Great Plains storm chase day during the months of May and June which includes long hours and many miles. He provided a summary of his chases during the 2001 storm season which included 29 chases across 10 states. He covered a total of 21, 460 miles during the season.

Videos of his May 28th chase in Colorado and his May 30th chase in New Mexico. The Colorado chase included some excellent tornado footage near Trinidad, Colorado. The New Mexico chase culminated in Scott's car being heavily damaged by up to 3 inch diameter hailstones.

Refreshments and fellowship followed.

The meeting adjourned around 825 PM.



The April 18, 2002 meeting of the Arkansas Chapter of the AMS convened at 715 PM and featured chapter member Dr. Jerry Reynolds speaking on the need and efficiency of weather warning systems.

Jerry used the illustration of the 1925 Tri-State tornado in his opening remarks. He described how the large number of deaths and injuries of that event could be partly attributed to the lack of any useable warning system during this time. Public awareness was reduced through the lack of a watch/warning program, lack of NOAA weather radio, lack of sirens and lack of a general educational program to make the public more aware of severe weather.

Statistics which showed the number of tornadoes through the years, illustrated how the advent of awareness and spotter organizations, along with the development of radar, increased the number of tornadoes being recorded. A steady climb in the number of tornadoes has occurred with noticeable increases as weather radar came on the scene in the 1950s and when the Doppler radar era began in the 1990s.

Jerry then spoke of the development of outdoor alerting systems, such as sirens, to help raise the awareness of approaching severe weather. He discussed some of the shortcomings of sirens as alerting systems, such as power outages, but also noted that improvement even in these types of alerting systems have come along during the years. Battery units and solar panels to recharge them have been some of the more recent developments.

Some discussion on more recent developments in warning systems have occurred, some of which may be more realistic than others. NOAA Weather Radio has been a reliable form of notification, although it is not as widely used by the public as it could be.

Perhaps the most telling advancement in weather warning alerts have come from the education of spotters and the general public through the National Weather Service's community preparedness efforts. Wide acceptance was also noted of the Doppler weather radar, both from the National Weather Service and local television stations and the public's ability to interpret what is seen on television and the Internet. Some discussion also took place on future advancements in radar, such as a phased-array system that might eventually replace the Doppler system as it is known today. The fact that longer lead times and more accurate path-casts are now available through weather warnings have helped in the lowering of deaths and injuries.

Overall, comparing the tools of today's weather warning systems shows a marked improvement in warning times and efficiency over what was experienced back in the era of the Tri-State tornado.

The meeting adjourned around 9 PM after refreshments were enjoyed by those present. ---Newton Skiles.


CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

The 2002 Oklahoma Ice Storm

COCAMS Vice-President Kevin introduced Sidney Sperry, director of public relations and communications for the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, and Michael Crouch, transmission administrator for Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, as the guest speakers for the meeting. The topic for the evening was "The 2002 Oklahoma Ice Storm", and its effects upon the electric power industry.

Director Sperry began by showing a series of slides from the storm. The storm itself was a "once-in-a-hundred" year freezing rain event that spread across much of western and northern Oklahoma during February 6-7. The hardest hit region, an area which stretched from near Weatherford in west-central Oklahoma northeastward to Blackwell, near the Kansas border, recorded several inches of freezing rain. Some power lines were found covered with up to 8 inches of ice. As a result, over 55,000 customers were left without power.

According to Director Perry, a co-op electric company is a non-profit organization, designed to deliver electric power to rural communities at low cost. Co-ops generally serve rural communities, where a greater percentage of customers are residential, and with fewer customers per mile of line, profit margins are lower than for-profit electric utilities in urban areas. Furthermore, co-ops generally cover much larger geographic regions. Thus, co-ops are especially sensitive to severe weather events.

When severe weather threatens, Sperry has an itemized plan of action. First, co-op managers are alerted several days in advance of possible impending weather. During the event, managers are kept updated of ongoing weather-related damage. Maintenance crews are then sent to repair the damage as quickly as possible. During this ice storm, approximately 55,000 electric poles were reported down statewide. By February 18th, over 3,000 customers were still without power, simply due to the magnitude of the storm. Nearly 1,000 utility workers came into Oklahoma from 9 surrounding states to help repair the damage.

How exactly does ice cause power lines and poles to break? The weight of the ice combines with "wind loading" to stretch the lines. If heavy enough, the lines and even poles can break. A relatively light 10 mph wind also can create "aolian vibrations", which can cause the lines to begin to swing, and possibly snap. Damage from an ice storm actually occurs in two phases. First, the weight of the ice can break lines and poles. Second, as the sun begins to warm the ice, chunks of ice can break off, causing the line to "jump" and oscillate, which can further weaken or break the line.

Another problem utility workers must deal with is clean up. For example, electric poles have been chemically treated and are thus classified as hazardous waste. Hazardous materials can only be stored at designated hazardous waste landfills. The approximately 50,000 poles broken from the February ice storm could fill 150 acres a foot deep.

Transmission administrator Michael Crouch detailed the impact of the ice storm on transmission lines. Unlike distribution lines, transmission lines are composed of 3 separate strands. Together, the strands weigh 3,540 lbs between towers and carry 138,000 volts. As a result of this ice storm, over 700 transmission structures were damaged and about 100 miles of line had to be repaired, at a cost of $1.25 per foot.

So how does meteorology help the utility industry? Accurate forecasts help utility workers prepare for damage in advance, and real-time data help pin-point damage as an initial first guess. For example, Oklahoma Mesonet data was critical in determining the extent of freezing precipitation. Real-time weather data also is invaluable during severe thunderstorms to help keep workers safe from lightning.

Kevin Kloesel adjourned the meeting at 8:00 pm after an enlightning question and answer period with the speakers.---Jerry Brotzge.


DENVER-BOULDER

The March 2002 meeting of the Denver-Boulder Chapter was held on March 20 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesa Lab in Boulder, CO. Dr. William Gray from Colorado State University spoke on climate change and global warming. The talk attempted to play the Devil's Advocate and give a contrary view as to the likelihood of significant human-induced global warming in the next 50-100 years.

One of Dr. Gray's main points was that there has not been enough open debate among meteorologists (with the press, government officials, and environmentalists excluded) on this important topic. He feels that there should be more scientific discussions and debates on the topic including advocates on each side of the issue. Dr. Gray is questioning if the increase in temperature recently is anthropogenic or natural, and if there are anthropogenic influences what is the likely magnitude of change.

Dr. Gray hypothesizes that it is not possible for a doubling of anthropogenic greenhouse gases to cause a 2-5 degree C global warming as indicated by most GCM modeling studies. He feels these numerical models appear to be compromised by three basic flaws: 1) the assumption that an increased hydrologic cycle leads to increased upper-level water vapor - the opposite is more likely, 2) the inability to predict global ocean circulation on a long-time scale, and 3) various numeric and viscosity problems. He believes we should not rely on these global simulations as justification for fossil fuel reductions at this time.

He further postulates that observed global temperature increases during the last 25 or 100 years (where they have been reliably measured) are probably of natural origin. Various natural processes that can lead to such global temperatures were discussed, such as reduced mixing in the oceans and salinity differences.

A lively discussion followed with many questions from the audience. This is just what Dr. Gray would like to see happening in a larger scale - more discussions on the topic with dissenters and proponents.

Attendance: 75---Andrea Adams.


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Proudly Presents

"Washington Weathercasting: Science, Service and Sales"

Featuring

Doug Hill (ABC 7)
Bob Ryan (NBC4)
Topper Shutt (WUSA 9)

WHEN: Tuesday, May 14th, 2002

5:30 p.m. Social Time
7:00 p.m. Dinner
8:00 p.m. Presentation by Washington Weathercasters
8:45 p.m. Adjourn

WHERE: Fort Myer Officer's Club

214 Jackson Avenue, Fort Myer, Virginia 22211

RSVP & Info: By Friday, May 10th, 2002 to Major Ken Carey, Kenneth.Carey@pentagon.af.mil, (703) 588-8628

Menu: Double breast of chicken, rice pilaf, salad, rolls, coffee, tea and key lime pie dessert

Cost: $25 (make payments to: DC-AMS, P.O. Box 13557, Silver Spring, MD 20911-3557)

For more information about chapter activities, check out http://www.dc-ams.org

The attached flyer also contain a map to the Fort Myer Officer Club.---Lauraleen O'Connor.


FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

University HostS Public 2nd Annual Lightning Symposium

Did you know that lightning is the number one weather killer in Florida and may inflict severe lifelong injuries on 10 times as many people as it kills? Participants uncovered these and other lightning facts in the Florida Tech Lightning Symposium 2002 on April 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. The symposium, held in the F.W. Olin Engineering Complex, was free and open to the public. It was sponsored by the Department of Marine and Environmental Systems (DMES) meteorology students.

Dave Marsh, TV's WESH-Channel 2 chief meteorologist, emceed the event. Speakers included Bob Lay, director of Brevard County Emergency Management; forecasters Dennis Decker and Matt Bragaw of the National Weather Service in Melbourne; and Bill Roeder, chief meteorologist, 45th Weather Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base. Hamid Rassoul, physics and space sciences, also spoke on lightning research.

Brad Zavodsky, president of the American Meteorology Society's campus chapter, and John Williams, DMES, coordinated the symposium. Adding to their interest in the topic, both Williams and Rassoul were once struck by lightning.

Note: April 28-May 4 was Lightning Safety Awareness Week, sponsored by the National Weather Service. For more information, visit: www.LightningSafety.noaa.gov.---Steven Lazarus.


HIGH PLAINS

Call For Papers:
The High Plains Chapter of the American Meteorological Society is proud to announce the 6th High Plains Conference. This years’ conference will be held in Dodge City, KS October 9th through 11th. The conference is scheduled to take place in the recently restored historic Santa Fe depot and theater in downtown Dodge City. Some meals will be included in the very modest conference registration fee. A banquet is planned the evening of the 10th. The Dodge City area is rich in old west history and attendees are encouraged to bring family and/or friends along.

Sessions will begin the morning of the 10th and run through early afternoon on the 11th. The main theme of the conference will be high plains severe convective storms. Papers are solicited on all aspects of severe convection in the high plains. Keynote speaker for this session will be Dr. Charles A. Doswell III, Senior Research Scientist at CIMMS and noted author. The morning session on the 11th will address severe weather emergency preparedness and severe storm spotting and observation. This session will be less formal with attendance anticipated to include emergency managers, spotters and storm chasers as well as meteorologists. Keynote speaker for this session will be Dr. Eve Gruntfest, professor of Geography from the University of Colorado/Colorado Springs. Additionally, a panel discussion will be conducted on the 11th over aviation weather concerns, with guest panelists from the FAA and the aviation community at large.

Authors should submit abstracts of one page or less to Jim Johnson for the consideration of the program committee at jim.johnson@noaa.gov. Abstracts may also be mailed to the National Weather Service, 104 Airport Rd. Dodge City, KS 67801. Deadline for abstracts is August 15th, 2002. In the event of numerous abstracts, the conference program committee will rank presentations according to those most suited to the conference theme and provide for a poster session for those not chosen as oral presentations. For additional information on the conference, on line abstract submission, registration and pre-registration please visit the chapter web site at: http://www.highplains-amsnwa.org

For the second year in a row, the High Plains Chapter also announces our student paper competition geared toward graduate and undergraduate students in meteorology. There will again be a scholarship awarded for first and second place in the student competition. The student competition may also overflow into a poster session if necessary.

Provisions are also available for vendors and/or vendor displays. We anticipate little or no charge for vendor space. Those interested should contact Jim Johnson at: Jim.Johnson@noaa.gov.

The High Plains Chapter held a meeting on April 23rd, 2002, starting with a lunch at the Town and Country Kitchen in Norton, KS. One of the member’s mothers, a Norton resident, joined us for lunch. The invited speaker had to back out at the last minute, so lunch was followed by a regular business meeting. Vice President Jim Johnson led the meeting in the absence of President John Stoppkotte. Only 11 members were present, with staff shortages and other conflicts across the membership area competing with our meeting. On a brighter note, our current chapter membership is at 48 - an all time high for our chapter! A report was given updating the mailing of AMS Minority Scholarship notifications. To date, our chapter has mailed out over 237 letters across the high plains notifying high school principles and counselors of the available AMS Minority Scholarship. All mailings were sent by February 4th, with most sent during in January. Rather disturbing was the news that our chapter lost its host for our web site; government web sites (i.e., “noaa.gov”) can no longer host non-government sites. Several options for another host site have been offered, and the High Plains AMS/NWA chapter now has the following new web address: http://www.highplains-amsnwa.org. The next meeting has not yet been scheduled, but will be in the July time frame.---Tim Burke.


IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY (ISU)

ISU AMS involved in many community and educational activities over the past month.

Over the past month, the Iowa State University chapter has become very active in community and educational activities. The week of March 25th-29th our chapter did six severe weather talks at five local elementary schools as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. We discussed what severe weather is, how it forms, and how to keep safe during life-threatening severe weather situations. We talked to fourth graders with 20 to 40 kids at each presentation. We showed tornado video, a NOAA weather radio, and transparencies. We answered their questions about severe weather and any other weather questions they had.

On April 4th, our chapter participated in a local science night sponsored by an elementary school in Ames, Iowa. Here we showed off our tornado machine and explained to many interested kids and parents how the tornado machine works and how real tornadoes form. We made posters discussing severe weather and safety tips. We showed tornado videos and explained how they formed.

On April 11th, we sponsored an "Advanced Mobile Storm Spotter Training" that was held on our campus with Andy Kula, from the National Weather Service in Des Moines, as the chief presenter. We had around 30 students attend along with 60 adults from the local community. This was our first time sponsoring a speaker to talk with those outside of our chapter. We plan to make this an annual event.

On April 20th, we displayed a booth at VEISHEA, the nation's largest student-run celebration. Our booth was located under "Cy's Big Top Tent," which is geared for kids and their families. At the booth the kids saw our tornado machine, could play "Weather Twister," learned how to make a pop-bottle tornado, and watched tornado video. We also had posters for people to learn about severe weather safety in Iowa.---Jeremy S Grams.


LOS ANGELES

"What's Up With This Dry Winter?" was the topic of discussion at the April Chapter meeting. The latest southern California dry spell may mean the 2001-2002 water year in Los Angeles will break the all-time driest record of 1960-61, when only 4.85" wet city streets. As of late April, only 4.27" managed to drop into USC's bucket. And no substantial rain is expected soon, maybe not even before December. Guest speaker, Dr. Charles Pyke, founder and president of Continental Weather & Earth Sciences, Inc. and the newly formed Associated Science Experts (ASE), explained what was probably the causes of this year's dryness. Dr. Pyke, who studied under Dr. J. Bjerknes at UCLA, stressed the role of warm and cold pools of water that continually swept the jet stream north over the eastern N. Pacific, which then plunged south into the southland bringing cool temperatures, but few drenching rains. In fact, the Southwest has suffered dry and relatively warm winter conditions since the large El Nino of 1997-98. Dr. Pyke's remarks were seconded by those of Dr. Bill Patzert, oceanographer from the Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL). Dr. Patzert reiterated the impacts of frequent cooler waters off the west coast, leading to low clouds along the southern California beaches, while the interior baked under drought conditions. Since the late 1990's, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has been in a negative phase, where La Nina conditions in the tropical eastern Pacific (cooler than normal) dominate and El Nino conditions (warmer than normal) become weaker and less frequent. Since the PDO lasts some 18-20 years, the prospects for Los Angeles breaking the drought cycle are not too good. Although the rain year is not officially over, Dr. Pyke predicted an 80% for a record dry year in 2001-02. And, if the El Nino doesn't develop over the coming months, that southern California may well have a cool, gloomy summer coming up.---Steve LaDochy.


Dr. Christopher Landsea of NOAA's Hurricane Research Division, visiting Southern California to attend the AMS sponsored hurricane conference in San Diego, was the guest speaker for April's meeting. Chris, who is currently serving as the chair of the AMS Committee on Tropical Meteorology, summarized his article published in the July 20th, 2001 issue of Science, "The Recent Increase in Atlantic Hurricane Activity: Causes and Implications". According to his research, the years 1995-2000 experienced the highest level of North Atlantic hurricane activity on record. This six year period saw a doubling of activity compared to the previous 24 years (1971-1994). Moreover, the period saw an increase in both "major" hurricanes (111 m.p.h. winds) and the number of hurricanes affecting the Caribbean. These increases are believed to be the result of higher sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic and a decrease in vertical wind shear, both of which facilitate hurricane development. Because this upward trend in activity is expected to continue for at least 10 more years and due to the rapid growth and development in the coastal areas of the Atlantic Basin, preparedness and mitigation strategies need to be revisited. Dr William Gray, who was a co-author to Dr. Landeas's article, issued his annual hurricane forecast a few weeks before our meeting. It calls for 12 named storms, 7 of which will reach hurricane status, both of which are above normal.

The current dry rainfall season in Southern California has been a big topic of conversation among our chapter members. As of April 30th, only 4.36" of rain had been recorded in Los Angeles since the start of the rainfall season. (July 1st). The city's official observations are taken in the downtown area at the University of Southern California's ASOS station. On average, 14.77" is recorded by April 30th. The driest complete season (July 1st - June 30th) occurred in 1960-61 when only 4.85" was recorded. If less than .49" is recorded between May 1st and June 30th, we will set an all-time record for the driest rainfall season. The U.S. Army Signal Corps began keeping official records in Downtown L.A in 1877. Some attribute the dry weather to various sea-surface temperature anomalies across the Pacific and the corresponding placement of the jet stream.---Rick Dickert.


LYNDON STATE COLLEGE

Start: 7:00 pm

Jason says that we should get more national AMS members. He says that the AMS have made up a new form designed solely for students. There are many great benefits to being a national member and it's only 15 dollars. Also you can be a NWA member. You get the National Weather Digest and it's only 14 dollars to be a member.

For election of next year's officer's, all the officers gave a description of what their position entailed.

End: 7:30 pm.---Cegeon J. Chan.


NEW YORK CITY/LONG ISLAND

Educational Outreach Activities

The Local Chapter continued its support of educational outreach activities in the New York City/Long Island metropolitan area. The local chapter participated in the 6th West-chester Conference on Science/Math/Technology held at the State University of New York at Purchase College in December 2001. The Chapter provided educational materials and supported presentations about AMS Education Activities provided by Dr. Michael J. Passow, an AMS Peer Trainer for "Water in the Earth Systems," the Maury Project, and Project Atmosphere. Dr. Passow is also President-Elect of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

Local chapter members then turned out in force to present five workshops at the 25th annual Science Council of New York City Conference held at South Shore High School in Brooklyn New York on Saturday, March 23, 2002.

Gary Conte and Jeffrey Tongue from the National Weather Service New York City Forecast Office, Michael Passow, and Madelyn Asperas of Woodland Middle School in Nassau County, New York presented workshops. Chapter Chair Mark Kramer of Mete-orological Evaluation Services assisted the workshop leaders and distributed educa-tional handouts on lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical cyclones, severe winter weather, extreme heat and other weather-related, classroom friendly activities. Michael Passow and Mark Kramer started the morning session with a workshop entitled, "Water in the Earth System (WES) A New AMS Teacher Training Opportunity." WES is the latest AMS Education Initiative to Support K - 12 education by focusing on how water and energy flow through the Earth system. Using the web, sites for teaching water resources for the various watersheds on the East Coast were demonstrated. The workshop provided AMS classroom-tested activities that formed the backbone of the presentation. The activities were augmented by demonstrations of where and what information was available online.

Michael Passow then teamed with Gary Conte in the second workshop to present, "Bad Things Happen: Teaching about Hazardous Weather." The presenters covered winter storms, hurricanes and other dangerous weather conditions. Using past local storms and events, the speakers advised teachers how to prepare their students to deal with the forecasted and unexpected situations that the students may encounter during their lifetimes.

The afternoon session began with Michael Passow and Jeffrey Tongue talking on "Today's Weather: Studying Weather as it Happens." The workshop presented a chance for teachers to obtain classroom-tested activities created by the American Meteorological Society's Education Program to teach about weather maps and the factors, which create the weather. Examples of using online resources from the AMS and the National Weather Service were provided to entice teachers to develop exciting lessons. Teachers played student. They did the activity from Project Atmosphere to determine the direction of the winds in high and low pressure systems as well as determine whether the air rose or fell. Teachers who were at first skeptical of the exer-cise became believers once they had the hands-on experience.

Simultaneously, Gary Conte presented, "National Weather Service Skywarn Spotter Presentation" where teachers learned the climatology of severe weather and flash floods, including protective actions that should be taken to prepare for them. The teachers were trained to identify specific types of clouds that warn of the possible onset of severe weather. The visual spotter training session was just like being on a tornado chase, without the time, disappointment or expense.

The last workshop of the day, "Here It Comes Again: Teaching About El Nino" was pre-sented by Maury Project Peer Trainer, Madelyn Asperas, assisted by Michael Passow. El Nino is probably one of the most talked about topics that teachers do not have a hands-on activity to demonstrate. The meteorological and oceanographic principles involved are not covered in most old textbooks and even newer textbooks do not have solid activities. To the rescue, AMS has prepared a classroom-tested colored slide-rule in the Maury Project to allow students to clearly understand the differences and causes associated with La Nina and El Nino. The activity was well accepted by the teachers and copies in black and white were made available.

The workshops were well received by teachers from middle and high schools through-out the five boroughs of New York City. The workshop format provides a focused forum for AMS, the NWS and industry to make teachers aware of the vast resources that are currently available. For most teachers, this was their first introduction to the American Meteorological Society's programs, but several teachers who had attended other workshops by the local chapter attended. Over 500 teachers attended this year's conference.

Chapter Chair Mark Kramer also has been busy writing the "Weather or Not" event for the middle school level Science Olympiad in New York State. This new event for the Science Olympiad involves the use of process skills as applied to the science of mete-orology. Emphasis is on the formation, structure, prediction and analysis of severe storms, their effects upon the environment and inhabitants, safety considerations, and how these storms evolve over time. This year severe storms are limited to hurricanes, tornadoes and meso-scale cyclones. Participants are expected to process basic mete-orological knowledge and skills such as the ability to analyze and interpret surface and upper air charts, determine wind direction and relative strength, decode standard weather symbols and identify frontal conditions. Questions relating to Doppler radar, satellite imagery and lightning detection systems are incorporated into the competition.

The regional Science Olympiad was held in February at nine different locations through-out the state. Mr. Kramer ran the event at the Museum Middle School in Yorkers, New York for teams of 2 students from 26 schools. Students called the event challenging. The State competition for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams from each of the regions is being held at State University of New York at New Paltz on Saturday, April 20.---Mark L. Kramer.


NORTH TEXAS

NEWSLETTER FOR APRIL 22, 2002

Hello Chapter Members,

I hope all is well with you. Since our last meeting, Fort Worth has again experienced tornadoes up close and personal, with an F3 occurring in east Fort Worth! This was one of four tornadoes in the metroplex that afternoon and evening. It's been an eventful two years weatherwise, hasn't it?

The next meeting of the North Texas AMS chapter will be Tuesday, April 30, 2002, at 7 PM. The meeting will be held at the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office/River Forecast Center complex. We will be giving the results of the science fair which was judged by members of our chapter.

Our guest speaker for the meeting will be Steve Tobey who is the Airfield Operations Officer for DFW Airport. He will be speaking on "DFW Airport Operations During Times of Severe Weather." Steve is employed by the DFW Airport Board...specifically the Airport Operations Department, Airfield Operations Section. He has been with the DFW Airport for 19 years. Steve is married and is the father of three sons. He has resided in the Fort Worth area since 1974. Steve graduated from U.T.A. with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He has a private pilot license and is an airplane/aviation history junkie! Considering the delays DFW airport experienced when the supercell with a history of producing tornadoes headed right for the airport last week, this is quite a timely subject. I hope you will be able to join us!

In other chapter news, as many of you know we lost three of our four chapter officers since our last formal election of officers. Our president (Chris B) left for Little Rock, our vice-president (Rick Smith) went to Norman, and our treasurer (Roland Nunez) left for Amarillo. Now the trend is spreading to past chapter officers. Larry Nierenberg has accepted a promotion with the NWS Hydrometeorological Prediction Center of NCEP in Camp Springs, Maryland. Larry will be departing in early May. For Larry, this is a return home of sorts. He is a graduate of Penn State University. We want to wish Larry all the best in his future position, and we thank him for his dedication and service to our chapter.

Speaking of elections, we are required to have our next formal election of officers at our May meeting. Be thinking of whom you would like to nominate for office. Since our current slate of officers are all fairly new (I am the veteran office holder at 11 months), perhaps our current officers would be willing to serve another year. More on that later.

And speaking of the May meeting (the last meeting of the current season, as we take the summers off from our formal meetings), mark your calendar for Tuesday, May 21, 2002. Our speaker will be Keith Wells from the Tarrant County Emergency Management Office. I also hope to have a representative from Tarrant County RACES to speak about the role of RACES and amateur radio during times of severe weather from the National Weather Service (and emergency management office) perspective. And there will be election of officers at this meeting.

Many thanks for those of you who sent me updated or corrected email addresses. These are the last ones I do not know who they belong to:

fbarnhill@tribune.com
rmbawcom@yahoo.com
rrobbins@home.com
tdmsales@flash.net
terry@why.net
wallcloudt1@yahoo.com

If one of these is your email address, kindly send me your first and last name. Thanks!---Greg Story.


OMAHA-OFFUTT

The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS held a joint meeting with the University of Nebraska's student AMS chapter on the 30th day of March at the University of Nebraska's conference center in Lincoln. 54 members and guests were present, which included 21 members of the Offutt-Omaha chapter and 15 members from the student chapter. The evening began with a social half hour at 6:30p.m giving students, forecasters, researchers, television personalities, symposium speakers, and other weather enthusiasts a chance to meet one another. The university catered the 7:00p.m dinner. The joint meeting was the kick off event for the central plains severe weather symposium to be held the next day. The symposium coincided with the State of Nebraska's severe weather awareness week and was open to the general public at no cost.

Dr. Dewey, the advisor of the student chapter and vice president of the Omaha-Offutt chapter began the meeting immediately after the conclusion of dinner. Dr. Dewey introduced the symposium speakers and ran through the symposium schedule of events. Dr. Dewey then turned the meeting over to Omaha-Offutt president Mr. Gene Wall who had just returned from his several month air force tour of duty in Kosovo.

Old Business
Jeremy Wesely informed the members that the February minutes were located in the newsletter. Dr. John Zapotocny gave the treasurer's report and informed the chapter that the Omaha-Offutt membership is up to 52. Dr. Zapotocny also mentioned that science fair season is underway and he had the opportunity to hand out 2 prizes at a fair in which he attended.

New Business
Gene announced that the election of officers will take place at the May meeting and members should begin to think about running. Both the student and the Omaha-Offutt chapters plan on having a members night for their respective year ending meetings. Members night is the meeting in which chapter members have the opportunity to present brief presentations to the rest of the group. Gene formally invited all student members to attend Omaha-Offutt chapter meetings whenever possible. Christy Carlson, the president of the student chapter, encouraged people to purchase the weather calendars that the student chapter was selling as a fundraiser. Meteorology students took all the pictures within the Calendar. Dr. Dewey introduced our guest speaker, David Stilling, also known as the "Lightning Stalker." The night concluded with a very electric presentation by Mr. Stilling and an introduction of a few remaining symposium guest speakers, storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski and professional weather photographer Jim Reed.

Six of the speakers at the CPSWS 2002 pose for a group photograph. From left to right, UNL student speakers, Matt Sherman, Christy Carlson, Elizabeth Dorland, AND, Jeff Piotrowski, Jim Reed and David Stillings.
Officers of the two AMS Chapters pose for a group photograph. From left to right John and Cathy Zapotocny, Matt Sherman, Christy Carlson, Elizabeth Merriman, Ken Dewey, Gene Wall and Jeremy Wesely.


Guest Speaker
Mr. David Stilling was the keynote speaker for the evening. Stilling came to us from Florida where he has been photographing lightning for the last 26 years. He proved to be more than just a photographer, for he was also a poet and a storyteller. The presentation began with a poem and ended with a poem and dozens of brilliant lightning photographs were sandwiched in between. Nearly every image had a title and a story line, which was presented with great enthusiasm. Although the lights were out for over an hour, there would be no falling asleep during this presentation. Lightning has struck so close to Stilling that he found himself regaining consciousness several minutes later and the ground was still steaming just feet away. Stilling had a grand finale comprised of many of his finest photos that were put to music, which all but ended his presentation. The talk came to an end with one last poem.---Jeremy Wesely.


PACKERLAND

On April third, we found that Jeff Last's Severe Weather Spotters Seminar appeals to people of all ages. 106 people dropped by Rose Hall at the U-W Green Bay campus to watch Jeff's seminar. (That includes my son, who just turned eight-weeks old. By the way Jeff, he was fussing because he was hungry, not out of boredom.) Each year, Jeff is required to present this seminar in each of the 22 counties served by the Green Bay National Weather Service office. We learned that 2001 was a fairly quiet year for severe weather. There were 130 warnings issued with only two tornados that touched down in the GB forecast area. The average is 145 warnings and three to four tornados a year. The June 11th storm was the worst of all of the storms, producing hurricane force winds and an estimated $20 (M) million dollars in damage. At the end of the program, Jeff became Regis Philbin once again as we played "Who Wants to be a Storm Spotter?" However, since "Millionaire's" ratings are slipping, Jeff noted he might have to find a new game show to spin off from. (I guess "Weakest Link" is out of the question?)

The messages on News Channel 5 and News Radio 1360 A-M worked well. We had a few people there who otherwise may not have known about the seminar. With that said, I would like to welcome our newest member, Norman "Chris" Christenson, who joined the PCAMS that night.

A couple of weeks ago, I sent out a questionare, asking what you thought about six subjects. They were, meeting topics, if you prefer a set date and time for our meetings, if you like taking field trips, if we should schedule more meetings with other clubs, if you would like to become more involved in event planning, and your feelings on having dinner before the meetings as we do now.

On the subject of meeting topics, you seemed to like what we've done in the past. Some even gave me some suggestions. One suggestion was to have some people on call and go out skywatching during adverse weather. My latest idea is weather photography. The second question was about having a set meeting date and time. Everyone agreed that would be preferred. Wednesday nights seem to work out well. I'll let you know what the officers decide. Question three dealt with the subject of field trips. Most liked the field trips that were planned this past year (Peshtigo and Granite Peak), however I wonder if these field trips were too far for the majority of the membership to travel. (No offense to our Wausau members.) The question of teaming up with other groups for meetings was the subject of question four. Most liked that idea, but the impression I got was to keep this to a minimum, or when appropriate. Most of the respondents also liked the idea of getting more involved in deciding what the meeting topics should be. There were some members who seemed to be pleased with how things have been working out right now. A compromise might be to present ideas for a meeting six-months away that the membership could vote on. The final qustion was about having dinner before the meetings and where. Overall people like the idea, but it's very difficult to get to dinner at 5:30 pm. Maybe we should look into faster food restaurants, verses Tony Roma's or the Eagle's Nest. Another compromise might be to have our meeting at a restaurant, however that could put a strain on the chapter's bank account. If you would like to see everyone's responses exactly how they wrote them, just let me know.

Our next meeting will be April 16th at the Barlow Planetarium at the U-W Fox Valley campus in Menasha. Dr. William Hooke, Atmospheric Policy Program, American Meteorological Society, will present "Disasters - The American Experience Meteorology. The talk will be from seven until 8:30 that night. The before meeting dinner will be at B.J. Clancy's on South Oneida Street. It's easy to get to U-W-F-V, just take Highway 441 to Oneida Street, south on Oneida to Midway Road. There are signs along the way to point you in the right direction.

If you have any more suggestions for us, don't be afraid to drop us an e-mail. This is your chapter just as much as it is mine, Tom Mahoney's or Jim Brey's.---Scott Patrick.


A group of about 70 turned out for a talk by AMS Senior Policy Fellow, Dr. Bill Hooke entitled "Disasters, the American Experience Tuesday evening, April 16, 2002. The talk was held at the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley Barlow Planetarium. Besides a substantial showing by PCAMS members there were a fairly large contingent of students and community members in the crowd. Dr. Hooke spent most of his career working in a number of high level government research and management positions dealing with atmospheric science including several specifically related to hazards. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and has served as an ajoint faculty member at the University of Colorado.

The illustrated talk took the audience through a historical review of America's most devastating disasters. The New Madrid earthquake, the Peshtigo fire, the Johnstown flood, the Dust Bowl and numerous other events that devastated property and claimed lives were reviewed. The review suggested that hazards and disasters are defined in terms of impact on people and that people often contribute to the losses even if the disaster is "natural." This fact suggests that since people are part of the problem they can be part of the solution by various mitigation strategies and by making sound policy choices. Disasters are also changing in nature and scope and we must be vigilant to see that our efforts to minimize death and destruction evolve with the hazard.

The exciting talk was followed by a lively question and answer session and preceded by the customary PCAMS dinner with the speaker at B.J. Clancy's.---Jim Brey.


The News Room of a group of several Green Bay radio stations served as the backdrop as the chapter officers gathered for a business meeting the evening of May first. A number of decisions were made.

We settled on the third Tuesday of the month for our meetings. We will try our best to conform to the third Tuesday rule, but there will be times when that is not possible for example field trips and special speakers that cannot make it on Tuesdays.

The first 15-minutes (or less)of every meeting will include the approval of minutes of the previous meeting (which will continue to be e-mailed to the membership), discussion of items under "old business" and "new business" and a Treasurer's report. We feel this is necessary to keep membership informed of the Chapters business and get more participation from members in the affairs of the chapter.

As for the web site problem, we've decided to take Jeff Last up on his offer to host the PCAMS web site on his personal ISP. The National Weather Service has changed policy and is requiring all non-NWS pages be off of their servers by later this month. The AMS national is working hard to fill this gap which is affecting other chapters as well but won't be able to host web sites until this fall. We decided it was important to keep the web site up and running through the summer. This action is not expected to cost the chapter. Our thanks to Jeff for his help with this. This means that our web site will be changing addresses twice in one year but there was no way around it.

We also got the ball rolling on meetings for June, July, August and September. Tom and Jim worked on one for May. Starting with the May meeting, the membership will be able to pitch ideas, volunteer to help with arrangements and vote on meeting topics for October and beyond. Then in June, we will discuss the November meeting and so on. This gives plenty of time to plan that meeting.

Here's what we have planned...

Tuesday, May 21 "A Review of the 2001 Severe Weather Season and a Detailed Look at the June 11 Derecho" presented by Gene Brusky, Scientific Operations Officer, NWS GRB. This talk will feature a special treat at the end. Gene will turn the tables and allow you to be the warning forecaster with A Look at Challenging Warning Events in 2001. The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM at the NWS Green Bay Weather Forecast Office, 2485 South Point Road, Green Bay, WI 54313. We will gather for the custormary pre-meeting dinner at Tony Roma's at 5 pm.

Saturday, June 22 - Picnic at Bayshore Park. (11 am)June 22nd is the first full day of the summer solstice. So, what better way to celebrate than with a picnic. Bayshore Park is located on Highway 57 just south of the Brown-Kewaunee County line. It will be a "Bring Your Own Food" with a dish to pass event. We will furnish grills. Jim Brey is making the arrangements. Rain date is June 29th.

Tuesday, July 16th - Weather Photography. (7 pm) I'm working on this one. Tentative plans are to bring in an expert in photography to give us tips on how to take better pictures of weather events. As a way of encouraging public attendance, we are going to put together a photo contest. This is something we may even get media attention for. I'll keep you posted.

August - A Field Trip to the Maritime Museum in Manitowoc. Tom Mahoney has some connections at the museum and is working on this one. The exact date is up in the air, depending upon when the Museum can accommodate us. Hopefully we'll get a speaker to talk about Great Lakes storms and shipwrecks.

September - Two guys and a radio. We're trying to get Steven Ackerman and/or Jonathan Martin to come to UW Green Bay. These guys are from UW Madison and host a radio call-in show about weather the last Monday of the month on Wisconsin Public Radio. Jim Brey is also working on this one.

October - To be decided by membership.

November - To be decided by membership.

December 17th - Chapter Christmas party. The Holiday Inn City Center in Green Bay will likely be the location, unless you have any other ideas. This date was chosen because of it being the third Tuesday of the month.

January, etc... - To be decided by membership.

See you on the 21st of May for a fascinating look at last year's severe weather season and June 22nd for some fun and sun along the Green Bay shoreline.---Scott Patrick.


SANTA BARBARA/VENTURA

MAY 2002 MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
***********************************************
TOPIC: History Of The Atmosphere Of Planet Earth and Past and Future Climate Trends
SPEAKER: JIM GOODRIDGE, California State Climatologist (Retired)
DATE: Thursday, May 23rd 2002 - Dinner @ 6:30 pm, Meeting @ 7:30 pm
PLACE: RUSTY'S AT THE LIGHTHOUSE - 15 East Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara - (across from Stearn's Wharf)
AMS Members and Friends -
You don't want to miss our upcoming May meeting! Our good friend Jim Goodridge will speak on the History of the Atmosphere. He has given this presentation recently to the Pacific Climate Conference in Sylmar. Jim will discuss his latest research into the history of the Earth's atmosphere. He will discuss major changes in the atmosphere and biosphere over the past two billion years. Next, he will present information on the sun's influence on the earth's climate during the past 500 years. Finally, Jim will present a general forecast trend for the next 50 years, based on his latest solar research!

Jim Goodridge is a former California State Climatologist. He retired in 1983, but is still employed part-time by the State Department of Water Resources. He currently maintains official datasets on rainfall in California. He is a recognized expert in the field of climatology. Jim lives with his wife Alice in Mendocino and Chico. Please Note: Jim will offer CD-ROM copies of up-to-date California climate data to anyone in attendance who requests these datasets! We will entertain nominations for officers for this AMS chapter for next year. Elections will be held at the June meeting.

RUSTY'S AT THE LIGHTHOUSE is in the lighthouse building at 15 East Cabrillo in Santa Barbara, directly across from Stearn's Wharf. This is a beautiful location! Easy parking is in the Rusty's lot on Helena, ½ block north of Cabrillo. The menu features pizza, salads, and a variety of sandwiches. Beer is available. The food is very good, affordable and service is excellent!!---Gary Ryan.


TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Mminutes from the Tuesday, April 9th, 2002 meeting

Jason Sippel (President) introduced the new officers for the 2002-2003 school year: President-Brent Maddux, Vice President-Travis Herzog, Treasurer- Paul Roller, Secretary-Morgan Gallagher.

The minutes and the treasurer's report were read. Brent discussed Career Fair to be held April 30th. Travis talked about members participating in Adopt-A-Highway on April 13th. Morgan announced plans to participate in Adopt-A-Beach in Freeport,TX over the weekend of April 26th. Brent then asked for nominations and support for Pat Price receiving the Reynold's Award. At the end of the meeting the officers sold TAMSCAMS bumper stickers for $5 a piece and asked for any girls who would like to participate in the intramural softball game that evening. The meeting was adjourned for snacks and refreshments.---Morgan Gallagher.


TWIN CITIES

Members of the Twin Cities AMS chapter "stormed" Borlaug Hall on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota to hear Professor Emeritus Donald Baker recount the intricacies of weather forecasting for Word War II's D-Day invasion at Normandy France.

During WWII, the U.S. and Great Britain implemented a large-scale invasion across the English Channel into Northern France. This military invasion was code named "Operation Overlord." General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed to oversee the military maneuvers. Eisenhower initially chose Monday, June 5th, 1944 as D-Day and the successful extradition and deployment of Allied forces was contingent upon accurate weather forecasting by the military.

An accelerated weather training program for military personnel was initiated in the summer and fall of 1942 as the Army Signal Corp and Army Air Corp Air Weather Service desperately needed weather observers and weather forecasters for military operations.

During the war, weather data was gathered from 500 surface stations in Britain, 106 weather buoys in the Atlantic Ocean and 7 radiosondes in England. Aerial Weather Reconnaissance routes were flown at 1500 feet to radio back weather parameters to forecasters on the ground. Recon personnel often scrambled the weather data and transferred it via secret code.

The actual forecasting duties were shared by two British forecasting teams (located in London and Portsmouth) and one American team. The separate forecast teams exchanged weather data and maintained one to two hour forecast discussions via telephone. Back in 1944, forecasting was often done using weather analogues and isallobars, while tracking storms was often based on the "Polar Front Theory." The British forecasts were conservative in nature, while U.S. Air Force forecasters were very confident making forecasts out to five days. The major meteorological and astronomical variables affecting the success of the D-Day invasion included: moonlight (good lighting was beneficial for paratroopers ascertaining beach obstructions), tides (low tide was imperative for the visual assessment of the beach), twilight (the sun angle at 6 degrees below the horizon provided optimum lighting for covert military operations), and weather (ideal weather for a military invasion required quiet seas, a visibility of at least three miles, and a ceiling of at least 11,000 feet to accommodate bombers).

Two to three forecasts were generated per week and a weather briefing was provided to General Eisenhower. On June 5, 1944, forecasters called for a large frontal system to pass directly over the beaches of France with expectations of waves of three to six feet. The D-Day Invasion was then postponed by Eisenhower. However, on June 6th, 1944, an interval of improved weather was forecasted by the military. So it was...at 6:30am on June 6th, 1944, the Allied forces from the U.S., Britain, and Canada stormed the shores of Normandy France resulting in a very successful D-Day Invasion in what would turn out to be a very successful victory for the Allies in World War II.

The Twin Cities Chapter of the American Meteorological Society began in 1948. At that time, the local chapter consisted mainly of university scholars and U.S. Weather Bureau personnel. Over the past fifty-three years, the Twin Cities Chapter has grown and evolved along with the science of meteorology.

Today, the Twin Cities Chapter of the AMS boasts members from areas such as broadcasting meteorology (WCCO TV/RADIO, KARE-11 and KSTP TV and FOX 29), private sector meteorology (METEORLOGIX), state climatology, university faculty (U of M, St. Thomas, St. Cloud State) as well as government personnel (NWS, NOHRSC, NCRFC).

Our wonderful Chapter has seven meetings every year from October through May. Our May meeting is usually a banquet or barbecue and includes a social hour as well. During the last 53 years, we have continually recruited new members to replace the members that have moved on and continually maintain a yearly membership of 45 to 50 members. Chapter Members, Kurt Scholz and Doug Dokken maintain the local Chapter website at: http://byte.stthomas.edu/www/math_http/weather/tcametsoc.html

Our local chapter newsletter graces our members mail from September through May and every year the newly elected chapter "Newsletter Editor" monitors the three weather forecasting contest quiz questions that are posted in the newsletter at the beginning of each year. The local AMS then awards the most accurate forecaster with a 20.00 gift certificate!

Local chapter members have graciously served as officers within our chapter -some of them many times over! and we always send a Twin Cities representative to the National AMS meeting as well.

With the advent of spring comes the Local,Regional and State Science Fairs throughout Minnesota. Although chapter members Jonathen Cohen and Allen Johnson have served as judges for many years, our chapter recruited five new volunteer judges this year!

This year our meeting agenda was as diverse as our membership. Some of our topics included:

"WFTC TELEVISION WEATHER"
(guest speaker Karl Spring-FOX 29)

"SNOWS SECRET LIFE"
(guest speaker Doug Hajicek)

"D-DAY WEATHER FORECASTING"
(guest speaker Donald Baker)

"AHPS PRODUCTS/SERVICES"
(guest speaker Mike DeWeese)

"HISTORY OF TV WEATHERCASTING"
(guest speaker Mike Fairbourne)

"IN SEARCH OF EL NINO"
(guest speaker George Sell)

Although the weather and climate of Minnesota hasnt really changed all that much over the last fifty three years, the Twin Cities Chapter of the AMS and its membership has grown and evolved into something unique and as unpredictable as the weather itself!


What do Bud Kraeling, Dave Moore, Bill Carlson, Cindy Pretzler, George Wetterling and Robert Ryan all have in common? These people have all played a major role in the history of television weather broadcasting. Members of the Twin Cities Chapter of the AMS met at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul to get a glimpse of the history of both local and national television weathercasting.

Meteorologist Ron Trenda introduced the first of two videos presented at the March meeting. "The History of the Weather Broadcast" featured some familiar and some not so familiar faces that have graced the nations television weathercast over the last fifty or so years. From "static maps", "weather girls" and the occasional forecasting chimpanzee to the advent of satellite photography and Doppler radar, local AMS members came to understand the evolution of broadcasting meteorology.

WCCOs "Fifty Years of Weathercasting" allowed AMS members to appreciate the growth of television weathercasting within the Twin Cities. Over the years, Twin Citians were privy to Bud Kraelings "Tasty Bread Weather Report" and Rebecca Kolls "Rooftop Garden". WCCOs first "graduate" meteorologist, Mike Fairbourne, was on hand to elaborate on the history of Twin Cities weathercasting and stated that the big "push" for professional meteorologists to become broadcasters occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s as government jobs in meteorology declined. Today, the most popular segments of a television weathercast are the "local forecast" and the "extended" five day forecast. Although WCCOs goal is to gain viewership through the use of new and updated graphics and more sophisticated technology, local AMS members want to see more "science" and less hype in their local weathercast along with the greater use of satellite photographs.---Mary Beth Howard.


UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA

The 2001-2002 year was one of growth for the chapter. The size of the membership doubled, which was one of our two major accomplishments for the year. The other was the addition of the chapter's Website. The chapter held four meetings and a few social events, which included a trip to a local hockey game.

The local chapter president, Patrick Gatlin, and a few chapter members went to the First Annual Student Conference in Orlando. Erica Hay, a freshman member of the chapter presented a poster at the AMS Annual Conference. Major Doug Otto was the guest speaker at the third meeting. He is a pilot for the 53rd wing of the Air Force Reserves (the Hurricane Hunters). Maj. Otto's presentation was about what the Hurricane Hunters do and how they get it done. Maj. Otto has flown through tropical cyclones such as Andrew, Floyd, and Mitch. He had many remarkable experiences to tell the chapter. At the end of this meeting, Patrick Gatlin presented a design for the USA-AMS t-shirt. This design was chosen and the shirts were available within a few weeks. The selling of these shirts was a fundraiser for the chapter.

The final meeting of the school year was at the end of April. At this meeting, 2002-2003 local chapter officers were elected. Since the turnout for the meeting was large, the membership was able to elect those who best represent the chapter. The newly elected officers are as follows: BJ Barbre', Pres.; Chris Dyke, V.P.; Dominic Hudson, Treasurer; Jene' Young, Secretary. All four newly elected officers will be juniors (Dynamics level) in 2002-2003. Since Patrick Gatlin is graduating, Tim Williams will become the new Webmaster. Two of the main objectives for next year's chapter will be to increase the number of national AMS members within the local chapter and to build a tornado simulator.---Patrick Gatlin.


UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

Announcements:

-Deadline for the AMS-UW Photo Contest have ended, and photos will be posted soon. The winner will be decided next week at the officers meeting.

-AMS-UW officers are planning a BBQ, a Mariners night, and another members meeting. Details will be sent out soon!
Guest Speaker, Professor Clifford F. Mass

Professor Mass is one of the most influential people in the northwest weather community. From heading up the MM5 mesoscale modeling group at UW to providing weather discussion for radio broadcasts, Professor Mass has his hands in many different aspects of meteorology. Professor Mass spoke about the history of regional mesoscale modeling, where it's at today, and what he envisions modeling will be in the future.
In the 1980's and early 90's, mesoscale models like the MM2,3, and 4 were introduced that could be run on personal computers. Cliff and others at the UW started to work with them and were producing exciting, high resolution forecast solutions. These forecasts included topographic weather phenomenon, like the Puget Sound convergence zone and onshore push, that were missed by lower resolution models. Before, forecasted only by meteorologists, computers now could predict mesoscale weather effects. The problem with this is that it would take up to four days to calculate a forecast with 1980's technology.

In 1995, a computer able to handle these kind of computations was purchased by a consortium of several different local agencies. The UW started running the MM5 operationally at 27 km resolution. A new computer was purchased in 1997, and the MM5's resolution increased to 12 km. As computer power continued to get cheaper, a new computer was purchased in 2001 and the MM5's resolution increased to 4km, where it is operationally run today.

Not only is the model ran at high resolution, but it is ran 15 times using different initializations. This technique, called ensemble forecasting, not only shows the certainty of the forecast, but also can give a probability of forecast parameters. This is done by layering the different solutions, and determining how many models forecast a parameter at one place.



The MM5 forecasts is also input to many other forecast models. These include hydrologic, smoke and fire, road and travel, and air quality models.

According to Professor Mass, modeling has quite a future, especially here in the Northwest. As initial conditions improve, forecast models will continue to get better over Washington State. The future will most likely see more in terms of probability forecasts, and lumping together different geophysical forecasts, eventually producing a total environment model.

Many thanks to Professor Mass for speaking at our meeting!

2002-2003 Officer Elections

New officers were elected for the 2002-2003 school year. By unanimous decision, our new officers are:

Tim Whitcomb - President
Brian Garcia - Vice President
Candace Berg - Secretary
Madhu Narayanan - Treasurer/Public Relations

Congratulations!---Victor Stegemiller.


WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA

Our April 11th convergence was held at WTSP, Channel 10. Meteorologist Dick Fletcher served as our host and speaker. In 1987, he was honored by The American Meteorological Society with an award for Outstanding Service by a Broadcast Meteorologist. This recognition is reserved exclusively for one meteorologist nationwide each year.

The meeting took place in the weather office of Channel 10. Mr. Fletcher showed examples of a mesoscale computer model based upon the MM5. The model was very successful in pinpointing the location and timing of seabreeze convergences in west central Florida. This forcing mechanism is a major component to thunderstorm development across our area. The model also showed great skill in forecasting the movement and strength of tropical storm Gabrielle, which made landfall near Venice in 2001.

Exterior of Channel 10, WTSP. Meteorologist Dick Fletcher discusses the MM5 accuracy
Mr. Fletcher also shared several unusual objects that a viewer had sent to Channel 10. The objects were produced by our numerous afternoon thundershowers and are called fulgurites. They are hollow glassy crusts produced in sandy soil by a bolt of lightning. The diameter of the inside of the fulgurite is the diameter of the lightning bolt. When the soil is heated the silicone produces a glass like rock.

Meteorologist Dick Fletcher shows unusual fulgarite. Neva Duncan-Tabb discusses Dr. Dewey Stower's Scholarship fund.


Officer nominations were submitted. Voting by paid members can be conducted online.

Neva Duncan-Tabb discussed the formation of a new scholarship which will be awarded starting in May, 2002. The scholarship will honor Dr. Dewey Stowers, who has been a mentor to many aspiring students throughout his illustrious career. Dr. Stowers will make the presentation at the banquet. The scholarship will be in the amount of $500.00 and will be awarded in perpetuity.

Web administrator Mark Mantz describing updates to the chapter web page.
One submission was received for the Bert Wappler memorial scholarship by Amanda Ramella. The scholarship is in the amount of $1500 annually and will run out of funding in 2003.---Andy Johnson.


 



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