Chapter News
April 2009


April 21st Meeting 

· Meeting called to order at 6:30pm



· We are participating in Cell phone for soldiers.  Cell phones for soldiers recycles old cell phones and donates the money to purchase calling cards for our troops overseas so that they can call their families and friends.  Anyone who has an old cell phone with battery included, please contact Nate so the AMS can send the phones in to the charity.

· The AMS is giving a $100 donation from the surplus in the AMS account, to the foodbank.  Additional donations are also accepted. 

· The highlight of the April 21st meeting was a very informative talk given Hans Rosendal (Retired NWS) regarding "Some Practical Uses of the Kinematic Properties in Weather Forecasting".  Topics that were discussed included: divergence/convergence, vorticity, deformation patterns and Ekman transport.--- Maureen Ballard.



The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 2nd meeting of 2009 on April 14, 2009 at the Broodmoor Branch of the Shreve Memorial Library in Shreveport. The meeting began at 715pm, with four members present.

Marty Mayeaux, Forecaster with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, gave a presentation on the “Hurricane Hunters”.  Marty was Meteorologist with the Hurricane Hunters based out of Tampa, Florida for over six years.  The presentation explained the role of  Hurricane Hunters during Atlantic hurricane season. Marty talked about the background of the Hurricane Hunters as well as the role of each position on a typical flight. Marty also discussed his experiences flying into one of the most dangerous storms, Hurricane Isabel in 2003.  He shared pictures and videos from several different flights.  

After the presentation, President Jason Hansford talked about topics for upcoming meetings.

The following members were present

Jason Hansford, President

Marty Mayeaux, Vice President
Marcy Novak, Secretary

Ed Duranczyk

The meeting adjorned at 8:45 PM.---Marcy Novak.



Meeting date: 4/07/09

Meeting in Session: 9:05pm

Meeting Adjourned: 9:45pm

Presidents Report: Don’t forget road cleanup Saturday April 25, 2009. Afterwards is a picnic and we will play kickball!

Vice President’s Report: 

Committee reports:

Public relations: Poster for main stage will be underway soon.  We are done with any other projects until next Fall.

Conferences: Give Laura a bank statement or proof of purchase for your conference refund! A folder is in the met lab.

Activities: The banquet coming up next Tuesday (April 23, 2009 @ 7pm in Bovee UC) and the movie night at Aaron and Jacob’s house at 8 pm May 2, 2009. Picnic is April 25, 2009.

Jobs/internships: No new updates.

Fundraising: Las Senioritas gift certificates can be bought for $ 5.00 from Cort S. or the treasurer, Jason A probably by next week.

Treasurer’s Report: We will be paying for the meat for the picnic. 

Secretary’s Report: Please make sure you sign the attendance sheet that is going around. Attendance is important to the club. If you miss more than two meetings (unexcused) you will have to repay your dues. Please e-mail SCAMS or Secretary if you are going to miss.

SGA Report: See Laura with your bank statements so that you can have a refund on the conference.

Webmaster: The webcam project will continue next fall.

OPEN FLOOR: Banquet will require $5.00 per person (except seniors). It is a formal event held at the Bovee University Center.

We voted on the dinner: Most chose to have the meat and potatoes dinner as opposed to the wrap and dessert.

Meeting date: 4/14/09

Meeting in Session: 9:15pm

Meeting Adjourned: 9:39pm

Presidents Report: If you have any suggestions on how the meetings will be run or the decisions made please address the president directly.

Vice President’s Report:  Committees. Road clean up is fun! Try to make it out this Saturday April 25, 2009. We will be having a picnic afterwards at Megan Babich’s House (secretary). We will also be hosting the president versus vice president kickball game at the park! May 2, 2009 is an activity night at Jacob and Aaron’s to take off the edge of finals week!

Committee reports:

Public relations: Poster for main stage will be underway soon. 

Conferences: If you want a refund talk to SGA rep Laura Hartman so that she can take down your information: Name, address you want refund sent to, and whether or not you have a job on campus. 

Activities: Nothing new-just the banquet coming up next Tuesday (7pm in Bovee UC) and the movie night at Aaron and Jacob’s house at 8 pm May 2, 2009. Don’t forget the picnic April 25, 2009.

Jobs/internships: No new updates.

Fundraising: Las Senioritas gift certificates can be bought for $ 5.00 from Cort S. or the treasurer, Jason A.

Treasurer’s Report: Checking account: $143.92  Savings account: $ 1925.00

Secretary’s Report: Please make sure you sign the attendance sheet that is going around. Attendance is important to the club. If you miss more than two meetings (unexcused) you will have to repay your dues. Please e-mail SCAMS or Secretary if you are going to miss.

SGA Report: See Laura with your information so that you can have a refund on the conference. Information needed: Name, address you want refund sent to, and whether or not you have a job on campus.  If you want scholarship information, talk to Laura.

Webmaster: The email confirmation system keeps the spammers out so far. It was a rousing success. Webcam will be set up next semester. We need Mel’s help.

OPEN FLOOR:  For the banquet-$5.00 per person-with the exception of seniors. Pay Jacob. Picnic was voted on: item list is going around. SCAMS will pay for meat and buns. If you are going to the picnic, you MUST BRING SOMETHING to share.

Meeting date: 4/28/09

Meeting in Session: 9:01pm

Meeting Adjourned: 9:30 pm

Presidents Report: Meat left over from picnic! Good turn out at road cleanup. Gentle Friday is May 1st from 12-5 pm in the Warriner Mall. Have a great summer! Thanks for the great summer!

Vice President’s Report:  Committee reports:

Public relations: Megan and Katie will do the poster for main stage. SCAMS e-board will run the  main stage poster site.

Activities: Ideas for new semester: keep up movie, game, bowling nights. We might have coldstone trips. Possible idea of Dodgeball next year and reinstation of bicycle trip. Maybe we will go tubing. Other than that, a good year for activities and thank you for participating!

Jobs/internships: Nothing new.

Fundraising: Dr. Peyreiffeit has offered to buy dessert at 7pm at Las Senioritas. BE THERE! Sign up if you are sure you can go. Yankee candle will be in the fall.

Treasurer’s Report: Conferences! If you haven’t paid for valpo do it! For Iowa, funding will still take another few weeks. Give Jason your summer address and he will mail your refund. Savings: $1899.71 and

Checkings: $60.20

Secretary’s Report: Attendance is in wingding’s! Have a good year!

SGA Report: Laura has everyone’s receipt for conferences. You should have your funding this week!

Webmaster: Resigned: effective April 25, 2009 at 11:59 Eastern Daylight Time.


Election for a new webmaster. Morris has a presentation about what webmaster does. Maintain the website!

Nominations: Aaron Sanders and Chase Meder. Chase wants to make the website more active and wants to get the webcam project started. Aaron has programming experience and has maintained, administrated and created websites in the past. He has much time this summer to work on the website. He wants to keep things similar to the previous way of running but with better updates.  The club voted to have Aaron Sanders as new webmaster.---Megan Babich.




Monthly Meeting Minutes

April 16, 2009

The seventh meeting of the 2008/2009 Central North Carolina Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was called to order at 7:30 PM by President Kara Smith.  23 people were in attendance.   

Vice-President Mike Gravier introduced the night’s speaker, Dr. Nicole Y. Thurgate, Research Associate, Department of Zoology, North Carolina State University.  Her topic was titled, “Amphibian Ecology and the Potential Influence of Climate Change”.

Dr. Thurgate opened her presentation by mentioning that amphibian biologists are often some of meteorologists’ “biggest fans”, as they spend a lot of time studying weather.   As she would explain, weather and climate can greatly affect amphibians. 

To give some background, Dr. Thurgate presented an overview of amphibians.   The word amphibian is derived from the Greek word “amphibios” meaning both kinds of life.  The ecology of amphibians is very species dependent, as their “life histories range from almost entirely aquatic to almost completely terrestrial”.  Amphibians are also animals “whose life history revolves around the weather”.

Climate matters greatly to amphibians.  Currently, researchers are noticing high extinction rates in amphibians, and these rates exceed all other taxonomic groups.  The rates of extinction are being viewed as a potential mass extinction event, of which there have been several similar events in the past.  Climate can have such a large affect on amphibians for several reasons.   One main reason is that amphibians are vulnerable animals.  They have permeable eggs and skin, which put them at risk from pollution and disease, and also typically have small habitat ranges, such as on mountaintops, which subject them to the hazards of habitat loss or alteration.

As an example of amphibian sensitivity to habitat change, Dr. Thurgate discussed the Golden Toad (Bufo periglenes).  This amphibian was once abundant in the high altitude cloud forests of Costa Rica.  Discovered in 1966, this species was declared extinct in 2004.   Although some controversy exists over the exact cause for the extinction, the main hypothesis is that the Golden Toad was subjected to the loss of its misty cloud habitat, which may possibly be attributed to climate change.

To demonstrate that sensitive species of amphibians are not unique to the tropics, Dr. Thurgate noted that the southern Appalachian is the “salamander capital of the world”, with 24 species of lungless salamanders that exist nowhere else. 

Amphibians are not only sensitive to climate change through habitat loss, they are also sensitive to the timing, frequency, and intensity of weather events.  Most species breed at specific times of the year, and breeding is stimulated by rainfall, temperature, and length of day.  As a local example, the Carolina Gopher Frog (Rana capito) experiences mass breeding that is stimulated by spring rains that are dependant on big winter snowfalls.   The survival of adult amphibians is also influenced by conditions experienced as larvae.  Smaller size at metamorphosis has negative implications, including lower survival chances, delay in reproduction, and the production of fewer eggs. 

Additionally, climate change can influence the affect that disease has on amphibians.  The chytrid fungus, a fungus commonly linked to amphibian declines and extinction, invades the permeable skin of amphibians and leads to complications and death.   This fungus has an optimal growth temperature, and studies have shown a correlation between warmer seasonal temperature and fungal outbreaks. 

Dr. Thurgate concluded her presentation by noting that there is no single culprit for the current amphibian mass extinction event.   Amphibian ecology is complex and is strongly related to weather and climate.  Action needs to be taken on many diverse scales, with focus on the future, and more understanding is needed to determine which species are most affected by which systems.  This understanding is important to humans, as amphibians’ sensitivity to climate highlights which ecosystems are vulnerable to climate change.

Mike Gravier thanked Dr. Thurgate for speaking to the chapter and presented her with a chapter coffee mug.  This was the last meeting of the 2008-2009 academic year.  The annual banquet is scheduled for May 1st at the Holiday Inn Brownstone in Raleigh.  The speaker will be Dr. Lian Xie, Professor of Meteorology at North Carolina State University, who will discuss his meteorological and nonmeteorological adventures while working at the Beijing Olympics.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10.---Ryan Cleary.



Alumni Weekend is April 25-26, and it looks like we are going to have pretty good turnout. There is a fee of $10 for members who have paid dues and $15 for those who have not. Since we are not having a caterer this year, we need a few people to prepare a buffet-style dinner for Friday night. We also need some people to help decorate 1102 on Friday. You will get more information about this shortly. We are having a photo contest. Send your best weather photos to Andrew. The winning picture (decided by student vote) will be featured on next year's EAS 1330 lab manual. Our redesign of the map room has made a lot of progress, but there is still work left to do. We still need to decide how to decorate the second brown board in 1104. Some ideas have included painting it and covering it with paper like the other board. We are hoping to get some flat screen monitors for that area. Also, we will be getting a replacement couch in the computer room. There will be more opportunities to help clean and decorate 1104, and we would really appreciate it if more people could help with this. Future times for this will probably be scheduled during the week to make it easier for more people to attend. There is going to be a duck race in the gorges on April 26, and the organizers are looking for volunteers to help clean up the gorges on the 19th, as well as help during the actual race. Eowyn will send more information about this soon.

This week I talked with Peggy Matta, the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning and Recovery, and Joe Lalley, the Vice President of Facilities Services about StormReady. They were supportive of the idea and it seems that Cornell already has all of the infrastructure necessary to qualify. I should be filling out the application for the program sometime within the next two weeks. I am not sure if EPR will want or need any input from us after Cornell qualifies, but I think it would be helpful for at least one person who will be here next year to know more about the program. If you are interested in learning more about StormReady, let me know so that I can show you the application and explain the criteria for the program.

Our Relay for Life team raised almost $650, over $100 per person! Cornell and Ithaca College combined to raise over $215,000 for cancer research and treatment! The event's website will still be open to donations until June 28.

Ithacation needs more articles for an issue this semester. The AMS meeting, research, weather events, are all good topics for articles. Dean and Jennifer would also like to make a pamphlet about what seniors will be doing next year and give this to families at Commencement.

There will be a research presentation by all of the atmospheric sciences students who have completed honors theses. The date of this has not been determined, but it will probably be during study week.---Robert Gottlieb.



The High Plains AMS Chapter met for lunch at the Town and Country Kitchen in Norton, KS at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009, with 11 members attending. After lunch, we did a quick round of introductions, followed by the business meeting. We were then treated to a presentation by Al Pietrycha, SOO at GLD. Al spoke on “Observational Analysis and Doppler Radar Interpretation of Non-mesocyclone Tornadoes”.  Al’s talk centered on landspout tornadoes:  specifically radar interrogation and suggestions for best-practices for tornado warning issuances. His Powerpoint slides had many excellent case examples of both radar reflectivity and velocity data in association with photos of these events, centered mainly around eastern Colorado.


Newly elected President Mike Umscheid/DDC started the meeting at 12:25 PM. John Stoppkotte/LBF gave an updated report on the upcoming conference, scheduled for Aug 27th-28th in North Platte, NE.  A call for papers was sent out April 30th, just after this meeting. Ideas were discussed on a meeting for the Wednesday afternoon prior the conference (Aug 26th), possibly centering on Climate. The possibility of having a conference t-shirt was also discussed.  At this time, the price of the conference is planned to be the same as last year. .  The local college is donating a room for the conference, and a banquet is set up for Thursday night. The conference banquet/rooms are at the Quality Inn and Suites (where most attendees will be staying).  Another planning meeting is scheduled soon. More will be posted on our website as it becomes available:

This year’s Jim Johnson Scholarship ($500) was awarded to Jennifer Uhrich, a senior at North Platte High School in Nebraska.  Jennifer is planning to major in Meteorology at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.  Talks of a possible High Plains/Wichita chapter merger and Wichita joining us in the rotation for the annual High Plains Conference have been put on hold for now.  Is anyone in our chapter interested in doing a poster for the national AMS conference?  If so, please contact President Mike Umscheid at ASAP.  The meeting ended at 1:10 PM.  The next meeting will be in the mid-July time frame.---Mike Umscheid and Tim Burke.



Meeting Minutes

21 April, 2009

President Schwedler called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.  He welcomed all who were present to the meeting.  This was the final ISU AMS meeting of the 2008-2009 school year, and officer nominations were held at the end of the meeting.

President Schwedler

Vice President Deppe

Treasurer Karsten

Social Chair Hoffman

Academic Chair Prentice

Past President Hobbs

Cy’s Eyes on the Skies


Historian Witter

Outreach Chair Rabideau

Officer Nominations

President:  Rachel Hatteberg

Vice President:  Matthew Hoffman

Treasurer:  Justin Wittrock

Secretary:  JoBeth Minniear

Social Chair:  Rachael Witter

Academic Chair:  Shannon Rabideau

Webmaster:  Nick Carletta

Historian:  Ryan Lueck

Sophomore Chair:  Peter Effertz

Outreach Chair:  Liz Suess

President Schwedler then adjourned the meeting and was ended at 9:35 PM.  He wished everybody good luck with the rest of the semester.


This was the last meeting of the 2008-2009 year for the ISU AMS.  Thanks so much for a great year!  Good luck to all who are graduating!  For those of you that will be here next year, we look forward to an exciting year!  Good luck on finals and have a great summer.  It has been a pleasure to get to know and work with all of you.---Justin Schultz.



The April 2009 meeting of the Kansas City Chapter of the American Meteorlogical Society was held on the 30th day of the month at Cupini’s Italian restaurant in Kansas City, MO.  Roughly 40 people attended the April monthly meeting, with a slightly lower attendance due in part to active weather in the area.

Several older issues were once again brought up during the meeting.  Our highway cleanup effort which was scheduled in early April ended up needing to be cancelled twice.  The first cancellation was due to rainy weather in the area, with the second scheduled data cancelled due to ongoing road construction in the cleanup area.  After extensive talks with the Lees Summit branch of the Missouri Department of Transportation, a decision was made to postpone the cleanup until the fall of 2009, which will allow transportation officials to finish construction which is scheduled to take place all summer.  Chapter President Evan Bookbinder did make note of the fact that The Home Depot donated one dozen wooden dowels to the chapter to aid in the trash pickup, with the Missouri Department of Transportation providing safety vests for future chapter use.

In other chapter news, Vice-President Joe Lauria gave an update on the local science fair which took place early in April.  While the science fair only had two weather related science projects, the winner for the weather category was a 7th grader from Platte County with a poster featuring the sun-solar cycle.  Joe will be in contact with science fair officials to obtain the name of the winner so that they may be able to attend a chapter meeting in the fall.

Kansas City was officially accepted by the National Weather Association to develop a local chapter.  Several members will now begin work on developing a separate set of by-laws for the club, as well as reevaluating our constitution.  For our May 2009 meeting, our guest speaker will be Les Lemon with a location yet to be determined.  However, discussion was held on the possibility of having a separate club activity during the month of May.  Thoughts of a group outing at a Kansas City Royals game were preferred, with secretary Mark O’Malley assigned the task of producing three available dates to the membership to vote on via email.

Finally, with a lack of interest from the membership in regards to officer elections, a motion was made to forego officer elections this year and continue with the same officers as in 2008-2009.  After verifying this was alright in our constitution, a vote was taken on the measure and unanimously passed.  Therefore, Evan Bookbinder will be retained as President, Joe Lauria will remain as Vice-President, Matthew Dux will remain as Secretary, and Mark O’Malley will remain as Treasurer.


April Speaker Presentation Notes:

Our speaker for the month of April was local scientist, researcher, and storm chaser Jon Davies with a presentation entitled “Busts, Thrills, and Things Learned from Storm Chasing”.  Jon began his talk giving a very brief summary of the tornadic supercell which produced an 8 mile long EF-1 tornado just west of Kansas City on April 26th.  After talking a bit about what recently happened in the area, Jon talked about seven portions of his life which he considered to be special.  The first moment was his recollection of the first tornado he ever saw and photographed which was the May 25, 1965 Pratt, KS tornado.  Jon recalled one of his first professional weather jobs which was as a nighttime weather broadcaster for the Weather Channel in 1982. 

Throughout his life, Jon continued to use his experiences to branch his career and life into many other aspects.  Storm chasing has really been a driving force in much of the research Jon accomplished and presented.  From his research into low topped supercells to the development of the EHI index, and finally to his investigation of landspout tornadoes, storm chasing has been an integral part and an inspiration.

While storm chasing and research has been important in his life, Jon’s career continues to evolve and has now turned his work towards the question, “In the aftermath of a tornado, how can a chaser help?”  In Jon’s mind, a storm chaser can be able to provide assistance to folks who have been impacted by tornadoes, including packing first aid kits, supplies, and even obtaining first aid training.  Finally, the last integral part of Jon’s career has been to support positive outreach about storm chasing, both to schools and the general public.---Matthew Dux. 



Meeting Type: General Assembly

Meeting Date: April 8, 2009

Attendance: 54

Meeting in Session: 8:31 pm


Introduction (President Jim Kurdzo)

Elections Speeches

Amendments to Constitution (President Jim Kurdzo)

Allocations (President Jim Kurdzo)


Meeting out of Session: 9:30 pm


Meeting Type: General Assembly

Meeting Date: April 22, 2009

Attendance: 18

Meeting in Session: 8:35 pm


Introduction (President Joe Moore)

Meeting out of Session: 8:38 pm---Samantha McGraw.



“Winter 2008/2009 Recap”

KPTV-12 hosted our meeting.  This was our largest (non-OMSI) monthly AMS meeting in many years, with 48 people attending.  

Oregon AMS Executive Councilor Steve Pierce recapped the 2008/2009 winter season in Oregon and SW Washington.  Steve went into great detail about the record breaking December arctic outbreak and snowstorms that left Portland and many other communities under almost two feet of snow when it was all said and done.  Mark Nelsen, Chief Meteorologist for KPTV Channel 12, recapped the mid-January Columbia River Gorge east wind event that brought damage to parts of Multnomah, Clark, Clackamas, and Washington counties.

Winter 2008/2009 highlights are as follows:

Record Snowfall

Most snowfall in a single December since records have been kept at PDX (1941-2009).

Portland's 5th highest seasonal snowfall total in 100 years.

Snowiest "White Christmas" with 6-12 inches of snow on the ground.

Eleven consecutive days of snowfall in December, a new record for Portland.

Portland's 15th highest seasonal snowfall of all time - 23.6 inches.

Near record high pressure reading of 30.74 in January!

All-time January record is 30.78"

East Wind Event

Six days with gusts of 40 mph or higher at TTD (Troutdale) in mid-January.

Crown Point hand held anemometer recorded a gust of 105 and 92 mph respectively.

Don't forget, nominations are currently open for the upcoming annual AMS elections that will be held in April.  Return your nominations today!---Bobby Corser.


“Madden-Julian Oscillation”

On April 30, 2009, 18 members and guests came to enjoy good food, company, and to learn a new weather topic.  Our event was held at the 501 Sports Café, in Tualatin, just south of Portland.  President Bobby Corser welcomed everyone and made announcements.  He introduced Chris Karafotias, Meteorologist, with the Bonneville Power Administration.

The MJO is defined as an area of enhanced and suppressed convection, originates in the Indian Ocean, varies widely in strength and speed, and has a life cycle of 30-60 days.  The MJO has notable upper and lower level circulation patterns and is tracked by changes in the tropical winds, sea-surface temperature (SST) patterns, and clouds.  MJO is very sensitive to changes in the SST. 

Convection (i.e., converging air at the surface and diverging air aloft) is a key trait of a developing MJO as is the SST pattern.  Consider the MJO as a “mini-ENSO” event.  Look at activity in the Indian Ocean.  A MJO event will then move into the far western Pacific Ocean and onto the west coast of North America.  Outgoing Long-wave Radiation (OLR) can serve as a “proxy” indicator for convection.  The Wheeler diagram is a real-time plot of the MJO phases.

The MJO is divided into eight phases: phases 1-3 in the Indian Ocean, phases 4-5 over Micronesia, and phases 6-8 in the Pacific Ocean.  The average time is 4-6 days per phase.

MJO forecasts can by dynamical or statistical.  It is very useful to build a composite analysis and maps.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology tracks the activity of each MJO phase, amplitude, and RMM (  Need to sort by date and phase, then ENSO state.  Compare MJO forecast with weather model forecasts.  The MJO is very active during the La Nina phase of ENSO.  Future work: (1) difficulty to get the timing of a MJO event (2) refine forecasts by using the composite of similar MJO phase and strength with past years, then add the ENSO component. 

For more details, check out these links: Dittmer.



Meeting Minutes 

Thursday, April, 2009

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 


The Perlan Project: Soaring Stratospheric Mountain Waves to 100,000 Feet.

Abstract: On August 30, 2006, pilots Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson set a world-record altitude for gliders of 50,671 feet (15,447 meters) in the Andes of South America. Phase 2 of the Perlan Project is now underway  with a new pressurized sailplane being built that will enable the pilots  to reach 90,000 feet and then in phase 3 to reach 100,000 feet. The science behind the project, results to-date and the project itself will be presented. The Perlan Project is an international scientific endeavor and represents a balanced effort between model, observation and theory and is expected to have high scientific returns. 



TAMSCAMS had their April meeting with speaker Frank Brody who spoke to us about space meteorology. We also held elections for next year where we nominated the following for new positions:

President: Brian Haines

Vice President: Brad Reinhart

Secretary: Rita Matos

Treasurer: Ryan Husted

Social Chair: Alex Calandra---Elizabeth Bange.



The April 2009 meeting of the Twin Cities chapter of the American Meteorological Society was called to order at 7:06 PM on April 16th, 2009 by President Chris Bovitz.  Secretary/Treasurer Bryan Howell and Newsletter Editor Kevin Huyck were also in attendance along with about 10 members and guests.  The meeting was held in the Anthropology Lab at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.

The meeting began by going around the room and having attendees introduce themselves.  Newsletter Editor Kevin Huyck followed with a reading of the minutes from the March meeting.  A motion to approve the minutes was presented by Doug Dokken with a second from Nicolle Morock.  The motion was then approved by the membership.  Secretary/Treasurer Bryan Howell followed with the treasurer’s report.  Upon completion, Jonathan Cohen motioned for approval with a second from Kurt Scholtz, followed by an approval from the membership.

Leah Betancourt from the Minneapolis Star Tribune took the floor next and presented a brief overview of the newspaper’s Weather Watchers program, which has about 40 participants in South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and western Wisconsin.  Participants are asked to blog about the weather at least 1-2 times per week about any weather topic they choose.  The program is always looking for new members and anyone interested is asked to contact Ms. Betancourt.

President Bovitz than initiated a discussion on proposed amendments to the chapter constitution.  The first was for Article IX in reference to incorporating other methods of voting in chapter affairs and most importantly, officer elections.  A consensus on this amendment was not reached and the discussion was tabled.  The second amendment was for Article X in reference to chapter expenditures.  In the constitution’s current form, there is no membership oversight for chapter expenditures.  The proposed amendment would create a voting requirement for expenditures over a certain amount.  The language of this amendment was finalized and Nicolle Morock presented a motion to begin the amendment approval process.  Bryan Howell seconded the motion which was then approved.  President Bovitz also proposed the creation of a Bylaws construction committee to create a set of Bylaws to cover the operations of the chapter.  It is hoped that this committee could meet over the summer and have the document ready for the new chapter year.

Following the discussion of constitutional amendments, President Bovitz briefly went over a few chapter events that occurred over the past month.  Don Burgess presented to the membership on the 30th anniversary of the Wichita Falls tornado on the 27th.  The following day, Mr. Burgess was a speaker at the Minnesota Skywarn Workshop which was another huge success.  The chapter had a table at the workshop and was able to recruit 8 new members.  On the 30th, Newsletter Editor Kevin Huyck was a judge at the Minnesota Academy of Science State Science Fair and was able to find two outstanding projects.  The first project was from Kevin Berry entitled What's the Weather Going to be Like Tomorrow.  Kevin tracked the forecasts of several local forecasters and created his own weather station to create forecasts of his own.  This student also expressed interest in becoming a meteorologist in the future.  The second project was from Maria Trescony entitled Do Our Rising Levels of CO2 Directly Affect Cloud Formation?  Maria's project was to increase the carbon dioxide levels in a fixed volume of air and see how much she needed to lower the pressure in the fixed volume to generate clouds.  Kevin presented both students with a weather radio and a certificate at the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the fair. 

A few upcoming events of interest to the chapter are the South Central/Southwest Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair in Mankato on May 2nd and the last chapter meeting for the current chapter year will be on May 21st.  Officer elections will take place at the meeting and member Craig Edwards will speak on being a meteorologist for MPR.

President Bovitz then asked if there were any other things for the business portion of the meeting.  Secretary/Treasurer Bryan Howell stated that he would be contacting other chapters to try to get ideas for new things that our chapter could do to promote membership and attendance at meetings.  Secretary/Treasurer Howell also reported that he had spoken with the president of the Black Hills Chapter to see how things were going with their chapter and if he had any suggestions.  Finally, President Bovitz reminded the membership that the Chapter of the Year paperwork was due soon and that it still needed to be completed.

Member Tony Sudano then raised a motion to adjourn the business portion of the meeting which was seconded by Jonathan Cohen.  A unanimous vote followed and the meeting was adjourned at 7:43 PM.  

Following the business portion of the meeting, the night’s speaker was introduced.  Dr. Lewis “Skip” Messenger is a Professor of Anthropology at Hamline University and graduated from Hiram College, Ohio with a M.A. in History.  He followed this with a M.A. in Anthropology from the Universidad de las Americas and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  Dr. Messenger’s primary areas of interest include Mesoamerica and Southeast Asia and he has a strong interest in the weather.  His presentation was entitled “Past Civilizations and Climate Change.” 

Dr. Messenger began by going over some of the past research done on the topic going back to the early part of the 20th century.  He then hypothesized a bit on what the future may hold if the climate of the Earth does in fact change.  After this overview of his work, he turned the focus to the Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula.  He had studied this civilization for years and wondered what had lead to their downfall.  At the peak of the Mayan age, there were about 15 million people living in the Yucatan, which is roughly the size of Minnesota.  Around 900-1000 AD, major architecture stopped and the population began to decline dramatically.  Based on Dr. Messenger’s interest in the weather, he began to look at if there was a shift in the weather pattern that could help explain the Maya’s disappearance.

In looking at tree pollen from the time period, Dr. Messenger noticed that it disappeared from the samples, but then returned rather quickly, pointing to a relatively dramatic weather shift.  Up to this point, people had only looked at climate over large regions and did not take into account smaller scale variations.  One place showing large variation is the Yucatan.  Under most circumstances, rainfall increases in the Yucatan as you go south and east.  The Maya built their culture in the areas receiving the large amounts of rainfall so their crops would thrive.  In a short period of time, the area receiving the most rainfall shifted to the north and west creating drought conditions over the core of Mayan agriculture region.  Dr. Messenger was able to determine that the classic Mayan collapse corresponded with this drought period.    

With this discovery in hand, Dr. Messenger then looked at one of his other areas of interest, Southeast Asia.  One area he looked at in particular was Angkor in present day Cambodia.  He was able to find evidence that a change in the climate corresponded to the decline in this civilization as well.  This decline was at about the same time as the transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age, which led to a shortage of water in the region.

Dr. Messenger then wrapped up his presentation by briefly talking about the CADGAP project that he created in 1991 at Hamline.  In this program, his students focus on different regions of the world and research the climate and culture of that region.  To date, many regions of the world have been covered, with the exception of North America, which may be a candidate in the future.  Dr. Messenger then fielded questions before the meeting adjourned just before 9:00 PM.---Bryan J. Howell.



Monthly Meeting Minutes

Friday, April 17, 2009 11:00 am

The final meeting of the UAHuntsville Student Chapter of the AMS for the 2008-2009 academic year began at 11:00 am in room 4065 of the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC).  There were 24 of our 41 members present at the meeting.  President Elise Johnson presented a summary of the chapter's activities over the past year.  Members with other photos of the events were reminded to submit them to Christina Crowe so they may be placed on the chapter's website.

The chapter will have an End of the Year picnic/potluck get together on Saturday, April 25th.   The event will take place beginning after 5:00 pm at Holly and Trey Ramey's home.  Members are asked to bring outdoor chairs and sign up to bring a dish or other picnic items.  Directions to their house were distributed.

The chapter will be participating in the Panoply Arts Festival in conjunction with the National Weather Service Huntsville through the 3rd Annual Tennessee Valley Severe Weather Poster Contest.   Voting for the Severe Weather Poster Contest finalists will take place on Monday, April 20th at 11:00 am.   All NSSTC residents are encouraged to vote for their favorite posters during this time in NSSTC 4065.  The festival will be held next weekend, April 24-26, 2009.  The winning posters will be displayed at the festival and prizes will be distributed to the artists Sunday April 26, 2009 at 2 pm.  President Johnson solicited the group for more volunteers to help out with the National Weather Service booth for the festival, and for other ideas for extra prizes for the winners of the poster contest.   

Elections were held for the executive committee for the 2009-2010 academic year.  The president of the chapter will be Christopher Schultz., elected over Jonathan Fairman in a 20-4 vote.  Elise Johnson will be vice-president; she was elected over Jonathan Fairman in a 14-10 vote.  Christopher Jewett will be treasurer; he was elected over Jonathan Fairman in a 17-7 vote.  Stephanie Mullins will be secretary; she was elected over Jonathan Fairman in a 14-10 vote.  Jonathan Fairman will be webmaster; he was elected over Sandy LaCorte in a 15-9 vote.

The next meeting of the UAHuntsville AMS Student Chapter will be at the beginning of the next academic year in late August or early September.---Stephanie Mullins.



April 8, 2009

The meeting began at 6:15 pm. First there were officer reports where we discussed the Des Moines Severe Weather and Radar Conference and the Severe Weather Workshop that was held tonight and was organized by the Campus Weather Service. Then we discussed the Meteorology Club Banquet that will be held April 23rd at 7 pm. At the banquet new officers, scholarship and internship recipients will be recognized. Next were officer elections where each candidate gave a speech. At the end of the meeting, members paid for their Meteorology Club t-shirts and the banquet. Meeting ended at 7 pm.---Natalie Walters.



Minutes from:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Odegard Hall Room 356

5:00 p.m.

Members Present:

Al Borho – Advisor

Dan Koller - President

Kelsey Watkins - Vice President

Erin Bertschi - Treasurer

Kevin Skow - Secretary

Andrea Neumann

Leah Tatarak

Matt Saari

Nichole Shotwell

Kathryn Crosby

Aymie Oliver-Wedwick

Aaron Kennedy

Mike Lanciki

Vanessa Pearce

Shawn Palmquist

Peter Johnson

Tim Logan

Jennifer Dvorak

Ben Schink

Garrett Jepsen

Angelle Van Oploo

Jeff Tilley

Call to Order:

President Dan Koller called the AMS meeting to order at 5:00 pm.

Past Minutes:

The minutes from 03/24/09 were read.

Officer Reports:

-President’s Report: Saturday, April 18 is the Super Science Saturday from 10am-1pm at the Gambucci Area in Grand Forks. We will set up experiments for little kids to try out. More information is forthcoming.

-Vice-President’s Report: None

-Secretary’s Report: None

-Treasurer’s Report: The AMS balance is currently: $2590.76.

Guest Speaker:

- Kevin Skow from the Mesoscale Dynamics class (ATSC 460) presented a video of the Hugo, MN severe weather event from May 25, 2008 and provided a synopsis of the event.


Old Business:

-Eleven members of AMS traveled to Duluth this past weekend and toured the NWS and the local TV station. All who went had a great time.

-AMS worked the popcorn fundraiser at the Memorial Union two weeks ago. We were able to sell popcorn on all days except Wednesday due to the University closing. We have not heard about how much money we made.

-The new AMS logo for the group was passed around and approved by the group.

New Business:        

- Congratulations to the following people elected as next year’s AMS officers:

President: Kelsey Watkins

Vice-President: Leah Tatarak

Treasurer: Erin Bertschi

Secretary: Matt Saari

-Activities Committee

-Photo Contest: Submissions for the April photo contest are still being accepted until April 11. The contest will then run until April 20. Photos can be submitted to

-Broomball: Broomball continues until April 15. Games are at the Olympic Ice Sheet at the Ralph at 10pm. Contact Leah for more information.

-Big Event: The Big Event, the University-wide community service event, is Saturday, May 2. A signup sheet for those interested in helping out was passed around.

-Spring Picnic: The ATSC spring picnic will be on the afternoon of Sunday, May 3. We will go around and ask professors and grad students what they are bringing the week before the picnic.

-Fundraising Committee

-The 4th floor baked goods fundraising sale continues until the end of the semester—only one person per week will be needed to bring food. See Kelsey or Andrea to sign up.

-We are going to try and have a hot dog fundraiser on Friday, May 1. A signup sheet will be provided at the next meeting.

-Banquet Committee

-Here are updates for the banquet:

-Pictures/Slideshow-We need more pictures!! Please send them to Dan A.

-Flowers are being checked into

-The cost of the banquet is 20 dollars per person. The only payment accepted is check, which should be made out to the UND Alumni Association.

-Faculty Awards were voted on at the meeting. The results will be announced at the banquet.


- None



-The meeting was adjourned without objection at 6:20pm.


Minutes from:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Clifford Hall Room 264

5:00 p.m.

Members Present:

Al Borho – Advisor

Dan Koller - President

Kelsey Watkins - Vice President

Erin Bertschi - Treasurer

Kevin Skow - Secretary

Andrea Neumann

Leah Tatarak

Matt Saari

Nichole Shotwell

Kathryn Crosby

Aymie Oliver-Wedwick

Aaron Kennedy

Mike Lanciki

Vanessa Pearce

Shawn Palmquist

Tim Logan

Ben Schink

Garrett Jepsen

Kim Bestul

Krista Cooley

Dan Adriaansen

Miranda Hilgers

Jeff Tilley

Call to Order:

              President Dan Koller called the AMS meeting to order at 5:00 pm.

Past Minutes:

The minutes from 04/07/09 were read.

Officer Reports:

-President’s Report: None

-Vice-President’s Report: None

-Secretary’s Report: None

-Treasurer’s Report: The AMS balance is currently: $3637.35.

Guest Speaker:

- Kevin Skow showed several fun weather videos from his and Dan’s collection.


Old Business:

-Three members of AMS ran a meteorology booth at the Super Science Saturday in Grand Forks on Saturday, April 18. All who attended had fun and taught about 100 kids.

-AMS was able to work the popcorn fundraiser for a few days last week since the closing of the University several weeks ago may have cut into our profits.

- Congratulations to the following people elected as next year’s AMS officers:

President: Kelsey Watkins

Vice-President: Leah Tatarak

Treasurer: Erin Bertschi

Secretary: Matt Saari

New Business:        

-The UND Student Involvement Expo is on August 26, 2009 from 10am-3pm. We will discuss whether or not we will work that event at the next meeting.

-We will be emailing incoming ATSC freshmen like we’ve done in the past few years. We will discuss the details of this and split up the list of incoming freshmen among AMS members at the next meeting.

-Activities Committee

-Photo Contest: The photo contest is now over. Congratulations to Nichole Shotwell for winning the April photo contest. Miranda Hilgers will be the photo contest advisor next year.

-Broomball: Broomball has been extended to Wednesday, April 22. Games are at the Olympic Ice Sheet at the Ralph at 10pm. Contact Leah for more information.

-Big Event: The Big Event, the University-wide community service event, is on the morning of Saturday, May 2. A signup sheet for those interested in helping out was passed around. Leah will be sending out an email with more information.

-Spring Picnic: The ATSC spring picnic will be on Sunday, May 3 at 3:00pm at University Park Shelter 2. This year AMS will be handing out “fun” awards to all the professors in the department at the picnic (so everyone should come!). We will go around and ask professors and grad students next week what they are bringing before the picnic.

-Fundraising Committee

-The 4th floor baked goods fundraising sale continues until the end of the semester—only one person per week will be needed to bring food. See Kelsey or Andrea to sign up.

-The drawing for next year’s popcorn fundraiser is on Wednesday, April 29 at 4:15pm. Aymie will be attending this meeting for our group.

-We are going to have a hot dog fundraiser in the Odegard/Streibel Link on Friday, May 1 from 11am-1pm. A signup sheet for this was passed around for those that want to help.

-Banquet Committee

-See you at the banquet on Friday!


- The will be one more AMS meeting held this school year on Tuesday, May 5 at 5:00pm (Room TBA). We will do a quick recap of what we've done in the two weeks since our previous meeting, discuss plans for next year, and take a survey that Professor Remer wants to give to our group.



              -The meeting was adjourned without objection at 5:30 pm.---Kevin Skow.



Forensic Meteorology: All in a Weeks Work

DATE:                            April 14, 2009

LOCATION:                  Tampa Bay Yacht and Country Club 

PRESENTATION:  The April meeting of the West Central Florida Chapter was presented by Michelle Campbell, Certified Consulting Meteorologist for Climatological Consulting Corporation (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida). Campbell gave a fascinating presentation entitled “All in a Week’s Work” where she spoke on the field of forensic meteorology and applied climatology as she detailed some cases she had personally worked on (Figure 1). Campbell began her presentation discussing the professional certification for consulting meteorologists. This certification provides a service for the general public to ensure high standards of knowledge, experience and character. She noted that not only must candidates pass rigorous written and oral exams but the certification requires continuing education, an example of which she gave included the UCAR Cooperative Training for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET) series. To become a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, applicants must be qualified to be an AMS member, have at least 5 years of professional experience in applying the principles of meteorology and be considered a professional in eyes of fellow meteorologists.

Campbell then noted that Climatological Consulting Corporation provides expert testimony for litigation where weather is a factor. She explained that retrospective reconstruction of critical weather events is performed for their clients. This includes obtaining official weather observations, forecasts, severe weather watches/warnings, radar and satellite imagery pertaining directly to the details of the particular case. This information is then assembled into easy to understand reports, graphs and tables for use in trial and depositions. Campbell stressed how critical the actual presentation of this data is to these trials and how challenging the task can be to make sure the facts are not misrepresented.

Other areas covered by the Climatological Consulting Corporation include a vast array of insurance and litigation claims. These require detailed analysis and testimony regarding both the weather events and the climate of the region. Personal injury lawsuits, aviation, marine and highway accidents, structural damages, construction delays and witness credibility are all examples of their possible involvement on a case.

Campbell’s presentation can be viewed on the chapter’s website at More information on the Climatological Consulting Corporation can be found at To apply to become a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, one can download an application form at:


Figure 1: Michelle Campbell, Certified Consulting Meteorologist for Climatological Consulting Corporation.


SPEAKER:       Michelle Campbell, MS Meteorology, Fl State University. BS Geography, Mississippi State University. Certified Consulting Meteorologist, Climatological Consulting Corporation since 2002. Meteorologist, Environmental Dynamics Research, Inc., Palm Beach Gardens from 1996 – 2002. Certified Weather Observer, NOAA/National Weather Service, Orlando, FL 1995-1996. Meteorologist Aide, NOAA/National Weather Service, Tallahassee, FL 1994-1995. Graduate Research Assistant, Florida State University, Department of Meteorology 1993-1995  

BUSINESS MEETING: Our meeting began with Andy Johnson reviewing our 2008-2009 season with a re-cap of each of our meetings.  Andy offered special thanks to departing officers Charlie Paxton and Laura Monk. Officers elected for the upcoming 2009-2010 season were announced and the final results were:


President:                                       Andy Johnson

Vice President:                              Jennifer Collins

Recording Secretary:                    Alicia Williams

Corresponding Secretary:             Brian LaMarre

Treasurer:                                      Nancy Knight

Web Administrator:                       Tom Walsh

Publicity:                                        Dan Noah

The award for the Dewey Stowers excellence in meteorology award is given to an outstanding student every year. This year’s award winner is Alicia Williams from the University of South Florida for outstanding research conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Collins (USF) and Charles Paxton (NWS).

TREASURER’S REPORT: Our Chapter Account as of 4/14/09 is $ 837.00

CONCLUSION:  The meeting was attended by 42 people. It took place at the beautiful Tampa Bay Yacht and Country Club and the members were treated to a social hour and fancy dinner. Our banquet meetings are always a big success and this year was no different!---Jennifer M. Collins.



On April 30, 2009 the incumbent officers - Andy Ross President, Warren Glover Vice President/Secretary, Debby Sibillio Treasurer were reelected without opposition.

Most of the membership participates in the cooperative snow spotter program, directed by the local NWS office in Buffalo. Additionally, most are sky warned trained.

On March 28, 2009 Andrew Ross served as a judge at the Niagara Regional Science and Engineering Fair, held at Brock University St. Catharines ON Canada. Awarded AMS Certificates of Achievement are: Alicia Piazza and Pauline Zakaeva for their project "Tornado". They are grade 5 students at St. Alfred's School St. Catharines ON.

On October 10, 2009, Andrew Ross will participate in a public display at the Hamburg Natural Science Association in Hamburg, NY. He will have portable, digital weather instruments to convey to the public what they do and measure. This is the first known weather display. The director of the Braun-Rudick Seismograph Station at Canisius College Buffalo, NY was the point of contact.---Andrew D. Ross.




[ About the AMS | Policy Program | Conferences, Meetings, and Symposia ]
[ Education Programs and Resources ]
[ History of Earth Sciences | Journals and Publications | Local Chapter Information | Member Services ]
[ News and Information | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) ]

[ Disclaimer | Contacts at AMS | Email AMS Web Administrator ]

Return to AMS Home Page Click on Logo to Return to AMS Home Page
© 2000 American Meteorological Society
Headquarters: 45 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-3693
Phone: 617-227-2425; Fax: 617-742-8718