Chapter News
January 2003


Anchorage AMS Chapter Meeting, January 15, 2003

Call Meeting to Order: The meeting was called to order by James Peronto, Chapter President, at 7:40 p.m. The meeting was held at the Aviation Technology Center, Merrill Field.

Old Business:

First order of business was a round of introductions. Some people had heard about the meeting through the ad in the newspaper. Total attendance was 26 people.

The Vice President, Robert Forgit, spoke on the current status with the minority scholarship. 280 letters have been sent to high schools all over the state. The students will apply for their freshman year, and then the chapter will judge on the best candidates to compete nationally. Robert has talked with the State Education Dept in Juneau about advertising the scholarship. Also, he requested that the television meteorologists mention the scholarship and that other members publicize it as well.

Membership cards are still available for those who have paid their dues but not received their card.

The chapter has attained Honor Roll status again this year. James Partane will be present at the annual meeting in Long Beach to receive it for the chapter.

Steve White, treasurer, gave a report on the current status of the bank account. As of this meeting, there is $1049 in the account.

New Business:

Jim mentioned the possibility of having an end-of-season party. He will need assistance in planning and is asking for volunteers.

Elections are coming up in April. Those who are interested in running should be prepared to announce their candidacy in March.

April 5th is the state Science Fair. The chapter has always been involved in the past, awarding students with meteorological/hydrological based projects. Volunteers will be needed to judge. The Fair will be held in the FAA hanger.

Guest Speaker: The guest speaker was Joel Curtis, lead forecaster at the Anchorage WSFO. His topic was the St. Patrick's Day snow in 2002, in which 29 inches of snow was received in less than 18 hours at Anchorage International Airport. He and Kent Johnson from the Meteorological Service of Canada have studied the event extensively at the COMET research center in Colorado. The results have been compiled into a winter weather training course that will be used all over the country.

The St. Patrick's Day storms was a very unusual storm in that the greatest snow accumulation was very centralized. Anchorage received 29 inches, and Nikiski received 18 inches, but other locations affected by the storm only received 5 to 10 inches. This includes several locations that were less than ten miles away from the greatest snow accumulation.

Joel started by discussing the initial conditions of the storm. Since the heaviest snow was from 06Z to 18Z, he showed several charts from 00Z to explain the synoptic set-up. The satellite image and the Equivalent Potential Temperature Chart indicated a strong moisture flow extending from north of Hawaii all the way to Barrow, AK. The 300mb jet chart reflected this moisture flow as well. Several speed maxima indicated southerly flow, bringing tropical moisture even at high levels. Joel used several ETA panels to show the temperature/pressure condtions at 00Z. These indicated that an Arctic High was situated to the east, bringing extremely cold temperatures into the Copper River Basin.

Next, Joel showed some time lapsed data, indicating several changes that occurred during the event. For instance, the 00Z Skew-T diagram showed a dry layer aloft, but by 12Z, the entire column was moist. Diagrams from several different sites (Anchorage, Kodiak, etc) indicated that the cold dome of air that had originated in the Copper River Basin extended all the way to Kodiak by 12Z.

The cold dome that was indicated on Skew-Ts strongly supported Joel's argument that terrain effects strongly enhanced the event. The cold air from the arctic high became trapped in Cook Inlet, and the Anchorage bowl was receiving cold air advection from all directions. In fact, the cold air damming was so great that downsloping conditions did not have an effect.

Joel also discussed his analysis that although terrain effects were essential, the event was mostly caused by mechanisms that were in the upper levels. He used a quasi-geostrophic chart that showed a convergence of Q-vectors at 500mb to support this idea. Also, he noticed increased vertical velocities over Anchorage at 700mb and 500mb, which further supported this statement.

The last part of Joel's talk discussed a new hypothesis he formed while studying the event. Since the directional flow was almost perpendicular to the Kenai mountains, Joel speculated that a mountain wave could have had some influence on the event. A cirrus cap that existed on satellite indicated that there was some turbulence. Joel's theory stated that a mountain wave could have enhanced the vertical velocities, which would explain the small region affected. He is still planning to research this idea in conjunction with several scientists at the COMET center.

Joel concluded his talk by opening the floor for questions. He was presented with an Alaska Weather Calendar and an honorary membership.

Adjournment: Jim Peronto, president, adjourned the meeting at approximately 9:00 pm.---Louise Williams.


Meeting Minutes, 13 January 2003 meeting of the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

The third meeting in a very active year for the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was held at Chevy's Restaurant in Champaign, IL. The meeting began at 6:30 PM on Monday, January 13, 2003. Our guest speaker was Mr. Michael McClellan, founder of Mobile Weather Team, Inc. The evening began with guided tours of the Mobile Weather Van, which serves as the base of operations for many of the Mobile Weather Team on-site weather forecast support services. The van allows for receipt of real-time weather data and a location to brief clients on current and predicted weather conditions.

Mobile Weather Team, Inc. was created in 1991 with only two employees, Mr. McClellan and his wife. The team has now grown to 13 full-time meteorologists. While the Mobile Weather Team offers weather support services for a large number of events, they are particularly well known for their work for major golf tournaments, including the PGA and LPGA tours. Mr. McClellan discussed many of the advantages and disadvantages of forecasting for events at a single location. Forecasting for a single location allows for particularly detailed predictions that can be greatly improved by knowledge of local weather peculiarities.

One of the most important weather dangers for golf tournaments is lightning. Mr. McClellan discussed the current understanding of lightning, particularly emphasizing issues related to forecasting and lightning dangers. He pointed out that people will react to rain by running for cover, but will often be slow to take cover when there is a threat for lightning, despite the greater danger. He went on to say that the population often forgets that lightning can occur far from the storm's rain shaft. He and his Team have had much success on short-term lightning forecasting using a Thor Guard lightning prediction system.

In other AMS business, updates were given on two important coming events sponsored by the Central Illinois Chapter. In early April, the Chapter will sponsor an evening meeting commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first documented radar observation of a hook echo associated with a tornado. The Illinois State Water Survey, who will be hosting the evening meeting, took this historic observation. Finally, on 17-18 October 2003, the Chapter will host the first Midwest Regional Conference on Severe and Hazardous Weather. Keynote speakers are being lined up for the conference and advertising is well underway. The meeting adjourned around 9:30 PM.---David Kristovich.


The COCAMS/COCNWA chapter had its 5th meeting of the year at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman, OK on January 28th, 2003. About 20 members and guests attended, including many students from the OU meteorology program, and employees from the NSSL, WFO-Norman, SPC, and Warning Decision and Training Branch.

The group had dinner at the forecast office, followed by a short business meeting. The group was reminded about the National Severe Weather Workshop, which will be held in Norman on February 27-March 1.

For more information on this workshop, please click here:

After the business meeting, Rick Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the Norman NWS office, gave a tour of the forecast office. In addition, Mike Foster, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Norman NWS office, also talked about some of the latest technology being used at the forecast office. Lead Forecaster Chris Sohl demonstrated the Interactive Forecast Processing System (IFPS), and showed how it is used to create high-resolution graphical, text and tabular weather forecasts.

After the tour of the forecast office, Sarah Taylor, Assistant Mesoscale Forecaster at the Storm Prediction Center, gave a tour of the SPC. She gave a brief history of the SPC, talked about its move from Kansas City to Norman in 1996, and showed the group around the operations area. Lead Forecaster Steve Corfidi demonstrated how a severe weather watch is issued and described the coordination process.---Sarah Taylor.


The 15 January 2003 lunch time meeting was held at Pentagon's Executive Dining Room. The speaker was United States Air Force (USAF) Lieutenant Colonel (LT Col) Robert Russell, Chief of Air Force and Army Weather Systems for Air Force Weather (AFW).

The AFW community is being represented across the board in the war on terrorism, both at home in the United States of America (USA) and in Afghanistan. On Sep 11 2001, the terrorist attacks on our nation brought terrorism home. The members of the military took this hit personally as the attacks hit the very icon of our military might: the Pentagon. The attack on the Pentagon directly impacted the Air Force (AF), affecting the Air Staff, active duty AF military members, members of the AF reserves, and the Air Force Operations Group (AFOG).

Lt Col Russell focused his talk on what he termed the "dirty boot" war on terrorism in Afghanistan, including the people, challenges, the things that AFW have done and are doing, and the equipment that AFW is using to support their mission. He said that since his talk was at the unclassified level he couldn't talk about everything that is going on, but emphasized that there is a lot more going on.

AFW got called early on to send in AFW personal to support Special Tactics, Special Operations and the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) aviation assets. The AF Special Tactics people were some of the first in, operating in very difficult terrain. The air mission included troop transport, re-supply as well as close air support. The AFW people worked in urban terrain even taking weather observations downtown. AFW also took their operations to sea, working in conjunction with Navy counterparts onboard aircraft carriers.


One goal of aviation was to get people in and then to support them with close air support. It being a key factor, the important forecasts were for thunderstorm activity, icing conditions (especially for rotary wing aircraft and for mountain terrain locations where the bad people like to hide). One of the biggest environmental problems, however, was blowing dust and sand so accurate wind forecasts were critical.

In Joint Operations such as this, involving not only members of all the branches of the US military but also from the other Coalition Countries' militaries, time is spent trying to de-conflict the data coming in from a lot of different sources. When the Coalition was trying to decide when to take Mazar-e-Sharif, the US military commander asked the weather guy for an analysis of which day, based on the weather forecast, would be best for the mission. The US commander went with his weatherman's recommendation and the objective fell in a day. Weather had a good impact in this case.

The AFW people in theater were pro-active; that is, they did not just forecast the weather, they also talked about the impact of the weather to the operations. The Taliban got rid of the weather people in Afghanistan -- they believed that weather forecasting and meteorology are sorcery. The Taliban also destroyed all of the weather equipment in the country, so when the Coalition forces arrived they found that the friendly find indigenous forces had no weather forecasting expertise or infrastructure. The militaries of the Coalition forces brought their own weather people and equipment, and AFW took time training them so there would be commonality of equipment and procedures.

Weather is often classified as "Actionable Intelligence". To gather this valuable intelligence, weather people went down range in "bad guy" country in advance of some operations. AFW forces were pretty busy, and they got pretty good at putting in the remote weather observations equipment. AFW used a lot of technology; speed, dissemination, and what can be done with the weather information has improved greatly in the 10 years since Operation Desert Storm. AFW used data gathered from the AFW standard equipment and from some non-standard Special Operations equipment. They used a lot of hand held observing equipment, but AFW personnel couldn't be in every operating location. So, AFW personnel trained non-weather personnel to take observations with this hand held equipment and the newly trained "weather watchers" greatly increased the amount of valuable weather data available to the AFW and Coalition weather forecasters.

It took officer, enlisted, weather and non-weather personnel to pull off this joint operation against terrorism. AFW people took part in both weather and non-weather missions -- what ever it took to get the job done. While many things have changed in the way AFW both fights and supports war fighter, the one thing that has not changed is that AFW personnel are enduring long, tough missions with dedication.---Lauraleen O'Connor


Houston AMS Chapter Taking Weather Education on the Road The Houston chapter of the American Meteorological Society is helping The Children’s Museum of Houston bring wacky weather to children all over the city. Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm traveling exhibit on weather will open in Houston in January 2003. In addition to offering expert advice through planning and development stages of the exhibit over the past year and a half, local AMS members are now stepping up to demonstrate fun weather experiments with museum visitors during the opening of the exhibit in Houston, 25–26 January 2003. Houston AMS is also helping The Children’s Museum of Houston with staff training before and during the exhibit run. Staff will be introduced to the key ingredients of weather, basic principles of weather science and various tools of the meteorologist. Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm is being created by the Children’s Museum of Houston in a collaborative effort with Scholastic Entertainment, the NOAA National Weather Service, and the American Meteorological Society. The exhibit will introduce children to the study of meteorology, namely, what weather is, what causes different types of weather, what types of safety precautions should be taken during weather emergencies, and how to predict the weather.

Tuesday January 21, 2003

Speaker: Lubna Nazarani
Project Coordinator for Weather Exhibit at the Children's Museum of Houston

The January meeting was held at the Children's Museum of Houston. Our meeting was held at the Children's Museum (Annex) to work on an educational and community outreach program with Scholastic's The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm.

Scholastic's The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm is a nation-wide traveling weather exhibit that will debut in Houston on January 25th. The Houston Local Chapter is participating in a "Meet the Meteorologist Program" that will be at the exhibit over the next 6 months. This program has local AMS members work in conjunction with The Children's Museum of Houston to educate children, their families and teachers about weather and meteorological professions. Over the past year and a half, AMS members have been offering advice with the planning and development stages of the exhibit. Now local AMS members will demonstrate fun weather experiments with museum visitors while the exhibit is in Houston. The Houston AMS will also help train the staff of the Children's Museum of Houston during the exhibit run. Staff will be introduced to the key ingredients of weather, basic principles of weather science and various tools of the meteorologist.

The meeting began by Chapter members receiving at tour of the weather exhibit. Following the tour we had at work and eat meeting in the Morgan building in the Children's Museum Annex. At this meeting we trained for the "Meet the Meteorologist Program" by going through the weather concepts and classroom activities for the hands-on exhibit. Lubna Nazarani demonstrated fun weather experiments that demonstrate principals of weather including temperature and density differences between air masses and wind flow.

Following this meeting, we had local member's sign up to volunteer during the exhibit. Volunteers will demonstrate fun weather experiments with museum visitors and kids and will teach kids basic principles of weather through hands-on exhibits. This also gives kids a chance to meet a "Real Meteorologist."

We have volunteers signed up for Thursday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons for the next 6 months. The calendar for the "Meet the Meteorologist" program at the Children's museum is now on the Chapter web site: AMS Members can click on the link provided and sign up for a time slot.---Liz Murphy.


What's Up With the Cryosphere? The portions of the Earth covered with snow and ice have been undergoing rapid changes in the recent decades and making sense of all these changes can be challenging. Ben Holt, JPL scientist with the prestigious oceanography group presented a stimulating lecture at the January chapter meeting held at Cal State LA. Mr. Holt's work on polar sea ice focuses on the relationships between changes in sea ice extent and thickness, mainly in the Arctic, and atmospheric circulation. Remote sensing evidence is showing that sea ice has decreased in the last 20 years and that these decreases are related to atmospheric circulations, oscillations and possibly warming. Holt showed how North Atlantic and Arctic oscillations (NAO and AO) correspond to fluctuating patterns in ice losses. Ben Holt also discussed changes taking place in Greenland and Antarctica. The mass balance of ice at these two land ice locations are also showing decreases, but not in all areas. Greenland loses mass at the edges of the island in summer, but shows accumulations in the interior. Similarly, while W. Antarctica is losing mass, E. Antarctica shows slight increases. Recent research in NASA imagery was shown, including Lake Vostok, a fresh water lake below thousands of feet of ice, which may contain unusual life forms, Antarctic glacial velocities seen through radar images, and polar polynas, or openings in sea ice, where heat exchange occurs between the ocean and the atmosphere. Holt and several teams of scientists are trying to unravel the complex interactions between oceans, atmosphere and cryosphere, so that we may one day answer, what's up with the cryosphere.---Steve LaDochy.


General Business Meeting: January 23, 2003

Start: 5:00 pm

President Cegeon Chan Vice President Gabriel Langbauer Secretary Amy Lawton Public Relations Heather Vieira President Cegeon Chan End: 6:00 pm---Amy Lawton.

General Business Meeting: December 5, 2002

Start: 7:00 pm

President Cegeon Chan

Vice President Gabriel Langbauer

Secretary Amy Lawton

Public Relations Heather Vieira

Treasurer Paul Gebelein

President Cegeon Chan

End: 7:30 pm

General Business Meeting: November 5, 2002

Start: 7:30 pm

President Cegeon Chan

Vice President Gabriel Langbauer

Secretary Amy Lawton

Treasurer Paul Gebelein

Public Relations Heather Vieira

President Cegeon Chan

Meteorologist Scott Whitter

Special Thanks goes out to Scott Whitter for his time.

End: 9:30 pm

General Business Meeting: October 7, 2002

Start: 7:30 pm

President Cegeon Chan

Vice President Gabriel Langbauer

Secretary Amy Lawton

Treasurer Paul Gebelein

Public Relations Heather Vieira

End: 8 pm---Amy Lawton.


The North Florida Chapter of the AMS held it's first meeting of 2003 on Wednesday, January 29, 2003. Approximately thirty members attended, with all officers present except for President Stephanie Abrams, who was away on business. Treasurer Joe Smith called the meeting to order at 7:10pm.

To start the meeting, Treasurer Joe Smith read the list of chapter members who had paid their chapter dues ($5 students, $10 non-students) to date and asked that those who had not paid their dues to please do so as soon as possible. In a related topic, Joe noted that he was in the process of setting up a non-profit bank account for the chapter and should have previously collected dues (in the form of checks) deposited as soon as possible. Finally, Joe noted that his subcommittee, the Science/Education Committee, had met recently and will be electing a head of the committee at their next meeting in February.

At 7:15pm, our featured speaker, Dr. Scott Goodrick from the USDA Forest Service took the floor for his presentation on fire weather. His very informative and interesting presentation encompassed approximately fifty minutes and broached a wide variety of fire weather topics, ranging from what fire weather is to efforts to model the evolution and life cycle of a fire. Included during the presentation was a short video detailing a firewhirl from a previous fire in Brevard County, Florida. A full report from his presentation can be found on the chapter website,, in the near future.

Vice-President Jeff Wood and the chapter membership thanked Dr. Goodrick for his presentation and then moved on to the remainder of the agenda for chapter business for the night. To begin, Vice-President Jeff Wood called upon a member of the Social Committee to detail the Valentine's Day bowling event that the chapter will be holding on Saturday, February 8, 2003 at noon at Capitol Lanes on Capitol Circle NE in Tallahassee. Secretary Clark Evans provided directions to the bowling alley and asked for a show of hands from those interested in the event. Interest was minimal - about fifteen people - though the event will go on as planned.

In addition, Jeff received, through Dr. Fuelberg of the FSU Dept. of Meteorology, several previous t-shirts used for the Dept. of Meteorology and local chapters of the AMS. These were the first submissions received for the chapter t-shirt and, unless other designs are submitted soon, one of the designs may form the basis for the current chapter t-shirt. With that, the meeting was turned over to Secretary Clark Evans for the final business of the evening.

Clark began by asking for new members to provide their contact information to complete the member directory for the chapter and reiterated the fact that people can opt-out from having their information placed on the chapter's website by e-mailing me, as others have since the last meeting. Regarding the webpage, the Love Building and entire FSU campus suffered a momentary power outage during the afternoon on January 29, rendering yet another Dept. of Meteorology webserver useless. Thus, until the webserver can be fixed, updates posted to the chapter website will be sparse, if not non-existent. Also on the web, but on the actual AMS webpage (, it was noted that members can find a report from our November 2002 chapter meeting by clicking on "Local Chapter Information," then on "Chapter Minutes," then on "November 2002" and scrolling down to the North Florida chapter.

To conclude the meeting, Clark noted that there had been minimal interest in the Newsletter committee and asked that those interested in the committee please e-mal him with their information. With several meetings and social functions completed, there is now enough information for a newsletter and the Newsletter Committee will be meeting in the near future to discuss where to head with the forthcoming newsletter. With business for the meeting completed, Vice-President Jeff Wood adjourned the meeting at 8:15pm.---Clark Evans.


January Chapter News The NEOCAMS chapter met on January 21st at the NWS office in Tulsa, OK. The featured speaker was Steve Piltz, Meteorologist-in-Charge for the Tulsa forecast office. Steve has been at the Tulsa office for nearly 10 years; before his MIC position, he served as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist.

Steve's presentation focused on the new grid/digital weather forecasts which are now available. The forecasters have been using the Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS) for many years to produce text and digital forecasts. However, within the last year, they have begun using the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE) to produce graphical forecasts. The forecasters produce forecasts for over 16,000 data points, with a 5 km resolution.

Steve demonstrated the GFE, and showed how forecasters could either use new model data to initialize the forecast, or just modify the existing forecast. Some of the basic weather grids are drawn indivually. The forecasters then use "smart tools" to create derived weather fields such as wind chill or relative humidity.

There will be many advantages to the new system. Users will be able to generate a site-specific forecast, with multiple weather parameters, at any time. Also, users will be able to ingest the grids into other weather systems to create weather products for TV or the private sector.

Tulsa is one of the first weather offices in the country to produce grid-based graphical forecasts. For an example, please visit the NWS Tulsa website: Taylor.


The Cook College Chapter of the AMS had their 1st general meeting of the 2003 Spring Semester on 28 January 2003. The meeting began at 9:03 pm by President, Chuck Caracozza. Chuck announced the next meeting would be in mid-February and would have a guest speaker from the NWS.

Andrew Durante, Rutgers Senator for class of 2004, spoke about the auditions for the WeatherWatcher program. He encouraged underclassmen to tryout.

Next, Chuck announced that Bryan Norcross would be speaking on April 19 and told the members that he needed their help to plan the event. In addition, Chuck encouraged underclass to think about running for an exec board position for next year.

Megan Linkin spoke next about putting together a committee to work on the Meteorology Club bulletin board in the hallway on the 3rd floor of the ENR building on campus.

Brian Frugis, club secretary, spoke next about how the club is interested in applying for Chapter of the Year and the things that we must do in order to be a contender for this prestigious title.

Next, club Vice President, "Little" Jim Salge spoke about taking the club on a trip to NCEP headquarters in Camp Springs, MD. He also talked about his idea of a fundraiser for Ag Field Day, involving the club with a human wack-a-mole game.

Mark Papier spoke next about the work he is doing on the club's poster that will be brought to the 83rd Annual Meeting of the AMS.

Finally, John Krasting spoke for about a half hour on his stay this summer at UCAR in Boulder, CO. John took part in the Leadership workshop held out there last June. He was sponsored by Dr. Alan Robock. John explained the goals of UCAR and a little about their divisions, research, and facilities. He discussed the leadership skills that were explained to him at his stay. In addition, he discussed the research opportunities that they presented to the students attending the workshop. He told everyone tips on applying to grad schools and explained how other students can get involved in this great workshop. Chuck ended the meeting at 9:54.---Brian J. Frugis.


January 21, 2003 at 7:00PM:

President Brent Maddux welcomed members back, to open the first meeting of the spring semester. Treasurer Paul Roller reported on the chapter's budget and Secretary Morgan Gallagher read the minutes from the last meeting on December 3rd.

Plans for three intramural teams were discussed: men's basketball, women's softball and men's softball. Jennifer Salato spoke about Spirit Weekend, inviting members to volunteer over the weekend of February 22nd. The Secretary gave a progress report on the redesigning of the Meteorology Department case and thanked Kevin Walter, Jason Sippel, and Kelsey Curtiss for all their hard work and time.

Adopt-A-Highway was announced for Saturday, February 1st. Adopt-A-Beach will be some time in April and the annual trip to Oklahoma will be sometime between March and April.

Upcoming meetings will be held on February 25th, March 18th, and April 17th and Career Fair will be sometime in late April.

The TAMMSSDA Coordinator Kevin Walter spoke on upcoming TAMMSSDA events. The Coordinators and Forecasters are developing an apprenticeship program where each forecaster will be assigned an apprentice, which they can show how to forecast for chases. Dave Gold will be holding a training workshop for any one who wishes to attend. They are also looking for someone certified in CPR to hold a teaching session for the group.

TAMMSSDA will be holding a meeting/safety seminar on January 30th at 7:00PM on the 12th floor of the O&M building.

TAMSCAMS's T-shirts will hopefully be ready for the next meeting.

The President adjourned the meeting to pizza and refreshments.---Morgan Gallagher.


1st meeting of the second semester 2002-2003

Wednesday 1/15/02

The first on the agenda was electing a new president and a new treasurer. Our new president is Shelley Shindler and our new treasurer is Kyle Klute.

Second on the agenda we discussed possible fundraisers for the group. We decided on a T-shirt design for this year, as well as doing a trash cleanup at our Devaney Sports Center here in Lincoln. We also plan to have an interview with our student paper for the university to better express our club and what we do.

Third on the agenda was trips and conferences to attend as a group. The two big trips planned was one to the National Severe Weather Conference on Feb 27th-March 3rd in Oklahoma. Also was a trip to Des Moines for the severe weather conference there as well. We also discussed several other trips such as a trip to our National Weather Service office here in Nebraska at Valley to watch a balloon launch and tour the weather office. On a side note we also plan to have special fun nights like "tornado night" where the club will get together and watch tornado and storm related movies to get our members to know each other better and to just have a good time.

That's all for now, our next meeting is Feb. 5th at 5:00 p.m.

Monday 1/27/03
4:00 p.m.

We had a special AMS meeting on Monday. At this meeting we had a guest speaker from the National Weather Service, Dan Nietfeld. Dan works in the NWS office in Valley, NE. He is the science and operations officer at Valley and does much of the training. Dan also went on to talk about some of his other work there. He oversees research, and works shifts as an area forecaster.

Dan went briefly into how the NWS employs meteorologists and how he started out. He explained how the NWS internship is essentially hard to get but once you have one, you pretty much have a job in the NWS. The NWS also has several opportunities to dip your feet in the job. Dan explained how students can actually do some job shadowing and watch experienced meteorologists in action. We can also set up volunteer work and get to work with the NWS a little bit. Dan also spoke on how we could set up appointments to get some data from the NWS for doing research, a big plus.

Towards the end Dan went into setting up resumes and an online profile for jobs to find us. All in all it was great to hear him speak and catch a little info from someone out in the field.

end 4:50 p.m.---Kelly D. Faltin.


The University of Utah Chapter of the American Meteorological Society met on January 20, 2003 to discuss the current and upcoming events for the new year.

One of the first things on our agenda was the discussion of our continuing educational outreach program, also known as the Interactive Classroom Experiment (ICE). Maura Hahnenberger, chair of our educational outreach committee, has compiled a schedule starting the week of Janunary 27th through the end of April. Members will meet with students of all ages all throughout the Salt Lake Valley to discuss the weather and demonstrate several simple science experiments.

Our chapter also continues to put out a five-day forecast for the University and surrounding areas, which can be found at We provide K-Ute, student radio, as well with forecasts on a daily basis, which was recently organized by Christine McCue, the President. We also hope to expand to additional local radio stations, which is being organized by Jay Shafer, chair of the campus forecast committee, and Brandon Lee, a dedicated member.

Finally, our chapter hopes to introduce its first annual photo contest on January 31. The photo contest is open to everyone, and all revenues generated will be placed in what our chapter has titled the Red Cross Disaster Victims Fund. This fund will help relieve individuals and families affected by tragedies, especially those who cannot afford to pay expensive medical bills. We have already received two generous donations from two local restaurants for prizes, and we are in the process of contacting additional companies.---Christine McCue.


October 2002 Meeting Minutes

A meeting of the Wright-Memorial Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its latest meeting Thursday, October, 17th, 2002. The meeting was convened at the China Garden Restaurant at 6:30 P.M. An update from the Treasurer, Mike Abel, revealed that there were 7 paying members, with more expected by the end of the evening. Harm Visser, the vice-president, gave an update on the Chapter's Web-site. The web-site has moved, with the new address being: The chapter president, Pete Roohr, provided an update concerning the monthly forecast contest. The first place winner of September's contest didn't put their name on the entry form; therefore, the 2nd place winner, Don Farrington, took the honor. There will be a "gift" presented at the next meeting for the winner of October's contest. President Roohr stated that Dr. Rogers (Ohio State University) would speak at the November meeting, and the chapter would visit Channel 2 (WDTN in Dayton) studios and talk with Carl Nichols for the December meeting. The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Swarndeep Gill, PhD., California University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gill presented a talk on his doctoratal research, Vertical Motions of Drop of Different Sizes and Growth of Drizzle in Marine Stratus. Dr. Gill received his MS from the University of Oklahoma and his PhD from the University of Wyoming. He discussed his PhD research, which entailed an analysis of marine stratus with University of Wyoming aircraft. The Wyoming King Air and the Wyoming Cloud Radar made observations in unbroken marine stratus off the coast Oregon in September 1995 and August 1999. This study analyzes 8 days from that time study. Cloud tops were below 1 km agl, cloud thicknesses were less than 400 m, and environmental conditions were similar for each day studied. A comparison of drop concentrations within narrow size ranges in regions of more intense upward versus downward vertical air velocities, reveals a robust pattern. The comparison is quantified with the parameter cw defined as the ratio of the concentration of drops in a given size interval in the upper 20th percentile of vertical velocities, to the concentration in the lower 20th percentile of vertical velocity. As a function of drop size, cw showed two maxima (cw > 1). The first occurs at small cloud drop sizes of 9-18 mm near the mode of the drop size distribution. Values of cw for this size range were generally between 1.5-3. The second maximum occurred for diameters of 75-150 mm with values around 2. The minimum occurred at intermediate drop diameters of 24-30 mm, with an average value of 0.6. The results of this study call attention to the role of weak vertical motions in marine stratus in shaping the drop size distribution. Upward motions allow for increased in-cloud dwell time and give rise to the maximum in cw at drizzle sizes. The minimum in cw near 30 mm diameter is most likely due to a depletion of these drops in upward moving air due to collection by drizzle drops. The maximum in cw at small cloud drops is the result of a difference between updrafts and downdrafts owing to the lapse of time since initial condensation at cloud base. Other factors such as recirculation of partially evaporated drops, entrainment at cloud top or the fragmentation of large drops may also contribute to the minimum in cw at small sizes.---Robin De La Vega.

November 2002 Meeting Minutes

A meeting of the Wright-Memorial Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its latest meeting Thursday, November, 12th, 2002. The meeting was convened at the Pepitos Mexican Restaurant and Cantina at 6:30 P.M. Results for the October forecast contest from President Pete Roohr: (1) Question on temperature departure for Boston on 31 October (from highest ever to actual); Capt Bartlett nailed it with an answer of 33° F, one off from answer of 34° F. (2) Question on precipitation at Wichita, Kansas from 24 October to 10 November: Maj Gehred nailed this one with an answer of 2.31", just 0.34" away from the actual of 1.97"; (3) Question on number of days at Grand Forks, North Dakota for temperature lower than 25°F, Capt Bartlett and Maj Gehred tied with an answer that was one day away from the actual number of 7; (4) Tiebreaker (drum roll please): Question on amount of snow at Duluth, Minnesota. Danielle Lewis actually nailed this one with an answer of 0.1" (since Duluth had nothing). Between Maj Gehred and Capt Bartlett, who both had 178 points going in, Kevin won with an answer of 3.1" as opposed to Maj Gehred's answer of 11.5". As the winner, Kevin Bartlett was presented with an Almanac for 2003. The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Jeff Rogers, from the Meteorology Department of Ohio State University. He gave a presentation on "The Role of the Pacific North American (PNA) Teleconnection Pattern and its Role in Ohio River Valley Winter Precipitation, Flooding and Streamflow." About 25 years ago climatologists mainly focused on the North American Oscillation (seesaw temperature changes between Greenland and northern Europe) and its link to synoptic cyclone variability. Dr. Rogers and his group have been focusing on the PNA, and its relationship to North American streamflow, how it differs from the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) and how it relates to local rainfall. There have been very strong relationships between sea level pressure changes inherent with the PNA and rainfall in the Ohio River valley over the last 60 years, with patterns that can help long-term seasonal forecasts in the next 50 years. Dr. Rogers showed us some interesting results of flooding in Ohio that occurred about four to five times over the last half century.---Robin De La Vega

December 2002 Meeting Minutes

A meeting of the Wright-Memorial Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its latest meeting December, 12th, 2002. The meeting was convened at the Momma DiSalvo's Italian Restaurant (Stroop Road in Dayton) at 6:30 P.M. An update from the Treasurer, Mike Abel, revealed that there were 13 paying members, with more expected by the end of the evening. The chapter president, Pete Roohr, provided an update concerning the monthly forecast contest. The winner of the November forecasting contest was Paul Gehred, but he had to fight off Randy Haeberle and Jerome Clemons with the tiebreaker. Pete Roohr won the first question, coming within 5 degrees of the forecasted low for Greensboro NC on 28 Nov. Robin Delavega won the second question, exactly guessing the number of days (6) that Dallas TX would be GTE 70 deg F for 14 Nov to 9 Dec. Randy Haeberle won the third question, coming within 11" of the snow observed at Buffalo NY for 15 Nov to 5 Dec (24"). The tiebreaker, number days rain for College Station TX, was nailed by Paul Gehred (exactly at 4 days). Paul won an AMS mug. President Roohr stated that Capt Narcisse would speak at the January meeting. The guest speaker for the evening was Carl Nichols, the lead meteorologist for Channel 2 in Dayton; Brian Davis, another forecaster from Channel 2, attended the dinner but had to go home to rest before his early 0500-0700 shift the next morning. The chapter members followed Carl by car to the Channel 2 studios, about 6 miles west of the restaurant. Carl gave an overview of his responsibilities at the station, and showed the really neat pieces of computer hardware and monitors that he had. He specifically emphasized his use of NWS models and warnings, which he monitored on a frequent basis. The radar display he has enables him to show where storms are in relation to local streets around the city, which many TV viewers really appreciate. He discussed the support that Channel 2 provided during the recent tornado event over western Ohio (second weekend of November), saying there were some difficulties with the monitor that were fixed in a matter of minutes. Carl has been at Channel 2 for more than 25 years, and talked about the changes in technology and how weather personnel were examined.---Pete Roohr.


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