Chapter News
September 2002


The Central Illinois Chapter met at The Depot Restaurant in Lincoln, Illinois on 12 September 2002. The business meeting consisted of elections, dues, and discussion on a possible conference to be hosted by the chapter. Dr. David Kristovich presented "Mesoscale Weather Systems Triggered by the Great Lakes."

Dr. Kristovich briefly outlined some of the major wintertime and summertime mesoscale storms that occur due to the Great Lakes. He outlined some of the most common lake-effect snowbands and the environmental conditions in which they occur. He also discussed data collected during the recent Lake-Induced Convection Experiment (Lake-ICE), which are giving important insights into the processes involved in lake-effect storm development. Finally, Dr. Kristovich presented initial results of a COMET-funded study of thunderstorm evolution in the vicinity of the Lake Erie lake breeze front. Two cases were presented; one with storm intensification near the front and another with storm weakening near the front. This COMET study is in collaboration with the NWS Office in Cleveland, OH.---Scott Kampas.


The NEOCAMS chapter met on September 17th, 2002 at the American Red Cross Building in Tulsa. Dan McCarthy was the featured speaker. Dan is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK.

Dan's presentation was entitled, "Tornado Trends Across the U.S. from 1950-2001". The talk discussed whether there are more tornadoes in the United States in recent years, and whether tornadoes are causing more dmage than in the past. Dan's charts showed that the number of reported tornadoes has generally increased through the years, with recent peaks in 1998 and 1999. However, the number of violent tornadoes (F4 or F5) has remained the same, with a dramatic increase of F0 tornadoes, especially during the 1990s. He pointed out that the majority of tornado-related fatalities are associated with F4 and F5 tornadoes.

Dan McCarthy, WCM at the SPC, talks to the NEOCAMS group in Tulsa about tornado trends.

Interestingly, Dan's statistics showed that there were 2 peaks in the average time of day for tornado-related fatalities. Most tornado-related fatalities (81%) occur between the afternoon and evening, but a secondary peak was observed during the early morning hours (12-3am).

Dan concluded with some thoughts on Doppler radar. He said that tornadogenesis is not fully understood, and if we want to provide better service, we need to get more data, including more upper air and profiler data.---Sarah Taylor.


Minutes from the Tuesday, September 17, 2002 meeting at Texas A&M.

Brent Maddux began the meeting with introductions of the fellow officers (vice president Travis Herzog, treasurer Paul Roller & Secretary Morgan Gallagher) and the chapter advisors (Marion Alcorn and Craig Epifanio). Dr. Ken Bowman, Chairman of Undergraduate programs, spoke about changes to the meteorology degree curriculum. The Treasurer's report and minutes were read.

The officers gave a quick overview of the year's planned events (Adopt-A- Highway, Adopt-A-Beach, Habitat for Humanity, Oklahoma, NASA and San Antonio Trips). Intramural sports and friday night spikes (weekly volleyball match) were announced. Kevin Walter, coordinator for TAMMSSDA, gave a short presentation about TAMMSSDA operations. Brent went over T-shirt and sticker fundraising events. Laura Sample and Tanja Washburn were elected to the undergraduate student council. Dues for the year were collected and the meeting was adjourned to snacks and refreshments.

David Gold will be speaking at the next meeting on October 8th.---Morgan Gallagher.


It's the beginning of the new year and the University of South Alabama chapter AMS is excited and ready to experience an eventful semester. The first meeting was held in September and we had many new members enter our local chapter. Our current project is a 4 feet tall tornado model. We are planning to show the model around the community at local elementary and high schools to help educate and spark interest in meteorology. Also the club is planning a trip to the a local news station, the national weather service, and air force base to touch on different facets of meteorology. Our beach trip planned 2 weeks ago was canceled due to Tropical Storm Hannah, so we will be rescheduling our outing.. and maybe planning a new one if hurricane isidore makes landfall anywhere near the gulf coast.

The officers are also trying to plan for the trip to the conference in California to represent our chapter as well as the University of South Alabama. Hopefully for the next update, we will have the results of our tornado model's impact as well as results of our trips.---Jene' Young.


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