Chapter News
February 2005


ARKANSAS

Meeting Minutes
Arkansas Chapter of the AMS
February 16, 2005

The first Chapter meeting of 2005 was held on February 16th. The meeting convened at 705 PM at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in North Little Rock with 21 members and guests present.

The program for the evening was provided by Chapter member Scott Blair. Scott is a meteorology major at the University of Louisiana/Monroe. In the past 8 years, he has observed 72 tornadoes and 3 hurricanes across 13 states. His presentation focused on some of the most significant tornadic events across the Great Plains during 2004. Dramatic video provided an intense look at successful storm intercepts during the spring season. The presentation highlights included close proximity tornado views near Albany, MO., Jamestown, KS., Big Springs, NE., and Mulvane, KS.

During and after the presentation, the group participated in a question and answer session.

Then, light refreshments were served and the meeting adjourned at 830 PM.---Newton Skiles.


CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

Minutes of the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the AMS/NWA (COCAMS/NWA)
February 17, 2005
COCAMS homepage:
http://www.caps.ou.edu/cocams/

Meeting minutes:

The COCAMS/NWA chapter held its second meeting of the year at Weathernews, Inc. (http://www.weathernews.com/) located nearby the new National Weather Center (near Highway 9 and Jenkins Ave. in Norman, OK). Weathernews describes itself as the "World's Largest Full-Service Weather Company" and recently moved some of its operation to Norman from its San Francisco office.

The group held a short business meeting. About 30 COCAMS/NWA members and guests were present. COCAMS president Sarah Taylor asked for volunteers to help at the Seminole Regional Science Fair in March, and also for volunteers for the State Science Fair to be held in Ada, OK on March 31. She also announced that the March 22 meeting will feature Jerry Brotzge of CAPS, who will discuss the CASA project, specifically entitled, the "Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere".

Treasurer Kit Wagner announced gave a brief treasury report, and said that we have 31 paid members so far this year. Secretary Kevin Thomas provided some brief minutes from the January meeting.

Neville Koop, who is the Manager of Operations, PLC Marine & Land for Weathernews provided a short presentation about Weathernews. We learned that Weathernews has many clients around the world, and the company is quite varied in the work they do. For example, the company is heavily involved with the shipping industry, providing forecasts for ships traveling across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and for oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the company has several commercial airline customers. Currently, they are more involved with international flights, but are working on getting more domestic business.

After this meeting, we toured the forecaster operations area, where we met some of the staff. The forecasters work a full rotation, with 24 hour shift coverage. There are several forecasters who concentrate on the shipping industry. In addition, one of the aviation forecasters demonstrated how they prepare forecast maps indicating where turbulence will be moderate or severe. All of the forecasters stressed the importance of communication to best serve their clients' needs.

Next meeting:

Tuesday March 22, 2005 at the National Severe Storms Lab/SPC---Sarah Taylor.


HIGH PLAINS

Minutes of the High Plains AMS Chapter Meeting
February 24, 2005

The gathering started with 13 members meeting at the Country Kitchen restaurant in McCook, NE for lunch. Following lunch, the meeting ensured, immediately followed by an interesting presentation by President Bruce Entwistle. President Entwistle gave a very good overview of the Aviation Weather Center/AWC in north Kansas City. He has recently accepted the position of SOO at the AWC and will be leaving WFO Goodland to start his new AWC job around March 20th. The meeting was called to order at 12:40 PM. No minutes were available from the last meeting. Treasurer David Lawrence/GID gave a final report from the HP8 conference held in Goodland last October, bringing the current chapter balance to $1445.80. Several members present paid their dues at this meeting, immediately following adjournment.

Officer elections were discussed. Nominations were taken from the floor, and there is at least one member named for each position. An email notice will be sent out by President Entwistle, publicizing these candidates, and soliciting additional nomination. Shortly after that, an electronic vote will be sent out the membership (paid). Micky McGuire and Scott Lockhart, both from GLD, volunteered to be election proctors. A report was given from the LBF members on the status of the HP9 conference, scheduled for October 5-7 in North Platte, NE. Member Tom Wachs, meteorologist with KNOP-TV/North Platte is trying to allure broadcast meteorologist to this conference by suggesting a media panel discussion for smaller market broadcasters. A call for papers will go our soon.

Rick Ewald/GID told us of upcoming plans for the 25-year anniversary of the famed Grand Island tornado (6/3/80). There may be meteorological consortium the evening of June 2nd, and a more public commemoration on June 3rd. Chapter members are encouraged to lend a hand, as this event will likely be well attended. Call Rick Ewald if you can help out on the 3rd. Vice President Tim Burke told members of an upcoming change with the company that will host our website. On May 1st, we will change from Register.com to GoDaddy.com, with a savings difference of $35/yr versus $8/yr.

Following the AWC presentation by President Entwistle, the chapter thanked Bruce for his many hours and dedication to the establishment, maintaining, and help in lifting our chapter to award winning status. A next meeting date/place was not determined, but should be in the April time frame.---Tim Burke.


HOUSTON

February 2005 Minutes

Speakers:
Dr. Sharon Zhong
Dr. Barry Lefer
Dr. Bernhard Rappenglück
Dr. Daewon Byun

Program:
All four professors provided an overview of their teaching and research activities conducted by the Atmospheric Sciences group at the University of Houston. The University of Houston has recently established a new Atmospheric Sciences Program in its Geosciences Department. The program's objective is to accelerate the scientific understanding of Houston's air pollution problems while also meeting the growing demand of its students in their continued pursuit of meteorological knowledge. Areas of study include, but are not limited to, general weather patterns, climate, air pollution, and other related atmospheric science research. The program currently has these four faculty members, a group of post doctorates and graduate students, all working in areas of air quality modeling and monitoring, atmospheric chemistry, mesoscale and boundary layer studies, land-atmospheric interaction, and climate change. The group develops and runs a suite of meteorological and air quality models and operates a network of sophisticated meteorological and chemical instruments. The program offers a wide range of Atmospheric Sciences courses at both the undergraduate (BS) in the Geosciences with emphasis in meteorology and graduate level options in meteorology (MS, PhD).---Patrick Blood.


IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

AMS Meeting Minutes - Meeting #5 2/1/05
General Email List: isuams@iastate.edu
Officer Email List: amsofficers@iastate.edu
AMS Homepage: www.meteor.iastate.edu/ams

Treasurer Update
There is $906 in the account right now.

NWA Severe Storms Conference
The cost for registration is $65; this does not include hotel costs. We will talk later about different hotel options. In regards to registration, we took a vote on rather or not to allocate money to help with these costs. The vote passed giving $3 per person to go towards registration. The conference will take place March 31st-April 2nd in West Des Moines. This is a great way to meet people from different schools and different professions. One highlight is Tim Samarus who will present his latest video. You can register at www.iowa-nwa-.com . Elise Johnson (elisevj@iastate.edu) is the registration chair, so you can ask her about registration if you need help. Finally, if you would like to go to the Alumni luncheon at the conference, email Adam Kuban (ajkuban@iastate.edu).

Forecast Contest Updates
AMS Iowa: Jeremy just got internet at his new places, so the scores will be posted in the next day or two. Otherwise, there is nothing else to report.

NCWFC: For those that are part of the forecast contest, look for an email from Janet about the scores from Kansas City, MO. The next city is our test period in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Email Janet (thatsme@iastate.edu) if you would like to opt-out, but as of the meeting, only 7 opt-out spots are left. Opt-outs need to be into Janet by Thursday night.

Fund-raiser
We are finally ready to start our fundraiser. We will be selling hot chocolate on the North-West corner of Agronomy and North of that corner. The hot chocolate will cost $0.50. The next step is to set up a schedule. Look for an email from Janet showing the schedule that we have as of this time. Please email Janet (thatsme@iastate.edu) if you would like to help.

Social Events
Spring Break Trip: This year, we will be going to Huston, TX. If you are interesting in going on this trip, email Liz White (edw@iastate.edu) for more information. On this trip, there will be many great tours like NASA. We are planning to go tubing at Seven Oaks sometime in the near future. Look for an email from Elise about when we will be going and how much this event will cost.

If you signed up for intramural bowling, look for an email from Elise about what time and day we will bowl.

Elise will send out an email soon about upcoming intramural sports.

We have decided to put together a list of people who would be interested in storm chasing. If you would like to be put on the storm chasing list, email Elise Johnson(elisevj@iastate.edu) or Heather Moser (miraje@iastate.edu) with you name, email, phone number, and if you would be willing to drive.

Cy's Eyes on the Skies Update
Our numbers have been small, so please come join us! Email Elise Johnson (elisevj@iastate.edu) or Kari Kozak (kkozak@iastate.edu) if you would like to join. Remember, you don't have to be on air! You can work behind the scenes as well.

Regents Day
This event will take place Feb 15th at the Capital. It's like Club Fest for Iowa Politicians. If you are interested in helping us present our wonderful group to Iowa Legislators, sign up over email with Candice Sorensen (csorens@iastate.edu).

2005 AMS Annual Meeting Presentation
The students that went to the AMS meeting in San Diego gave a presentation about their experience in San Diego. They highlighted the Student Conference, Weatherfest, Poster Presentations, Exhibits, Assistantships, and much more! We also passed out some National AMS Membership applications (to apply online, visit http://www.ametsoc.org/MEMB/APPS/2005apps/2005_member_app.pdf ). If you would like to have our chapter pay for postage, pick up (in the AMS mailbox in the office) or print out an application and turn it into the AMS mailbox by February 11th. If you have any questions, feel free to email any of the officers.

Summer Conference Presentation (NCAR/UCAR)
Kira Shonkwiler gave a presentation on her experience at the NCAR/UCAR Undergraduate Experience. She highlighted trips she took, activities she participated in, who she met, and much more. Kira also told us why this is such a great experience. If you would like more information, feel free to email Kira (keyrah@iastate.edu). For more information, you can also go to www.ucar.edu/educ_outreach/ulw.

Storm Spotter Training
We, along with the Nation Weather Service, will be hosting the Storm Spotter Training on March 2nd at 8:30 in 2050 Agronomy Hall. Email Heather Moser if you have any questions.

Apparel
We will be putting in another clothing order soon. More information will be given about ordering and new shirt designs through email.

2005-2006 Officer Nominations Introduction
Our meeting next month will be when nominations for next years officers will take place. Look at our site (www.meteor.iastate.edu/ams ) for officer positions and what is entitled for each position. We will then vote at our last meeting in April. Please make sure that you come to the April meeting so that we can have the majority vote. If you have any questions, please feel free to email any of the officers.

Spring 2005 Events
Thursday, February 17th, 7:00-9:00 p.m. à Roosevelt Elementary Science Night
Wednesday, March 2nd, 8:30 p.m. à 2005 Severe Storm Spotter Training

Next Meeting: Tuesday March 1st, 7:30 p.m., 3128 Agronomy

Weather Wow!
So I decided to change our little Weather Segment of Fun to Weather Wow! Here is this months Weather Wow!

So, since we signed up for the storm spotter list, I thought this was interesting, In 1990, Cotulla, TX reported 97 mph wind gusts! Baylor University also reported damage of 8 light poles being knocked over by the winds! See, it's not too early to think of storm chasing!---Janet Schenck.


KANSAS UNIVERSITY

The first meeting of KU AMS for the semester was February 10, 2005.

After eating pizza and watching storm footage we got to the agenda:

  1. We will be having a table set up in front of Wescoe Hall during Severe Weather week (March 14-18) to hand out severe weather pamplets and possibly other goodies.

    - We are taking volunteers to help out at the table. The sign-up sheet is in the Weather Lab (Room 405, Lindley).
    - We will also make posters to advertise Severe Weather Week on March 10, time and place TBA.

  2. We will have a social activity sometime during Severe Weather Week, so be watching for that e-mail.

  3. We have allocated money by University Events Committee, which still needs to pass full Senate next week. This money will be used for general supplies in the Weather lab and supplies for Severe Weather Week.

  4. Volunteers are wanted for KIDSCI (an after school science program for 3rd & 4th grade students in Lawrence). Volunteers would assist the students in making a science craft or experiment. If interested email Alex Perkins -- aperkins@ku.edu.

  5. The next meeting will be February 24th....Watch for an email on time and place.---Ashley VanAsdale.

NORTH FLORIDA

General Meeting Minutes
February 24, 2005

President Chris Bennett called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. The following executive members were present: President: Chris Bennett, Vice -President: Geoff Wagner, Treasurer: Cerese Albers, Secretary: Robert Banks, and Past-President: Clark Evans. Approximately 35 members were present including the executive board. The meeting began with Chris opening the meeting with an overview and the announcement of officer nominations. Chris also mentioned a couple of fundraising events that the chapter will be participating in over the next couple of months. One is a possible par-3 golf tournament at Cross Creek in Tallahassee and the other fundraiser is selling magazines for ESPN. The ESPN fundraiser looks to be a great opportunity for the chapter to increase it's funds.

Officer Nominations
President Chris Bennett opened up the floor for any nominations for the 2005-2006 executive board. All nominations had to be seconded and accepted by the nominee. As of this meeting all nominees for each position are running unopposed. The nominees are as follows:

President: Pat Taylor, Vice-President: Geoff Wagner, nominated by Clark Evans, Treasurer: Cerese Albers, self-nominated, Secretary: Michelle, Sci. Ed: Billy Chris announced that nominations will be opened up again right before the elections at the March general meeting and the new executive board will be announced at the annual banquet in April.

Treasurers Report
Treasurer Cerese Albers gave the current financial status of the chapter and made a few announcements about current and past membership committee meetings. The current amount in the chapter account is approximately $400 but the ESPN fundraiser should increase this amount in the next few months. The membership is currently 60 active members and this number may increase after some community outreach events planned for this year. The last meeting of the membership committee was Thursday, February 11 and the next meeting will be in approximately 2 weeks.

Program Committee Update

Vice-President Geoff Wagner told the chapter that the polo shirts that were supposed to be in for this meeting will not be available for another week or so. Also, he and his committee are organizing a Halo/NCAA XBOX tournament fundraiser to be held at the Love Building and the date is TBD. The GA Tech tailgate had a small turnout but it was still a fun event for the chapter. Geoff announced current, up to date banquet information including date and speaker. The date and location is Thursday, April 7 and it will be hosted at The Silver Slipper Restaurant. Ticket prices and on sale information will be coming up soon. The guest speaker for the banquet will be Paul Kocin, storm expert for The Weather Channel in Atlanta, GA.

Report from Science and Education Committee

Past-President Clark Evans gave a brief synopsis of what occurred at his last committee meeting. Clark's committee has set Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week as the days for visiting schools on a regular basis. Contact Clark Evans at acevans@met.fsu.edu if you would like to participate. Clark's newest outreach expedition is to help with a K-5 integrated weather program sponsored by Hewlett-Packard. WCTV Channel 6 and the chapter will be holding a community weather day sometime mid-late summer and more details will be announced soon. Also, Clark mentioned that science fair season is in late May so he will need plenty of volunteers to be judges.

Featured Speaker - Dr. Jim O'Brien of COAPS and FSU

Vice-President Geoff Wagner announced that our speaker tonight would be Dr. James J. O'Brien, director of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies and Robert O. Lawton distinguished professor of meteorology and oceanography at FSU. Dr. O'Brien gave an interesting talk of his passion, ENSO, and its effects on a wide range of issues from agriculture to hurricanes.

Next Meeting

Tentatively set for Tuesday March 15, 2005.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

The above minutes are a true and correct reflection of the February 24, 2005 meeting.---Robert Banks.


OMAHA-OFFUTT

The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS held its February meeting on February 9, 2005, at Bellevue West High School, in conjunction with career night. Pizza and pop were available for the 18 members and 4 guests in attendance.

At 6:19 PM chapter President Jeremy Wesely called the business meeting to order.

Recording Secretary John Roth read the minutes from the January meeting. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Bill Courtemanche and seconded by Gordon Brooks, and the minutes were accepted.

Treasurer Karen Harder-Sittel presented the treasurer's report. The total paid memberships for the year was up to 51.

Vice President Matt Sittel announced that Joe Hanser, winner of the December forecast contest, got his pizza for free. He then announced the results of January's forecast contest. John Pollack was the overall winner, but was not in attendance, so he would get his coupon at the next meeting.

Old business:
None.

New business:
Phil Johnson asked for volunteers to work three upcoming science fairs, Metro Omaha, Greater Nebraska, and Iowa State. He also mentioned the need for prizes. He motioned that the chapter spend a certain amount on prizes for science fairs. The motion was seconded, voted on, and passed. A discussion followed about what kind of prizes should be procured. John Zapotocny moved that at least one weather radio be included among the prizes. The motion was modified to indicate one weather radio as a prize for each science fair, with books as the other prizes; members could provide inputs to Phil, who would be in charge of procuring the prize items. The modified motion was voted on and passed.

Announcements:
Gordon Brooks announced the kickoff meeting for Weather Explorers Post #999 would be held February 24. He had sent about 170 letters to area students to explain the Explorers Post mission, and to announce the AMS chapter's career night.

Jeremy announced the remaining meetings scheduled for this year. The March meeting would be the evening of March 18, with tornado researcher/chaser Tim Samaras as the scheduled guest speaker. The April meeting would be held in conjunction with Air Force Weather Agency's Heritage Luncheon, and would also commemorate the chapter's fiftieth anniversary. The May meeting would be the annual members' meeting. And details had been worked out to have Dr. Roger Wakimoto speak at a special chapter meeting on June 1st.
The Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium is scheduled for Saturday March 19 in Lincoln. The chapter plans on having a booth there.

With no more business, a motion to adjourn the business meeting was made by Matt Sittel and seconded by John Roth, and the business meeting was adjourned at 6:32 PM.


Following the business meeting was Weather Career Night, sponsored by the chapter's education committee. It consisted of panelists from a variety of weather-related career fields, speaking to students about careers in meteorology. Panelists for the evening were Bryce Anderson, chief agricultural meteorologist and market analyst at DTN Corporation in Omaha; Capt José Harris, weather officer at Air Force Weather Agency at Offutt AFB; Ryan McPike, Chief Meteorologist at KMTV television in Omaha; Daniel Nietfeld, Science & Operations Officer at the National Weather Service in Valley; and Dr. Matthew Parker, research professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Each panelist described characteristics of careers in his own field, including educational requirements, work hours, salary expectations, travel opportunities, etc. A question and answer session followed. Approximately 60 guests were in attendance.



Door prizes were given away to students present, including a weather radio, two field guide weather books, and two Nebraskaland magazines.---John Roth.


PACKERLAND

Meeting Minutes-February 17, 2005

Rich Mamrosh, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Green Bay, presented "A New Way of Gathering Weather Forecast Data from Aircraft" to an enthusiastic group of about 100 PCAMS members and students gathered at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay Christie Theater.

The following is a brief summary of Mr. Mamrosh's presentation:

The first airborne weather observations began in 1919, with pilots of open cockpit biplanes attempting to climb to as high an altitude as possible to obtain readings. Radiosonde balloons were developed in the 1940's. These balloons carried an instrument package capable of transmitting data back to the ground station. They are still used today from selected locations, such as Green Bay.

The Great Lakes Fleet Experiment (GLFE) is a 6-12 month effort to use data obtained from a specially designed sensor unit called "TAMDAR", which is installed on 64 Mesaba Airlines Saab 340 turboprop aircraft. 900 aircraft soundings are received per day, which provide forecasters with 8 times as much data as from previous sources.

The GLFE provides a potential to significantly improve weather forecasts. The data received will have numerous applications. Go to www.airdat.com to see more information on the system, and view the raw data.

The presentation concluded with an informative question and answer session. Rich was presented with an AMS coffee mug for his efforts.

In local chapter business, the officers in attendance were introduced by Steve Meyer. The next PCAMS meeting is March 10th, with a presentation on tsunami's scheduled.---Dale Walker.


SOUTHEAST ARIZONA

Summary of February 10th, 2005 SEACAMS Meeting

The second meeting of the 2005 year of the Southeast Arizona Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was attended by 15 members and guest on the University of Arizona campus. Our guest speaker was Dr. Yossi Leshem, a professor of Zoology at Tel Aviv University and the director of the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration at Laturn. His talk focused on the very prevalent, but not widely known, problem of birdstrike-bird and aircraft collisions. The research he has conducted to relieve this widespread problem in the Israel area has direct ties into meteorological aspects of bird migration.

Dr. Leshem put migrating birds into two main categories-active birds, the small flyers, and soaring birds, the large birds that soar along thermals. At 16.9 types of bird species per thousand square kilometers, Israel has the largest bird species variation of anywhere in the world. The next closest in number of species per thousand square kilometers was only two, showing just how immense the bird population is in Israel. There is also a large presence of military aircraft with the constant unrest in the Middle East. With all these aircrafts in the air and the enormous numbers of migrating birds, birdstrike is a huge problem. Many deaths and millions upon millions of dollars have been caused by birdstrike. The number of collisions with birds is highest at night, when the active birds make a lot of their journey, but the maximum costs from birdstrike have been during the day when collisions take place with the large, soaring birds. More than 3847 bird/aircraft collisions have occurred over Israel over the past 30 years, some of which caused complete aircraft destruction, crashes, and death.

Soaring birds flock and fly together because this is the easiest ways to find thermals. The thermals themselves are dependent upon weather conditions and land surface characteristics. Radar can easily pick up on these large areas of birds and monitor their migratory patterns. The Israeli Air Force set up a network of three radars to monitor the bird migratory patterns. Over the years a pattern has been established and bird plagued zones were mapped out for the Air Force. This has lead to a dramatic reduction in birdstrike. Currently a weather/bird radar network is being set up in the Middle East and all information will be linked and available across the area.

The website the Dr. Leshem maintains is: http://www.birds.org.il/ . Please see this site for additional information.---Dawn Fishler.


TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Tuesday, February, 1st 2005 meeting at Texas A&M Universtiy.

President Zachary Glenn welcomed the group back from the winter break and to a fun filled semester.

Vice President Justin Horne spoke about up coming trip to the NSSL which will be March 24-25th. He also spoke about being a part of Big Event (April 16th) and our annual trip to Texas Adopt-A-Beach (April 23rd).

Secretary Roger Gass gave a recap on the last semesters meetings and told everyone to check on the website ( http://www.met.tamu.edu/TAMSCAMS ) for updates.

Treasure Brady Taylor spoke about our new shirts and the new TAMMSSDA shirts as well.

Social Chair Keri Turner spoke about intramurals and being a part of Aggieland Saturday (February 26th).

Shane and Jennifer spoke about there TAMMSSDA shirts as well, and informed the members about the TESSA conference that will be held in Dallas/Fort Worth area.

We also talked about student AMS membership, and how to sign up for our new Texas A&M Meteorology Polo's. In addition, the Geosciences Student Association's meeting was announced and the need for help at the College of Geosciences Career Fair which will take place on Tuesday, March 8th.

Zach then introduced our guest speaker Dr. David Gold from Silver Lining Tours. He then gave a presentation on storm chasing and showed personal footage of some of his 2004 chasing year.

We announced that Dr. Carey needed 3 volunteers to help make up a severe storms exam.

After our speaker and general business, the members went up to the 12th floor for pizza and social time.---Roger Gass.


TWIN CITIES

The February 2005 meeting of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was held on February 22 at O'Shaughnessy Hall on the campus of St. Thomas University. We started the meeting by discussing upcoming science fairs and our presence at them. We will have judges at the Twin Cities Science Fair on February 25, Junior/Senior Regional Science Fair on March 5 and the Elementary Regional Science Fair April 23, both at Minnesota State University, Mankato. We will continue our tradition of recognizing the most meteorologically-oriented display with a small award.

The winners of our chapter's weather forecast contest were announced: Shelby Winiecki won for the December 2004 snowfall prediction (guess: 1.4 inches, actual: 2.0 inches [pretty sad for the Twin Cities]), and although Jim Block and Lori Bovitz tied for the low temperature on January 1 (guesses: 13 deg F, actual: 13 deg F), Jim won the tiebreaker of number of days in January with a high of at least 22 deg F (guess: 20 actual: 20). They will be presented with token awards and a ceremonial pat on the back.

President Rich spoke of our recent outreach efforts at the Government Expo at the Mall of America, at the Eden Prairie High School Science Fest. Member and WFO hydrologist Steve Buan gave a presentation and handed out AMS fliers to a large number of Minnesota science teachers in early February. We hope all this outreach bears fruit. We already have two possibilities for next year's speaker lineup and membership from recent outreach efforts.

Our main speaker of the evening was Todd Krause, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Twin Cities WFO. Before he spoke, though, we were fortunate to hear from Mike Looney, Acting Deputy Directory of the NWS's Central Regional, who was in town to brief some WFOs on the Warning Polygon Verification Project. Mike discussed the reasons for the change in warning strategy: more computing power with AWIPS and a better understanding of storm structure and evolution. He presented results of studies showing how issuing tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings via polygons would have yielded more warnings issued, but lower false-alarm ratios, than the traditional whole-county warnings. The polygon model is more flexible for the forecaster issuing the warning; they can issue a warning for an area corresponding to a time for which the threat is valid. After his presentation, Mike answered a few questions from chapter members about this project.

The second half of the evening's double feature was Todd's abbreviated storm spotter talk with an emphasis on the importance of the rear-flank downdraft (RFD). He first answered the question as to why we still need spotters despite advances in technology and science: despite the advances in technology and science, they do have limitations, and the need for ground-truth verification is a very crucial part of the warning process.

For years, storm spotters have been told that when clear or sunny skies are seen, it does not bode well for tornado formation. Todd showed by diagrams and by video how the RFD can be crucial for the formation of a tornado. The problem is to recognizing the RFD; one clue is to watch for dust as the RFD reaches the ground and rotates counterclockwise about the storm. He also emphasized that when spotting storms, spotters should keep their minds open, look around, and watch for changes in the storm. Todd answered a few questions after his presentation.

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 22, in conjunction with the Ninth Annual Northern Plains Convective Workshop, which is being hosted by the Twin Cities WFO. Our featured speaker will be Dr. Jon Davies, noted researcher, storm chaser, and author of papers on near-storm environments. The meeting and presentation will be held in the 3M Auditorium of the Owens Science Hall at the University of St. Thomas. ---Chris Bovitz.


UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

Thursday, February 24, 2005
4:00 P.M. INSCC 490

*Eric Crossman gave us an update on the educational outreach program. The remaining opportunities to help with this program at this point are March 10 and April 22.

*AMS t-shirts are almost gone. T-shirt designs for the 2002-03 & 2003-05 school years can be purchased for $5. T-shirt designs for the 2004-05 year are $10.

*We disscussed the upcoming photo contest and how we need to go about placing advertisements around campus. The overall deadline for pictures to be turned in is March 31.---Maura Hahnenberger.


 



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