Chapter News
February 2009


Meeting date: 2/10/09


Meeting in Session: 9:02pm

Meeting Adjourned: 10 pm

Presidents Report: We will be sending a sign up sheet for conferences next week.

There have been complaints about meetings every other week, so we can vote tonight on whether or not to change it back to the way it was before-every week.

Vice President’s Report: Overview of committees.

Committee reports:

Public relations: Discussed different schools to present to, the fliers on the tables at the cafeteria, snow spray paint to advertise, Rock the mall in the spring is a good volunteer opportunity.

Conferences: Next week we will have sign up sheets for Iowa and Valparaiso conferences. We will need a deposit for Iowa soon.

Activities: We are planning a dinner at La Senioritas next Friday the 20th.  Bowling was fun last week! We are looking into a Buffalo Wild Wings dinner night.

Jobs/internships: New postings are available.

Fundraising: Considering a La Senioritas fundraiser and a Buffalo Wild Winds fundraiser. 

Treasurer’s Report: Discussed the checking’s and savings accounts. Please pay your dues for this semester! The cost is 10 dollars per semester or 15 dollars per year.

Secretary’s Report: I am making the final attendance sheet next week. Please make sure you are on it when I send the list around and make any corrections

OPEN FLOOR: We voted to make meetings every Tuesday instead of every other Tuesday.


Meeting date: 2/17/09

Meeting in Session: 9:01pm

Meeting Adjourned: 9:32pm

Presidents Report: DTX field trip will be scheduled on a Friday or Saturday. Summer job fair is coming up!

Vice President’s Report:  Committees

Committee reports:

Public relations: We will be putting up posters to advertise tutoring and the club. We also are looking into doing a presentation at West Midland Family Center. We are going to be listed on the table tents in the cafeterias. Relay for life is coming up and we should participate in it in order to get publicity, volunteer, and network.

Conferences: Sign up sheets for Valparaiso Indiana conference and Iowa conference are going around. Deposit for Iowa due next week.

Activities: Sunday the SAC lock in is from 11-3 am. Friday we will be having dinner at La Senioritas. We will be attending the fundraiser at buffalo wild wings March 4th.

Jobs/internships: Baxter has posted some opportunities on the board and Morris posted the information about Career Services.

Fundraising: Buffalo Wild Wings on March 4 is our next fundraising event-we will gain 20% of the profit. Bring friends!

Treasurer’s Report: Bottles were returned, checking was 113.31 and savings was $2,781.

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: I will request funding as soon as the Iowa list is in!

Webmaster: Website is up and running. We will need funding to help out. We also need Webcam moderators-Cort and Chase possibly will take care or this.

OPEN FLOOR:  Lengthen committee time by 5 minutes. Sign up for SKYWARN!


Meeting date: 2/25/09

Meeting in Session: 9:03pm

Meeting Adjourned: 10:34pm

Presidents Report:

Blood drive is coming up. Representative from the CIA is coming to CMU.

Vice President’s Report:  Committees

Committee reports:

Public relations: We want to vote on using the pop cans as donations for relay for life. We have the table tents set up. Tutoring signs will be hung up in DOW. Rock the mall is still pending because Midland mall did not want to host it. Finally, we still have yet to choose an elementary school.

Conferences: Iowa money is due: $25.00.  You may still sign up for Valparaiso, IN conference.

Activities: Buffalo wild wings fundraiser still in effect for Wednesday. Possible sledding event next big snow.

Jobs/internships: More jobs/internships will be posted.

Fundraising: Buffalo Wild Wings on March 4 is our next fundraising event-we will gain 20% of the profit. Bring friends! We want to do campus survey fundraiser.

Treasurer’s Report: $15.30 in pop bottles was raised.  We paid some money to renew the website. We have $112.61 in our checkings and $2,781.80 in Savings. SCAMS will match all funds raised by pop bottles.

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: A letter to the president of the school was debated. Let me know your thoughts on the letter.

Webmaster: Website is up and running.

OPEN FLOOR:  Voted for the pop cans to be donated to Relay for Life.---Megan Babich.




Monthly Meeting Minutes

February 19, 2009

The fifth 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.  21 people were in attendance.   

Vice-President Mike Gravier introduced the night’s speaker, Dr. Michael J. Gravier, C.T.L., Associate Professor of Marketing at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  His topic was titled, “Natural Disaster Impacts on Supply Chains”. 

Dr. Gravier began the presentation noting that he is a specialist in “supply chain management” (SCM), which links marketing, advertising, and transportation to get products to consumers.  He realized that weather issues and natural disasters have the ability to cause significant financial problems and disruptions to the supply chain, and he began researching how to study the effects.  As there are a large number of potential disruptions available to study, Dr. Gravier decided to limit his focus to a manageable scale, choosing to research the effects of weather. 

To give the group an overview of why SCM is important and how it can depend on weather, Dr. Gravier discussed cell phones as an example of a complex product.  Cell phones are technologically complicated and consist of many different parts (shell, memory chips, case, microphone, etc).  Amazingly, on the circuit board alone, 25% of all natural elements are represented.  To create the cell phone, all of these elements must be brought together, and some, like tantalum (Brazil, Zaire, Australia), are only found in limited regions of the world.  If a natural disaster occurs in one of these regions, the availability of tantalum may decrease, causing a significant increase in prices in tantalum, and therefore an increase in the price of cell phones. 

The model supply chain describes the participants involved in getting goods to the market.  A product begins with the raw materials that are given to the manufacturer.  The manufacturer passes goods to the wholesaler/assembler, which then passes to the retailer, and finally to the consumer.  The supply chain is complex, as all of the parties are constantly dealing, changing, and competing.  SCM focuses on the flow of products and services, information, and the finances between all of these participants and the complexities in the chain.  Increasing the efficiency of the flow can help bring more to the consumer and decrease the costs.  As an example of these complexities, Dr. Gravier showed the process of getting computer memory from the raw materials stage (in Taiwan) to the consumer (in the United States).  This example demonstrated that there is a large international aspect to the supply chain. 

Dr. Gravier presented data that he is using in his research to help analyze some of the weather related impacts on SCM.  From 1980 to 2008, the number of international natural disasters (including droughts, famine, floods, storms, geological, and “mass movement”) has generally increased.  While the number of people affected has varied, the cost of natural disasters has also generally increased.  It is unclear if there are really more natural disasters occurring, but Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate predictions include more risk of drought, increase chances of intense precipitation/flooding, more severe tropical cyclones, and increased risk of longer lasting heat in the future. 

The impact of weather on supply chains is clear when realizing that each level of the supply chain adds costs.  Manufacturers, called the “channel captains” due to their large impact and size, add between 60% and 70% of the cost of the final product.  Retailers are relatively small but more numerous, and have the highest margins.  Dr. Gravier showed an example where there are 898 manufacturers, 13, 732 wholesalers, 46,742 retailers, and over 100 million households.   In this example, if a natural disaster destroys a single manufacturer, about 100,000 households will be affected.  Additionally, it may take significant time to rebuild that manufacturer. 

In the SCM field, specialists attempt to convert uncertainty, which is not quantified, to risk, which describes the probability of an outcome and the quantified loss associated with that outcome.  If uncertainty can be quantified and turned to risk, then the risk can begin to be managed.  Weather and natural disasters are often examples of uncertainty.  Dr. Gravier noted that his research involves evaluating this “cause-effect relationship between types of disasters and different performance outcomes in the supply chain”.  

Mike Gravier thanked Dr. Gravier for speaking to the chapter and presented him with a chapter coffee mug.  The next meeting is scheduled for March 19th at the EPA Fluid Modeling Facility.  The host will be Steven G. Perry of the Atmospheric Modeling and Assessment Division of the National Exposure Research Laboratory at the EPA.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:05.---Ryan Cleary.



Meeting Minutes

17 February, 2009

President Schwedler called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM.  He welcomed all who were present to the meeting.

President Schwedler

  1. Basic:  Thursday, 05 March at 6:30 pm—Extension 4-H building; west of Frederiksen Ct., 13th & Stange.
  2. Advanced:  Monday, 06 April at 7 PM—2050 Agronomy Hall

We’ll send out more information on these two training sessions.

Vice President Deppe

Miscellaneous Subjects

Treasurer Karsten

Make checks payable to “ISU AMS,” and make sure your name and address is on it (especially if paid with cash, write them on an envelope).

Sophomore Chair Minniear

        1) Co-Ed volleyball—Registration starts on 23 February, and ends on 4 March.

        2) Slow Pitch Softball—Registration starts on 23 February, and ends on 4 March.

        3) Broomball ($40/team)—Registration starts on 25 February, and ends on 11 March.

Social Chair Hoffman

Academic Chair Prentice

Past President Hobbs

Cy’s Eyes on the Skies

Historian Witter

Outreach Chair Rabideau

President Schwedler then adjourned the meeting and was ended at 8:43 PM.---Justin Schultz.




February 4, 2009 General Business Meeting

Attendance: 49 (Including Executive Board)

Start Time: 7:03pm

              The Lyndon State College AMS & NWA welcomed back its members to another exciting semester by holding a General Business Meeting.  An Open Executive Board Meeting was held prior at 6:00pm. President Hayley LaPoint first recognized members of the club who attended the National AMS Conference held in Phoenix. Those members who received a stipend from the club discussed their upcoming presentation to SGA (student government association) as a thank you for funds. Hayley then moved on to our Northeastern Storm Conference.  The agendas for the conference are currently being finalized and will be available to members soon.  She reminded members of attire, car pooling process and room selections and ask for those to be finalize within the next week.  Next was to give the dates for two guest speakers that will be coming to campus. The first will be Tuesday March 3rd and will focus on Broadcasting and severe weather. The second speaker will be presenting sometime the end of March and details will be announced at the March General Business Meeting.  The president then finished his portion by informing the members that AMS Officer Elections would be held during the second week of April.

              Vice President Josh Redinger discussed the AMS registration process to the active members of the club.  He explained the online registration process and the deadlines that had to be met for the AMS members.

              Secretary Kaitlyn Jacobs informed the club of bulletin board updates, including an active member list and the last event to earn events at, the winter ball. She encouraged all members who have not yet met active member status to help out with this event.

              Treasurer Tony McGee informed the club about the prices for active members who registered for the Northeast Storm Conference.  If anyone was experiencing financial issues in registering for the conference, they should see Tony immediately.  He also discussed Budgeting for the 2009-2010 school year.

              Ryan Long, our Public Relations Director, reiterated that members should come to the winter ball and help out as much as possible.  Ryan then thanked all the members for their hard work during all the fundraising events. 

              Community Outreach Officer Rich Maliawco informed the club about an Outreach Meeting that would be taking place after the Northeastern Storm Conference.   The meeting would be for organizing and helping out with the Science Fair and discussing school visits and skywarn that will be occurring in the month of April.

              Historian Joe Ditammaso quickly informed the club that the NESC slideshow and poster was coming together nicely.  He also discussed the Alumni newsletter will be going out the end of the semester.

              The AMS then conducted an 8th Person Award vote.  The nominees were Kevin Kelley, Garrett Combs, and Ben Sisskind.  Each spoke about their contributions to the club over the past two months.  A vote was conducted, and Garrett Combs won the award.

              The LSC-AMS & NWA then concluded the General Business Meeting with a candy raffle.

              End Time: 7:41pm---Kaitlyn Jacobs.         



Meeting Type: General Assembly

Meeting Date: February 18, 2009

Attendance: 50

Meeting in Session: 8:29 pm

Introduction (President Jim Kurdzo)

Speaker Paul Kocin: “Winter Storms in Southeastern Pennsylvania”

Meeting out of Session: 9:45 pm

Meeting Type: General Assembly

Meeting Date: February 25, 2009

Attendance: 40

Meeting in Session: 8:29 pm

Introduction (President Jim Kurdzo)

Budget Report (Treasurer Joe Moore)

Speaker: Dr. Charles A. Doswell III “A Retrospective Look at the Relationship between Academic Achievement and a Professional Career as a Scientist”

Meeting out of Session: 9:46 pm---Samantha McGraw.



February Executive Meeting Minutes 2/23/09.

Annual Banquet 2/24/09.---John Smith.



February 17th 2009


President Greg Story called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm. Greg reminded everyone that Stanley is still collecting dues. He also reminded the member of Al Moller’s retirement party that was being held that Friday February 20th.

Stanley gave a treasures report. Stanley also gave a report on the Fort Worth Science Fair. Tracy Burns, Bernard Meisner and Stanley were judges. The Dallas Science Fair will be held on February 28th.

The month of March is CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network) March Madness; they would like to see who can get the most new members in the month of March.

Greg asked if there was anyone else interested in running for Vice-president. Greg Higgins had said that he was interested.  No one else expressed an interested, there was a vote taken and Greg Higgins is the new vice-president.

Reminder that the Texas Severe Storms Conference will be held on Saturday March 14, 2009 at the Colleyville Center in Colleyville, Texas, 9:00 – 5:00 pm. The conference is free, open to the public, and will feature a number of presentations on severe weather including the annual Super Storm Spotter training session. This year’s presenters include Gary Woodall, Chris Novy, Jonathan Finch, Tim Marshall, Dr. Charles Doswell and Les R. Lemon. It was also announce the creation of the TESSA Alan R. Moller Severe Weather Education and Research College Scholarship in the amount of $500.  Complete details are available at:   

Supporting our troops, after the meeting we passed around St Patrick and Easter cards for members to sign. We will send them to the 14 soldiers that we have adopted.  Thank you to members who brought in items for the care packages, remember this is an ongoing project so please bring in items we can send to them.  Some suggested items, puzzle books, tuna in the foil packages in water, single packages of drink mixes, (this is apparently a very popular item. I found some gator-aid) car magazines, sunflower seeds, coffee, breakfast bars. The Fort Worth Emergency management office has donated some of the Knowhat2do decks of playing cards for us to include in the packages.

Nick Hampshire, gave an interesting presentation on A Meteorological Review of the 6 March 2008 Convective Snow Event. Nick talked about what all the factors (including the deformation zone and frontogenesis) that came together last March for our snow event.

The March AMS/NWA meeting will be held on Tuesday March 17, 2009.  Our speaker will be Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist, Texas A&M University, His topic will be “Texas Climate Change: Past vs. Future” The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM. The meeting will be held at the NWS West Gulf River Forecast Center/WFO Fort Worth/Dallas, 3401 Northern Cross Blvd.

John Nielsen-Gammon holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a brief period as a researcher at the State University of New York at Albany, he joined the faculty at Texas A&M University in 1991. He was appointed Texas State Climatologist by Governor George W. Bush in 2000. He became Acting Executive Associate Dean for the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M in September 2008.

Dr. Nielsen-Gammon’s weather-related research involves studies of such phenomena as jet streams, extreme rainfall events, and coastal circulation systems. His air quality research includes field forecasting support, numerical simulation, and diagnostic analysis of ozone events in Houston and Dallas for the Texas Air Quality Studies in 2000 and 2005-2006. Since becoming Texas State Climatologist in 2000, Dr. Nielsen-Gammon has worked on drought monitoring and forecasting, air pollution climatology, and improvements to the climate data record. He teaches courses in weather analysis, weather forecasting, and atmospheric dynamics.

Dr. Nielsen-Gammon was named a Presidential Faculty Fellow by the National Science Foundation and the White House in 1996, and has also received a Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching at Texas A&M University from the Association of Former Students.---Bobette Mauck.



February Meeting Minutes.---Ross Kimes.



February 13, 2009

Guest Speaker Dr. Yvette Richardson, Penn State Department of Meteorology

Item 1

Chapter president Evan Kuchera informed the chapter that there are a variety of volunteer opportunities for chapter members looking to get more involved.  Sign up sheets are available for several different science fairs, participation in Weather Explorer Post, and upcoming weather radio programming events.

Item 2

Chapter president Evan Kuchera announced that the chapter would be holding officer elections for those looking to run.  Multiple officers will be stepping down as a result of term limits, so a few new chapter members will be required to fill the vacancies.

Item 3

The March meeting will be the student presentation contests, the time and location are yet to be set, but the meeting will most likely be somewhere between March 9 and 13th, and probably at the Valentino’s buffet just east of 108th and Maple in Omaha.

Item 4

The announcement was made that a volunteer is still needed for Weather Explorer Post, as the current leader Derrick Herndon will be moving and will no longer be able to run it.

Item 5

Chapter treasurer Becky Selin gave the chapter the account summary:

Total Account: $1987.85 with 51 total chapter members.

No announcements were received from the floor.

Guest speaker Dr. Yvette Richardson entertained the chapter after the meal with a presentation on Tornadogenesis, lessons learned from VORTEX (Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment) and preparations for VORTEX II.---Scott Rentschler.



The Oregon AMS held its February meeting at Stark Street Pizza in NE Portland.  We conducted a "Weather Sampler" where any one can come talk weather.  Several members presented at the meeting.  Steve Pierce, one of the councilors on our board presented some interesting data on PDO.  Charles Dalton from the Portland NWS office presented on CoCoRaHS, the co-op program that is looking at measuring precipitation all across the US.  Kyle Dittmer recapped the all day weather conference held in the Columbia River Gorge that focused on the economic side of climate change.  Phil Welke complied a list of terms that he believes that should not be used by TV weather people.  He took suggestions for other terms that should be used.  Bobby Corser took that list and shared it with the local tv weather community.  Charlie Feris, retired BPA meteorologist presented his maps on temperature contours around the Portland Metro area.  Charlie's work on temperature contours have been used by the Oregon AMS in our "Temp Treks" over the last few years.---Bobby Corser.


Meeting Minutes: February 12, 2009

Weather and Aviation

Gary Austin, Chapter Officer-At -Large and Meteorologist In Charge at the local National Weather Service office welcomed 10 members and 44 guests to our meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay's Mary Ann Cofrin Hall.

Business Meeting

Dues reminder: $15 per year; $5 for college students and free to younger students) Members receive our quarterly newsletter and advance notice of meetings and events.

Next Meeting: March 11 , 2009 - 7:00 pm -- "Predicting Space Weather"  with our Treasurer, Peg Zenko. This is a joint meeting with the Neville Public Museum Astronomical Society.

Education: Weather and Aviation by Rich Mamrosh, Sr. Aviation Weather Forecaster, NOAA's National Weather Service, Green Bay, WI Office,

The Past

Weather and Aviation have been linked from the beginning. The Wright brothers consulted the Weather Bureau (forerunner to the National Weather Service) to find the optimal location for their initial manned flight near Kitty Hawk in 1903. Mr. Mamrosh shared a list of many highlights in aviation weather history.

Some Important Events in the Relationship Between Aviation and Weather:

1904: The Weather  Bureau begins using airplane attached instruments to monitor the upper atmosphere

1911: The first transcontinental airplane flight, from New York City to Pasadena, California, by C.P. Rogers, in 87 hours and 4 minutes, air time, over a period of 18 days.

1914: An aerological section is established to support the growing airplane usage.

1918: Bulletins and alerts for military and new air mail routes begin

1922: Regular monitoring of the atmosphere at 10,000 feet are going on. Pilots are paid a bonus for altitudes above 13,000 feet, causing some to push their limits, black out and crash.

1926:  The Air Commerce Act directs the Weather Bureau to support civilian aviation.

1927: Lindbergh completes the first trans-Atlantic flight, despite the fact he did not wait for a Weather Bureau report that suggested delaying take off by 12 hours. The correctly predicted ran and fog caused significant problems in the beginning hours of his flight.

1937 : The first official balloon radiosonde program begins. Able to reach altitudes of 50,000 feet, this and the fact that 12 pilots were killed this year in monitoring missions effectively eliminates the aircraft sounding program.

1942:  The U. S. Navy gives the Weather Bureau 25 surplus aircraft radars to be modified for ground meteorological use,launching the weather radar system.

1950: First numerical weather predictions for aviation issued

1960:  World's first weather satellite, TIROS I, launched from Cape Canaveral, FL.

The Present

By 1994 automated weather forecasts are at most U. S. airports, and today, advanced avionics on planes and at larger airports allow landings by commercial and military planes in zero visibility. Many smaller planes have radar and other weather information to guide routes and assist with landing site selection.

NOAA's National Weather Service operates the Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City to gather and disseminate aviation related weather information. Before departure, pilots can receive weather briefings by telephone, online and (for commercial pilots) airline dispatch offices. During a domestic U. S. flight, the plane will pass through the following Air Traffic Control system centers, all of which can provide weather updates:

Aiport Tower – aircraft within 5 miles

TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) – aircraft from 5 -40 miles or over 10,000 feet

ARTCC (Air Route Traffic Control Center) – One of 21 U. S. centers controlling all planes on an IFR (instrument flight rules) within the ARTCC's defined airspace (sector).


Aiport Tower

Wind characteristics, cloud ceiling, visibility, precipitation and icing combined with pilot ratings (Instrument or Visual Flight Rules) and avionics available on the plane and at the airport all determine if a plane is allowed to land. Wind cause the most accidents, but visibility causes the most deaths.

Interference with take offs and landings by wind shear, micro bursts and jet streaks get the most publicity, but clear air turbulence kills 1-3 flight attendants and causes many serious injuries each year.

Weather causes approximately 70% of all airline delays and thunderstorms, because they can produce every cause for landing denials, are the most common cause of those delays. Planes are scheduled for maximum day time capacity with maintenance performed overnight when few people want to fly. These schedules are made weeks or moths in advance and assume clear weather. Because a flight at one airport is often on a plane that is scheduled through one or more airports before it arrives for your flight, you can be delayed by weather, even though there are clear skies for miles around your airport.

We were shown a sample aviation forecast and Mr. Mamrosh explained the codes. He then talked about some of our area airport capabilities. The Rhinelander airport is very progressive – they installed the first infrared (IR) de-icing system. Planes go under a large, fixed canopy with IR panels that remove ice without the use of chemicals.

At Chicago' O'Hare airport, two parallel runways can handle 60 landings per hour, for a total of 120 landings per hour. A simple drizzle reduces that capacity by up to 40% because planes cannot brake as well on wet runways. This requires controllers to allow  more time between landings, delaying arrivals and causing the cascading effect mentioned before.

The airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration collaborate on methods to handle weather delays. Ground stops (holding planes on the ground before departure, so that passengers have access to terminal facilities) and “miles in trail” (distances between flights coming into an airport) are the most common. The airlines also trade cancellations, like on a commodities exchange, when delays get bad. Planes with fewer passengers are more likely to be canceled.

The cost to the U. S. economy due to air traffic delays is estimated to be approximately $41 billion dollars per year, with $19 billion in direct operating costs. Airlines complain that rules regarding having enough fuel for the nearest alternate airport require them to carry extra fuel. If you've ever heard announcements asking for volunteers to take another flight due to weight problems, it is often the extra fuel requirements that cause the weight problems. A large line of thunderstorms can mean the nearest airport is thousands of mile away, requiring thousands of pounds of increased fuel, which requires more fuel to carry that weight.

Question: Why do winter weather backups seem to last so many days?

Answer: Winter storms have many of the same troublesome wind problems that occur the rest of the year. Also, it is very expensive to de-ice aircraft, so airlines often fly planes away from areas where icing conditions are likely. Slick runways, problems with drifting snow and the increase in passengers around the major winter holidays all add up to cause long and highly publicized delays.

Question: Who forecasts volcanic ash interference, such as from the possible Mount Redoubt, Alaska eruption?

Answer : The Alaska Aviation Weather Unit is both a Meteorological Watch Office (MWO) and a Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) to provide aviation warnings and advisories.---Brian Hulse.



PSUBAMS is scheduling several exciting events to be held during the next few weeks. For the first time in PSUBAMS history, a local Weatherfest will be held on Saturday April 18. Weatherfest will provide the opportunity for local central Pennsylvania middle school students to learn about meteorology through various student-run presentations and demonstrations. Currently in the process of coordinating the event, we are holding organizational meetings to discuss planning ideas. Weatherfest will be held in the newly renovated weather station, of which there is a grand opening scheduled for April 8.

Recently PSUBAMS held a t-shirt design contest in which the winning logo will be put on t-shirts and sold throughout the department. PSUBAMS hopes to release the winning t-shirt design within the next few weeks. We are planning a movie night in the weather station for the following week, in which we will show a meteorology-themed film with refreshments. There are a series of speaker that we have planned for the upcoming month, including Paul Heppner, the VP from the Delaware/Philadelphia AMS branch, on March 24. Also tentatively scheduled are several talks from alumni who were former meteorology students at Penn State to offer insights on post-graduate life and career choices.---Alex Matus.



Thursday, February 12, 2009

5:15p – 6:30p




We started helping students find internships through the NWS. We also had more meetings for the Better Forecasting Bureau, which focuses on specific aspects on forecasting. We also planned to travel to the North Eastern Storm Conference in Lyndon, MA. We worked on creating our annual "Met Club T-Shirt", this year is going to be meteorology influenced names.---Alexia Martinez.



The February 2009 meeting of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was called to order at 7:08 PM on February 19, 2009 by President Chris Bovitz.  Secretary/Treasurer Bryan Howell and Newsletter Editor Kevin Huyck were also in attendance along with nearly 10 members and guests.  The meeting was held in the Soils Building on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota. 

The meeting began by going around the room and having the attendees introduce themselves.  Newsletter Editor Kevin Huyck then followed by reading the minutes of the January meeting.  Secretary/Treasurer Bryan Howell made a motion to accept the minutes which was followed by a second from Kevin Huyck.  The motion then passed unanimously.  Secretary/Treasurer Bryan Howell then followed with the treasurer’s report.  Jim Marusak made a motion to accept the report with a second by Matt Friedlein.  The motion passed unanimously. 

President Chris Bovitz then went over the developments regarding the chapter website.  We had paid for web hosting services along with the domain registration, but we do not need the hosting services since the national AMS hosts our website. issued us a refund for the cost of hosting services.  The hosting service did include the use of e-mail addresses, which we do use, so those were then repurchased.

President Bovitz followed the website discussion with Vice-president Lisa Schmit’s report which included notes from the National AMS Meeting that took place in Phoenix in January.  She was unable to attend this month’s meeting, so she sent a short write-up.  Our chapter poster did not win an award, but she did receive many good comments about it.  An officer from the Omaha AMS chapter commented to Lisa on how they liked the speaker request feature on our website and was looking into adding that feature to their website as well. 

Science Fair Coordinator Matt Friedlein took the floor next to start the new business portion of the meeting and went over what is involved with being a science fair judge and encouraged anyone that was interested in judging an upcoming fair to contact him.  President Bovitz then went over a few final notes/ideas from Vice-president Lisa Schmit.  She suggested looking into having the chapter do a philanthropic event/project and seeing if there was any interest in have chapter t-shirts made. 

President Bovitz then went over a list of upcoming events.  The South Central/Southwest Minnesota Regional Science Fair will be held February 21st at Minnesota State University in Mankato.  The chapter will be providing judges at this fair.  The Twin Cities Science Fair will be held February 27th and 28th on the campus of the University of Minnesota and the chapter will be providing judges for this fair as well.  Coming up in March, Science Fest will be held on the 13th in Lakeville, MN.  The March meeting of the Twin Cities AMS will be on March 19th at a location yet to be determined.  The speaker will be Cassie McMahon from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  On the 27th of March, Don Burgess will be presenting to the chapter on the Wichita Falls Tornado at a location to be determined.  Don Burgess will then be the keynote speaker the following day at the Minnesota Skywarn Workshop, which the chapter is a sponsor of.

To conclude the business portion of the meeting, Secretary/Treasurer Bryan Howell spoke to the membership about the discussions the chapter officers have been having in regards to the chapter constitution.  Some potential additions in the form of by-laws or amendments were informally brought up.  More discussion on this topic will occur at the next meeting, but any actions must be tabled until the following meeting in accordance with the instructions in the chapter constitution. 

Newsletter Editor Kevin Huyck then made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  This was followed by a second from Jim Marusak.  The motion was then approved in a unanimous vote and the business portion of the meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM.

Following the business portion, President Chris Bovitz introduced the evening’s speaker, Pete Boulay from the Minnesota State Climatology Office.  Mr. Boulay’s presentation was about the ThreadEx Project which is a project to calculate the daily extremes of temperature and precipitation and “thread” the longest data set as possible using official data.  When going back and looking at the data various problems arose.  Some cities have more than one site and thus competing data sets while some stations had longer records than others.  End-users such as utilities and the media were looking for consistency in the records which was not there.  The ThreadEx Project set about to change that.

Many data sets only went as far back as 1891, but ThreadEx utilized data from before 1891 collected by the Signal Service.  When these data sets were combined, there was some overlap in records, so it was decided that the more recent record would take precedence with some exceptions.  The ThreadEx Project now has over 250 major reporting stations in its database, which is available for public viewing.  Minnesota sites included are the Twin Cities, Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud and International Falls. 

The ThreadEx Project is not meant for climatological studies and some sites do include station moves, which can result in drastically different readings.  Duluth is a prime example of this with observations being taken both at lake level for a time and up on the hill.  Snow is also not included in the project, much to the dismay of northern states.  Following the general overview of the project, Mr. Boulay then focused on the Twin Cities reporting sites and the changes that have occurred in the location over the years. 

Records for Minneapolis go back to 1871 for precipitation and 1874 for temperature.  When the Signal Service data was added to the existing data set, 98 new record minimum temperatures and 26 new record maximum temperatures were found.  The all-time record low is now -41°, which occurred in January 21, 1888.  The previous record was -34° in 1936 and 1970.  After some initial reluctance, these new records are now being recognized. 

The official Twin Cities observing site was originally located at the St. Paul Signal Service from 1871 until December 1890, when it moved to the Minneapolis Weather Bureau in downtown Minneapolis.  The official observation then remained at this site until 1938 when it was moved to the international airport at 1 PM on April 8th, 1938.  While the official site was located in St. Paul, the physical location actually changed 5 times.  The thermometers used for the observations were kept in a shelter attached to the window of a building and the window had to be opened in order to reach the thermometers, possibly introducing error when the air inside the building reached the thermometer.  By 1886, the shelter was located on the roof of the building.  Once in Minneapolis, the potential for the introduction of error continued.  Temperature data was recorded on the roof of one building, while wind measurements were taken on top of a building across the street and another 100 feet up. 

Once the observation was moved to the airport, it continued to move around.  It was originally taken on the top of the original terminal building until 1995, when it moved a few thousand feet to the southwest and lost some elevation as well.  The site was again moved in 2004 a shorter distance to the northwest, in between a taxiway and runway.  The official snow observation is actually contracted out to Northwest Airlines and is taken within their compound on the south side of the airport.  The changes in location of the observing site on the grounds of the airport then lead to a discussion on possible influences from differences in terrain and passing jets.  Following the discussion, Mr. Boulay fielded questions from the attendees before the meeting was adjourned just before 8:30 PM.---Bryan J. Howell.



February Meeting Minutes.---Holly Ramey.



Meeting Minutes for 5 February 2009

5:00-6:00 pm

Loomis 158


Weather Briefing

Wendi Kaufeld concentrated on US, UK, and AU weather


Treasury report

Brittany reported that we have $1060.72.

First new account deposit (fluid online banking): $325.65

Current total of funds (not including $120 to AMS scholarship fund): $1386.37

Recent money dispersed includes $58 ($10.05 tip) to Gumby’s Pizza, $8 for Barnes and Noble’s speaker thank-you cards (refunded to Sara), and a $120 donation to the Red Cross Disaster relief program. 

2009 AMS Conference Recap

5 grad student presenters and an undergrad (Justin Traiteur) went to the conference.  Thanks to Sara, we had a great SCAMS poster to show all of what we do in our club at the conference!



Committee Reports


All the committees gave an overview of their objectives for new members and talked about upcoming projects: 

Meeting Minutes for 16 February 2009

Speaker Meeting

5:00-5:30 pm

Atmos 109


Donna Charlevoix answered students’ questions about teaching.---Catrin Mills.



February 4, 2009

The meeting began at 7 pm. First we did officer reports. Some things discussed were the club website, Severe Weather Safety Week, and the campus weather service. Also, the club was informed of the Darko Scholarship which is a scholarship in honor of the death of Dr. Darko who was a former professor at the University. Next the Des Moines Radar Conference was discussed. We also talked about club T-Shirt designs and the next Storm Chase Team meeting. Before the meeting ended everyone gathered for a club picture. The meeting ended around 7:30 pm.---Natalie Walters



Minutes from:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Odegard Hall Room 356

5:15 p.m.

Members Present:

Al Borho – Advisor

Dan Koller - President

Kelsey Watkins - Vice President

Kevin Skow - Secretary

Andrea Neumann

Leah Tatarak

Sydney Souza

Peter Johnson

Matt Saari

Nichole Shotwell

Kathryn Crosby

Aymie Oliver-Wedwick

Aaron Kennedy

Amanda Homann

Dan Adriaansen

Garrett Jepsen

Miranda Hilgers

Ben Schink

Edward Townsend Jr.

Wu Di

Melissa Gibson

Call to Order:

President Dan Koller called the AMS meeting to order at 5:15 pm.

Past Minutes:

The minutes from 01/20/09 were read.

Officer Reports:

-Vice-President’s Report: None

-Secretary’s Report: None

-Treasurer’s Report: The AMS balance is currently: $2330.76.

Guest Speaker:



Old Business:

-AMS hosted a hot chocolate fundraiser last Thursday morning in the Odegard/Streibel Link. We made $26 from the fundraiser.

New Business:        

-Activities Committee

-Photo Contest: The first photo contest runs from now until February 15. More information will be sent out in a Listserv email shortly.

-Broomball: Registration for the intramural league runs from March 4 to 25. Games begin on March 30.

We will also be playing a game of broomball at 5pm on Monday, February 16 (Presidents Day) at the University Park ice rink. We will also be making team t-shirts for our intramural games. The time for this has not been determined.

-Spring Picnic and Big Event: These events are later in the spring and will be discussed at upcoming meetings.

-Spring Trip: We discussed possible ideas for an AMS trip around spring break. Some ideas included going to the Black Hills, Canada, and Duluth. The discussion was tabled until the next meeting.

-Who’s Who Wall: The final WWW slideshow will be put on the 4th floor lobby TV in the next few days.

-AMS will be having a gathering at Buffalo Wild Wings on Thursday February 12 at 7:00pm.

-Fundraising Committee

-AMS will be selling popcorn in the Memorial Union the first week after Spring Break—a signup sheet was passed around for this event.

 The Alerus Center will contact us about future events if they need us to sell concessions or clean-up.

-The 4th floor fundraising treats sheet was passed around.

-There is no new information about the penny war.

-The weather calendar has been shelved for the time being.

-We will possibly have another hot chocolate fundraiser in the coming weeks.

-T-Shirt/Banquet Committee

-List of people for banquet from different sections of the field.



-The AMS Scholarship applications are due on February 6.

-The RUC internship applications are due on February 11. An email was sent out earlier about this internship.



-The meeting was adjourned without objection at 5:53 pm.


Minutes from:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Odegard Hall Room 356

5:15 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

Amanda Homann

Dan Adriaansen

Miranda Hilgers

Ben Schink

Tim Logan

Vanessa Pearce

Mike Lanciki

Shawn Palmquist

Jennifer Dvorak

Call to Order:

              President Dan Koller called the AMS meeting to order at 5:15 pm.

Past Minutes:

The minutes from 02/03/09 were read.

Officer Reports:

-Vice-President’s Report: None

-Secretary’s Report: None

-Treasurer’s Report: The AMS balance is currently: $2330.76.

Guest Speaker:



Old Business:

-About 10 people from AMS went to Buffalo Wild Wings last Thursday

-Dues for this semester (for those who haven’t paid yet) are fifteen dollars and are due to Erin on March 3

-The Mortar Board sent us a card for the food donations we gave them for their Thanksgiving turkey basket

-The speaker for our department banquet will be Mark Fraizer, the MIC at the Grand Forks NWS.

-The Who’s Who Wall will go on display very soon on 4th floor Clifford Hall

-Members from AMS got together and played a fun game of broomball at University Park on Monday (President’s Day). All who attended had a great time.

New Business:        

-Activities Committee

-Photo Contest: Photo contest voting runs until February 28.

-Broomball: Registration for the intramural league runs from March 4 to 25. Games begin on March 30.

-Spring Picnic and Big Event: These events are later in the spring and will be discussed at upcoming meetings.

-Spring Trip: We voted to go to Duluth on the weekend of April 4-5. We will try to go to the NWS and a local TV station there. A final list of those planning on going on the trip will be compiled before spring break.

-Fundraising Committee

-AMS will be selling popcorn in the Memorial Union the first week after Spring Break—a signup sheet was passed around for this event (again).

-The 4th floor fundraising treats sheet was passed around.

-We will be having another hot chocolate fundraiser on Friday (2/20) from 7:30am-10:00am in the Odegard/Streibel Link

-Banquet Committee

-We discussed the various logistics of the banquet, including:






Faculty Awards

If anyone wants to help out with this committee—talk to one of the officers or the Banquet Chair.


-The UND ATSC department will be participating in the Grand Forks Market Place for Kids student workshop on March 27. We are looking for ATSC students to help run various demonstrations for the 5th and 6th grade students. The department may have a booth at the Devils Lake workshop on March 16 and the Fargo workshop on May 8. Anyone with questions should talk to Fred Remer.



-The meeting was adjourned without objection at 5:45 pm.---Kevin Skow.




“Central Florida Smoke and Fog – Carnage on Interstate 4” and

“Southwest Florida Warm Season Tornado Development”

DATE:                            February 10, 2009

LOCATION:                  Mimi’s Café, Tampa, Florida

Presentation: There were two topics of discussion at the February meeting of the West Central Florida Chapter. “Smoke and Fog – Carnage on Interstate 4” was presented by Alicia Williams (Undergraduate Student, Department of Geography, University of South Florida - USF) and “Southwest Florida Warm Season Tornado Development” was presented by Charles Paxton (Science and Operations Officer, National Weather Service of Tampa Bay, Ruskin). Williams and Paxton also recently presented their findings at the 2009 national American Meteorological Society conference in Phoenix. Both topics were the result of research collaborations between USF and the NWS. USF and the NWS received a UCAR COMET grant in 2008 to analyze Warm Season Tornado Development in Southwest Florida. While working on this project, the team also began to collaborate on the second topic of Central Florida Smoke and Fog – Carnage on Interstate 4. This research began after the tragic pile up on Interstate 4 during one of these smoke events. The team members involved in the collaboration on both topics included Dr. Jennifer Collins and Alicia Williams from USF, and Charlie Paxton, Daniel Noah, Rick Davis and Nick Petro from the NWS.

Williams (Figure 1) began the presentation by covering the tragic events that unfolded on January 9, 2008, in the presentation entitled “Central Florida Smoke and Fog – Carnage on Interstate 4”. Williams detailed the meteorological, climatological and topographical ingredients that formed to create the smoke-fog mixture that morning (Figure 2), and the horrific accident as a result that caused 5 deaths and 38 injuries. Williams used detailed graphs and analysis, along with photos taken from the morning of the disaster, which compared temperature, dewpoint, and winds over time. Low relative humidity the afternoon of the burn allowed it to get out of control, and light winds and high relative humidity early the next morning led to the formation of fog. Williams detailed how terrain (Figure 3) and synoptic conditions all combined to create the event. Williams discussed possible solutions for avoiding a similar tragedy in the future including human oversight of automated prescribed burn forecast systems, portable visibility sensors, human roadway observers, web cameras for remote monitoring, high resolution modeling for smoke events, and visibility information on permanent variable message signs over roadway (now in place). Williams concluded her presentation by discussing this event in context to other fog related events and ranked this event as tied in 2nd place nationwide for the number of deaths. Finally, Williams compared this event to other Florida fog events and noted this event ranked number 1 for the largest number of fog related traffic injuries. 

Paxton’s presentation entitled “Southwest Florida Warm Season Tornado Development” covered a specific area of the Southwest Florida coast around Lee and Charlotte counties. He noted that since this is a densely populated region with a complex coastline, there are special challenges for predicting tornadoes in this area. He detailed four warm season case studies, looking for similarities and comparing the mechanisms for tornado development in each case, most notably the convergence of the easterly flow across Florida with the southerly and northwesterly sea breezes emanating from the Gulf of Mexico (Figure 4). This convergence intensifies convection (Figure 5). Paxton showed detailed charts and graphs comparing the four case studies side by side, using synoptic comparisons, surface pressure, skew-t charts and radar analysis. Williams learned GR2 Analyst as a tool for analyzing radar data in her Meteorology class at USF and she used these acquired skills for this research project. A presentation on radar analysis using GR2 Analyst was also a topic of a previous West Central Florida Chapter AMS meeting. Paxton clearly explained each case and noted that future studies will also include cases where conditions were similar but yet tornadoes did not form. This will enhance future forecasting potential for operational meteorologists. 

Figure 1. Presenters, Alicia Williams (University of South Florida student) and Charles Paxton (NWS, Ruskin).

Figure 2. Polk county contour map with incident site indicated. (TIGER 2007 and Google Earth)

Figure 3. Aerial video capture of the accident scene around sunrise 09 January 2008. Courtesy of BayNews9.

Figure 4. (a. Charlotte County, b. Lee County) Sea breeze regime creates a convergent pattern that evolves into a broad cyclonic circulation near the coast.


Figure 5. Convection occurring at sea breeze convergence. Image from GR2Analyst at 2322 UTC, 21 June 2006.

BUSINESS MEETING: Andy Johnson began the evening with a brief business meeting. Upcoming meetings were discussed; the banquet meeting and the nomination for the national chapter of the year were discussed as well as nominations for officers for next year. Neva Duncan Tabb also discussed the Dewey Stowers Foundation scholarship program and noted that nominations can be made for the Award.


TREASURER’S REPORT: Our Chapter Account as of February 10, 2009  is $ 897.13.

CONCLUSION:  The meeting was attended by 22 people, including several of Dr. Collins’ students from USF. The restaurant was lively and the food was great! Detailed question and answer sessions followed each speaker’s presentation, and the members got to mingle before and after the meeting.---Jennifer M. Collins.



Winter Meeting Minutes.---Paul A. Gehred.


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