OR-AMS Meeting Summary
“Mid-winter Weather Sampler” - Photo1, Photo2
On February 18,
2009, 25 members and guests came to enjoy food…and to share their weather
projects. We held our event at the Stark
Street Pizza House, near Mall 205, in east
President Bobby Corser welcomed everyone and
NWS-Portland, talked about the new “CoCoRaHS”
program. It is an all volunteer observer
network designed to help fill in the data gaps on 24-hour precipitation,
snowfall, and hail. CoCoRaHS
started in 1998 and is now operational in 33 states with over 1000
observers. It is not a NOAA project, but
started at Colorado
State University. The program is a hybrid of weather spotters
and climate cooperative observers. To
join, go to a NWS website (http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/cocorahs.php). You need to buy a 4-inch rain-gage and enter
your report on the CoCoRaHS website.
reported on the one-day Climate Change Symposium at the Menucha Conference Center
in the Columbia River Gorge, on February 16.
About 40-45 attended to hear expert speakers on climate science,
biologists, economics, energy, sustainable living, and religion. He briefly mentioned the chapter to the
audience and handed out over 30 info-pamphlets.
Richard Brenne (organizer of the Menucha
event) wants to organize other symposiums.
His next may be a weather-climate theme.
He’s seeking specific historical PNW weather events (e.g., cold snaps,
extended dry spells) versus climate model results.
Steve Pierce mentioned the upcoming PNW
Weather Workshop in Seattle
(see our Front page). He talked about the connection of the
PNA-PDO-Solar activity. The PNA (Pacific
North American pattern, http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/new.pna_index_ensm.html)
was low before the big snow events of December 2008. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO, http://cses.washington.edu/cig/pnwc/aboutpdo.shtml)
is also very negative. Kyle said that
the variability in the salmon stocks of the Columbia
River Basin and Alaska gave the basis for discovering the
PDO as a 20-30 year natural cycle. Steve
then showed solar data for the last 400 years and the variability in the sun’s
output. The sunspot counts in 2008 were
very low. Have we started the next solar
cycle yet? Were our recent snow storms
tied to low solar activity?
Phil Welke asked
“What weather terms should be used in a forecast?” What words should be avoided? He offered “heavy wind”, “dense fog”, “strong
rain” as examples. Suggestion sheets
were circulated among those present.
He’ll tally the results and pass it along to Bobby Corser.
showed his detailed, colored isotherm (daily highs/lows) maps for the Portland metro area. He worked up the data when he worked as a
Meteorologist at BPA.
Note-taker: Kyle Dittmer, 2005-2009 OR-AMS President (now Past-President)