Chapter News
February 2011


Date: February 1, 2011

Meeting in Session: 9:00pm

Meeting Adjourned: 9:42pm

Executive Board

              President: Jason Atcho

              Vice President: Jenny Frautschy

              Treasurer: Michael Wagner

              Secretary: Maura Casey

              SGA Representative: Erica Smith

              Web Master: L.B. LaForce

President’s Report:

              Sky Warn spotter training (reporting accurately/properly to NWS) coming up in Shepherd, should be on a Tuesday evening before SCAMS meeting. Will be Tuesday, March 1st at 7pm at Shepherd High School. Majority approves of club trip to training session.

Vice President’s Report/Committees:

              Fundraising: Papa John’s $5 coupon book, Las Senoritas on an upcoming Wednesday, Buffalo Wild Wings possibilities for upcoming months.

              Activities: Caberfae trip 2/25/11 coming up, $9/$9 ticket/equipment rental. Bowling in March, Chippewa Lanes? Put-put in April (party for end of year?).

              Conferences/Miscellaneous: Allow extra week for interested members to turn in Iowa/Valparaiso Conferences deposits ($25 each). Discussed responsibilities of the committee, including: hotel, drivers, food, gas, registration. Proposal to take over the planning of the Senior Banquet (minus senior-level committee members Alex DeSmet and Aaron Sanders).

              Public Relations: Posted signs in DOW and Brooks, posted new/updated jobs on the job board in meteorology lab. Relay for Life discussed, but lies on same weekend of Iowa Conference, so may be an impossibility for a good amount of SCAMS members.

Treasurer’s Report:

              Anybody who owes dues need to contact Mike and (re)pay dues in order to be an official member. Deposited money into the bank account from collected fundraising money. Checking: $115.04. Savings: $4,235.14

Secretary’s Report:

              Sign the attendance sheet as it makes its rounds during the meeting. If you need to miss a meeting for whatever reason, let me know via CMUSCAMS email, Facebook, text, or by mouth so that I might exempt you. Also, a thank you for coming to tonight’s meeting, as the snowstorm (“Snowpocalypse 2011”) bears down on Mid-Lower-Michigan.

SGA Representative’s Report:

              The organizers of CMU Up All Night in need of volunteers at SAC during the 10pm-12am and 12am-3:30am shifts. The U.C. Auditorium will be hosting a viewing of Flow at 7pm on Thursday. They will also host presentations regarding “Take Back the Tap”, an initiative to increase reusable water bottle use, this week.


              Did not appear due to driving conditions; sent an email stating that he had added a WXChallenge link on the SCAMS website and that he was attempting to set up a web cam to stream conditions from IET building. Also, executive board talked about new OrgSync profile for all CMU RSO’s, will begin switchover if OrgSync gains notoriety/usage.

Special Presentation: Student AMS Conference in Seattle, Washington

Open Floor:


Date: February 8, 2011

Meeting in Session: 9:03pm

Meeting Adjourned: 9:21pm

Executive Board

              President: Jason Atcho

              Vice President: Jenny Frautschy

              Treasurer: Michael Wagner

              Secretary: Maura Casey

              SGA Representative: Erica Smith

              Web Master: L.B. LaForce

President’s Report:

              Catherine Bodak, CMU alumni and broadcast meteorologist at WNEM TV5 in Saginaw will be at next week’s meeting, presenting a short powerpoint. There are free practice tests going on in Pierce, including many graduate school entrance exams. Be sure to thank Dr. Peyrefitte for the King Cake from New Orleans he’ll have available Wednesday for Current Weather at 5pm. Skywarn training will be held Tuesday, 3/1 for those interested.

Vice President’s Report/Committees:

              Fundraising: Ordering Papa John’s coupon books.

              Activities: Changing ski day to 2/18, $10 for ticket and $11 for equipment. Bowling/ice skating soon?

              Conferences/Miscellaneous: Preparing etiquette presentation for next week. Picking food for the senior banquet and reserving a room.

              Public Relations: More jobs were posted on the job board in the met lab, still contacting possible schools to speak at about meteorology.

Treasurer’s Report:

              Conference deposits are due today, that’s $25 for Iowa and $25 for Valparaiso. Checking: $155.04. Savings: $4,333.9.

Secretary’s Report:

              The attendance sheet already went around, but if you came in late or for whatever reason didn’t sign in went it went around, be sure to sign it before you leave, I have it. Also, because of the snow storm last Tuesday, contact me so I can make you exempt. 

SGA Representative’s Report:

              There was an OrgSync presentation detailing the use of the RSO program and the integration of the program into the RSO’s on campus.


              Check out the updated website.

Open Floor:

              The club finally received its check from the Coco Joe’s fundraiser, totaling $64.29.---Maura Casey.



AMS Meeting Minutes 2/4/2011

AMS Conference Overview:  

·         General consensus is that the conference was an amazing experience and a great time

·         Everyone should consider going next year: conference will be in New Orleans!

·         Reimbursements: for those of you who went to the conference, please give receipts to Aaron ASAP

North East Storms Conference:

·         March 11-13: deadline to register is in a few weeks so sign up if you’re interested!

Great Lakes Operational Meteorology Workshop:

·         Hosted by Cornell!

·         Looking for volunteers to work the conference—attend the conference for free, great networking opportunity

·         Conference will be held over spring break


·         Looking for suggestions for new apparel types (i.e. Sweatpants, earmuffs..etc)

·         Contact Carolyn with ideas!


·         We will be taking a trip to Lansing Middle School sometime this semester to do an outreach activity with one of the science classes

·         Hoping to go sometime in March, so please contact Nikki if you are interested in planning!


·         Weatherphone: contact John or Jase if you still want to sign up!

·         Athletics forecasting will pick up in a few weeks

·         Cornell Daily Sun-  no longer allowing daily forecasts; will be writing a persuasive letter to try to get our spots back for forecasting daily

Social Activities:

·         Greek Peak ski trip: look for an email from Torey coming soon

·         Niagara Falls trip: later this semester

·         CCAMS dinner: most likely next Friday!

·         CCAMS poker night: more details to come!

·         Looking into doing a joint event with other student AMS chapters (Penn State, etc.)

·         Intramural Sports: basketball taking place now, look out for softball sign-ups!


·         AMS Conference issue!  All who attended the conference are strongly encouraged to write an article

·         *This issue will serve as our official report to CALS, so it’s important that people contribute!

·         2nd issue: will be calling for articles soon…want this completed by Alumni Weekend

New CCAMS Website:

·         In the making!

·         Need people to volunteer to fill in content for the website- contact Dan if you’re interested!

New Ideas:

·         1. Weekly weather discussions: will be setting a meeting time shortly…improve forecasting skills and learn from fellow students and professors

·         2. Second list-serv for weather discussion: in the making!

·         3. Entrepreneurship contest: funded by the Daly family; looking for innovative ideas for the field of meteorology; submit a short paper explaining your idea for improving the field….more details to come!

Alumni Weekend:

·         Tentative date: April 22-23rd

·         Envelope-stuffing session soon to send out invitations!

·         Lindsey is heading up a project to re-vamp the bulletin board in the meteorology classroom---send her CCAMS pictures!---Sarah Lynagh.



Meeting Minutes – Winter Weather Forum

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

National Weather Service, Mount Holly, New Jersey 

-  Dec. 19 – 20, 2010 – This storm brought a record December snowfall of 23.2” to Philadelphia International, with less to the north and west with areas in Southern New Jersey getting over 2 feet. The storm was rated 3.99 on the NESIS scale, a category 2 storm.

-  Feb. 5-6, 2010 – This storm brought a February record 28.5” of snow to Philadelphia International with some locations in Delaware County, Pa receiving 30” This storm shut down the Washington, DC area for a week and was rated 4.38, a category 3 on the NESIS scale. The storm hugged the coast, sat of the coast and then took a right turn out to sea according to the presentation.

-  Feb. 10-11, 2010 – This storm brought 15.8” of snow to Philadelphia International, the city’s ninth biggest snowstorm on record, with some areas in Chester County receiving over 2 feet. The storm was rated at 4.10 on the NESIS scale, a category 3.

-  Feb 25-26, 2010 – This storm brought 5.6” inches of snow to Philadelphia International airport, but brought much heavier snow to the north of our region with over 30” in some locations in the Hudson Valley of New York. According to the presentation there was more model disagreement in this storm than in many of the other storms of the 2009-2010 winter, this storm was rated 5.46, a category three on the NESIS scale.

-  Dec 26 – 27, 2010 – This storm brought 12.4” to Philadelphia International with some locations in Ocean County, NJ receiving up to 30”. The storm was rated 4.92 on the NESIS scale, a category three. Generally with this storm the highest amounts were along the Jersey shore.

-  Jan 11-12, 2011 – This storm was rated 5.31, a category three with the highest amounts in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

- Jan 26 – 27, 2011 – The heaviest snowfalls with this storm were located just to the north and west of Philadelphia. NCDC (National Climatic Data Center) did not calculate a NESIS value for this storm. However, Philadelphia International received 15.1” with some areas receiving up to 18”. During the height of the storm a band setup from Chester County through Mercer County, in which at times were near whiteout conditions, thunder snow and snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hours. There was also thunder sleet and lighting with the storm. As part of the presentation, Al Cope showed a map of lighting data. 

-       After the final presentation of the evening, Paul Heppner opened the floor for questions and open discussion. During this period there were two questions. One of the questions regarded how a lack of sea ice in Hudson Bay might be affecting the persistent blocking pattern in the North Atlantic and the appearance of the sustained 500 mb upper level low in Canada. The second question regarded when Tony saw red flags that indicated that the winter outlook may have gone wrong and that the seasonal outlook was not verifying as expected.

-       After the two questions, Paul Heppner again thanked Gary and the National Weather Service for hosting the meeting and the chapter adjourned the meeting until the next meeting sometime in the spring.---Paul Smith.



The High Plains Chapter of the AMS met for the second meeting in a row via a conference call on February 9th, 2011, as adverse weather conditions prevented the scheduled physical meeting in Norton, KS.  The conference call meeting was attended by 14 participants from WFO’s Goodland, Hastings, North Platte and Dodge City.  Corey King/GID updated the Treasurer’s report, which had a balance of $6886.53.  The Jim Johnson Scholarship Fund sits at $2775.  Our Chapter continues to move toward Tax-exemption status, and has taken the first step to file as a non-profit incorporation.  Discussion around the Jim Johnson Scholarship Fund ended with the selection committee would ensure the Scholarship winner receives the money through their college.  Al Pietrycha/GLD continues to work with the Wichita AMS Chapter on the next conference.    A call for papers will be out by June 1st.  Preliminary registration is $75, with $45 for students.  Walk-ins will be charged $90/$60 student.  The Banquet fee will be an optional $25.

New 2011 officers were accepted by quorum. New officers:  President Chris Foltz/GLD, Vice-President Al Pietrycha/GLD, Secretary Tim Burke/DDC, Treasurer Corey King/GID.   It was suggested the secretary send out minutes to the entire membership ASAP following the meeting.  The secretary would then send the minutes out again one week prior to the next meeting for revisions/corrections and to “accept”, so that we don’t have to do this at the meeting.  This also gets more of the membership involved by reaching out to everyone through e-mail.  One other change President Chris Foltz suggested was to set “hard dates” for each physical meeting out through the entire year.  The primary suggestion was the 2nd Wednesday of January, March, and October with the 4th physical meeting being the annual conference.

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM.  The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for late April, with the date of the 21st being tossed around.---Mike Umscheid.



February 9, 2011 GBM Minutes

Attendance: 39 (Including Exec. Board)

Start Time: 7:02 PM

Samantha (President)-  Sam welcomes the club and started off  by mentioning the National AMS Conference in Seattle.  The conference was a great experience and highly recommends students to go to next years.  It’s a great place to network and can benefit your career.  NESC is a month away and registration is now up for everyone.  We urge people to room in quads to save space.  Please have them in by next week.  We urge that if you live in the area to please room at your own house to save space.  Also, we are estimating about five prospective students to attend our conference.  We need mentors to help them guide their way through the conference and answer any questions about our school or weather in general. 

Matt (Vice President)-  Registration is up and running, and will send out an email with the link.  Also need students to volunteer to help with the technology with the conference. 

George (Secretary)-  Generation Dance is the last chance to get events.  George highly encourages students to go to the dance if they are short of 5 and 1/3 events. 

Laura (Treasurer)-  AMS has finally got clearance and has no sign of debt or a frozen budget. 

Ben (Public Relations)- Ben reminds the club of the Generation Dance on Friday, February 11, 2011 in ASAC 100 at 8PM.  Dress up and have fun. 

Garrett (Community Outreach)-  Garrett continues to make his goal to have 2 or 3 school visits.  Also up for discussion is to have a Weather Fest event on campus.  Talks are starting now and will let the people know if this is something to proceed in the future. 

Alison (Historian)-  Alison promotes Generation Dance and urges everyone should go and have fun. 

Garrett (Department)-  Department Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 17, 2011in ASAC 100 at 12:30PM.  There will be no food there so be sure to eat.  Voice your opinion about the department.  Also, scheduling is being worked on for next semester. 

The meeting then ended with a candy raffle.

End Time:  7:15PM---George J. Krauszer II.



February Chapter News.---Jessica Fieux.



General Body Meeting on February 22, 2011

Upcoming Events




Vice President



A guy walks into an isobar…


Science and Outreach

Science and Outreach




Today’s Speaker

Nate Harrington

“Broadcast Meteorology”---Christina Gilbert.



President Greg Story called the February meeting at 7:05 pm. Stan gave a treasury report. Stan also gave a report on the science fairs. Since Stan was able to purchase the books that are being giving as prizes  cheaper price, he proposed that the chapter add $20. to the science fair prizes. The membership voted and it was approved.

Jonathan Whitehead submitted a poster at the AMS National Conference. Jonathan’s poster won 3rd place. Congratulations to Alan Moller, for winning the Charles Mitchell Life Time Achievement.

Our February speaker was Laura Mayberry Bacigalupo.  Laura is the Public Information Officer for the Trinity River Vision Authority.  Laura gave a very informative presentation on The Central City Trinity River Project.  Laura showed the group the master plan for a urban waterfront. She talked about the benefits to the local economy. How flooding of the Trinity river can be controlled.  You can check out the Trinity River vision by visiting

The 2011 National Storm Conference Saturday, March 12, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Colleyville Center - Colleyville, Texas TESSA is looking for one more person to volunteer to work at their table all day at the National Storm Conference March 12. This person will not be paid for selling TESSA merchandise through the conference, but will get their lunch free plus their choice of one TESSA T-Shirt free. Attendance to the talks is permitted during slow periods.

We need some volunteer to help our chapter at our table at TESSA conference for at least a part of the day. We will be handing out brochures about our chapter and accepting applications for new members. Information about one of our chapter activities, CoCoRaHS, will also be available.

Please note meeting date change for the month of March. The meeting will be held Thursday March 10th at 7:00 pm. Our presenter will be Mike Smith. Mike’s topic will be on CSI: Meteorology, The Phantom Crashes which tells the story of how weather science has eliminated a once-frequent form of airline crash. 

Mike Smith is a board-certified consulting meteorologist and founder of WeatherData Services, Inc. of Wichita. WeatherData become part of AccuWeather in 2006. Mike has received three major awards from the American Meteorological Society as well as 18 U.S. and foreign patents. Last May, Greenleaf Book Group published Mike's first book Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather. Warnings is written like a mystery novel but tells the true story of how weather science learned to save lives during some of the biggest storms of our lifetimes.---Bobette Mauck.



Meeting Minutes - February 9, 2011

Our Treasurer would like to remind everyone to pick up your t-shirts. There are still a few left, so find an eboard member to get yours.

News from the Secretary includes joining our Relay for Life team, Team Twister here: If you can’t join, please feel free to make a donation. It’s a great cause! The event is on April 2-3, 2011 and raises money for the American Cancer Society. We'll be doing a bunch of fundraisers in the near future such as a potluck, Applebee's Dine to Donate night, and a silent auction. We're currently looking for items for the silent auction. If you want to help gather them, keep an eye out for an e-mail explaining when we'll be going to local businesses seeking donations. Also start thinking of ideas for the no talent/talent show that will take place during the VUSIT overnight. It's a fun way to geek out and have a good time with your fellow met majors.

The Vice President would like to remind everyone that the Great Lakes Meteorology Conference is March 26, from 10AM-7PM at Strongbows. It's a great opportunity to meet with some highly influential meteorologists and learn a lot about what you can do with your meteorology degree. Tickets are $50 and you can purchase them here:
The night before the Conference, there will be an informal talk in KCH with one of the speakers. Pizza will be provided beforehand.

Finally, the President says we'll be inviting local schools to join us at the Conference, so feel free to invite any other meteorology majors you may know. The national AMS Conference in Seattle went well. If anyone has questions about what it was like, please talk to Lisa or anyone else who went. If you didn't go this year, try going next year in New Orleans; it's a great way to network! Fermi lab is April 30 and a group of us will probably be going together. Hosted by Tom Skilling, Fermi lab is a day of weather talks in Chicago with a focus on severe weather. Best of all, it's free!---Sarah Al-Momar.



25 February 2011 Meeting Minutes

Anthony’s Steak House, Omaha

Barb called the meeting to order at 6:25 p.m. and greeted the members and guests.  We had 22 members and guests attending the meeting.

President’s Report (Barb):

Next meeting:  

Date: Monday, March 14, 2011
Location: Icehouse, Omaha NE
Time: 5:30 p.m. (social ½ hour). Meeting and dinner 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Speaker:  Captain Ryan Harris, Air Force Weather Agency, will be talking with us about “Unique Military Weather Applications: From Volcanic Ash to Intelligence Operations.”

This was our speaker originally scheduled for our January meeting, which was cancelled due to inclement weather.  The March announcement will be emailed shortly.

April’s meeting may be in conjunction with the Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium and Family Weatherfest (CPSWS).  May’s meeting will probably be a lunch meeting at Lo Sole Mio, Omaha.  Speaker details are being confirmed.

Barb reported that she has reached the end of the 2 year of term limit as President.  Also, the office of Recording Secretary and other offices may be open.  In March we will begin a candidate search.  Please contact any of the officers if you would like more information about officer positions.

Barb is still working details with becoming a joint AMS/NWA chapter.

Treasurer’s Report (Fritz VanWijngaarden):

Beginning balance:  $ 498.08 petty cash, Closing checking balance = $ 1404.73 in checking acct. Total = $ 1902.81.

Fritz also reported that our chapter was well will represented at the National Chapter of the AMS meeting in Seattle.

Recording Secretary’s Report (Karen Harder-Sittel): We did not have a meeting in January, due to weather conditions. The December minutes were submitted to the National Chapter, and also posted to Facebook and sent to everyone’s email.

Motion was carried to submit the minutes to the record. 

Vice President’s Report (Kristen George): nothing to report

Corresponding Secretary's Report (Rose Tseng): at class

Old business: none

New business:

John Zapotocny, Lead judge for the Student Competition, instructed the members as to the rules.

Karen Harder-Sittel asked for volunteers for two upcoming science fairs: Metro Omaha Science and Engineering in Omaha, Saturday, March 5, 8:00-10:00 a.m. and Greater Nebraska Science and Engineering Fair in Nebraska City, NE, Saturday, March 26, 9:30-11:00 a.m.  She mentioned that volunteers are welcome to bring interested friends and family members to help view the exhibits.  Contact for more information and/or to help.

Barb, per Andy Elliot:  Teacher Mary Horner at Howard Kennedy Elementary School is hosting a fun style “career fair”  Friday, April 22, @ 1:30 pm.  She hopes to have 3-4 meteorologists to give a 15-20 minute talk about what meteorologists do, and perhaps perform a fun demonstration.   Contact for more information and/or to help.

Allocations: none

Student Competition

Business meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m., followed by dinner, and the Student Competition.  

Student Competition:  Due to weather and other factors, only 2 students were able to make presentations. 

Speakers:  Rebecca D. Adams-Selin, PhD candidate Colorado State, and Braedi Wickard, undergraduate Meteorology, UNL.  All the submitted abstracts are included at the end of this report.  Both students gave very good presentations, but Ms. Adams-Selin was the winning presenter and will receive a $400 grant from the chapter to be used to attend and present at a regional conference.

Examination of pressure surge, gravity wave, and atmospheric internal bore associated with 13 March 2003 bow echo

Rebecca D. Adams-Selin, Colorado State University

The 13 March 2003 bow echo initialized over central Oklahoma at 0200 UTC.  The Oklahoma Mesonet is used to analyze the surface features associated with this bow echo system.  Surface features usually associated with squall lines, the mesohigh and cold pool, are found to accompany this bow echo.  Prior to new bowing development, the mesohigh surges ahead of the convective line while the cold pool remains centered behind it.  Surface winds shift to a ground-relative outflow pattern upon arrival of the mesohigh surge.  Approximately 30 min later, a new bowing segment forms with its apex slightly to the left (with respect to the direction of system motion) of the mesohigh surge.  The cold pool follows the convective line as it bows.

Two wave-like features are identified with this system through spatial and temporal filtering.  The first is a gravity wave, presumed to be generated by deep heating within the convective line, that moves at nearly 35 m s-1.  The exact nature of the second wave-like feature cannot be determined from surface observations alone, although it appears related to the pressure surge feature described above.  Passage of this feature in all mesonet stations affected by the system is marked by a sharp pressure rise and temperature drop.

An idealized simulation of this bow echo is run using the Cloud Model 1 (CM1) version 1.15.  The 0000 UTC 13 March 2003 KOUN sounding is used to initialize the system.  All of the observed surface features, including the mesohigh pressure surge and cold pool, are well-represented.  A fast-moving gravity wave is generated by deep convective heating during the initialization of the system.  The speed of this wave, approximately 33 m s-1, closely matches that of the first observed wave feature.  A bore is also generated ahead of the convective system due to the cold pool impinging on an stable atmospheric layer.  The stable layer is overtopped by an unstable layer where the mean environmental flow is close to the wave speed of the bore, allowing for trapping of the wave energy.  Additional modifications are made to the simulation environment to simulate nighttime cooling.  The effects of this cooling on the generated bore are explored.

A “real-data” simulation of the bow echo is also run using the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF-ARW) version 3.2.  A  fast-moving gravity wave is generated, but an atmospheric bore is not, nor is the pressure surge.  Evaluation of the simulation environment shows that the stability structure is significantly different than that of the 0000 UTC KOUN sounding.  

The Influence of Snow Cover on Average Temperature in the High Plains Region

Braedi Wickard, Undergraduate Meteorology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)

To increase the accuracy of a forecast, many factors beyond model output may be considered, such as knowledge of local topography, model biases or analogous events.  Research conducted by Braedi Wickard at the High Plains Regional Climate Center gives a quantitative representation of how the average temperature is affected by at least one inch of snow cover.  This temperature difference proves to be another factor to consider in a forecast made by an operational forecaster.

For the High Plains region, 50 years of daily temperature and snow cover data were analyzed to determine air temperature differences with and without at least one inch of snow cover.  The core winter months of December, January and February were considered for 79 non-mountain locations.

Results show that a substantial difference exists between the 30-year normal temperature and the average temperatures categorically for days with snow cover and days with no snow cover.  The plains of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and southeastern Wyoming can experience an average temperature that is 6° to 14° F colder with one inch or more of snow on the ground.  The Dakotas can experience the same, but positive, results with a lack of snow cover.  Not only does snow cover influence average temperatures, but it also has an impact on energy costs.  Future research will show a correlation between snow cover and increased heating degree days. 

Arctic snow and sea ice response to melt season atmospheric forcing across the land-ocean boundary

Angela C. Bliss and Mark R. Anderson, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, UNL

Concern over the rapid changes in the Arctic cryosphere in recent years has spurred much research into the response of sea ice and snow cover to warming temperatures and the resulting climate feedbacks.  However, the vast majority of Arctic climate studies do not assess the response of both continental snow cover and sea ice in concert through the data record.  This study is focused on three study regions located throughout the Arctic in North America, western Russia, and eastern Russia (Siberia) over the passive microwave record (1979-2007).  Each study region is divided by a land-ocean boundary that is roughly parallel to latitude and extends northward into an Arctic marginal sea that is subject to considerable inter-annual variability in the extent and retreat of sea ice during the warm season.

Aerial extent anomalies within the domain boundaries were calculated from the monthly visible snow cover (available from the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab) and monthly Bootstrap algorithm sea ice concentrations (available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center) using a 50% concentration threshold to allow for consistent comparisons across the two data sets.  Reanalysis-2 mean sea level pressures, 500 hPa geopotential heights, surface U and V vector wind components, and 925 hPa air temperatures used as a surface temperature proxy (data available from NOAA-ESRL Physical Sciences Division) were averaged and anomalies were calculated over the full extent of each study region.  

The analysis of monthly snow cover and sea ice extent anomalies indicates that, on average, sea ice extent is lost earlier in the year (in May) than continental snow cover extent (in June) in all three study regions over the study period.  This suggests that over the land-ocean boundary, the assumption that loss of the snow and sea ice cover progresses northward through the melt season is false.  Instead, it appears that the snow cover and sea ice respond differently to melt forcing. 

The biggest atmospheric contributor to anomalous snow cover extent loss appears to be warmer 925 hPa air temperatures in months with below freezing mean monthly 925 hPa air temperatures.  The greatest contributors to sea ice loss appear to be strong winds and warmer 925 hPa air temperatures during mid-melt season months when mean monthly 925 hPa air temperatures are still below 0°C.  Although one would expect a southerly wind component to advect warmer 925 hPa air temperatures into the study region leading to more melt and sea ice loss, a cooler 925 hPa air temperature coincident with a northeasterly wind direction due to the presence of lower pressure located over the southern portion of the region is also very effective at forcing anomalous sea ice extent loss.  

The results of this study set the framework for continued analyses of the influence of snow cover loss on sea ice extents, since the snow cover is completely reduced before the sea ice extents in the months following the initial melt.  Large inter-annual variations in snow cover and sea ice extent occur in all three study regions, however, as a result of this study the annual loss of snow and sea ice are each dependant on numerous factors in addition to direct atmospheric forcing.  The loss of snow cover extent varies within the region as well as between regions due to local geography and the regional climatological mean temperature.  While sea ice extent loss varies with the sea ice motion, type, and thickness.  These characteristic differences result in the complete loss of snow cover prior to sea ice extent minima, which may influence the remaining sea ice loss nearing the end of the melt season.  Additionally, further resolving the atmospheric conditions controlling the loss of snow cover and sea ice extents during the melt season both spatially and temporally could lead to determining the predictability of Arctic cryospheric feedbacks to a more complex degree in response to changing climatic conditions.

Trends of Wind and Wind Energy over the Continental United States

Eric Holt, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, UNL

The statistical trends of wind and wind energy at the 80 m hub height are analyzed via the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) dataset from 1979-2009. Projected 10 m wind output from two temporal spans of 2038-2056 and 2038-2070 are also analyzed via 3 Atmospheric-Ocean Global Circulation Model (AOGCM) driven Regional Circulation Models (RCMs) from the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP). Based upon the wind speeds at two layers right below and above the 80 m, the wind speeds at 80 m are estimated using two methods assuming the wind profile respectively as linear and power-law distribution with respect to the altitude.  The variation of air density with topography is taken into account in the calculation of wind energy. Monthly-averaged wind energy is calculated with two methods: (a) average the wind speed first to get monthly mean wind speed, and then compute the wind energy; (b) compute the wind energy four times a day, and then average them to obtain monthly mean wind energy. The power law and linear interpolation methods to 80 m are tested against one another revealing relative differences of up to 50% based on both temporal averaging schemes (a) and (b). Statistically significant positive annual trends from 1979-2009 are found to be predominant over the continental United States and range up to 0.25 ms-1dec-1 for 80 m total wind and up to 35 kWdec-1 for 80 m wind energy, with maximum relative positive trends over the Midwestern United States (assuming one turbine per grid box). This proves that boundary layer winds in this region are more susceptible to corresponding shifts in the climate relative to mountainous regions. Trends at the surface are also mainly positive, showing ~0-15ms-1dec-1 for 80 m total wind and ~0-14 kWdec-1 for wind energy, revealing a surface-hub height wind profile that trends positively. Regionally, trends are positive from 1979-2009, with a secondary increase in magnitude of wind and wind energy from 1990-2009 for the East and Midwest. In contrast, while trends are still positive, there is a reduced distinction of the two temporal trends for the West region. Future wind analyses from the HRM3/HadCM3 and RCM3/GFDL output via NARCCAP reveal relatively discontinuous results with the past trends, depending on the region. However, results show to be relatively continuous between the 1979-2009 NARR analysis and the RCM3/CGCM3 output from 2038-2070.---Karen Harder-Sittel.



In October we had a presentation by a graduate student on "Evaluation of the Operational Multi-scale Environment Model with Grid Adaptivity (OMEGA) for Use in Wind Forecasting for Energy in the Great Basin of Nevada." We also visited our local National Weather Service station in February. The officers are currently setting up meetings and speakers for the remainder of the semester. Our chapter had some T-shirts made and have been using the sales for fund-raising.---Joshua Molzan.


The February 2011 Meeting

The February meeting was held on Monday, February 28th at the Sedgwick County Emergency Operations Center in downtown Wichita. There were 16 members and 9 guests in attendance.

President Jerilyn Billings called the meeting to order at 7:10 with an update on the chapter's new web site at She also brought members and guests up to date on the latest for the “15th Annual High Plains Conference, The Past, Present and Future of Weather” to be held at the Wichita Marriott from August 4th through the 6th of 2011. Updates were given on the logo design and the fact that shirts would be available, the banquet with storm photographer Jim Reed, the last-day storm chaser extravaganza and the student competition and career fair.

Next, member Dick Elder (MIC Wichita NWS) gave an update on the 88D, Dual-Pol upgrade now scheduled to take place in July.

Jerilyn invited members and guests to a meeting of the OU Club of Wichita which would feature a free presentation by Dr. Kevin Kloesel, Associate Dean of the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and featuring OU student and Kansas native Caitlin Taylor to be held at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School on March 11th at 7 p.m.

The next meeting was announced to be in either early July or late June but a date was not yet established.

The presentation portion of the meeting featured a look back on the 20th anniversary of the Andover Tornado. First to present was Dick Elder who gave the meteorological setup of the day and the technological challenges that were present at the time of the deadly tornado. Jim Schmidt, Director of Butler County Emergency Management then spoke on the challenges that the county faced 20 years ago when faced with a mass-casualty severe weather event and how far things had come since then. Both ended with encouraging words that we are better prepared for the next disaster than we were 20 years ago.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15.---Mark Bogner.



February 9, 2011 7pm-8:40pm


Grand Rapids Community College

Calkins Science Center Auditorium (SCIE 348)


The second meeting of the chapter (and the first of 2011) was called to order by President Brandon Hoving (National Weather Service Grand

Rapids) at 7pm. We began with an introduction of Executive Board along with brief bios. The board also consists of Vice President Nathan Jeruzal (NWS GRR), Treasurer Bill Marino (NWS GRR) and Secretary Rob Dale (Skywatch Services).


Brandon presented a timeline of the chapter’s development over the past few years. He discussed our first group meeting, along with an overview of our bylaws and election plans. He also provided a list of goals and objectives that the board agreed upon for our future. The board came up with a few committees to help with the chapter’s operation, and mention was made of the need for volunteers to join and assist.


Rob Dale presented a recap of a blizzard that impacted all of southwest Michigan just the week prior. He noted that in every meeting we would like to have a member either discuss a recent significant weather event, or provide a brief forecast.


Moss Ingram from the GRCC Sustainability Council was thanked for providing an excellent facility. He took a few minutes to speak about what his group does in the community, and expressed interest in working with the chapter in the future.


Our featured presenter was Vice-President Nathan Jeruzal. He provided an explanation of how NWS meteorologists supported cleanup and recovery efforts of the Enbridge oil leak, near Battle Creek Michigan.


President Hoving concluded the meeting with the invitation to the audience to join the chapter, and raffled off some meteorological handbooks for those who signed up that night.---Robert P Dale.



February Chapter News.---Lindsay Rice.



We had our first meeting of the new year this Tuesday, February 1st and despite high winds and cold temperatures, we had a great turnout! During the meeting, we discussed some of the upcoming events such as Aggieland Saturday and Big Event. After reviewing some other business regarding Texas Aggie broadcasting and TASC, our guest speaker, Mr. Shel Winkley of KBTK spoke about his career as a broadcasting meteorologist. We then wrapped up our meeting with Subway sandwiches and other refreshments.---Allison Podbielski.



The February 2011 meeting was held at Spasso Restaurant in Minnetonka, MN on the 15th. The meeting was called to order at 7:16 pm. The following points were discussed. President Chris Bovitz, Vice President (and ad hoc Secretary) Matt Friedlein, and Bryan Howell were in attendance, along with about 20 other members and their guests.

January meeting minutes from the WFO were recapped.

Howell gave the treasurer’s report.

Constitutional amendments were voted on and approved. The proposed bylaw changes were also approved.

Members Jim Taggart and Diane Cooper reported on the Anoka-Hennepin STEM science fair they attended on the previous Saturday, representing the AMS. Arden Berge will be attending the South Central/Southwest Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair in Mankato the upcoming Saturday.  Jonathan Cohen stated he will be attending the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair at the U of M. Other upcoming fairs were mentioned with a call for volunteers to let Arden Berge know if they are interested.

Upcoming sponsorship and outreach opportunities were discussed. The AMS is a co-sponsor of the Northern Plains Convective Workshop (NPCW) in the Twin Cities on March 22-23. The chapter has set up a now functional PayPal on their web page which will be used for attendee registration costs to the NPCW. That, along with some of the current AMS funds, will be used to cover the cost of the program printing and St. Thomas food and drink catering.

The AMS will also be a sponsor for the Minnesota  Skywarn Workshop.

Craig Edwards previewed the March meeting that would focus on Target Field weather operations, giving information on where it could be at Target Field and the reason behind the cost. Based on feedback from the members, the plan was to have it at Target Field with the idea to charge attendees a small fee suggested by Chris, but this plan was not set quite yet.

The present plan is to receive the AMS Chapter of the Year Award at the NPCW and/or the Skywarn Workshop this spring.

The business meeting was adjourned at 7:43pm.  Paul Huttner,  chief meteorologist of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) spoke about weather and MPR. 

Huttner has also worked as an on-air meteorologist in the Twin Cities.

Huttner described a typical two-shift day.  He works during “Morning Edition,” providing hourly cut-ins for weather information.  He also works during the evening “All Things Considered” show, giving similar information about past and future weather, especially for the evening.  He does most of his broadcasting from the “Huttner Weather Lab” in his house in Minnetonka.

There are a number of challenges to his job at MPR.  The radio network covers the entire state of Minnesota, so Huttner  and his weather team must consider the weather in just more than the Twin Cities metropolitan area, where MPR’s headquarters is.  There are weather-trained people through the state which he depends on, but when the situation is critical, he goes on-air.  This past summer was exceptionally challenging for him with the record number of tornadoes – 104 detected and discovered by February 2011 – across the state.  His team is also comprised of former National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Edwards.

Since Minnesota Public Radio’s network covers the state of Minnesota, Huttner’s area of responsibility covers the same area.  Fortunately, MPR has trained its staff to handle various weather situations.

One of Huttner’s challenges is in his description the current weather situation.  On television, one has the benefit of being able to show things, and the audience can see them.  On the radio, Huttner must be especially descriptive in his broadcasts so his listeners will be able to understand what is happening and what will happen.

Huttner mentioned his blog, “Updraft,” on MPR., which he or someone on his staff updates frequently, and hourly when hazardous weather is threatening or occurring.---Chris Bovitz.



Meeting Minutes for Feburary 1, 2011


Odegard Hall, Rm. 108

I.)           Call to Order

                            -President Matt Saari called the meeting to order at 5:07PM

II.)         Old Buisness

                            -Lake Agassiz Chapter reactivation meeting was last night. (31 January). Officers were elected last night. They have a Facebook


                            -Baked goods sign up sent around.

III.)        New Business

                            -Photo Contest for February is up and running. The category is snow.

                            Submission deadline 16 February. Voting begins on the 17th.

                            -Dues are due on 15 February. $15 for the semester, $30 for the year

                            (Includes banquet ticket)


                            -Scholarship/Internship Deadlines:

                                          -Hollings- 4 February

                                          -AMS- 11 February

                                          -SCEP- end of February.

                            -Committee Restructuring- There hasn't been much organization and balance in committees. Some committees have been lacking in                             attendance. Will be discussed at the next officers meeting and brought to the group at the next full meeting.

IV.)        Committee Reports

-Activities/Outreach- Perspective science fair judging on 8 April. Information in    forth coming spring trip will be the 1st weekend in April. The Kohl's Resort. If   snow there is a ski and resort area. At the resort, there are also cabins with      amenities. If no snow, heading to Itasca to the headwaters. There is also a science center there. 

                            -Fundraising- Hot chocolate fundraiser soon (Wed-Fri) early in the morning. A Doodle poll will be sent out in 1-hour increments (7-11AM)

                            -Banquet- No report.

V.)          Open Floor


                            -Fred has been sending out many emails. Meridian will be at the career fair. Great Lakes Summer Fellowship program applications are out.                              Weather Mod INC will be out soon.

                            -$3952.61 is our current balance.

                            -Justin will email Super Science Saturday contact.

                            -Next meeting there will be a presentation on the Seattle Conference.

                            -Possibility of becoming a joint chapter with the National Weather Assoc.                            

VI.)        Adjournment


                            -President Matt Saari adjourned the meeting at 5:45PM 

Meeting Minutes for February 15, 2011
Odegard Hall, Rm. 108

I.) Call to Order

-President Matt Saari called the meeting to order at 5:06PM

II.) Old Business

-Dues are due today

-NWA Joint Chapter. Decided not to become affiliated.

III.) New Business

-Committee Restructure

-Fundraising and Banquet will work together.
-Requested volunteers to help out with banquet jobs.

-Spring Trip
-Will be the first week in April and a Doodle poll will be sent out. Option 1: Kohls resort. Includes a lodge, hot tub, sauna, some outdoor activities but highly weather dependant. Option 2: Twin Cities, Chanhassen River Forecast Center, Sience Museum. UND-AMS can afford $500 to $1000.

-Super Science Saturday

-Broomball- Activities (Ben)

-Big Event- Activities (Katie)

-Spring Picnic

-We will plan on an outdoor picnic but will have a “Plan B”for an indoor picnic in case of bad weather. Picnic will take place on reading and review day.

-AMS Conference Review

-Officers reviewed their experiences at the AMS Annual Meeting.

IV.) Committee Reports

-Activities/Outreach- On 22 Feb we will go curling at 8:30PM. Meet at Clifford for carpooling. Bring clean shoes, loose pants, and a sweatshirt.

-Fundraising- We will be having a 50/50 contest to predict the flood creat at Grand Forks, Fargo, and Devils Lake. The deadline will be before spring break. There will be a box up on fourth floor. Clip a $1 bill to each guess. Thinking about an Easter fundraiser, selling items. We have ~$4,000 in our account.

-Banquet- We need photos for the Slideshow. Officers will pick 3 or 4 entrees and students will vote via Doodle.

V.) Open Floor


VI.) Adjournment

-President Matt Saari adjourned the meeting at 5:53PM---Justin Weber.



February 2011


Monthly Meeting:


The first meeting of the spring semester was held on February 10 at 10:45 am. A total of 36 members attended. The chapter officers opened the discussion by congratulating the members for the great accomplishments of 2010, and encouraging them to keep up the hard work. As usual, they addressed upcoming activities, such as a visit to the National Weather Service in San Juan, and to Univision PR, sales for fundraising, and a movie night. The members were excited to hear that preparations for the annual Weather Festival had already started.

Activity: Interview with “Prensa RUM”

Our chapter received the 1st place in the Student Chapter Poster Competition at the 91st AMS Annual Meeting for the first time ever. When UPRM media station, Prensa RUM, and their journalists found out about this accomplishment, they decided it would make a great front-page story. On February 9, they interviewed Dr. Héctor Jiménez, director of the Atmospheric Science and Meteorology Program, the chapter president and the chapter historian. Some of the students who went to the AMS meeting accompanied the officers during the interview. The article appeared on UPRM’s home page ( from February 18-25. It can be accessed at

Activity: “Love is in the Air” Pizza Party


We had a pizza party on February 10 to exhibit our chapter poster while celebrating the award received at the AMS meeting, as well as Valentine’s Day. An exciting game and music were some of the treats of the evening. Cards with friendly messages that were sold both during the previous week and at the event were delivered near the end of the activity.

Activity: Valentine’s Day Sale


On February 14, we sold delicious brownies covered with hazelnut spread or bite-sized pieces of chocolate (with or without strawberries), and glazed donuts for fundraising purposes.

Special Meeting:


A special meeting was held on February 17 to discuss the transportation to the National Weather Service and Univision PR for the next Saturday. A total of 35 members attended. The UPRM Department of Geology lent us a van. The chapter’s faculty advisor, Dr. Carlos Pabón, kindly offered to drive it from the west side of the island to the Metropolitan Area and back to campus.

Activity: Visit to the National Weather Service and Univision PR


On February 19, around 50 people, including chapter members, friends, and professors, enjoyed the most highly anticipated activity of the month. The event started with the visit to the National Weather Service in San Juan, where the lead forecaster/meteorologist Ernesto Morales received us. He gave us an amusing talk about the benefits, the difficulties, and the importance of a career in operational meteorology. General forecaster Ernesto Rodriguez, and meteorologist interns Krizia Negrón and Rosalina Vazquez also kindly donated some of their time to show us the facilities and instruments, and to talk about their experiences and responsibilities.  

Figure 1. The attendees at the National Weather Service in San Juan, with Krizia Negrón, Ernesto Morales and Ernesto Rodríguez (to the right).

This exciting event was followed by the visit to Univision PR, where Ada Monzón, Puerto Rico’s first female meteorologist, received us. She showed us around while telling us the benefits, the pitfalls, and the significance of a career in broadcast meteorology. Weather reporter Edwin Díaz interviewed the chapter president, Rosimar Ríos-Berríos. She talked about the chapter’s mission, the award received at the AMS Meeting and other accomplishments. The rest of the chapter officers and UPRM faculty members Dr. Héctor Jiménez and Dr. Carlos Pabón accompanied her during the interview, which was broadcasted throughout the island.

Figure 2. The attendees at Univision PR, with Edwin Díaz, Dr. Carlos Pabón, Ada Monzón, and Dr. Héctor Jiménez (to the front).

Activity: Movie Night


On the eve of February 22, 17 members attended a movie night organized by the chapter’s Weather Today committee. While watching the film The Day after Tomorrow, the attendees discussed how the movie distorted facts about weather and climate.

Activity: Munchie Gras Sale

A Mardi Gras-themed sale was held on February 28 for fundraising. The delicious menu included brownies, sandwiches and glazed donuts.



February Meeting Minutes.---Nicole Carlisle.





[ 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