Chapter News
November 2002


Minutes, Anchorage AMS Chapter Meeting, October 23, 2002

Call Meeting to Order: The meeting was called to order by James Peronto, Chapter President, at 11:15 a.m. The meeting was held at the Aviation Technology Center, Merrill Field.

Old Business:

Jim gave everyone the website address again: Meeting minutes, flyers, membership forms, and papers on meteorological topics are all available on the site. If any members would like to submit a paper or write-up, it can be e-mailed to Karl Volz. New material is always welcomed.

The chapter has received several Sunwise meteorology toolkits. These are intended to explain UV radiation to elementary school students. Dave Vonderheid has volunteered to speak with the students.

New Business:

Robert Forgit, the new vice president is working on getting the word out about the minority scholarships. The chapter is going to try to get permission to speak about it on local weather shows. Also, judges will be needed in February, when the applications begin to come in.

Jim also talked about getting more publicity for the chapter through the newspaper. He has spoken with a representative at the daily news who agreed to publish a write-up about the AMS and what the Anchorage Chapter does. The chapter will also be submitting meeting info to the calendar section, so that people around the city may attend.

Peter Olsson asked to speak for a few minutes. He told the chapter that he is now running a mesoscale model for the Prince William Sound region. It will be a 36-hour forecast run at 12Z, 4 km resolution. He is hoping to adjust it eastward to include Anchorage. He has also submitted a proposal to do the same in Cook Inlet and the Shelikof Straits, to aid in low-level jet forecasting. The model will have a web link posted on the AMS web page. He encouraged all meteorologists to use the model and provide as much feedback as possible.

Guest Speaker: The guest speaker was Eric Stevens, whose topic was "Lake Effect Snow on the Seward Peninsula?" Eric Stevens is very knowledgeable on the topic of Lake Effect Snows, having worked for the NWS in Michigan for a number of years.

Eric started out by defining lake effect snow and the parameters that are required for it to form. True lake effect snow comes from convective showers that arise due to thermal instability. The showers are shallow (less than 10,000 feet) and have a banded organization, similar to cloud streets. They are usually formed when arctic air overruns relatively warmer water and require a capping inversion aloft in order to develop properly. Factors that are required for lake effect snow are a surface to 850mb lapse rate of 8.5 deg/km and a capping inversion above 3,000 feet. Cyclonic flow favors snow development, while anticyclonic flow hinders it.

There are two main types of lake effect snow: pure and enhanced. Pure lake effect snow is driven solely by the previously mentioned mechanisms. Enhanced lake effect snow events include synoptic scale mechanisms, such as vorticity maximums, and pressure troughs. Although lake effect snow is a mesoscale phenomenon, it is very sensitive to synoptic scale changes.

Due to the fact that these events occur on the mesoscale level, they can go undetected by observations, and current models are often too sparsely gridded to pick them up. A forecaster's best tools for detection are satellite imagery and radar. Of course, these tools have their limits as well: overrunning cirrus may mask the event, GOES satellite imagery can be blurry in the arctic, and radar may overshoot the event since it is so shallow.

Synoptic forcing can enhance lake effect snow greatly. Parameters that aid in formation are upward vertical velocities at 700mb or higher, divergence at the 300mb or 500mb levels, and the moisture content of the air mass. Air masses that are more moist produce snow more quickly than dry air masses. Fetch is another consideration-50 miles or 80 km of open water is required, although it is dependant on the wind speed.

Wind flow is also a big factor. Strong directional wind shear hinders lake effect snow development. Less than 30 degrees wind shear produce good convection, 30-60 degrees of directional wind shear create weak convection, and more than 60 degrees directional shear will result in poor or no convection. Strong onshore winds also push the snows further inland, affecting a larger area.

Next, Eric discussed a snow event in Teller, AK on October 31st, 2000. Teller received 12 inches of snow in 12 hours, while Port Clarence received 6inches in 12 hours, and Nome received 1.5 inches total. All three cities are located on the Seward Peninsula.

Eric's main question was whether this was a pure lake effect snow event, or if it was enhanced by synoptic scale features. He posed that the synoptic scale pattern provided low-level convergence and mid-level upward vertical motion. Topographic effects (onshore flow from a broad expanse of open ocean) provided the essentials for lake effect snow to occur.

At this point, Eric brought up several model charts from the event. The AVN model indicated that there was a large area of low pressure over the Bering Ocean, which provided cyclonic rotation. Several vorticity maximums were moving through the area, and the sea level pressure chart also showed the remains of an occluded front moving through the area. The ETA model also showed that there was a convergence zone at the surface, and low level winds showed no directional shear over the ocean and very slight shear directly onshore. Finally, a look at the vertical totals showed a value of 27.5, which is ripe for convection.

Lack of data in the area makes it difficult to truly decide whether this was a pure lake effect snow event, or if it was enhanced. However, synoptic features picked up by the model indicate that synoptic scale forcing most likely played a big hand in snow production.

Eric concluded his talk by opening the floor for questions. He was presented with an Alaska Weather Calendar and an honorary membership.

Adjournment: Louise Williams, secretary, adjourned the meeting at approximately 12:30 pm.---Louise Williams.


The September meeting of the Arkansas Chapter of the AMS met on the 27th of the month. Chapter President George Wilken presented the first part of a two part series of discussions on "Global Change (Global Warming)" through the use of an electronic presentation and descriptive graphics.

George spoke about the main causes of what is perceived to be a global warming scenario for the globe. He talked about how clouds control the heat budget of the Earth and how important that is to the overall temperature processes.

He then spoke of the "Greenhouse Effect" and of the various greenhouse gases that are produced by the Earth's population. Since the Industrial Revolution, the use of fossil fuels has dramatically increased, along with the Carbon Dioxide produced from these fuels. Other gases such as methane and chemicals such as the CFCs have also added to the problems. Other processes, generated by nature, such as forest fires and volcanic eruptions were also mentioned.

The proof of global warming has been illustrated from data taken from ice cores, sea bottom cores, tree rings and regularly gathered climatic information. All signs point to a continuing increase in the level of Carbon Dioxide and therefore the global warming process. Earlier objections to the idea of global warming having little data to form an opinion on and has been reduced by the availability of the many forms of historical data.

In the October meeting, on the 17th, George continued the discussion, offering the "Effects and Remedies" for global warming. He showed various graphics which spoke of effects on wildlife and their habitat, agriculture, glaciers, and mankind, among other things.

A discussion also took place on remedies that could be considered and enacted at the governmental, business and individual levels to help mitigate the possibility of global warming and its intensification. Items such as reduced use of fossil fuels, a long-standing solution; the purchase of energy-saving appliances; recycling and other factors by all levels of the population, would help.

Light refreshments were served to those in attendance at both meetings.---Newton Skiles.


Asheville AMS Chapter Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The Asheville Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its first meeting for 2002-2003, October 16, 2002. Thirty-five people attended the meeting.

Business Meeting

Old Business

The officers for the year 2002-2003 are:

President-Major Paul Roelle
Vice President-Mr. Dimitri Chappas
Secretary-Ms. Susan Tarbell
Treasurer-Major Karl Pfeiffer
New Business

Paul Roelle welcomed everyone and discussed belonging to the National AMS and some of the benefits of being a national member. Some grants will be offered to students to attend the next AMS annual meeting in February 2003 at Long Beach, California. These scholarships are available through the national AMS and more information can be obtained from Paul Roelle.

Guest Speaker

Our guest speaker for the night, William H. Haggard, C.C.M., was introduced by Major Paul Roelle. Mr. Haggard holds a Physics Degree from Yale University, an MS in Meteorology from the University of Chicago, is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, and a Fellow of the AMS. Upon retiring from the Navy as a Captain, Mr. Haggard served as the Deputy Director of the National Weather Records Center and eventually went on to become the Director of the National Climatic Center in Asheville, NC. He was a lecturer at UNCA, and established the Climatological Consulting Corporation, one of the nation's leading firms for forensic meteorology.

Mr. Haggard discussed his career and the cases he worked on as a forensic meteorologist, a field in which meteorological information is used to help solve criminal and civil law cases. He gave some basic definitions first. "Forensic" means belonging to the courts of law, and "Meteorology" is the study of weather. Witnesses assist the court in its search for the truth, typically with two versions of what happened-Plaintiff versus Defendant. There are two kinds of witnesses-Fact and Expert. Fact witnesses describe what they "saw or heard." Expert witnesses interpret and have opinions based on their education and experience. The jury decides based on all this evidence seen and heard. Jurors retain eighty percent from seeing and twenty percent from hearing.

A couple of cases Mr. Haggard described were the Skyway Trial and the Exxon Valdez Trial. The Skyway Trial (a Tampa Bay mishap) had multiple trials and conflicting verdicts. The Exxon Valdez trial had over a billion dollars awarded to people. The extent turned out to be about $105.00 per gallon of oil lost at sea. Mr. Haggard then took questions from the audience.---Susan A. Tarbell


Herbert Saffir, co-creator of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale speaks at the Greater Miami Chapter meeting

Herbert Saffir spoke to the Greater Miami chapter on "Hurricane Risks; Communicating Damage Potential; Preventing Damage" in August.Herb Saffir is a structural engineer residing in Miami and is perhaps best know for co-creating the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale that has become the standard used to determine the destructive potential of tropical cyclones. He developed the scale after conducting a study for the United Nations in 1969 on preventing hurricane and tropical cyclone damage to low-cost housing around the world. The inspiration for Mr. Saffir's scale was the Mercalli Intensity Scale (developed in 1931) that was used to relate environmental and structural damage to earthquake intensity. In similar fashion he developed his hurricane wind scale to relate environmental and structural damage to hurricane intensity.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

Mr. Saffir recently served as consulting design engineer for the construction of the National Hurricane Center building on the Florida International University campus in Miami, which earned Saffir a 2000 Presidential Award for Design Excellence. The old National Hurricane Center building in Coral Gables was severely damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the new building was designed to withstand sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, with winds gusts up to 169 miles per hour.

Herbert Saffir (left) discusses issues of hurricane preparedness with Max Mayfield, Director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center before the AMS seminar.

Mr. Saffir discussed many of his experiences examining structural failures after such hurricanes as Eloise that impacted the Florida panhandle in 1975 and Andrew that struck South Florida in 1992. He also discussed the history of the development of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. First intended as a wind-only scale for categorizing hurricanes destructive potential, the storm surge portion of the scale was added approximately 1 1/2 years later. For more information of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, visit the National Hurricane Center's Web site at Dunion.



Date: October 15, 2002
Location: Champps Americana, 1121 Uptown Park Blvd. Houston, TX

Another great meeting in October. Our speaker was Sher Wagoner, from Forecast Systems Lab (FSL) and Research Coordinator, Colorado State University Cooperative Institute for Research the Atmosphere (C.I.R.A.). Ms. Wagoner gave a great talk on how they have developed a technology of using the signal from GPS to create Integrated Precipitable Water measurements on a continuous basis. These measurements can be retrieved in all weather conditions. This data can be used to improve the models and can also be used locally in enhancing precipitation-forecasting methods.

What is GPS-IPW? The ability to use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to make accurate refractivity measurements under all weather conditions has led to the development of a promising new meteorological observing system for NOAA. The first and most mature application of ground-based GPS meteorology (GPS-Met) involves the measurement of integrated (total column) precipitable water vapor (IPW) in the atmosphere (Bevis et al., 1992 and Rocken et al., 1993). This technique, called GPS-IPW, has several advantages over conventional water vapor observing systems including low cost, high measurement accuracy, all weather operability, and long-term measurement stability. Additionally, GPS-IPW requires no external calibration, operates unattended for long periods with high reliability, and is easily maintained.

How it Works: Below the ionosphere, in the electrically neutral portion of the atmosphere, refraction (i.e. slowing and bending) of the GPS signal is caused by changes in temperature, pressure, and water vapor. Most of this delay occurs in the troposphere, which extends from about 9 km at the poles to about 13 km at the equator. The tropospheric delay consists of a hydrostatic component caused by the mass of the atmosphere and a wet component (the wet delay) caused by the dipole moment of the water vapor molecule. The contributions of the wet and dry components of the tropospheric signal delay are in the same proportion as the wet and dry components of the atmosphere.

What does NOAA/ FSL have to do with it? NOAA's Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) currently collects GPS observations from a demonstration network of close to 200 sites and processes them to produce IPW measurements every 30 minutes.

How is the IPW used? GPS-IPW data have been available at FSL for more than five years. A long-term impact study using the RUC model with and without GPS data has been ongoing since November 1997. Verification of the analysis and forecasts from the two parallel runs has been performed against RAOBs at 0000 and 1200 UTC daily, resulting in a long term, data-rich sample. These statistics show a consistent, modest impact in relative humidity forecasts at 850 hPa, 700 hPa and 500 hPa, important levels in forecasting weather potential. The impact increases with the density of the data. Individual cases have also been assessed, both with the 60-km RUC and the new 20-km RUC. Other applications, such as satellite cal/val and raob moisture quality control will also be presented.

We also had a guest speaker from the Children's Museum of Houston. Lubna Nazarani gave a short presentation on the Magic School Bus exhibit that will premier here in Houston in late January 2003.

Serving more than 500,000 people annually, The Children's Museum of Houston is the highest-attended youth museum in the country for its size and is committed to the mission of learning by providing hands-on exhibitions in the areas of science and technology, history and culture, health and human development, and the arts. Our chapter has been asked to assist with this exhibit to help make it a success. There are many opportunities for the AMS in helping with this traveling exhibit.

Opportunities for AMS with Children's Museum and Magic School Bus Traveling Exhibit

We will be hearing more about this at our November Meeting. We are planning a sub-committee, which will help do some of the planning for our chapter's participation in this activity.

Our next meeting is November 19th. We are meeting at Houston FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center with presentation on Central Weather Service Unit. On December 14 we will be meeting at the Galveston County Historical Museum in Galveston. This will be our Christmas meeting where we will bring a dessert to share.---Gene Hafele, Liz Murphy.


The Sprinkler Index
Saving Water in a Moisture-Starved City

After the driest water year on record (4.42"), it was appropriate that the Los Angeles Chapter met at the beautiful art deco headquarters of the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) to discuss the drought conditions. The MWD, the largest water supplier to southern California, has embarked on several water-saving programs.

With an annual average rainfall total of only 15.14" and a population of almost 3.7 million, Los Angeles is a moisture-starved city. In order to meet its demands, water must be imported from other regions of the state and West. When this water is delivered, it is imperative that it is used adequately and waste in minimal. This is where the MWD comes in.

At the October 30th AMS-LA meeting, MWD's Adan Ortega Jr. and John Wiedmann described the new "Sprinkler Index" and "Sprinkler Calculator" project being introduced to residents of southern Californian. Because as much as 70% of water used in residential areas goes outdoors for landscape irrigation, the MWD is starting a campaign to help residents make more efficient use of water through sprinkler schedules that cut down waste. A sprinkler calculator was developed in the city of San Diego using several agricultural weather stations collecting data needed to estimate weekly evapotranspiration for 150 different microclimates around the southern California region. These weather stations are part of CIMIS, California Irrigation Management Information System. Residents can plug in their zip code and some simple information about their landscape and watering system to receive a weekly irrigation schedule. This weekly Sprinkler Index can be found at the MWD web site:

Mr. Ortega said that most people over water their property by 5 feet/year. Not only is this over watering wasteful, it can also be harmful to vegetation. Ortega mentioned that many people have faulty sprinklers or timers that do not consider seasons and weather. It's too often that sprinklers run during rainstorms or during afternoons when much of the water is lost to evaporation by the sun. It's better to water in the early morning and when the air is still.

The MWD is relying upon weathercasters to get the word out about the new index and calculator. They are hoping that the index will become a regular element in the evening weathercasts and that viewers will utilize the information to help establish a more efficient watering schedule. Information packets on the new index were sent out to all of the television stations days prior to our chapter meeting.

Mr. Ortega and Mr. Wiedmann emphasized the importance of weather in adjusting the Sprinkler Index to better calculate water needs and avoid water wastes. The speakers also discussed the programs of MWD that have contributed to the region recycling more water than any other region. They are also looking into future programs to meets the raising demands of the most populous state. While many other regions have had to install water rationing this past year, southern California was spared any sacrifices during the driest year on record. With the interesting topic, many members had to relieve their dry throats!

Ironically, just days later, the Los Angeles area received record daily rainfall amounts from a strong and moist early winter Pacific storm. The official L.A. reporting station on the University of Southern California (USC) Campus recorded 1.82" on the 8th of November. This shattered the old daily record of 1.02" set back in 1882. On average, just 1.05" of rain falls during an entire November. Moreover, a strong onshore flow and saturated boundary layer produce a foggy, overcast and showery day on the 9th. This resulted in diurnal temperature ranges of only 1-3 degrees, unusual for most of southern California. USC recorded a low of 61 and high of 64 on this date. The humidity was at or near 100% all day.

Hopefully area sprinklers got a much-needed vacation after the soaker!---Rick Dickert and Steve LaDochy.


The September 2002 meeting of the Memphis, TN Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) was held on September 17th with about twenty-four people in attendance. The local chapter hosted a 6:30 PM dinner meeting that was held at Corky’s BBQ restaurant in Cordova, TN. The meeting hosted several out of town meteorologists from regional NWS offices and national forecast centers (including Southern Region Headquarters & HPC), who were attending the Mid South Science Workshop that was held at the NWS-Memphis office. President Erik Proseus opened the meeting with a welcome to returning AMS local chapter members, new AMS local chapter members, and to visiting guests. In addition, several topics of concern were discussed including continuation of off-month informal lunches, awareness of dwindling attendance, upcoming formal meeting topics, and the new AMS Memphis Chapter website ( Future 2002/2003 meeting topics were also announced, including: Also discussed at this meeting was the possibility of speaker swaps with other area NWS offices and AMS chapters. Following the approximately fifteen minute business meeting, 2002/2003 yearly dues of $10.00 were collected from 11 members.

The guest speaker for the evening was Mr. Mike Watts, a Meteorologist with FedEx Express in Memphis, TN. Mr. Watts presented an excellent slide presentation entitled “28 Years of Highlights from Storm Chasing,” which included several severe storm events that he captured on film while storm chasing across the Great Plains and Midwestern states. He showed several photos of spectacular supercell thunderstorms including pictures of developing wall clouds, cloud to ground lightning, and tornadoes. His slides were highlighted by his explanation of the structure of each storm as well as a detailed explanation of the pre-storm environment and storm chase preparations. Special thanks go to Mr. Watts for the excellent presentation and storm chasing slide show.

The meeting was then concluded with brief closing statements and appreciation to all in attendance.---Jonathan Howell.


The North Florida Local Chapter held it's second official meeting on Thursday, November 14, 2002 on the campus of the Florida State University. President Stephanie Abrams opened the meeting with home-baked cookies; mysteriously, they all disappeared shortly thereafter.

Following opening the meeting, Stephanie introduced Mr. Richie Schweredt, a member of the AMS who recently moved to the Tallahassee area from Kansas City and saw a blurb in the local newsletter about the local chapter. He was welcomed with a round of applause and it is hoped that his presence will help to draw in more members outside of the Florida State University Dept. of Meteorology community.

The North Florida Local Chapter of the AMS will be holding two functions in the near future: a Thanksgiving dinner and a viewing party for the upcoming Leonid meteor shower. The Thanksgiving dinner, to be held on the weekend before Thanksgiving, will be held at a local restaurant to be determined. The viewing party for the Leonid meteor shower will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 at 11:30pm (yes, very late!) at the Woodville Community Park just south of Tallahassee. For many, these two events will be the first time to mingle with others interested in meteorology outside of a professional setting, so we hope that a fun time will be had by all.

The North Florida Chapter of the AMS also has a webpage, located at, that is updated regularly with the latest chapter information.

Other items on the agenda at the meeting included the formation and delegation of subcommittees, chapter t-shirts, chapter dues, and the local chapter member directory.

The North Florida Chapter will hold another general meeting in December to discuss events for 2003, including possible speakers and excursions to many of the sights available throughout the North Florida and Tallahassee region.---Clark Evans.


October 2002 Meeting Minutes

The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS convened 17 October 2002 at 7:00p.m in Gorat's premier steak house, located on 49th and Center in Omaha, Nebraska. There were 33 members and guests present, including 10 new members. Gene called the room to order at 7:00p.m to begin the business portion of the meeting while the chefs labored away at preparing our meals. Following the consumption of dinner, Dr. Qi Steven Hu gave an excellent presentation on global and regional climate change.

Old Business
Recording Secretary Jeremy Wesely read through the minutes, which were motioned for approval by Charles French and seconded by Joe Hanser. Treasurer Matt Sittel reported that the chapter's current balance was up over last month due primarily to the members' payment of yearly dues. Corresponding Secretary Cara Combs compiled an excellent chapter newsletter that was handed out at the meeting and will be posted to our chapter web site (

In other old business, President Gene Wall reminded members that this year's national AMS meeting would be held 9-13 February 2003 in Long Beach California. In addition, President Wall handed members a comments form that was aimed at gaining member input to further improve the chapter. Mr. Wall also announced that the chapter would need to rework and update our by-laws to reflect the current state of the Omaha-Offutt AMS. Chapter members will need to vote on the suggested changes, which can be viewed on the chapter web page. Members can send additional suggestions to any of the officers.

New Business
Treasure Matt Sittel announced the winners of the September forecast contest, Dave Keller in 1st, Matt Sittel in 2nd, and Karen Harder-Sittel in 3rd. Mr. Sittel also collected October forecast contest entries. President Wall announced that our next meeting would be held over the lunch hour at Union Pacific in Downtown Omaha. The meeting/tour will highlight the impacts of weather on the rail industry. There will be no meeting in December and the career fair will be held in January. It is the chapter's goal to bring in many representatives of the meteorological community to speak to high school students on their respective contributions within the meteorological career field. The chapter hopes to have weather representatives from the military, National Weather Service, television, and private sector. The career fair is aimed at fostering interest in meteorology and is especially beneficial to those students that are interested in pursuing a degree in the field of meteorology or other natural sciences. President Wall asked for volunteers to help with the planning of career night and requested that volunteers contact Phillip Johnson.

Guest Speaker
As surface temperatures heated up over the past century, so has the global warming debate. Therefore, the Omaha-Offutt chapter invited a local expert, Dr. Qi Steven Hu, to speak on global and regional climate change. Dr. Hu is a professor in the School of Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Nebraska and is a proposal reviewer for NOAA global change programs. Dr. Hu received his degree in meteorology from Lanzhou University, China, followed by his masters and doctorate in atmospheric science from Colorado State University. Dr. Hu's presentation focused on regional and global climate change from 1880-2000. He stated that over this period the average northern hemispheric and global land and sea surface temperatures rose by about 1º Celsius, with the most pronounced increase over the high latitudes. For example, Barrow, Alaska, had a surface temperature increase of 4º Celsius since 1971. In addition, the winter season tended to see more significant warming than the summer season in high latitudes. Dr. Hu also said, "there is overwhelming evidence showing glacial melt," and to highlight his point he referred to the recent reduction in the Kilimanjaro glacial field. Regionally, Dr. Hu said that the southeastern portion of the United States has trended towards cooler surface temperatures while the northern U.S has trended warmer. With respect to annual precipitation amounts the United States has seen wetter conditions while Africa has trended toward a dryer climate. Omaha has remained in between trending neither warmer nor colder. At the conclusion of Dr. Hu's presentation, AMS President, Gene Wall, presented Dr. Hu with the weather and climate edition of the Nebraskaland magazine and thanked him for speaking to the chapter.---Jeremy Wesely.


Packerland Chapter of the American Meteorological Society Meeting
United States Coast Guard, Green Bay, October 15, 2002

The October meeting of the Packerland Chapter of the AMS was held at the U.S. Coast Guard station at the mouth of the Fox River at the entrance to the Bay of Green Bay on Tuesday, October 15.

There was a short business meeting in which chapter vice president Jim Brey mentioned that he and chapter president Tom Mahoney would work on putting together a poster for the AMS national meeting in Long Beach in February. Also a Christmas dinner will be held in December at the Holiday Inn. Jim Brey will make the arrangements and Tom Mahoney will be in charge of the program.

Meteorologist in Charge of the National Weather Service in Green Bay, Gary Austin, introduced our speaker for the evening, Jeff Rahn, Officer in Charge of the USCG, Green Bay. Jeff has had thirty years of service, four in the Navy, and sixteen in the Coast Guard. He was assisted in his program by Petty Officer Tom J. Martin. Over thirty people were in attendance.

The title of Rahn's program was "Weather and Coast Guard Operations". The USCG is under the transportation department, but in times of war, it is under the Department of the Navy under the Defense Department. A USCG cutter normally accompanies a USN fleet as it goes on a mission.

From the USCG's perspective, weather is defined as sea and wind conditions, ice conditions, and restrictions to visibility. The USCG has been around since the late 1700's. It was our country's first maritime service. It was originally called the Revenue Cutter Service. The first mission for it was law enforcement. It protected our country's coast from pirates. It soon began to take on its mission as lifesaving.

Part of lifesaving included marking hazards to navigation. This was originally done with lighthouses. As seen in his PowerPoint presentation, lighthouses date back to at least 332 B.C. There was evidence of the Great Pharos lighthouse marking where the port was. Lighthouses are now all over the world, but are being phased out as most commercial mariners have GPS.

When lifesaving was done in the 1800's, the USCG has to row out to the disabled boat. Their rowboat was open. The lifejackets were made of pieces of cork tied together. The men were exposed to the weather and its harshness.

Weather is playing a role in the development of USCG missions. Cape Disappointment off the coast of Washington at the mouth of the Columbia River is the location of the USCG lifesaving motorboat school. By the way, it is a boat if it is less than 65 feet long. Over 65 feet and it is called a cutter in the USCG. The USCG lifesaving motorboats can right themselves if overturned. BM! Rahn told us that one has to hold their breath for only eight seconds before the boat is righted in the water. The USCG has taken on the task of ice patrol worldwide since the sinking of the Titanic. Much of this is done with satellite technology. The USCG has four heavy cutters. They are capable of breaking through fifteen feet thick ice while underway and up to twenty seven feet when stationary. Any of the four ice cutters can ride its bow up on the ice. Shoot air under the ice. And, by use of ballasts shift its weight back and forth so as to break through the ice.

Since Boatswain Mate 1 Rahn has been in the USCG, there has been tremendous improvement in the collection and dissemination of weather data. The USCG depends on digital radar, satellites, NOAA Buoys, scientific missions, and GPS.

In the question and answer period that followed here were some of the answers: The meeting adjourned to a cold and windy pier where we went onboard the USCG boat.---Tom Mahoney.

It's always a learning experience at one of our meetings. However, at our November 19th, 2002 meeting at UW Fox Valley in Menasha, we tackled the topic of educational opportunities. Dr. Joe Moran, with a little help from Dr. Jim Brey, held a talk about the Guided Inquiry for Teacher Enhancement Utilizing Internet Delivered Geophysical Data. (Any way the Packerland Chapter of the American Meteorological Society can add more words to that title Joe?) The goals of the program are to provide K-12 teacher enhancement in Earth system science through distance learning, scientific inquiry through investigations written to internet-delivered near-real time geophysical data and to prepare participants to be resource teachers in schools and school districts. The program accomplishes this through three DataStreme teacher enhancement distance learning courses. Six thousand teachers have participated in DataStreme Atmosphere since the course came on line in 1996. About a thousand teachers have been through DataStreme Water in the Earth System since it started last year. DataStreme Oceanography is still in the works and is expected to come on line next year.

Another topic Dr. Moran talked about was enhancing diversity in earth sciences. He says most minority-serving institutions don't offer courses in weather and few offer degrees in atmospheric sciences.

A number of educational opportunities are available through the web site

Following the meeting, we took a tour of the new Weis Earth Science Museum at UW Fox Valley. The tour was led by Museum Director Dr. Joanne Kluessendorf.

Our next meeting will be our holiday dinner at the Holiday Inn City Center in downtown Green Bay Tuesday, December 10th. There will be a cash bar cocktail hour starting at six p-m and dinner to follow at seven. PCAMS member and frequent presenter Bruce Smith will provide an interesting and humorous illustrated talk about his travels to Japan this past summer. You may recall his talk a couple of years ago on his trip to Antarctica. Japan offered another great adventure and educational opportunity. He promises that it will be fun!

There are 23 who will be in attendance, including...

Tom Mahoney (2)
Norm Christianson (1)
Jeff and Jill Last (2)
Joe Moran (2)
Katrina DeWitt (2)
Katie Hemaurer (1)
Dave Miller (1)
Steve Meyer (2)
Bruce Smith (1)
Gary Austin (2)
Jim Brey and Celeste Lehrer (2)
George McCourt (2)
Scott Patrick (2)
Len Weis (1)

If you have any ideas about a future meeting, please feel free to drop a suggestion either through the chapter e-mail address or in person at a meeting. We promise not to laugh too hard. Seriously, we don't have to have a meeting topic that deals exclusively with weather. We could even go to a bowling alley and discuss which ball looks most like the earth.

Chapter finances are in good shape. There is $770.72 in the bank, with another $20-dollars on the way. Good enough for one heck of a kegger.

Jeff Last has been hosting our web site of late and has volunteered to transition the site to the AMS server. As soon as this becomes a reality, we'll let you know where the new web site is.

I'd like to welcome Katherine Richter, Kristie Moder and Len Weis to the world of the PCAMS. Katherine and Kristie are from the Appleton School District and attended Joe and Jim's presentation Tuesday night. They've expressed interest in joining, but they haven't paid their dues yet. So, hold your applause until we squeeze their wallets for some cash for that kegger. Len has a masters degree in meteorology from M-I-T. But, he's is more known as a geologist (and museum beneficiary. If you want to know which one, scroll up).

If you have anyone else you think might be a good candidate for membership, invite them along to a meeting. Yearly dues are $ten-dollars for adults and $five-dollars for students. That's all, we stopped hazing new members years ago, just kidding.

I urge everyone to think about running as a chapter officer next year. You must be a member of the AMS to be President or Vice-President. You don't have to be an AMS member to run for Secretary or Treasurer. Elections will be held in spring. If you want information on what is expected of each officer, let one of us know.

My fingers are hurting, so I'll conclude this newsletter.---Scott Patrick.


The Cook College Chapter of the AMS had their 2nd general meeting of the 2002 Fall Semester on 10 October 2002. The meeting began with President Chuck Caracozza mentioning a few items regarding the WeatherWatcher program. He stressed the fact of getting a substitute if you cannot do your scheduled shift. Jim Nichols also spoke about WeatherWatcher and offered a job for a student to deliver the broadcast tape to the RUTV Office building everyday.

Kristin from the Cook COOP office came to speak about internships. She passed out information about how to contact her if we're interested in getting an internship for the spring or summer. She told us that while most internships are not paying positions, we can receive academic credit and a grade for our work. She mentioned that the best time to get an internship is when you're a junior or senior. In addition, Kristin told us that there the meteorology club is always very enthusiastic about internships and that she has had many positive experiences in the past getting meteorology students good and educational positions.

Students who had internships in the past year spoke about their experiences. Chuck Caracozza mentioned how the National Weather Service was an interesting and "hands-on" experience when it came to forecasting. Ian Litwin, club Treasurer, also enjoyed his time at the National Weather Service, especially during severe weather and during a hurricane conference. "Little" Jim Salge, club vice President, spoke about interning in a private consulting firm. He enjoyed learning about forensic meteorology and spoke about what he did in the office.

Ray Martin spoke about working with the NWS as well. He said he noticed that a lot of media people pay attention to the NWS and it's a good place to meet people in the media. Jessica Fry, club Webmaster, spoke about interning at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. She made forecasts and learned how the museum worked. John Krasting, club Media Forecaster, also interned at the Franklin Institute. He also is interning at UPN-9 in Secaucus, NJ. He said that interning at a television station really gives you an idea of what the industry is like. Mark Sanutti spoke next. He is currently working at NBC-10 in Philadelphia. Mark mentioned how the meteorologists at the station teach you a lot and give you a chance to show your skills with your own demo tape. Matt Lanza spoke next. Matt worked at a small television station in the Atlantic City area and spoke about how it was a fun way to learn about presenting the info to the public.

Finally, Kathleen Schmeelck spoke about working in an Environmental Engineering Firm. Andrew Durante, Rutgers University Senator, spoke about how he prepared reports and radio forecasts for ION Weather, a small, private meteorology consulting company based out of Denville, NJ.

Former club President and class of 2002 graduate, Todd Slawsky, spoke next. Todd spoke about getting a job within meteorology right out of college is difficult. He mentioned that getting a position within the NWS takes a long time and you must be willing to relocate. In addition, he mentioned that he doesn't think he wants to be a forecaster, rather, he's interested in become a teacher of physical science of an elementary school in Piscataway.

Brian Frugis, club Secretary, spoke next. He mentioned that the fact that the club still needed a design for a t-shirt. The exec board had come up with an idea of using the term "Absolute Voriticity" into a shirt design. The club agreed that it was a good idea, so a shirt with the term "Absolute Vorticity" will be designed.

Joshua McGrath, club Historian, spoke next. He needed volunteers to help out with the Meteorology Open House for incoming students. He told the students to email him if they were interesting is helping out.

Students attending the trip to Mt. Washington were asked to stay for a few minutes, as were those who were interested in coming to California in February for the AMS Conference. The meeting officially ended around 10:00 pm.

The Cook College Chapter of the AMS had their 3rd general meeting of the 2002 Fall Semester on 07 November 2002. The meeting began at 9:06 pm by President, Chuck Caracozza. Chuck told the 37 attendees that Mr. Bryan Norcross from Miami was coming to speak at the annual Meteorology Club Lecture in Late April 2003. Mr. Norcross is a distinguished broadcast meteorologist who was present in south Florida during Hurricane Andrew.

Chuck also discussed the details of the club snow pool. Students were asked to predict how many inches of snow would fall this season for a dollar, with the winner receiving half the money received. A second game of date of first inch of snowfall in New Brunswick is also taking place, for one dollar a guess as well. Sign-up sheets were passed out to the members.

Next, Megan Linkin spoke about her role as meteorology representative to the Cook College Council. She discussed the details of the possible merger between Rutgers, NJIT, and UMDNJ. She told the members that if they had any questions or concerns, that she can be reached by email.

Chuck told the members that the new t-shirt design for the Cook College Meteorology Club is still under dean review.

Brian Frugis, club Secretary, and Andrew Durante, Rutgers University Senator, gave a brief introduction to their video of storm chase footage. The 27-minute video was comprised of scenes of thunderstorms from 4 separate storms from April-June 2002 in New Jersey. Andrew and Brian both gave descriptions of the storms, pointing out certain dynamics that the younger students might not have noticed.

After the video, scenes from the recent trip to New Hampshire were shown. Also, students attending the AMS Conference in Long Beach, California were given the flight and hotel information for the trip. The meeting officially ended shortly after 10pm.---Brian J. Frugis.


Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter of the AMS had the pleasure of hosting Rich Kane, the warning coordination meteorologist for NWS Pittsburgh, on the 30th of October at California University of Pennsylvania. Two other lead NWS forecasters accompanied Kane. Kane spoke on the May 31st 2002 severe weather event, which occurred in Southwest Pennsylvania. The hardest hit area was West Mifflin where Kennywood Park is located. The event wreaked havoc at Kennywood Park and caused a death and multiple injuries when an amusement ride collapsed due to the strong winds. At the time, there were competing views between the public and the NWS as to whether or not the storm produced an actual tornado. Mr. Kane showed evidence to support the NWS' original assertion that it was indeed a macroburst. Kane had acquired newly reanalyze PC Grids data, which he showed the audience.

The presentation allowed the audience to judge the newer, reanalyzed data that were collected. Kane geared the talk for burgeoning operational meteorologists, but everyone was welcome. Kane's discussion and presentation allowed all in attendance to gain an understanding of the storm's dynamics and to see why it was classified as a macroburst, rather than a tornado. He also presented some pictures of the damage path and explained why the debris did not represent a tornadic situation. A total of sixty faculty, students, members of the public and media were in attendance for this event.

The SW Pennsylvania Chapter was energized by the event and is preparing for other guest speakers in the spring semester, where we are planning the 3rd annual Symposium for the Atmospheric Sciences, which will take place at California University of Pennsylvania on April 4, 2003.---Chad Kauffman.


Minutes from the Tuesday, November 5, 2002 meeting at Texas A&M

The meeting was opened with pleasantries and the Treasurer's report and minutes were read.

President Brent Maddux went over upcoming events including: Habitat for Humanity on Nov. 23, the AMS conference, and Adopt-A-Highway. Vice-President Travis Herzog recapped the KENS 5 trip where the club toured the news station and watched a live weather forecast. He gave a progress report with the status of the web page and asked if the club would be interested in doing the daily weather forecasts for A&M's newspaper.

The winning design of the t-shirt contest was announced and plans for getting both the t-shirts and the stickers into production were discussed.

The Bulletin Board Committee announced a meeting for the next day to begin cleaning out the Meteorology Department's case and develop ideas for a new design.

Softball, flag football and volleyball intramurals are all beginning their playoff runs within the next week. Friday Night Spikes, the clubs weekly sand volleyball event, was announced for the following Friday.

Brent Maddux announced that our student chapter has won the Chapter of the Year award from the AMS. Recognition was given to last year's officers for their hard work (Jason Sippel, Kevin Walter, Abby Matlock and Mandy Kellner).

Brent Maddux then introduced the speaker for the evening. Nezette Rydell, Service Hydrologist for the National Weather Service, gave a presentation on San Antonio's severe flooding event that took place during the summer of 2002.---Morgan E. Gallagher.


Summary of October 17th Meeting of the Twin Cities Chapter of the AMS

Our session featured Lee Alnes & Dennis Moon of SSESCO, Software Solutions and Environmental Services Company in St Paul, MN. Lee, VP of Marketing & Sales, introduced us to WxPortal (Weather Portal), which is a Web-based weather workstation providing supportive data & modeling for operational Meteorologists as well as other industries.

Dennis Moon gave us a detailed demonstration of the versatility of this complex collection of data. Dozens of weather layers can be combined into a single unified graphic center with a time line, while showing four smaller "galleries" on the side which can be swapped into the main picture. Weather sensitive industries involving Electrical Utilities, Agriculture and Transportation can obtain customized data which allows "ensemble decision-making" for their specific needs. The result would be the making of improved financial and operational decisions in a relatively short time frame.

We were invited to subscribe (free) to the website which allows one to view, analyze and explain complex weather stations.---Joan Haley.


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