Chapter News
July 2009


The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 3rd meeting of 2009 on July 1, 2009, at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, Louisiana. The meeting began at 6:00 pm, with thirteen members present.

Doug Butts, Senior Forecaster with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, gave a presentation titled “The 1978 Bossier City F-4 Tornado”.  Doug discussed the events that led up to the event and the devastating effect of the December 3rd Tornado on Bossier City. He included maps of the environmental conditions as well as radar images as the storm moved through.  He also showed pictures and videos from media and other sources taken shortly after the event.  Doug concluded the presentation with a look at what impacts would occur if the same magnitude tornado struck Bossier City today, more than 30 years later. 

Before the presentation, President Jason Hansford held a short business meeting.

The following members were present

Jason Hansford, President

Marty Mayeaux, Vice President
Marcy Novak, Secretary

Leslie Sexton, Treasurer

Armando Garza

Keith Stellman

Doug Butts

Ernie Ethredge

Aaron Stevens

Idamis Delvalle (Puerto Rico Student Worker)

Ismari Ramos Medina (Puerto Rico Student Worker)

Ryan Willis (University of Louisiana at Monroe Student)

Jessica Talley (University of Louisiana at Monroe Student)

The meeting adjourned at 7:00 PM....Marcy Novak.



The High Plains AMS Chapter officers held a teleconference call meeting on July 20th, 2009.  President Mike Umscheid served as call coordinator.  After the call, the minutes were then emailed to all chapter members by President Umscheid.

The minutes from the 4/28/2009 meeting were not read, but were referred to via out website, and all members had received the minutes via email.  The Treasurer reported our checkbook balance as of 7/20/09 was $2159.92, with the Jim Johnson Scholarship Fund at $1835.00.  In the email minutes, all chapter members were polled to see if any were planning to attend the AMS national meeting, so we could submit a Chapter poster.  The Executive board officers discussed and voted on an issue pertaining to the upcoming conference in North Platte.  The board decided to enact a group rate registration fee for this year’s conference, and future conferences.  The rate will be the cost of 6 regular registrations, with no additional cost for more than 6 registrants from the same office or organization.  It was also decided to create a partial attendance rate for 1 (of 2) day attendance.  The rate will be 75% of the conference registration fee.   Everyone is invited to the 13th High Plains Conference in North Platte, Nebraska on August 27th and 28th.  Further Conference information including registration, an agenda, and lodging choices can be found on our website:

The next Chapter meeting will be held during the High Plains Conference in North Platte, NE, most likely following the final session on Thursday, August 27th.---Mike Umscheid and Tim Burke.



On the evening of July 20th, around twenty people of the Smoky Mountain Chapter met for dinner at O'Charley's restaurant in Morristown, TN. The July meeting then commenced at the National Weather Service office for a talk about the May 8, 2009 tornado outbreak. The speakers were David Hotz (Science and Operations Officer), David Gaffin (senior forecaster), Tim Troutman (Warning Coordination Meteorologist), and George Mathews (Meteorologist in Charge) of the National Weather Service. Their talk examined the environmental conditions, radar imagery, and storm surveys of this event that produced eight seperate tornado tracks across east Tennessee and southwest Virginia. Pictures of the damage and explanations of how the tornadoes were rated were also discussed.---David Gaffin.



Combining a Research and a Community Outreach Component:

WCFLAMS Members Quiz Motorists on Hurricane Evacuation Plans

On July 3rd, members of the West Central Florida Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (WCFLAMS) joined faculty and students from the University of South Florida (USF) interviewing motorists about their hurricane evacuation planning, or lack thereof, as part of a new pilot study (Figure 1).  The study was conducted at the rest area on northbound Interstate 75 at the Pasco County rest area between exits 275 and 279. The research investigating people’s intended evacuation behavior is being conducted with financial support from USF’s Honors College, through its National Science Foundation-funded Hurricane Research Experience for Undergraduates Program.

An interdisciplinary approach to this common problem of hurricane evacuations was evident with the members of the WCFLAMS joining the group led by Jennifer Collins, an officer of the WCFLAMS and an assistant professor in USF Department of Geography;  Robin Ersing, an associate professor in the School of Social Work and consultant Beverly Ward of BGW Associates (Figure 2).

The study was conducted on the first day of the busy Fourth of July travel weekend to replicate some conditions which could be expected when the team conducts a similar study interviewing people at the time of a real hurricane evacuation and learning the intricacies of their evacuation decision-making. This latter study is being conducted with funding from the Natural Hazards Center’s Quick Response Program.

In addition to this being a research project, the team encompassed a community outreach component to the day by distributing hurricane preparedness guides provided by NOAA/NWS.---Jennifer M. Collins.

Figure 1: WCFLAMS members, Charles Paxton (NWS) and Kortnie Pugh (student USF) interviewing people about their intended evacuation plans. Photo provided by Charles Paxton.

Figure 2: Interdisciplinary group effort with members from the WCFLAMS and students and faculty from USF’s Department of Geography, School of Social work, Department of World Languages and Department of Mathematics and Statistics.





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