Minutes of the September 17, 2001 Meeting
Smoky Mountain AMS Chapter


Everyone met at Naples Restaurant around 6:15 PM. After dinner, our speaker, Mr. Bob Leighton of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology spoke on Southern Hemisphere weather. His talk briefly highlighted the significant features of the synoptic climatology of the Southern Hemisphere showing the differing synoptics of the three oceans. Changes in the synoptics of the Australian region during the last five years were briefly discussed.

In addition, some highlights of the communication between Vinny Lauwers, a paraplegic sailor, and the National Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre (NMOC) were presented. Vinny came to NMOC in September 1998 for instruction in southern hemisphere synoptics before attempting a solo non-stop around the world voyage. Vinny was the first paraplegic to attain this feat. Before he sailed around the world Vinny with a partner (who had one leg) contested in the Melbourne to Osaka yacht race, finishing in tenth place from a field of twenty. Vinny sailed home from Osaka with three friends arriving in August 1999. In December 1999 Vinny sailed from Melbourne on his around the world venture finally arriving home in August 2000. NMOC was responsible for daily forecasts for these feats. A diary was kept of the daily contact between Vinny and Bob Leighton during these feats.


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