Chapter News
October 2003


Minutes, Anchorage AMS Chapter Meeting, October 30, 2003

Call Meeting to Order: The meeting was called to order by Peter Olsson, Chapter President, at 11:55 a.m. The meeting was held at the Aviation Technology Center, Merrill Field. First order of business was to approve the meeting agenda.

Old Business:

The minutes from the May 2003 meeting were approved with one correction.

Dave Vonderheide used the UV Sunkit from the EPA in a science talk over the summer. A summary is in the AMS newsletter, the Alaskan Breeze.

The possibility of the "Magic Schoolbus" weather exhibit coming to Anchorage is being presented to the Anchorage Art museum director. Jim Peronto will follow up on the possibility of promoting the exhibit through the chapter.

T-shirts are available for $15.

Treasurer's Report: Steve White, treasurer, gave a report on the current status of the bank account. As of this meeting, there is $1180.47 in the account.

New Business:

Tom McPhail has resigned as chapter Vice President. A special election was held to fill the position. Aimee Rzewuski was elected as this year's VP.

Peter announced the webpage address ( and introduced Karl Volz, voluntary webmaster.

Members were asked to verify their e-mail addresses on the sign in sheet.

RSVPs can now be sent to a new e-mail address:

The forecast contest entries have been posted to the website. Those who have entered should check that the entry has been received.

Dues for this season are $15. Lunch cost is $9.00. Please pay Steve White at the end of the meeting.

The December meeting was discussed. Historically, the AMS has held a formal dinner at the Glacier Brewhouse. Aimee took the responsibility of arranging this years Dec meeting.

Guest Speaker: The guest speaker was James A. Nelson, a doctoral candidate from the University of Utah. His topic was "Ensemble Forecasting with High Resolution Models".

Ensemble forecasting is a collection of two or more forecasts combined to create one result. Traditionally, numeric weather prediction has relied on a deterministic approach; inputs are entered into the model to produce a particular result. Problems with this approach are that the equations do not capture all the atmospheric processes involved, the model cannot resolve all thresholds, the initial data is limited, and the initial data may be inaccurate.

Why ensemble forecasting? Ensemble forecasting allows the forecaster to expand the forecast time period, whereas the deterministic approach only works for short periods of time. Ensembles forecasts can also run a number of models at a lower resolution and produce the same result as one high resolution model. This reduces the stress on the computer. Finally, ensemble forecasting allows the forecaster to take a probabilistic approach.

Ensembles use a probability function to account for a range of possibilities in the initial conditions. Finding all the possibilities would be too difficult for the model, so the probability density function must model the true initial conditions.

There are many methods to create an ensemble forecast. Multiple models, such as the Eta, RSM, and GFS may be used. A second method is the multiple parameterization method, where multiple schemes (modeling methods) within the model itself are used. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts uses the singular vector method, where the initial conditions are changed multiple times to produce a range of forecasts. Finally, the boundary conditions may be changed slightly to produce different results. Each of these methods produces a range of forecasts that are then combined to indicate a probable outcome.

Many methods are also used to display the results. Spaghetti diagrams, where multiple charts are overlayed, are frequently used for geopotential heights. Other parameters, like precipitation, are better displayed on decimile diagrams or a threshold diagram, which indicates probability of a certain event. Still other examples of charts are the meteograms and the mean and spread diagrams, which indicate standard deviation.

Although ensemble forecasts are still being studied, some interesting facts have been discovered. One is that the ensemble mean forecast is not always the best forecast. A second discovery is that a very low or very high spread in results exhibits a high spread-error correlation, indicating that ensemble forecasts are pretty accurate.

James concluded his talk by opening the floor for questions.

Next Meeting: Next meeting is Nov 13th. Speaking will be Mark Hodges from the NOAA HAZMAT team. His topic is "Alaska Spill Events and Wind Uncertainty".

Adjournment: Peter Olsson, president, adjourned the meeting at approximately 1:30 pm.---Louise Williams.


Meeting Minutes
Arkansas Chapter of the AMS
October 21, 2003

The second Chapter meeting for Fall, 2003, was held on the 21st. The meeting convened at 705 PM at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in North Little Rock with 10 members and guests present.

No formal business meeting was held.

The program for the evening was provided by Paul Iniguez, Meteorologist Intern at the National Weather Service in North Little Rock. His presentation was developed from a senior research paper that he did while in college. The presentation dealt with the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN) Urban Heat Island (UHI). The paper required approximately 200 hours of research time. Previous research was done by Winkler, Skaggs, and Baker, and was done for the period, 1967-1976. Paul's research looked at temperature data from 19 cooperative observing stations in Minnesota near the Twin Cities. He looked at maximum and minimum temperatures during January and July for the 3-year period, 2000-2002. Paul found that the greatest UHI signal was with minimum temperatures in both January and July. He would like to do additional research and look at temperatures for all 12 months, plus use ASOS temperature data instead of cotton region instrument shelter and MMTS temperature data.

During and after the presentation, the group participated in a discussion concerning UHI. Then, light refreshments were served and the meeting adjourned at 800 PM.---Newton Skiles.


The Asheville Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its fifth meeting for 2002-2003 in Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall, University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA), at 7pm on Tuesday October 28, 2003. Twenty people attended the meeting.

Business Meeting

New Business

The Board decided to change our election time to the spring when a lot of other Chapters hold their elections. In the interim, Greg Hammer will serve as President, and Andrew Lance as Treasurer. Dimitri Chappas will stay on as Vice-president, and Susan Tarbell as Secretary.

Greg Hammer spoke about the winter contest he was in charge of. Contest 1: On what date will the first measurable snowfall in downtown Asheville occur? In case of tie: What amount will be measured with this first measurable snowfall. Contest 2: What will be the minimum temperature recorded in downtown Asheville this winter? In case of tie: On what date will the winter minimum temperature be set?

Guest Speaker

Our guest speaker for the evening was Huai-min Zhang, a scientist at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Dr. Zhang studied at Peking (Beijing) University where he earned his B.S. He went to the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences where he earned his M.S., majoring in meteorology/atmospheric sciences. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His interest in air-sea interaction led him to the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. Under a NOAA fellowship, he did his postdoctoral research at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego. He worked at the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island for 6 years before joining NCDC. Over the years, his research has covered atmospheric boundary layer, deep ocean circulation and air-sea interaction. His research tools consist of field observations, data analysis and numerical modeling.

The topic of the talk was "Seasonal to interannual climate variations in the tropical pacific / El Nino and la Nina." In today's society, there is a tendency to blame any unexpected (unpleasant and occasionally pleasant) climate/weather occurrence on El Nino/La Nina. Dr. Zhang talk described the El Nino and La Nina phenomena as two opposite phases of a unified term, ENSO, the El Nino-Southern Oscillation and their link to climate change in seasonal to inter-annual time scales.

Questions raised included: What are their ramifications for global weather patterns and impact on world ecosystem? What is the historical timeline in studying ENSO? How is ENSO monitored and predicted? Dr. Zhang discussed observational issues on climate monitoring. With the majority of ocean observations done by satellites now, what is the role of in-situ (i.e. on-site) observations? How should one design an in-situ global observation system with sufficient accuracy and minimal cost? He discussed the issues in the context of global climate scale sea surface temperature (SST) observations, and ENSO and its global impact. A good website is:

What are El Nino, La Nina, and ENSO? El Nino is the "Christ Child" if capitalized and "baby boy" if uncapitalized and is the warm phase. La Nina is "baby girl" and is the cold phase. How can you determine if an El Nino event is occurring? There are changes in the wind, surface air pressure, sea surface temperatures, and the sea level. ENSO refers to coupled oscillations in the ocean and the atmosphere. There are some biases in satellite observations, so ground truth needed to verify. Efficient in-situ observation networks are needed such as the "Buoy Need Network (BNN). This system observes climate and sea surface temperatures.

Dr. Zhang spoke about the temperature fluctuations of the ocean near the Equator, especially Peru. This country's loss of fishing is due to El Nino or La Nina versus normal temperatures. He showed some graphs of Tahiti and Darwin SOI during a three month running time and their fluctuations. Dr. Zhang ended his talk with a discussion about his job at NCDC using in-situ observations. There are some sea surface temperature biases and other biases, and uses the EOF (Empirical Orthogonal Function) analysis.

The meeting was then adjourned.---Susan Tarbell.


The High Plains Chapter of the AMS held a meeting on October 9th, 2003. The meeting was held immediately after the first days' proceedings of the 7th High Plains Conference in Hastings, NE. Just prior to the meeting, SPC Forecaster Steve Weiss, on behalf of the National Weather Association, presented the High Plains Chapter with the NWA local chapter award for excellence. Mike Moritz called the meeting to order and Jim Johnson recorded the proceedings. Treasurer Aaron Johnson gave the treasurer's report, and indicated the Hastings conference will have a net loss of around $150. Discussion took place on the chapter courting corporate sponsorships during the coming year. Suggestions were offered, including The Weather Channel and other weather oriented vendors. President Moritz provided a handout of an email he had received from Wichita SOO, Pete Wolf. Pete has asked about the possibility of collaboration between the High Plains Chapter and the Wichita Chapter on a joint conference. President Moritz asked for, and received, volunteers from each of the four High Plains NWS offices to handle distribution of the AMS minority scholarship information to local area schools. Dan Nietfeld and Jim Johnson will attend the AMS Annual Meeting at Seattle in January, and will represent our chapter at the chapter breakfast and poster display session.

Mike Moritz reminded the membership that 2004 dues are now payable to chapter treasurer Aaron Johnson and should be made by December. Since Jared Guyer has moved to the Storm Prediction Center, we will need a new chapter webmaster to maintain our web site. Ray Burgert is still willing to act as assistant webmaster, but a new webmaster will be needed as soon as possible. President Moritz reminded the membership the election of officers was up coming in December, and "new blood" would be most welcome and provide an excellent infusion of energy to the chapter. Jim Johnson proposed that we form an ad-hoc nominating committee with members from each of the four NWS offices, and volunteers were recruited for this committee. John Stoppekotte suggested a new membership push be conducted at each of the four offices, since there are a number of new staff members at each office. Jim Johnson suggested it might be more effective if people were contacted by someone outside their local office. President Mike Moritz asked the membership to contact him with any contacts they may have concerning future speakers at chapter meetings. He can be reached via email on the chapter web page at Look in the chapter officers page.---Jim Johnson and Tim Burke.


ISU AMS Meeting Minutes for October 29, 2003

Here are the minutes from the AMS meeting/Halloween Party on Wednesday, October 29, 2003:

ISU AMS gave 2 presentations to King Academy (Des Moines) 3rd graders on October 22 at a computer lab in Durham.

Attendees of last year's NWA conference may be partially reimbursed by LAS Council. You will need your conference receipts for this. Contact Kevin ( for more information. Mitch, the new president of Central Iowa National Weather Association, discussed the upcoming Severe Storms Conference in 2004. It will occur March 25-27, 2004 in Des Moines and cost $75 for students. Rooms average around $90 a night. At least one meal as well as a free gift will be covered in the $75 dollar fee. Kevin is also attempting to obtain reimbursement for the upcoming conference, so a sign up sheet was passed around for those interested in attending. Contact Kevin to get your name on this list. For more information on the 2004 NWA Severe Storms Conference go to the website at or contact Mitch Keegan at We currently have at least 20 members considering attending the conference.

Our ISU AMS chapter received the Local Chapter Holl Roll for the 3rd consecutive year. This award is given by the National American Meteorological Society.

There are still a few AMS/ISU Meteorology t-shirts and sweatshirts available in select sizes from last year. New ones will be ordered/designed if there is enough interest, as well as polo shirts. The t-shirts and sweatshirts are either grey/red or navy/gold. The polo shirts last year had a Cyclone/AMS logo on them and were available in blue or red. Contact Jon if you have design/logo ideas or if you are interested in getting a t-shirt (either last year's or this year's). Jon's email address is

A sign up sheet for a Spring Break trip was passed around for those interested. Current ideas are Oklahoma (Storm Prediction Center/Storm Chasing) and Colorado (National Severe Storm Laboratory). If you have suggestions or would like to be added to the 'interested' list, contact Kevin. There will be an informational meeting for those interested on Thursday, November 13, at 7pm in Agronomy 3128.

Jon discussed fundraising issues. An opportunity is being arranged with Jolesh Photography in Des Moiens to paste photo proofs onto letters for mailings. We have done this in the past. Contact Jon with any other fundraising ideas.

Kim announced her sorority's Chili Dinner, to be held Sunday, November 2, at 2239 Knapp (on the corner of Knapp and Linn past Campus Book Store), from 4pm to 7pm. Tickets are $4 in advance, $5 at the dinner. Contact Kim @ for more information or to buy tickets.

A costume contest was held, with Janet, Elise, Kari, and Jesse participating. 'Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Showers' (Kari) was the winner and received two lovely cans of silly string.

The next meeting will be held Monday, November 17, at 7pm in Agronomy 2050. This will be a joint ISU AMS/ Central Iowa NWA event, with a Presentation by Dr. Alan Czarnetzke of the University of Northern Iowa on the Severe Storms Conference.---Stephen Konarik.


Minutes from the Wed. Oct. 15 KUAMS Meeting

· The next meeting will be held on Wed. October 29, 2003 in 6092 Malott

Old Business:

  1. We are looking for a volunteer to contact KCTC 5 about helping us with storm chasing in the spring. In the past, they have been known to pay for gas, as well as loaned/rented us equipment.
  2. Anyone interested in being a student volunteer at the National AMS Conference in Seattle, WA in January needs to fill out an application immediately. There are some in the weather lab, or you can download it from the AMS website. (
  3. We have decided to come up with an entirely new design for the T-shirts. We are thinking about having a small logo on front, with a weather map or skew-T on the back. If you have any other ideas, please let one of the officers know.
  4. Dues must be paid immediately. Get your $10 to Alex by the nest meeting if possible. You can make checks payable to KUAMS.
New Business:
  1. We are looking for a volunteer to create a brochure for our club that we can pass out at the National Conference. Anyone interested can get more details from Kirby.
  2. We are also trying to increase membership in the club. We may start recruiting high school students to join by passing out literature in classes or counseling offices. However, we need feedback about this from current members!!!
  3. The website needs to be updated badly. It still has last year's officers posted. We need our webmaster to get a jump on that immediately.
  4. Intramural basketball starts on Dec. 1st. If you are interested in playing on the AMS team, please let Tim Bush know by Nov. 16.
---Laura Walter.


October 2003

Atmospheric Infrared Sounder

The atmospheric infrared sounder (AIRS) is a state of the art sounder that contains over 2000 infrared channels and four visible/near-infrared channels. It is designed to obtain precision atmospheric temperature profiles and several other environmental related products. The Los Angeles Chapter was fortunate to have Dr. Moustafa Chahine, the science team leader of the AIRS project as our October guest speaker.

AIRS was designed and produced by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. A comprehensive discussion on the instrument was given and many of the amazing products that it can produce were shown. Dr. Chahine displayed a 3d animation of Hurricane Isabel as it approached the eastern coast of the United States. AIRS made 15 observations of the storm between the 6th and 18th of September. Being able to see inside of the hurricane and its unique thermal structure provided forecasters and researchers with valuable information. Dr. Chahine also demonstrated how the instrument could provide detailed images from volcanic eruptions, like Mt. Etna.

Launched aboard the Aqua spacecraft in May of 2002, AIRS is also providing atmospheric data that is being incorporated into the ECMWF model. Dr. Chahine discussed how AIRS is capable of producing over 300,000 observations per day compared to the 4000 that are currently available by conventional radiosondes. Moreover, the sounder is able to avoid contamination from clouds by using both infrared and microwave channels. We'll be seeing a lot more from AIRS in the near future as it continues to provide scientists with important atmospheric data.

Log onto to for more information on AIRS and to see the animation of Isabel.---Rick Dickert.


General Business Meeting: October 8, 2003

Start: 7:00pm

President Corey Potvin Vice President Josh Smith Secretary Julie Soper Treasurer Amy Lawton Public Relations Mike Bakke End: 8:00pm---Julie Soper.


Meeting Minutes
October 1, 2003

The meeting was started by asking any of the members who did an internship in the past in either the government sector or private sector of meteorology to participate in the internship forum that we are having at an upcoming meeting. The internship forum will have students that have done internship in the television, government, and also private sectors of meteorology. The students will have a couple of minutes to present what they did during their internship, how they liked it, and how others can go about applying for an internship. We are also asking any students that may have done an internship and is required to do a presentation on their experience, to please contract one of the officers soon so we can schedule a time for you to present.

Next item on the agenda was to make a final decision on the merchandise that we are going to order this year. We will be placing an order in the next couple of weeks. The officers are also trying to plan a trip for this semester to visit Washington DC for the day. Another activity that we are trying to arrange is bowling night, which has always been a lot of fun in the past. Final item that was mentioned at the meeting was the Earth Science Department Seminars are again being held this semester. The first one will be October 2 at 4 o'clock in Brossman Hall, Room 102. Our own Millersville student, Chris Hain will be presenting, and everyone is encouraged to attend.

Meeting Minutes
October 15, 2003

This was just a brief meeting to discuss and finalize the merchandise orders. We had members fill out an order form in order to get a general idea of number of shirts, sweatshirts, glasses, and polo shirts that we need to order. We currently have a limited number of polo shirts that we will be selling at homecoming on Saturday October 18th. If anyone has a good idea for the design (slogan) to go on the tee-shirts, please see one of the officers as soon as possible. The last matter that was discussed was the internship forum that we will be having at our next meeting on October 29th. We will be having students that have done internships in government, private, or television talk about their experience. Anyone who is interested in talking should meet with one of the officers.

At our general meeting on October 29, 2003 we held the Second Annual Internship Forum. Internships and experience outside the classroom is an integral part of the learning process in the meteorology program at Millersville. Approximately 15 meteorology students had the opportunity to participate in some kind of internship or co-operative education experience this past year. These internships varied among the four main sectors of meteorology: research, government, broadcast, and other private sectors. At this meeting eight students were present to describe their experiences to the MU-AMS Chapter membership, in order to excite others to pursue cooperative learning outside the classroom.

From left to right, Christine Ferreira, Matthew Alonso, Dennis O'Donnell, Christopher Hain, Natalie Gaggini, Christopher Jewett, Tiffany Ritter and Wayne MacKenzie.

The following is a brief summary of the experiences of students participating in the forum. Christine Ferreira interned at WGAL-TV in Lancaster, PA (market 47) this past summer. Christine received hands-on experience with all weather equipment, prepared forecasts and graphics with on-air personalities, and made a resume tape. Matthew Alonso worked at Meso, Inc. in Troy, NY as a research associate. His focus was on validation and improvement of numerical models, as well as developing and maintaining websites for customers. Dennis O'Donnell participated in a project with Dr. Richard Clark conducting analysis of data that he helped collect during a 2002 field campaign (NARSTO-NE-OPS), and also provided field support for a corn pollen study at the Cornell University Agricultural Field Station using a tethered balloon system. Christopher Hain was an intern at the NCEP's Climate Prediction Center where he conducted research on monsoon surge events. Natalie Gaggini also interned at the Climate Prediction Center where she was engaged in research to investigate the new blocking index (PV-theta index), and compared it to the Lejenas/Okland and Tibaldi/Molteni indexes, which uses 500 hPa heights. Christopher Jewett interned at the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Shreveport, LA where he helped issue daily forecasts, launch radiosondes and create forecasts for the aviation industry. Tiffany Ritter worked at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and aided with the ozone forecasts throughout Pennsylvania and researched past ozone events. Finally, Wayne MacKenzie interned at WJLA-TV (market 8) in Washington, DC and at NCEP's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, where he worked on developing a case study on quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPF) with the Global Forecasting System (GFS). Students who participated in cooperative learning all agreed that their internships were extremely worthwhile and gave them a better appreciation of their discipline and a personal and scientific maturity borne out of their real-world experience.

Meeting Minutes
October 29, 2003

This meeting was one of our most informative meetings of the year. The internship forum allows students to talk about their experiences doing an internship. It also allows students who are interested in doing a chance to ask thoughts and opinions of those who have done internships throughout different fields.

Christine Ferreira and Wayne MacKenzie both talked about the television sector of meteorology. Over the past summer Christine worked at WGAL in Lancaster, PA. She believes that this opportunity allowed her to gain valuable hands on experience, while also creating her own tapes that she will be able to use once she graduates. Wayne on the other hand has worked for WGAL in the past but this summer had the chance to work for a bigger market, WJLA, in Washington DC. Wayne was able to compare the pros and cons of each.

On the research side of meteorology we had Natalie Gaggini, Chris Hain, and Dennis O'Donnell to talk about their internship experiences. Natalie spent her summer working for the Climate Prediction Center, researching Atmospheric Blocking. With the research that she did gave her the opportunity to present her work at the NOAA 28th Annual Climate Diagnostics and Prediction Meeting. Chris Hain also worked at the Climate Prediction Center. His research centered on the relationship between the Gulf Surge events and monsoons in the Southwest. Dennis's research was focused around doing data analysis for the NEOPS project. He will be presenting his research at the AMS Student Conference at the 2004 AMS National Conference.

Chris Jewett and Tiffany Ritter both worked in the government sector of meteorology. Chris was given the opportunity to work with the National Weather Service in Shreveport, LA. This internship allowed him to create area weather summaries, forecast river levels and watches, and eventually issue his own public forecasts and area forecast discussions. Tiffany worked with the Department of Environmental Protection in Harrisburg, PA. Her job entailed her to write weather discussions, daily ozone forecasts, and analyze past case studies.

Talking about the private sector of meteorology was senior, Matt Alonso. Matt spent his summer working with the company, Meso-Inc. His job was to do numerical modeling, which required him to use his skills in both Fortran, and IDL. Matt also did system administration work for the company. From this forum I think we learned that doing an internship is very important. It allows students to gain hands on experience and knowledge that can not be learned in the classroom. Internships also are looked upon highly by companies when you graduate and begin your job search. ---Wayne MacKenzie.


General Meeting Minutes
October 16, 2003

Vice-President Joe Marzen called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. President Clark Evans showed up a few minutes late due to the fact that he was taking the GRE. The following executive members were present: President: Clark Evans (late), Vice –President: Joe Marzen, Secretary: Robert Banks, and Officer-at-Large Richie Schwerdt .40 members were present including the executive board. The meeting began with Vice President Joe Marzen discussing what will be discussed in the meeting.

Minutes from September 18, 2003 Meeting

Secretary Robert Banks quickly read over the minutes from the previous month’s meeting.

Report from the Day at the Rez

Vice President Joe Marzen announced the successful stories of our first annual Day at the Seminole Reservation. The group did such things as pic-nic, play sports, and lay out by the lake. He said that next month we will have pictures from the event to share.

Announcement of Next Social In Early Dec.

Vice President Marzen also announced that we will be having a December social event in lieu of a formal general meeting but it would be announced what it is during the November meeting. He told the group that the officers needed to discuss what we will be doing as a club for the December social.

Canned Food Drive

Officer at Large Richie Schwerdt asked that if every member could bring a canned food to every event that we have if they remember to do so. He said that these would all be donated to ECHO food bank because they are in great need of them for the upcoming holiday season.

AMS Conference and Deadlines

Vice President Joe Marzen announced to the membership that the application deadline for grants to the AMS Conference in Seattle, Washington would be October 24 and if anyone needed an application to see one of the officers after the meeting. Also he said that as soon as we find out about any additional funding through the department we would announce it to the chapter.

November Speaker

Vice-President Joe Marzen announced that for our November speaker we will have the Tallahassee National Weather Service guys come down and give a SKYWarn seminar. This is a valuable and educational seminar to attend. The meeting will be held on November 20, 2003 at 7:15PM.

Presentation – Guest Speaker Dr. Robert Hart

Dr. Robert Hart is a new professor in the Department of Meteorology and he accepted our invite to speak to our chapter. Dr. Hart is a big researcher of tropical meteorology and he gave a presentation of some of his studies. There was also time after his presentation for a question and answer forum for the general membership and officers.

Next Meeting

Thursday, November 20 at 7:15 PM in Room 353 Love Building.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM.

The above minutes are a true and correct reflection of the October 16, 2003 meeting.---Clark Evans, President; Submitted by: Robert Banks, Secretary.


AMS Chapter Meeting Minutes - October 2003

The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS held its October meeting on October 8, 2003, at the Spaghetti Works restaurant in Omaha's Old Market district.

At 7:07 PM chapter President Jeremy Wesely called the business meeting to order.

Recording Secretary John Roth announced 27 members and guests were in attendance, and read the minutes from the September meeting. A motion to approve the minutes was made, and the minutes were accepted.

Treasurer Matt Sittel presented the treasurer's report. There were 6 new memberships paid, bringing the total number of members for the season to 44. There was a withdrawal to buy 15 copies of Nebraskaland's book on weather and climate as gifts for guest speakers. Matt said there was still money earmarked for guest speaker gifts, and solicited ideas from the membership.

John Eylander of the education committee announced that director of the Omaha Children's Museum has asked the chapter for involvement in a new project, a permanent weather exhibit. The chapter would provide volunteers to participate in the project. John recommended a vote on the matter. The committee is still pursuing the temporary weather exhibit with the Children's Museum; they are hoping to have it ready by fall 2005. The committee has drafted a letter to send to junior and senior high schools in the area, asking how we can help them teach about weather. John also requested funds to purchase prizes for science fairs, recommending "hard" gifts, such as books or Galilean thermometers, rather than magazine subscriptions.

Two proposals were put up for vote by the membership. First was the issue of chapter involvement in the Omaha Children's Museum's proposed permanent weather exhibit. Fawn Morley asked if there was a timeline on the project, John Eylander said he did not know. Bruce Telfeyan recommended the chapter's role also include consulting on the design of the exhibit, so the museum would not have to hire an outside consultant. Bruce then made the proposal for the chapter to vote on. The vote was taken and the proposal passed. Members agreed to form a committee for the project. The second proposal was to spend funds on science fair prizes. Bill Courtemanche solicited suggestions for prizes from the membership. He then made the motion for the chapter to vote on. The vote was taken and the proposal passed.

Old business:
Jeremy stated that he would be working on a new chapter poster to be used at national events, and that anyone who wanted to could help with the project. Dan Nietfeld offered the use of a printer.

The national AMS headquarters has asked for an abstract describing our chapter. The previous abstract is several years old and is out of date. Jeremy asked for a volunteer to update the abstract.

New business:
Jeremy announced plans for upcoming chapter meetings. At the November meeting, the guest speaker is expected to be Greg Carbin from the SPC, the time and place to be determined. There will be no meeting in December. In January, the plan is for a late afternoon or early evening meeting that will include a tour of the KMTV channel 3 studio.Matt Sittel had membership cards available for anyone who didn't receive one last month.

The seventh annual High Plains Conference runs through October 10 in Hastings NE.

Dr. Paul Markowski would be giving a seminar Friday October 10 on tornadogenesis at Bessey Hall auditorium at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

The 84th annual AMS national conference will take place January 11-15 in Seattle WA. The third annual Student AMS conference will be held in conjunction with this event.

Dave Keller announced that since there were only two entries, there would be no official forecast contest results from September, and the two entrants would each receive 5 bonus points for the year.

Guest Speaker:
The guest speaker for the evening was Steve Weiss, science and operations officer at the Storm Prediction Center. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and received a master's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Weiss presented a history of tornado forecasting. He spoke about the early efforts in the 1870s and 1880s, the discrediting of tornado forecasting in the 1890s, the "dark ages" of discouraged and even banned tornado forecasting, the beginnings of modern tornado forecasting in the late 1940s, the reestablishment of official tornado forecasts in the 1950s and 1960s, the technological enhancements of the 1970s and 1980s, and the introduction of new mesoscale forecasting techniques and improved technologies since 1990. His talk described the evolution of the SPC, from its beginnings as the Severe Weather Unit in Washington in 1952, its move to Kansas City in 1954, the separation of the research unit and its relocation to Norman, the improvements to forecast products, and the relocation of the forecast unit to Norman and its reunification with the research unit in 1997.

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Bruce Telfeyan and seconded by Sarah Walters. The meeting was adjourned at 9:18 PM.---John Roth.


In this age of rapid technological advancement, the importance of a strong science education is becoming all the more apparent. Bringing meteorology into the classroom is a great step, but how can teachers get a foothold on this complex subject? According to Gary Baier, math and physics teacher at Green Bay East High School, the American Meteorological Society is going to great lengths to educate teachers across the nation.

Baier presented "AMS Contributions to Education" on Thursday, October 16 in the Christie Theater at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He highlighted the five AMS programs that train teachers to be peer trainers in meteorology. Project Atmosphere, The Maury Project, DataStream Atmosphere, DataStream Ocean, and Water in the Earth System are courses for graduate credit, taught at various locations, like the US Naval Academy in Maryland or the National Weather Service Training Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Baier was a participant in the Maury Project and was able to describe this program in a little more depth. The program was named after Matthew Fontaine Maury, superintendent of the Navy Depot of Charts and Instruments in the mid-1800's. Maury was a leader in integrating meteorological and oceanographic data into naval operations. A few topics covered in the Maury Program are tides, coastal upwelling, and El Nino/La Nina. According to Baier, one of the strong points of AMS courses is that they are designed to educate teachers, not tell them how to teach. Participants are encouraged to tailor the information to fit their teaching style and audience.

The rationale for the AMS educational programs can be found in such legislation as Goals 2000 and the No Child Left Behind Act, which aim to improve science education in America. However, these government programs use test scores as the primary measure of progress. The AMS believes that science education should include fewer survey courses, fewer topics covered in greater depth, and more hands-on activities. Baier called this the "less is more" philosophy and, while it fits in with all the national standards, it puts emphasis on understanding and relationships.

The AMS is truly a forerunner among professional organizations in its contribution to education. Many thousands of dollars are spent each year developing and disseminating teaching tools and programs. Watch for your opportunity to teach or be taught in the intriguing field of meteorology!

Our next meeting is on November 11, 2003 at 7:00 pm. Dr. John Beaver of the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley will present "Sprites and the Northern Lights." The location has been changed to the Christie Theater at UW-Green Bay. If you wish to join us beforehand for dinner at the Titletown Brewery, please contact Dr. Steve Meyer Hemauer.


10/15/03 - Associate Professor and Purdue University Meteorological Association faculty advisor Dr. Jeff Trapp spoke to the group this evening on his work with the Bow Echo and Mesoscale Convective Vortex (MCV) Experiment (BAMEX). Dr. Trapp's talk consisted of observations and ideas on the nature and frequency of squall line tornadoes, along with recent observations of small-scale bow echo vortices that had previously only been modeled.

10/25/03 - Members of the Purdue University Meteorological Association took a trip to Indianapolis to visit local ABC affiliate WRTV Channel 6. After viewing the evening broadcast, members were treated to a tour and lengthy discussion with RTV6 meteorologist Bob McLain, a longtime fixture of television weathercasting in Indianapolis. Mr. McLain proved insightful and generous with his time, and all of us from PUMA thank him for his gracious accommodation of our group.

10/26/03 - Members of the Purdue University Meteorological Association traveled to the Wal Mart in Monticello, Indiana to operate a weather information desk at the request of one of the store's managers. Several questions were answered and free goodies were handed out to children and adults alike. PUMA thanks the employees of the Monticello Wal Mart for their generous offer to the group and for the their gracious welcome.---Joseph Nield.


We had our second meeting of the year on Tuesday, October 10. The meeting began with our club president announcing to everyone that we had been given the honor of the AMS Student Chapter of the Year award. Everyone was so excited for the accomplishment, and worked extremely hard to get the award. After the announcement, we began our schedule of events for the meeting which included two guest speakers.

The first topic of the night was to announce that a new website would be available to the members of the club. The website was made for new students or incoming freshman new to the program, who have questions about the Meteorology program at Rutgers. We also came up with an alumni website for past graduates of Rutgers. We next talked about the possible designs for new T-shirts. There were multiple designs that everyone came up with and we all voted on each design to see which one was the most popular. We eventually decided on a design and hopefully we will have the shirts done by next month. Our annual snow pool was also explained to everyone. Basically, all club members can guess how much snow will fall during the entire winter season. There are two categories: one is for predicting the first day of measurable snowfall and the other is the total amount for the season.

The last part of the meeting was set aside for our two guest speakers. The first speaker was a member in the club and he talked about working for the Army as a Meteorologist. He talked about his life experience once he graduated from College, and how he joined the Army; he also showed us some video and pictures of the places he has been to during his career. The second speaker was Dr. Tony Broccoli, who came to Rutgers this year, and is teaching as a professor in the major. He basically talked about who he was and his professional career. He also talked about his research in climate change that he has been doing over the past few years.---Mark Sannutti.


The second meeting for the 2003/2004 season of the Southeast Arizona Chapter of the AMS (SEACAMS) was held on 2 October 2003. The meeting was attended by 13 members and guests near the National Weather Service Forecast Office on the University of Arizona campus. The speaker for the meeting was John Glueck, Senior Forecast with the National Weather Service (NWS). John is the climate guru and webmaster for the Tucson NWS office. He spoke about the affects of the 2003 monsoon season on the drought conditions and compared it to climatology. He also introduced the proposal for new CPC forecasts that have a more local focus.

Our annual photo contest was held during the meeting with four contests submitting pictures. First Place went to Mike Jacobson, Second Place was a photo by Esty Pape and Third Place went to Stephan Bieda III. Prizes for these winners were comprised of weather books, a thermometer, a gift certificate and a roll of film. Also, the SEACAMS will mount the First Place picture in an 8x10 frame for easy display. CONGRATULATIONS!!!---Tom Evans.


October 7th, 2003 Meeting

The meeting was opened with a warm welcome from President Travis Herzog. The Secretary's report was given by Roger Gass followed by the Treasurer's report given by Paul Roller. President Travis Herzog talked about the Chemistry Open House and called for an education committee, headed by Vice-President Morgan Gallagher, to develop educational programs for elementary students. The Undergraduate Student Council talked about the happenings in the College of Geosciences and called for nominations for distinguished faculty, advisors and staff. President Travis Herzog spoke about plans to tour KTVT CBS-11 in Dallas/Ft. Worth on November 14th and 15th. Jason Sippel and Kevin Walter talked about TAMMSSDA's (Texas A&M Mobile Severe Storms Data Acquisition) activities. Vice-President Morgan Gallagher spoke about: New fun T-shirt ideas, pictures for the web page, National AMS Membership applications, Travel grants for AMS conference, and Student Assistant Program. Treasurer Paul Roller then discussed: Texas A&M Meteorology window decals, and the forecasting fundraiser. Secretary Roger Gass talked about: The updated webpage, and social listserv through Yahoo Groups. Social Chair Brad Hlozek talked about: Intramurals and the Kansas game get-together. President Travis Herzog then introduced Lon Curtis who spoke about his job and his research on tornado outbreaks caused by land falling hurricane. The President then spoke about the next general meeting that will be held on November 4th, 2003 and informed the members that Larry Carey will be speaking. Sales of club shirts and decals occurred followed by snacks and social mingling to finish the meeting.---Roger Gass.


The Twin Cities Chapter of the American Meteorological Society met on the evening of October 16th, at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. After a few items of old business were taken care of, the floor was given to Dr. Bob Johnson for the evening's presentation.

Dr. Johnson obtained a Ph.D. in physics from Iowa State University in 1952. He was employed at Honeywell Inc. for 34 years doing research and development. After retiring as staff scientist in 1990, he joined the Geology and Geophysics Department of the University of Minnesota as an Adjunct Professor. His main research interest is in the mechanics of climate change, with sidebars in historical geology. His publication list includes 12 journal papers ranging from measurement of the age of the last reversal of the Earth's magnetic field to a proposal to build a partial dam across the Strait of Gibraltar. Bob is currently working on the climate effects of Noah's flood into the Black Sea basin 8200 years ago.

Dr. Johnson presented strong evidence that about 8200 years ago, there was a flooding of the Black Sea. He discussed the sedimentation shelf in the strait connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Black Sea. Salination of the Black Sea occurred about this time. Samples from the shallow shelf indicate the existence of freshwater mollusks until about this time. Climatological evidence, indicating a change in climate, also occurred at this time. Finally, studies of migration of people in the area, based on commonality of language supports the time of the flood.

Various questions were answered, with more discussion of the effects of increased salinity on the polar ice cap.---Seth Binau.


Started at 5:03p.m.

First we went over two big dates. First was the High Plains Conference in Hastings, NE on Oct8th-10th. We had several students present there, James McCormick, Dave Radell, Kelly Faltin, Evan Kuchera, and Adam Prenzlow. Evan Kuchera won first place in the student competition for his presentation on Understanding and Anticipating Concentrated Severe Convective Wind Events. Dave Radell got second place for his presentation on The 2002 Ogallala, Nebraska Flash Flood Event: An Ensemble Forecasting Perspective. James McCormick's presentation was building off that topic. Adam Prenzlow and Kelly Faltin gave a duo presentation over Bridging the Gap Between Education and Operations: A Look into the Learning Process From the Classroom to the Weather Office.

Our second big data was a lecture from Paul Markowski on October 10th on his tornado research.

Second on our agenda was fundraising. We are still doing are Pogo Cards. We are also talking of doing a fundraiser at Burger King and possibly selling the Nebraska Card as well. We also have a trip planned to our Emergency Operating Center here in Lincoln, still setting a date on that one.

Then we talked about the Seattle trip. We announced to the club of the AMS travel grant opportunities and also had a signup list of those interested in going.

Our forecast group meets 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We have forecast discussions and short term forecasts as of the time being and its open for any student to attend.

Our next meeting will be the 5th of November. We will have a guest speaker, Cathy Zapoctony of the National Weather Service in Valley, NE. She will give a presentation on the F-scale rating and the damage surveys she conducts.

Meeting ended at 5:23p.m.---Kelly D. Faltin.


Chapter Meeting News
Tuesday, October 15, 2003
Speaker: Steve Jerve, Chief Meteorologist WFLA-Televison

President Andy Johnson began the meeting with comments about last year's banquet at which chapter member Tom Blackburn gave a presentation on his career in the National Weather Service and innovations in instrumentation. Mr. Blackburn had shared stories of improving methods of coordinating manual observations in a flash flood rainfall network.

Andy Johnson displayed the Chapter poster that included a timeline of chapter activities. Web Administrator Mark Mantz mentioned the need to send out a survey to get member feedback about the chapter. Mr. Mantz is planning to put out the survey questions via e-mail. He also noted the officers are trying to be responsive to the member's preferences and a few weekend meetings would be held if members so chose.

President Andy Johnson polled to members present to find out how many looked at the web page. About half of those in attendance said they did. Mr. Johnson shared with the members that for the 4th year in a row, the West Central Florida chapter had been awarded Honor Roll status with AMS headquarters.

Chapter members in front of the camera in the WFLA-TV studios. University of South Florida meteorology professor Dr. Arlene Laing with past scholarship winners in the WFLA-TV weather center.

Great strides have been made with setting up a foundation for the Dr. Dewey Stower's Merit Award. President Andy Johnson stated that Donna Wysong, wife of former chapter President Jim Wysong is acting as the chapter's attorney in drafting documents to be filed with the state of Florida. The Dr. Dewey Stower's foundation when completed will be a non-profit 501 3(C) Corporation in the State of Florida. This will allow tax deductible status for contributions to the foundation.

The need for continuing community service was reinforced to the membership. Volunteers were solicited to be science fair judges for upcoming events. Mark Mantz asked for volunteers to speak at the Great American Teach- In at St. Paul Catholic School. Chapter Member Bruce Campbell discussed "Wings N Things". It is a program held in the fall to help the Girl Scouts. The children conduct weather experiments like a cloud in a bottle and make simple weather instruments. Young Eagle Flights will be offered. These are 1st time airplane flights for kids. Wings N Things will be held November 7-9. Bruce's e-mail is

Andy Johnson mentioned future changes in the AMS Television Seal program and the Certified Consulting Meteorologist program. Web Administrator Mark Mantz spoke with Vice-President Charlie Paxton about offering basic and advanced storm spotter courses to chapter members. These would be conducted by the NWS and would be free. About 15-20 people were interested in the classes. University of South Florida meteorology professor Dr. Arlene Laing offered to take the chapter poster to the Annual AMS meeting in Seattle.

WFLA-TV Chief meteorologist Steve Jerve explains the concept of media convergence to the chapter.

President Andy Johnson introduced Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve of WFLA-TV, Channel 8. Steve informed members that Media General, who owns Channel 8, is committed to convergence in media. Media convergence is defined as the co-location and sharing of resources of internet, electronic and print media. Media General also owns the Tampa Tribune and All three operate in the same building and coordinate resources to bring news information to the community. Steve said it was a one-of-a-kind experiment with all three operations working together. Mr. Jerve then gave the chapter members a tour of the weather office, the news department, on-line services and the studios.---Andy Johnson.


On October 10, 2003 the Wright Memorial chapter met for lunch at the China Garden Restaurant near the intersection of Woodman Road and Airway Road (adjacent to Area B of Wright-Patterson AF Base). President Roohr handed out forecast contest questions for October as well as membership forms to the audience. Jon Leffler volunteered to be the new web guru for the chapter, and he would get with the former guru, Harm Visser, on the details of managing the small web site. President Roohr introduced the guest speaker, who was Mr. John Kwiatkowski, Science Operations Officer for the National Weather Service at Indianapolis Indiana. Mr. Kwiatkowski gave an overview of ongoing research at the Indianapolis forecast office. John discussed five projects, the first of which was the RAT project, designed to compare radar-derived precipitation data versus precipitation as observed from rain gauges. There were some problems with this project during the drought of 2002 for radar estimates. Radar range around a cooperative observer point became an issue, as did light events which could produce small errors but large percentage in deviations. Based on problem with light events, forecasters only looked at rainfalls of >0.5" at more than 5 locations. The radar usually underestimated 0.3" to 0.6" events, and could not resolve isolated storm cores. The second project involves a study of the September 20, 2002 Indiana tornado event. This tornado, an F3 at times, had a path of 112 miles, 2nd longest in Indiana history. A Ball State University student is studying radar data for this storm to determine pattern recognition and specifically find out what favored tornadoes to continue. The third project is the Tornadoes Associated with Supercell Thunderstorms throughout Indiana (or TASTII). John's team of forecasters is examining the climatology of tornadoes and supercells, and trying to determine which tornadoes are actually associated with supercells. The researchers have to define rotation in terms of length of path, duration, strength and proximity, and also deal with the crossing of county and state lines (new tornado or not?). The second to last project is LIFR related (i.e., clouds below 500 feet and/or below 1 mile visibility). The first task is to check computer forecasts (MOS) with a critical success index being less than 50% for MOS prediction of MOS. The best method is the FLP one, where concentration on past observations and a short term forecast are accomplished (not perfect but does well). The last project is the UPS Fog Forecast program, involving lapse rate and boundary layer winds. President Roohr thanked John Kwiatkowski with an AMS mug and announced that the next meeting would be November 20 (Mr. Mike Haap would be the speaker at O'Charley's Restaurant in Centerville OH, south of Dayton).---Peter Roohr.  

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