Chapter News
November 2012


November Meeting Minutes.---Bryon Lawrence.



November Chapter News.---Sean Stelten.



Meeting Minutes for November 15, 2012

I.  Call to Order

The third NWA/AMS meeting of the 2012-2013 year took place at WJTV-TV in Jackson, MS.  The meeting started at 7:00 pm and began with plenty of pizza and soft drinks provided by Tony Mastro, WJTV Chief Meteorologist.

II. Rolls

The recording secretary, Eric Carpenter, passed around a sign-in sheet for attendees. 12 people were present, including five officers.

III. Minutes Approval

Eric summarized minutes from the previous meeting held at Mississippi Emergency Management Agency in Pearl, MS. 

IV. Treasury Report

Jason Brand, Treasurer, provided a balance report and then advertised collection of dues.  The current treasury balance is $263.00.  This is an increase of $20.00 since the last balance report given in September’s meeting. 


V. New Business

Joanne started the business session at about 7:15 pm with discussion on community outreach. It may be better for us to volunteer for projects in smaller groups rather than one large group due to the easier scheduling and overall logistics.  Joanne is currently checking with Stewpot on their needs.  The session concluded with discussion on the 20 year anniversary of the Nov 21-22, 1992 Tornado Outbreak.   During that outbreak, an F4-rated tornado tracked for 128 miles through central Mississippi and the city of Brandon causing 12 fatalities and 122 injuries. 

Following the business session, Joanne turned the meeting over to Tony Mastro who gave the group a tour of the station.  Tony began the tour by expressing his appreciation for Jason Brand who has done an impressive job for WJTV-TV as a storm chaser.  He then followed with a brief history on the station.  Did you know that WJTV has been on the air since 1953 when it broadcast the inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower?  In recent years, increasing technology has allowed the station to be less dependent on man-power, and weekend staffing is down to about five employees.  Tony says that much of his work is devoted to monitoring social-media, and that there is increasing dependence on tablet computers and other mobile devices for monitoring while on the air.  Tony discussed how survival in the broadcast meteorology sector continues to become more difficult as younger generations depend more and more on the web to get their news and weather information.  

VI. Adjournment

The meeting concluded at approximately 8:00 pm.  There will be no meeting in December.  The January meeting will likely be held at NWS Jackson, but ideas are still being considered.  The topic may be on the upcoming KDGX-88D dual-polarization upgrade.---Eric Carpenter.



On Novemerber 7th, we held our general business meeting.  We had 36 attend the meeting and it lasted about 45 minutes.

Secretary Matthew Davey talked first about  a potential flag football tournament in  December.  He also announced that through the efforts of the board and the help of some members, we were able to mail out over 500 invitations for our 38th annual Northeast Storm Conference. 

Jeb Postle, our president, announced our speakers for our conference in March.  We also voted on the four meal choices for he banquet dinner. 

Treasurer Torry Gauncher talked about dues and how if anyone who has still not paid must talk to him immediately.  He also asked the members that if you commit to an event, to please follow their commitments. 

Public Relations officer Amanda Curran spoke of our biggest fundraiser coming up in December, the annual AMS Talent Show.  Members of both the college and the Lyndon town community will showcase their talents.  Amanda also told the members that half of the profits on food and drink that will go to the Veterans Club.

Historian Sarah Murphy told the members about our chapter poster and said it would be printed soon and be on display for the national conference.---Matthew Davey. 



Open Officer Meeting 11/12/2012

Start: 5:30pm

End:  5:52pm

Total: 22 Minutes

Attendance: 15

Introduction (President Peter Mullinax)

Committee Updates

Speaker Series Updates

Academic Forum (Faculty Advisor Dr. Richard Clark)


26 November 2012

Start: 5:33pm

End: 5:47

Total: 14 minutes

Attendance: 10

Open Office Meeting

Introduction (President Pete Mullinax)

Christmas in Hershey

Instead of Committee Meetings next Monday, we will have our first Public Weather Awareness Day (PWAD) meeting lead by Vice-President Tyra Brown

Speaker Series for next semester


28 November 2012

Start: 8:34pm

End: 9:05

Total: 35 minutes

Attendance: 19 people

Town Hall Meeting: Super Storm Sandy

This town hall meeting was led by President Peter Mullinax



AMS Meeting Minutes (11/1/12)

---Kurtis Pinkney.



November 14th, 2012

At Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

25-30 attendees


Opening Remarks:


Officer Information:


President – Max Tsaparis

    - Jeff Evans

    - Native American Request

    - Diversity Meeting: December 3rd 2-4 PM at NWS

    - Discuss Heritage and Science Background

    -  Great Success!!!

           -  Another Next Semester?

    -  Early Next Semester


Vice President - Nikki Perrini


     -  $15

                        Blue T’Shirts from 2010: $5

    - Design: Meteorology in METAR signs!

   - Sign up!

   -  NWS Speaker

   -  Christmas Party? (Sweaters/cookies/secret Santa)

Treasurer – Lauren Visin

      - Credit Card transaction may result in $1 Convence Fee

    - Paypal account will be up soon to allow for payments

    -  3 for Hotel and 3 for Flight even if already booked!

Secretary – Matthew Brady



       Most Application Deadlines is February 8th, 2013


    -NASA Fellowship:

      Earth and Space Science Fellowship (have a Major Professor)

      Application Deadline: February 1st, 2013



Science and Outreach – Connor Dacey


    - Turnout!

    - What was learned?

    - Carpooling?

   Tuesday, December 4th    Need Volunteers

    - Science Fair: 8:30 AM – Noon

    - Science Night 6 PM – 8 PM

    - Tuesday, December 18th

    - Thursday, January 17th


Past President– Jonathan Belles

   - January 5th – 11th, 2013

   - Final Preparedness Meeting

      November 26th at 7:30 PM in LOV307

      Also Funding Deadline

   - Student Conference Info is up!!!
- Bring Business Cards and/or Resume


  Speaker - Brad Schaaf


Florida Division of Emergency Management



Next  Meeting

Early December

NWS Tallahassee Speaker

Location: TBA, most likely on Campus

Christmas Theme/Party?

Find us:

Find us on the Social Media sites (continuously updated):

    - Facebook: northflams

    - Twitter: @northflamsnwa

    - Website:

    - Gmail:


Schedule of Events:

November 15 – Killearn Lakes Science Fair Judging

November 26 –  AMS Conference Final Meeting

November 26 – AMS  Conference quotes due to Lauren

December 3rd – AMS Conference Pre-Registration Deadline

December 4th – Deerlake Middle School Science Fair and Science Night

December  18th – Hartsfield Elementary Science Fair

December, TBA – General Body Meeting

December, TBA  - More Social/Outreach Events

  *All dates are not completely finalized and are subjected to change

Meeting Ends: 8:45 PM---Matthew Brady.



President Greg Story called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. Greg welcomed the members in attendance and introduced the chapter officers.  The Fort Worth Science Fair will be held on February 25th and the Dallas Science Fair will be held on February 23rd.  The chapter provides judges and prizes for both Science Fairs.  As a reminder chapter dues are $10 and can be paid to Stanley Christmas.

The AMS Annual meeting will be held in Austin from January 6th – 10th, 2013. For more information visit

The North Texas AMS/NWA will be a co-sponsor for the 2013 TESSA National Storm Conference, the conference will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Colleyville Center – Colleyville, TX.

Our speaker for October’s meeting was Mark Fox, WCM Fort Worth NWS. Mark’s topic was “Simulation Training with Partners” Mark explained to the group the background of severe weather and what goes on at the forecast office during severe weather operations. Mark showed the group a video from the simulation training that was conducted between some of the ham radio partners, NWS staff and members of the NWS Skywarn team.  He explained to the group the difference between having a good net control operator and getting good spotter reports versus a bad net control operator and spotter reports.  How the noise levels can make a difference in the meteorologist receiving good reports in order to issue accurate warnings.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next AMS/NWA meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 13th.  The meeting will be held at the NWS West Gulf River Forecast Center/WFO Fort Worth/Dallas at 3401 Northern Cross blvd. Our speaker will be Mike Smith, WeatherData. Mike’s topic will be “The 2011 Joplin, MO Tornado: What Went Wrong, and How do we Fix it?”

Mike Smith is one of the nation’s leading experts in severe weather. He knew he would be a meteorologist at the age of five when a major tornado occurred in his neighborhood. After receiving his meteorology degree from the University of Oklahoma, he worked as a television meteorologist in St. Louis, Oklahoma City and Wichita and was the first person to ever do a live telecast of a tornado.

Mike has received 19 patents in the fields of weather science, emergency management and search & rescue. A fellow of the American Meteorology Society, he has received the Society's award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advance of Applied Meteorology and twice, for Outstanding Service to Meteorology by a Corporation. He has been nominated for the CNN Hero of The Year Award for 2012.

In addition to his work at WeatherData, Mike is a frequent speaker and author of both popular and technical weather-related topics. He has appeared on The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, Fox News and all the major networks. He has also been in Rolling Stone Magazine and featured on Coast to Coast AM, High Intensity and NPR radio.

Recently, the Greenleaf Book Group published Mike’s first book, WARNINGS: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather which has a five star rating on Amazon. His second book, When the Sirens Were Silent is the gripping story of the deadliest tornado in 65 years to strike Joplin, Missouri, killing 161 people.

In 2006, Mike sold WeatherData to AccuWeather and the new resulting company, AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, is the leading company in the field of weather risk mitigation. Mike is the Senior Vice president of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions.

Mike lives in Wichita and is married with three grown children.---Bobette Mauck.



OUCAMS, for fun, had their annual snowfall prediction.  Members who wished to participate turned in a slip to officers with the date they thought Athens would see its first accumulated snowfall.  To make it more of a challenge, it had to be a measurable amount on solid ground like concrete not vegetation.

We continued our Peer Speaking Series this month with talks on lightning photography and winter weather.

OUCAMS members had a chance to help out at COSI on wheels when it came to Athens County schools.

The chapter held another successful Krispy Kreme doughnut sale to help with funds for our symposium and AMS conference fees.

Speaking of the AMS conference, OUCAMS formed a committee and completed their chapter poster.
OUCAMS collected donations to send to troops stationed at Camp Eggers in Afghanistan for Christmas.  Through flyers and contact with the OU Dean of Students the care package collection became a university recognized event.  We were able to put together four boxes/ care packages for the troops.

OUCAMS has a lot planned for the spring.  We are hoping, in addition to our annual symposium, to have guest speakers from the Career and Leadership Center on campus as well as civilian contractor for USAF and treasurer of AMS Wright Memorial Chapter, Mr. Gehred.  We will also be helping California University of Pennsylvania with StormFest in February, holding a canned food drive, other outreach opportunities, continuing the Peer Speaking Series specializing in careers, and many other activities.  Details will be provided next semester.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!---
Elise Dolinar.


November 2012 Meeting

Sempeck’s Bowling and Entertainment Center, Elkhorn, Nebraska

The third meeting of the year for the Omaha Offutt AMS was held at Sempeck’s Bowling and Entertainment Center in Elkhorn, Nebraska on the evening of November 13th.  Approximately 30 people were in attendance.  The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Mark Svoboda of the Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, who presented details of the historic 2012 drought in Nebraska.

The business meeting was called to order at 7:18 PM by president Jay Martinelli.  Jay thanked treasurer John Roth and recording secretary James McCormick for running the October meeting in the absence of the other three officers.  Jay announced the December meeting to be held at Anthony’s Steakhouse, and the speaker for the January meeting was announced as well to discuss a historical case study of the great Peshtigo Fire in the upper Midwest from 1871 .The group discussed the potential for a February meeting in Lincoln to be jointly held with the University of Nebraska’s student chapter with the presence of a guest speaker at the university.  If that plan did not work out, Jay announced the February speaker  would come from the Springfield MO weather forecast office to discuss the devastating Joplin, Missouri tornado of 22 May 2011.  March’s speaker was also announced; Scott Nicholson will present details of his storm chasing ventures.  Vice president Barb Mayes was congratulated for having an article published in “Weatherwise” magazine. 

John Roth read the treasurer’s report next.  The starting balance was $1,763.29 with $181.57 in income and $28.38 in expenses.   The bank balance is $1,740.33 with $176.50 petty cash for a total of $1,916.83.  A motion was brought and carried to approve the minutes from the October meeting, which had been emailed to the group listserve. 

Jay then asked for any old business.  An announcement was made regarding the King science and technology fair, with a request for any interest in helping to judge student presentations.  The group proceeded to new business.  A motion was brought to approve allocation of up to 400 dollars for Greg Carbin of the Storm Prediction Center for travel costs for his presentation at the December meeting.  Discussion was held about the requested amount, including the potential for splitting costs with the High Plains Chapter of the AMS if he were to speak to both chapters.  The motion was approved.   Future allocations of funds for speakers later in the year would be discussed at future meetings. 

A motion to adjourn the meeting was brought at 7:26 PM and approved.---James McCormick. 



November Meeting Minutes.---Steve Pierce.



The Oswego State Chapter has hosted its own "Family Game Night" for the Earth Science department!! Our intention was to finally unite the Meteorology, Geology, and Astronomy clubs for a night full of food, games, and fun.


Planning has begun for our annual conference, the Great Lakes Atmospheric Science Symposium (GLASS), which will be held during the spring semester. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to plan it.

Letters have also been sent out to local schools to inform them about Weatherfest. Weatherfest is a one day event that our club holds to bring in students from surrounding schools, to get a hands-on experience with meteorology! This year, Weatherfest will be held during the spring semester.

There was no meeting during the month of December, so we will resume sending minutes in February 2013. See you then!

For more information, and to see what our club is up to, check us out at .---Daniela Pirraglia.



November 2012

The month of November began while much of the East Coast was still in the unfortunate wake of Hurricane Sandy.  Rutgers University had to remain closed for a full week of classes while everyone was recovering but we managed to make it through without losing much and are grateful considering how damaging the storm was for some.  On Saturday November 10th we did have some members from the club that were able to drive to the shore and volunteer with cleanup.  They helped clean out homes and remove debris as well as assist with things like directing traffic.  We were glad to have members that were able to give their time to help people that were in need during such a time.

Once things began to return to normal routines for everyone at Rutgers we held our general club meeting of the month on Thursday November 15th.  We started the evening with our clubs Treasurer, Teresa Sikorski, giving a presentation about her trip to NCAR this past summer as a representative for Rutgers University at the undergraduate leadership workshop.  After she had finished we next next were fortunate enough to have been able to schedule Alan Cope from the Philadelphia/Mount Holly NWS Forecast Office to speak to us about Dual-Polarization Radar.  It was a very detailed and interesting talk about all the aspects of the new radar technology and how it was being implemented all over the United States to improve our remote weather sensing.


The following day on Friday the 16th the attending members were finally (after several scheduling attempts earlier in the semester) departing on their trip to Boston, Massachusetts for their tour of the Blue Hills Observatory that weekend.  The attendees had a lot of fun and learned a lot on their visit to the Observatory which is the location of the oldest continuous weather record in North America.

The E-Board also remained busy during the month while continuing to plan the clubs biggest trip coming up in January to Austin for the annual AMS Conference.  There was a meeting held for all attending members to get everyone registered and to collect everyone's emergency information and permission forms for the University.  We are all eagerly awaiting the conference!---Jeff Mart.



The Smoky Mountain Chapter of the AMS met on the evening of Monday, November 12th. Around eight people met first for dinner at Calhoun’s on the River restaurant in Knoxville. Afterwards, around fifteen members then met in the Biosystems Engineering and Environmental Science (BEES) building on the University of Tennessee Agricultural campus to hear Grant Goodge (retired from the National Climatic Data Center) speak about "Lightning, Thunder, and added Surprises". Grant explained the causes of different types of lightning, including cloud-to-ground lightning, cloud-to-cloud lightning, positive lightning, sprites, and elves. He displayed many of his personal pictures and videos of lightning.

Biography for Grant Goodge: Graduate of UT Knoxville with B.S. in Geography 1967 and M.S. work (all but dissertation) at UT Knoxville in Geo/Climate 1969. Career with National Climatic Data Center 1969-1997 (during the last eight years, Grant was editor of the NOAA publication "STORM DATA", which gave him the distinct privilege of working with Dr. Ted Fujita in the assembly of the monthly editions). Three years associate consultant with Climatological Consulting Corporation 1997-2000. Independent meteorological consultant 2000-2001 (testified in several weather related law suits). NOAA contractor as QC monitor and focal point for US Climate Reference Network 2001-present. Active private pilot 1967-1993. Weather-related photos published in numerous text books and periodicals. Lightning video used in WGBH production of a NOVA DVD episode entitled "Lightning". Appeared in numerous TV interviews on weather science, two of those were with The Weather Channel.---David Gaffin.



The last Meeting of the AMS/NWA was held on Nov. 10 at KATC studio in Lafayette, Louisiana. Seven active members attended the meeting along with several spouses. President Jones called the meeting to order at approximately 5:10 PM. Secretary/Treasurer Ashley Jones read the previous meetings minutes which were then approved by members present. President Jones then proposed three amendments to the constitution, all three of which regarded minor changes to the organization’s name. A vote was called for and since a 2/3 majority was not present, the vote was authorized to take place via electronic ballot prior to the next meeting. Members were advised that per the constitution, a 2/3 majority was required to ratify the proposed amendments. 

Secretary/Treasurer Jones then gave the Financial Statement and informed members that $335.00 remained in the general fund. A January meeting in conjunction with a National Weather Service training event was discussed and tentatively scheduled for Jan. 12 and a meeting was also set up for Dec. 8 to discuss hurricane Sandy.  The meeting was then handed over to Rob Perillo who gave a tour of KATC studio. 

Perillo explained the software used to create a weather broadcast and showed members how producers control the broadcast. Members were then able to watch a live broadcast from the studio.   Following the conclusion of the broadcast, President Jones adjourned the meeting and invited members to dinner at Prejeans restaurant for a fun filled dinner.---Donald Jones. 



November 2012

Eberly Science and Technology, California University of Pennsylvania



Vice President Jim Marusak called to order the November 2012 meeting of the Twin Cities Meteorological Society at 7:06 p.m. on November 14 at the Hennepin County Emergency Management Center. There were 14 other members present.  Introductions were made.

Secretary Chris Bovitz summarized the notes from the last two meetings; both accounts were approved.  Treasurer Bryan Howell gave the treasurers report:  October had deposits of $140 from new members; Chris Bovitz was reimbursed $24.34 for two years’ registration of  We took in $40 in dues and a $100 donation from Cherney/Otey when Matt Griesinger spoke to them earlier this year.  Our society currently has $702 in the bank, $55 in cash, $159 in our PayPal account for a total of about $857.  The report was approved.

Bovitz urged everyone to visit our new Facebook page.

The chapter recognized member John Wetter.  At the National Weather Association’s annual meeting last month, he received the Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award for his work with Metro Skywarn.  The award is given to a person or group which directly helps operational meteorologists to provide weather information to the public.  The attending members applauded Wetter’s achievement and award.


Marusak relayed a request from a local Boy Scouts troop.  They were looking for someone to provide some meteorological education to the scouts during their promotion banquet in March. No one volunteered to help them.  Bovitz suggested we start thinking about science fairs and mentioned the science fair page on our website.  Jim Taggart volunteered to be at the Anoka Hennepin fair.  Tom Hultquist mentioned that the TCMS’s help to staff the NWS’s Government on Display booth would be greatly appreciated.

Bovitz urged people to enter the weather contest for the winter. The deadline is November 30.  He described the fabulous prizes to the attendees: a year’s membership in the society for those who guess closest, respectively, to the high temperature, low temperature, and total snowfall from December 1 to April 30.  The tiebreaker is the guess closest to the highest storm-total snowfall.

The December meeting is set for December 12 at WCCO TV’s studios.  There is a limit of 10 attendees.  Bovitz will try to see if they will allow a second tour if there is enough interest.

With no other new business nor old business, this portion of the meeting ended.

Our speaker, Hennepin Emergency Management Director Eric Waage began his presentation.  He has been with this organization for about a year.  His previous position was with the Minnesota National Guard, and he and his unit were deployed to a number of disasters around the state, including the Red River flooding in 1997 and the I-35W bridge collapse in 2007.  He has a background in geology and a strong interest in meteorology.

Hennepin County has six people on staff in its emergency response division while most other counties have only one.  The office is not staffed around the clock, but someone is always available.  Their focus is predominantly on Hennepin County, but the office does coordinate in disasters and disaster planning with the other counties in the Twin Cities area.  The county has about 1.2 million residents and is the 34th-largest county in the United States.  The many municipal divisions in Hennepin Country along with a major university (and its relatively transient population) make coordination a challenge.

On staff is a director (Waage) and deputy directory and coordinators for geographic information system (GIS), data and communication, planning and agency integration, training and exercises, and grants and recovery.

The name of their game, according to Waage, is that no one has all the resources to handle a major disaster, so they share.  They employ a networked approach with a lot of cross-level coordination and cooperation.  They are focused on their customers who are chiefs of municipal fire departments, police departments, and their own emergency management departments. The principles of emergency management provide background for all they do: all hazards, all phases, all impacts, any time. His office provides decision support tools and recommendations for senior leadership, other cities, and other levels of government (state, federal).  They also assemble, disseminate and monitor situational awareness for themselves and their customers.

Waage mentioned a few of his current projects.  They include helping to retool the TPT-WX channel from an aviation focus to an emergency management focus, getting all Twin Cities counties’ sirens to sound on the same criteria (70 mi/hr winds, tornado), using nontraditional methods to notify the public (commercial billboards, Mn/DOT signs,light rail station signage), and X-band radars from the CASA project, and working with Metro Skywarn.

New threats challenge Wagge and his staff to think in nontraditional ways.  Potential threats from a Carrington-type solar storm or a changing climate (more ice storms).  Some of the bigger events don’t always occur on human time scales.  He mentioned that the 1965 tornadoes, if they were to occur today, would be cataclysmic due to population increase and urban sprawl.  His office is also looking into ways using social media to communicate with the public.

Waage took a few questions from the group and then gave a tour of his offices and work areas. He showed us a smaller area which was used for more informal briefings to officials.  He also showed us a smaller briefing room, his staff’s offices, and a ham radio setup. After a few more questions, the meeting was adjourned.---Chris Bovitz.



Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, November 27th 2012

The third meeting of the year for the Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society met on Tuesday, November 27th 2012 at 5:30pm in the NSSTC, room 4065. The first item on the agenda was the Treasurer report from Ryan Rogers on the chapter's budget. The current balance is $953.80 including the profit made from our club’s Yankee Candle sales, which was $120.

Co-chairs Matt Saari and Danielle Kozlowski had a recap of Rocket City Weather Fest (RCWF) 2012. There were about 250 attendees at RCWF this October, so the club is trying to think of some better ways to spread the word and increase attendance for next years’ event! Matt and Danielle are also in the process of looking for potential candidates for co-chairs of the event in 2013. We had about $500 left from RCWF funds and the plan is to donate almost all of it to the local American Red Cross chapter as the club has done in the past. The co-chairs plan on keeping about $200 for start-up funds for the event next year.

President Matt Saari also recapped the outreach events the club members were involved in throughout the semester. These included UAHuntsville Family Day, Girls in Science and Engineering Day and ChargerCon. Matt also discussed the plans for the students attended the annual AMS meeting in Austin, Texas 2013. The department is funding four graduate students to attend the week-long conference and help recruit new students to our program! These students are Heather Wood, Sarah Plapp, Matt Saari and Adam Sherrer. Matt also discussed the departments’ plans for the UAH AMS reception in Austin more in detail. Instead of having it as an alumni event like most other schools, we want to branch out and invite prospective students to come meet the faculty and other students.

The last item on the agenda was to talk about the events that club members will be involved in during the spring semester. This includes the Panoply Arts Festival in downtown Huntsville, Severe Weather Safety Awareness Week, Tennessee Valley Poster Contest for Panoply, Habitat for Humanity and more! We had approximately 20 members attend the November AMS/NWA meeting. The next meeting will be held in late January after the students return from break and the AMS conference.---Danielle M. Kozlowski.



Meeting Minutes for November 14, 2012 Meeting

The University of Georgia Geography Building, Room 200C

Jared Rackley, President

Matt Daniel, Vice President

Minh Phan, Secretary

Lauren Lindsey, Treasurer

5:30 – Pizza and soft drinks are served. Members mingle and talk amongst each other for just a few minutes.

5:40 – President, Jared Rackley, calls the meeting to order.

New Business

President, Jared Rackley, discusses ideas for t-shirts for the UGA AMS Chapter. Submissions are being accepted from members for t-shirts that will be made early next semester. 

It is announced to members that the meeting is being live streamed using the video streaming website, UStream. By setting up a live video feed of the meeting, members and residents of the local community unable to make it to the meeting are given another option to take part in our event. The link to the full-length video can be seen below. 

Vice President, Matt Daniel, discusses with our members the fundraising campaign to sell weather calendars. He passed out fliers The photographs used for each month were chosen from the UGA AMS Photography contest held earlier in the year. A local company in Athens, Georgia created the calendars, and each calendar is on sale for $15.00. All proceeds will go back to UGA AMS that will then be used for enriching programs and events for AMS members and the community.  

In an effort to relieve stress before finals and have members interact more in a non-meeting environment, Secretary, Minh Phan, proposes a field day idea that is presented to members to see if there is any interest. The proposed event would happen after Thanksgiving break, and members would mingle and simply have fun with soccer, football, and other activities provided.  

President, Jared Rackley, presents the UGA AMS November Guest Speaker, Bryan Norcross, the Hurricane Specialist from The Weather Channel.

About our Guest Speaker, Bryan Norcross

Bryan Norcross is the Hurricane Specialist at The Weather Channel. Using his extensive and unparalleled knowledge of tropical weather, Norcross informs viewers across the country about the dangers of tropical systems. Before coming to The Weather Channel, Norcross held  numerous  meteorology positions in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Miami. As Hurricane Andrew  made  landfall  along  Florida’s  south  coast  in 1992, Norcross stayed on air  for  nearly  24 hours, keeping the residents of South Florida safe informed of the situation. Norcross is well-respected in the weather community and has even written and published books pertaining to the history and science of hurricanes. Bryan Norcross is a graduate of Florida State University in Tallahassee.


About  the presentation from Guest Speaker, Bryan Norcross

Bryan Norcross talked with UGA AMS about his career as a meteorologist. His experiences with Hurricane Andrew in 1992 were fascinating. As a broadcast meteorologist at a local Miami television station, Norcross was on air for nearly 24 hours straight, keeping South Florida viewers informed about the storm. Technology has changed dramatically since 1992, and Norcross talks about the difficulty in forecasting the hurricane. He says the storm made landfall Sunday night into Monday morning, but no one really knew for sure that the storm was going to arrive until about Saturday. He talks about the lack of good tools for forecasting, citing an aviation model he used that only provided upper-air information at the 500mb level. With very little information to analyze, Norcross had to be very careful about warning people in South Florida communities without giving them incorrect information.

After the storm passed, Norcross recalls seeing destruction everywhere. There was catastrophic damage to homes, businesses, and the electrical power system for South Florida. While dozens of people died from the storm, many credit Norcross for saving their lives. His advice of going into a closet or bathroom and using a mattress as protection against flying debris helped to save many viewers listening to his broadcast.

6:30- UGA AMS members ask Norcross about various topics. Questions included additional inquiries about Hurricane Andrew and The Weather Channel’s decision to develop a new winter weather storm-naming system.

A lot of controversy has surrounded the network’s plans of naming winter storms, with many criticizing The Weather Channel for not cooperating and working alongside the National Weather Service, the American Meteorological Society, and other meteorological organizations. Norcross addresses concerns and questions regarding the idea and says that he and The Weather Channel are more than willing to work with other organizations regarding the naming of winter storms.

7:00- The meeting is adjourned. A group photo is taken.

Link to full-length video of the UGA AMS Meeting with Guest Speaker, Bryan Norcross: Phan.



November Chapter Meeting:  Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN)



November 7th, 2012



St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus


Mr. Rick Lusher


Mr. Rick Lusher is the Director of the FAWN at the University of Florida, Gainesville.  Rick has held this position since June 2007, and has a Master’s of Science from Florida State University in meteorology. 

Figure 1: Chapter Officers and some Chapter Members with presenter Mr. Rick Lusher

Photo Credit: Kim Bolton


The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN)

The November chapter meeting began with an introduction from David Feller, a member of the WCFLAMS chapter.  A brief overview of upcoming meetings was given, including the holiday Christmas Party on December 1st, 2012, the January 19th, 2013 social event (laser tag and bowling), the January Meeting (Communication of very high risk:  when probabilities don’t get the message out by Dr. High Gladwin), the March meeting (NWS balloon launch, and discussion of Weather Ready Nation and Dual Pole Radar), and the annual WCFLAMS banquet on April 15th (key speaker, Kerry Emanuel on hurricanes).


Rick Lusher, director of the FAWN system from the University of Florida, then proceeded with a presentation on the FAWN system.  FAWN is a system designed for educating and notifying the agribusiness sector of possible weather hazards to their crops.  FAWN provides a reliable source of real-time weather observations, which can be particularly useful for farmers harvesting agricultural goods, and can be accessed at [].  The FAWN network is comprised of observations taken from the private sector via MADIS (NOAA’s data clearinghouse).  All 36 stations used by FAWN are completely automated, and are owned and maintained by full-time University of Florida faculty; however, data is also displayed by those in the private sector willing to register their station with the National Weather Service’s Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) or the Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP).  Once registered, all the observations will be automated to transport the data to the main server at the University of Florida; therefore, the station must have a wired/wireless internet connection.  If the station is connected to the University of Florida’s Campus then the data is transferred over the local connection, otherwise data is transmitted to Gainesville by a cellular modem.

Observations that the FAWN system catalogs include, but are not limited to:  vertical air temperature (2-30 ft.), 6 ft. dewpoint temperature, soil temperature (4 inch depth), relative humidity, rainfall, wind direction and speed, and the amount of solar radiation.  These measurements can then be used to create statewide maps and figures of normal temperatures, current temperature gradients, and current evapotranspiration gradients.  The previous observations for farmers are vital for crop health, as recommendations are made based on temperatures that can cause crop damage (freezing temperatures), hazardous wind speeds, rainfall totals, and more.  For example, the FAWN system helps farmers determine if water spraying their plants may be needed to prevent crop damage during cold air temperatures.  The FAWN can also help recommend when irrigation methods are not necessary, which can save 30% more water than if the system continued to irrigate when watering is not essential.  Finally, FAWN also takes into account the dynamics of evaporation, and makes recommendations based on wind speed.  For example, if cooler temperatures may occur, with concurrent high winds then the farmers may not want to spray their plants.  This is because the evaporation from the winds may damage the plants due to cooler temperatures resulting from evaporation; compared to if no water was sprayed on the plants at all.

Rick noted that the FAWN system may have been developed for agricultural purposes, but in an attempt to outreach all sectors of society that need weather observations; they underwent a name change and provided free, easy access data.  In fact outside of agriculture, data users include:  emergency managers, the National Weather Service, universities, utility companies, and forestry (the largest users of FAWN data).  Rick referenced that last winter during the Florida water shortage, over a three day span there were over a million hits on their website, with tens of thousands of users.  Peak user usage tends to occur from November 11st – March 1st, as the dry season in Florida sets in.  Rick concluded the presentation by recommending the use of the FAWN system and the establishment of an automated observer station for each audience member.---Justin Hartnett and Jennifer Collins.



For the November/December meeting of the West Texas/Texas Tech University AMS chapter we discussed that plan for the AMS Annual Meeting, our donations to the South Plains Food Bank and to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief, some internal chapter matters, Relay for Life, and Severe Weather Awareness Day. Here is a reminder that the AMS Annual Meeting is January 5-10, 2013 in Austin, Texas. There are two parts, the Weekend/Student (January 5th and 6th) and Professional (January 7th-10th). For the student portion, we have already reserved a room with our allotted SGA funds at the Ramada near the convention center. The undergraduates will be staying there from Friday night to Monday morning. However, transportation to Austin and back is on you, as well as all food during the meeting. As for the South Plains Food Drive, we crushed our goal of 200 pounds of doanted food! Well done everybody, and thank you for all of your donations! As a result of achieving our goal, we are going to have a pizza party at some point next semester. After the Thanksgiving holiday, our chapter began raising money at Texas Tech's Free Speech Area to donate to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief. We set a goal of raising $100. We completed this goal by raising $151.36 in donation. The next topic we discussed was to gauge if there was any interest in having speakers from the National Weather Service, local news stations, and members of the Wind Energy field come and present to us. Since there was plenty of interest, we will start trying to lineup a few speakers for next semester. We have officially decided to make new polos for the chapter. We had a few logo submissions that are still in the process of being voted upon. We do know that the polos themselves will be red and black instead of the blue and white that they have been for the past while. The final two topics of discussion were more of reminders over Relay for Life and Severe Weather Awareness Day. The chapter team for Relay for Life is open to join, so once that is completed, you are free to being raising money for the event. Lastly, nothing has changed with SWAD, so start thinking of some new ideas, and be prepared to work hard on its planning once we return from Winter Break. See you at the next meeting and have a safe and enjoyable holiday!---Mitchel Coombs.






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