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North Texas Chapter

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Part I: Early History

The North Texas Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was founded in the fall of 1937. Only five active chapters are older:

Greater Boston 1929
New York/Long Island 1932
Chicago 1933
Kansas City 1934
Northern California 1936
North Texas 1937

A few other locations can boast chapters founded earlier than 1937, but only the above were active in 1989.

In the early days, the chapters were designated as "Branches of the Society," and sometimes referred to "Seminars". The earliest reference to a "Forth(sic) Worth (Tex) Seminar" is the inside cover page of the February 1938 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. It lists the officers as:
President: G. E. Engleman (American Airlines)
Vice President: H. P. Adams, USWB, Fort Worth
Secretary: W. L. Thompson, USWB Airport Station

The Bulletin notes the program committee met twice monthly at the American Airlines Administrative Building at Meacham Field. Mention is made that members from Dallas meet with the Fort Worth group, and that subjects discussed include air mass analysis and aviation meteorology. This initiative didn't last long, however, because the October 1938 AMS Bulletin contains a notice that meetings of the Seminar had been temporarily suspended. The notice was signed by G. D. Cartwright, USWB Airport Station.

The Bulletin listed a "North Texas Seminar" in the January 1941 issue, and in March, a reorganization of the local chapter was documented. The reorganization occurred on January 28, and the new officers were:
Chairman: H. P. Adams, USWB, Fort Worth
Vice Chairman (Dallas): D. T. Gouge, USWB, Dallas
Vice Chairman (Fort Worth): J. H. Ferguson, USWB, Fort Worth
Secretary/Treasurer: H. L. Pedersen, Braniff Airways, Dallas

Separate meetings were to be held in both Dallas and Fort Worth on the first Wednesday of each month, with a joint meeting (to be held alternately in Fort Worth and Dallas) on the third Wednesday of each month. The name "North Texas" was selected to avoid the "intense inter-city rivalry between Dallas and Ft. Worth."

The April 1941 issue of the Bulletin, in the section "From the Seminars," includes a record of two joint meetings. One was held on February 19th at Southern Methodist University (attended by 120 people), and another on March 19th at Texas Christian University (with an attendance of 48 people). Presentations were made on atmospheric cross-sections, frontal phenomena and movements, and isentropic charts. Reference was made to local meetings of both the Fort Worth and Dallas groups, where the fundamentals of meteorology were discussed. No further meetings were documented, but the November 1941 Bulletin lists Mr. Erle E. Hardy (USWB) as Chairman of the North Texas Seminar. Mr. Ernest. D. Seale (USWB, Dallas) was listed as Secretary/Treasurer.

On December 29-30, 1941, the Society, in conjunction with the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) held its National Meeting in Dallas. Mr. Seale provided extensive minutes of the meetings, which were included in the January, 1942 Bulletin. The Bulletin continued to list a North Texas Seminar with Mr. Hardy as Chairman through the war years, but there is no record of formal meetings.

The chapter became active again in 1945, with Mr. Ralph I. Meeker (American Airlines) elected as Chairman, and Mr. J. H. Ferguson as Secretary/Treasurer. Mr. Meeker was subsequently transferred, and in February 1946, Mr. A. H. Egley of American Airlines was elected as chairman, while Mr. Ferguson continued as Secretary-Treasurer. The May, 1946, issue of the bulletin documented the March meeting of the North Texas Seminar. The speaker was Mr. A. B. Elam of the FAWS unit (FTW), who described African weather situations. Other speakers that year were J. E. Arnold, E. G. Bice, and W. L. Thompson, although their topics are not recorded. No further documentation of chapter meetings or officers is noted in the bulletin until February, 1961.

Part II: Recent History

The February 1961 issue of the Bulletin of the AMS documents a re-organizational meeting on November 17, 1960, at Amon Carter Field (GSW). The meeting was initiated by Aurel J. Knarr USWB, Fort Worth, and Lt. Col. Francis T. McHenry, AWS, Carswell AFB. A brief account of the early chapter years is included.  The chapter was very active in the 1960's, generally meeting regularly the second Tuesday of the month, September through May. Efforts were made to vary the meeting locations between Dallas and Fort Worth, as active members included people from both cities and surrounding areas.  There were frequent dinner meetings, with wives and guests invited at least once a year. Special meetings were held occasionally when a special visitor was in town.

A review of the officer history shows that the chapter has relied heavily on the NWS for its officers (see list below). This has included the WSFO, the RFC, and the Southern Region Headquarters. Other agencies and industries have also been represented. Officers have been selected from the ranks of the Air Weather Service (Carswell AFB), the airlines (American and Braniff), the media (WFAA and KXAS), industry (LT-Vought) and the universities (North Texas State). 

The chapter has had many distinguished speakers, including Mr. Ted Fujita (9/74), Mr. Allen Pearson (10/66 and 2/72), Mr. Clyde Conner (10/70), Dr. Robert Maddox (11/84) and Dr. Ken Crawford (11/89). Many visitors from Weather Service Headquarters have presented programs, including Dr. William Klein (2/69 and 11/78) and Dr. Jess Charba (10/75). Tours have been conducted at Carswell AFB, Branniff and American Airlines, the four major TV studios, FEMA Headquarters in Denton, and the Comanche Nuclear Power Plant. Virtually every professional member of the chapter has presented a program at one time another, many more than once.

The chapter has been host to five national AMS conferences: the National AMS Meeting (Dallas), December 29-30, 1941; A conference on Weather Forecasting (Unnumbered, but apparently the second conference of this type, November 6-8, 1967; the First Conference on Hydrometeorology, April 20-22, 1976, the 75th National AMS Conference January 15-20, 1995, and the 79th National AMS Conference January 10-15, 1999.

OFFICER HISTORY
NORTH TEXAS CHAPTER AMS
FOUNDED 1937

YEAR          PRESIDENT                 VICE PRESIDENT	           SECRETARY/TREASURER

1961       Col F.T.McHenry (USAF)       L.C. Norton (WBFO)         C.K. Vestal (RAO)
1962       A.J. Knarr (WBFO)            Bradbury (?)               Lt. Kovac (USAF)
1963       H.S. Woodbury (?)            J.W. Zimmerman (WBAS)      E.B. Clark (RAO)
1964       L.E. Richards (WBFO)         J. Deen (?)                E.C. McEowen (RAO)
1965       J.P. McAlister (RFC)         Col. D.E. Hulse (USAF)     C.H. Bowers (SRH)
1966       Gross (?)                    J.A. Riley (SRH)           H.S. McCrabb (SRH)
1967       J.A. Riley (SRH)             R. Godbey (KXAS)           J.A. Pruett (SRH)
1968       R. Godbey (KXAS)             J.A. Pruett (SRH)          C.M. Reber (SRH)
1969       J.A. Pruett (SRH)            P.L. Moore (SRH)           J.M. Sassman (SRH)
1970       C.M. Reber (SRH)             P.L. Moore (SRH)           J.L. Teague (SRH)
1970-71    Howard Key (NTSU)            Capt. M.U. Kruse (USAF)    B.C. Crouch (SRH)
1971-72    E. Wilkins (Vought)          R.C. Helbush (SRH)         B.J. Cook (WSFO)
1972-73    R.E. Helbush (SRH)           A.D. Cummings (SRH)        W.R. Anderson (SRH)
1973-74    D.L. Smith (SRH)             P.A. Kraught (AA)          C.H. Bowers (RFC)
1974-75    P.E. Kraught (AA)            Capt. R.F. Tadd (USAF)     B.E. Peters (SRH)
1975-76    P.E. Kraught (AA)            B.E. Peters (SRH)          L.E. Mooney (WSFO)
1976-78    P.A. Pasteris (RFC)          James Green (AA)           J.W. Byrum (SRH)
1978-82    D.L. Smith (SRH)             D.R. Wernley (WSFO)        S.C. Christmas(WSFO)
1982-83    S.C. Christmas (WSFO)        A.R. Moller (WSFO)         E.L. McIntyre (WSFO)
1983-84    A.R. Moller (WSFO)           W.L. Read (WSFO)           D.R. Reed (RFC)
1984-85    T.P. Marshall(HAAG ENG)      H.M. Mogil (WSFO)          J.R. Ott (WSFO)
1985-86    D.L. Martin (WSFO)           S. Barricklow (DAL Races)  C.J. Sohl (WSFO)
1986-87    G.F. Ely (WSFO)              A.R. Moller (WSFO)         M.A. Mach (WSFO)
1987-88    M.R. McLaughlin (SRH)        M.A. Brundrett (WSFO)      P.C. Bothwell (SRH)
1988-89    M.A. Brundrett (WSFO)        J.R. Ott (CWSU)            P.C. Bothwell (SRH)
1989-90    J.R. Ott (CWSU)              Robert Hudson (USAF)       E.C. Delgado (WSFO)
1990-91    W.O. Alexander (SRH)         M.R. McLaughlin (SRH)      C.L. Abelman (WSFO)
1991-92    M.R. McLaughlin (SRH)        L.P. Rothfusz (SRH)        G.F. Ely (WSFO)
1992-93    L.P. Rothfusz (SRH)          Steve Lyons (SRH)          E.L. McIntyre (SRH)
1993-94    Steve Lyons (SRH)            G.A. Hammons (SRH)         E.L. McIntyre (SRH)
1994-95    G.A. Hammons (SRH)           G.S. Austin (SRH)          J.W. Ladd (SRH)
1995-96    G.S. Austin (SRH)            B. Meisner (SRH)           Woodall/Cooper (SRH)
1996-97    Jerri Johnson (Proj Amos)    B. Meisner (SRH)           Woodall/Cooper (SRH)
1997-98    Jerri Johnson (Proj Amos)    G.F. Ely (WFO)             Barnes/Lyle (Consult)
1998-99    Jerri Johnson (Proj Amos)    G.F. Ely (WFO)             Barnes/Lyle (Consult)
1999-2000  G.F. Ely (WFO)               L. Nierenberg (WFO)        C.Bovitz/L.Bovitz (RFC)
2000-01    M.P. Foster (WFO)            L. Nierenberg (WFO)        C.Bovitz/L.Bovitz (RFC)
            and L. Nierenberg (WFO)     C. Buonanno (WFO)          R.Smith(SRH)/R.Nunez(FO)
2001-02    C. Buonanno (WFO)            R. Smith (SRH)             G.Story(RFC)/R.Nunez(FO)
            and M. Vescio (WFO)         G. Story (RFC)             K. Villarreal (NBC5)
2002-03    G. Story (RFC)               K. Villarreal (NBC5)       D. Dixon)WFO)/M. Vass
2003-04    G. Story (RFC)               K. Villarreal (NBC5)       D. Dixon(WFO)/G.F. Ely

Copyright 2003 by North Texas Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. All Rights Reserved.

Page revised: 31 October 2003