Chapter News
March 2002


James Peronto, Chapter President on November 27th, 2001 at approximately 8 p.m, called the November meeting of the Anchorage AMS Chapter to order. The meeting was held at the Glacier Brewhouse Restaurant, Downtown Anchorage.

Peronto announced that the Anchorage Chapter received honor roll status from the National AMS Chapter. Only a limited amount of chapters receive the honor roll award each year.

A new paper has been added to the "Contributed Papers" section of the web page. Dave Goldstein, Warning Coordination Meteorologist of NWS Anchorage contributed his write-up of Knowledge Gained in Prince William Sound and Passage Canal. The chapter's website can be viewed at Nathan Jeruzal, Vice-President of the chapter gave a summary of the events of the AMS Minority Scholarship program. Jeruzal at the present time is finishing writing a letter to guidance counselors that will be sent to all high schools in Alaska telling about the scholarship. The letter, along with applications supplied by the National Chapter, will be sent within a week to most high schools in Alaska. James Peronto will be talking about and supplying a graphic on the TV show "Alaska Weather" to get this information out more to the general public. A file of the letter and the application are available to be downloaded from the chapter web page. Applications are due to the chapter February 22, 2002. The chapter will recommend the three top applicants to the National committee, who will then select seven winners nationwide of the 2 year, $3,000 per year scholarship. The seven winners will then be announced around the middle of April 2002.

Sam Maxwell from the Iditarod Air Force was the guest speaker for the evening. Maxwell was asked to speak due to the fact he is very involved in the world famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race almost every year. While assisting with the Iditarod each year, he encounters the often harsh winter weather conditions in the Interior of Alaska. Maxwell is also a teacher of winter survival skills. He has climbed North America's highest mountain, Mt. McKinley in Alaska.

Maxwell, was born and raised in Alaska. His father earned a living as a commercial fisherman out on the dangerous Alaska waters. A few years ago, his father gave up commercial fishing and became a gold miner. As a result of his love for the outdoors, he continues to help out year after year, fly food and supplies to checkpoints all along the Iditarod trail. Weather is very important to the Alaska Iditarod Air Force. It is very important to survival if something was to go wrong. As a pilot, he is very aware of the weather that he encounters along the way. He has seen all winter weather from brutal cold to snowstorms. Maxwell stated that along the trail, he encounters three regions of different weather. Near the start of the race just north of Anchorage, it is usually milder than everywhere else along the trail. At the middle of the race in interior Alaska, he has encountered temperatures many times 40-50 degrees below zero and occasionally even colder. Toward the end of the race along Alaska's western coast, usually the wind is blowing snow and reducing visibilities to near zero. Occasionally the weather cooperates, but he does not expect it to. He has to check on weather and receive a flight briefing everyday out there as required by the FAA. He gets very few updates mid-flight when flying in rural Alaska. Many times, he will leave as soon as he can in the morning, and then doesn't return until as late as possible in the evening. When he flies out to the different checkpoints, he has to land his plane with skis on rough terrain, including mountain passes.

In 1988, he met up with a photographer, and began taking him to photograph the race from the air annually. Maxwell brought slides of pictures of his history with the Iditarod that were taken by the photographer. Recently within the last few years, the television channel, USA, has contracted Maxwell to assist with their coverage of the Iditarod race from the air.

At this point, Maxwell went on with his slide presentation, narrating it with other personal stories. He then answered questions from the members.

As of right now, we are planning a January meeting (exact time TBA). John Gamash, meteorologist from Channel 11 in Anchorage is the planned speaker. Gamash will be talking about his experiences while working in Antarctica. A February meeting is anticipated to coordinate with the NWS Alaska Region Managers meeting being held in February.

The meeting was adjourned by Peronto at approximately 10:30 p.m.----Nathan Jeruzal.


The Black Hills chapter of the American Meteorological Society conducted its most recent meeting Dec. 20, 2001. The speaker was Dr.Bryan Klimouski, science operations officer for the Rapid City NWS. He spoke on the topic of upslope snow events in the northern Black Hills. He included a discussion on forecast parameters including Froude number and favorable fetch and moisture conditions. He presneted a climatology with a few detailed case studies. About 25 people attended the meeting.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for the second week in March and I am trying to recruit Dr. Scott Kenner, a hydrologist at the South Dakota School of Mines and technology to speak on the issue of urban runoff and its effects on dissolved oxygen levels in Rapid Creek. This topic is the subject of local controversy since there is pressure on the city to address it, while those in local gov't are trying to sweep it under the carpet. This presentation should attract people outside the organization as well, as we look forward to a capacity crowd. Is the national organization interested in a group photo? If so should it be of digital format?---Rick Grimaldi.


The Central Illinois Chapter held its final meeting of the 2001 calendar year on 6 December. The meeting, a joint meeting with the Indiana Chapter, was held at The Beef House restaurant in Covington, Indiana. There were brief business meetings for both chapters. For the Central Illinois Chapter, Walt Robinson spoke of the essay contest for Illinois high school students of which the chapter is sponsoring. Ed Holicky then spoke about the Chapter’s event judging at the Illinois Science Olympiad State Finals Competition. The night’s speaker was Professor Maurice Bluestein of Indiana-Purdue University in Indianapolis. His program was “The Development of a New Wind Chill Temperature Chart.”

The chapter held its first meeting of the year on 4 February 2002. The meeting was held at Marcia’s Waterfront Restaurant in Decatur, Illinois. Brief secretary and treasurer reports were read. Dave Kristovich followed with an overview of the 2002 AMS National Meeting. The program was on mesoscale effects near Illinois nuclear facilities as well as lake breezes. It was presented by Tom Bellinger of the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety.

The next meeting is 7 March 2002 in Decatur. The speaker will be Roger Edwards of the Storm Prediction Center.---Scott Kampas.


The November meeting of the Central North Carolina Chapter of the AMS was held on Thursday, November 15, 2001, at MCNC in Research Triangle Park. Chairman Frank Schiermeier, retired from NOAA, called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m. with approximately 47 members and guests in attendance. Frank began the meeting by noting that a former and a long time chapter members had received tributes from a couple of organizations. First, Earl Dressler was recognized by his alma mater, Loras College in Dubuque, IA, for his service to society as a professional meteorologist and his service to the college. Also, chapter member Paul Humphrey was profiled in the November issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, recognizing his support to the national AMS and his sponsorship of the AMS Donor’s Reception at the Annual Meeting for those who make contributions to the development campaign. Frank passed this profile around for those in attendance to read.

Rod Gonski, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, introduced Judy Elson and Ivy Ast of the Research Triangle Math and Science Partnership to discuss volunteer opportunities for the Scientist in the Classroom Program that they sponsor for schools in the RTP area. They promoted the program as a way to bridge the gap between how science is learned in the classroom and how it is used in real life. Teachers send requests to the Partnership to have scientists come to their class and share their knowledge and experience with the students. Most of the requests to the partnership come from schools in Wake County, with 95-97% of those requests at the elementary school level. Of the approximately 1,000 requests each year, 75 to 95 ask for meteorology. Last year 44 requests for meteorologists went unfilled, while meteorologists from the Raleigh National Weather Service office volunteered for most of the requests that were filled.

Judy and Ivy both made the point that teachers are encouraged to be active participants in the lesson, and arrangements can be made before-hand with them to ensure proper equipment and supplies will be present. For more information visit the Research Triangle Math and Science Partnership website at

Frank introduced the speaker for the evening, Ken Schere, a member of the group of NOAA meteorologists that has been assigned to the EPA since 1955. Ken discussed the Models-3 program, which handles multiple scales for various types of pollutants. The model has the following features:

  1. Its is driven by MM5 for meteorology input
  2. Handles multiple types of pollutants
  3. Includes cloud processes throughout the troposphere
  4. Structured to handle urban to regional scales
  5. Unified emissions control strategy
MM5 provides hourly meteorological output with four-dimensional data assimilation and an interface processor between MM5 and the chemical model. The SMOKE model produces hourly gridded source emissions from point, mobile, and biogenic sources. The Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model is the chemical transport model, which accounts for the effects of advection, diffusion, cloud processes, pollutant plumes, and photolysis rates on chemical transport. Both fine (0-2.5 mm) and coarse (2.5-10 mm) particulate matter are modeled as well.

A case study was presented from July 2-18, 1995, where the model was run with a triple nest at resolutions of 36, 12, and 4 km with 30 vertical layers. The output is available on the internet at, although the site is temporarily unavailable due to security precautions taken after the September 11 attacks.

Future work will include increasing the resolution to 1-2 km in urban areas and linking to global models to incorporate large-scale effects of climate change. Also being developed are plans for operational air-quality forecasting by NOAA on regional and urban scales. Forecasts would be for ozone and particulate matter for short-term periods of 24-72 hours. Some issues to overcome before these forecasts can be made operational include a lack of observational data world-wide, no regular upper-air observations of ozone or particulate matter, uncertainties computing emissions, and deciding how accurate the model would have to be before the forecasts could be disseminated to the public.

After questions from those in attendance, the meeting ended at 9:05 p.m.

The December meeting of the Central North Carolina Chapter of the AMS was held on Thursday, December 13, 2001, at MCNC in Research Triangle Park. As the first order of business, Chairman Frank Schiermeier, retired from NOAA, announced that Bob Gotwals of the SHODOR foundation has accepted the position of chairman of the Education Committee.

John White from the N.C. Division of Air Quality introduced Beth Snoke from The Science House at North Carolina State University. The Science House coordinates K-12 outreach for the college of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. They are conducting a program on weather and climate this spring with four groups of students across North Carolina and looking for volunteers to help expose these students to research and assist with a discussion forum. Also, a conference for girls in science will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 for 7th grade girls featuring workshops with professional female scientists.

Secretary Michael Brennan from N.C. State University introduced the speaker for the evening, Rob Gilliam, a meteorology graduate student at NC State and the State Climate Office of North Carolina. Rob presented a talk on the Influence of Surface Heterogeneities on Boundary Layer Structure and Transport of Pollutants. This study was conducted using an ARPS/CALPUFF coupled model. CALPUFF is a dispersion model that usually uses the meteorological model CALMET, however CALMET cannot resolve variations in the boundary layer, so the ARPS model was used.

ARPS is able to resolve small-scale features in the boundary layer and uses 1.5 TKE closure, explicit cloud physics, and an advanced radiation scheme. CALPUFF requires the following for input: three-dimensional winds, thermal stratification, and momentum flux.

Rob noted that the instrumentation cluster used for his study (including two lidars and a 10-m tower) at the EPA is now at the World Trade Center site in New York City to monitor atmospheric conditions in that area.

Rob ran the model in a simulation from 10-12 July 2001 with 6-km grid spacing over eastern NC and a 1-km nest over Wake County. The ARPS model was initialized from the University of Oklahoma for this simulation.

Rob presented data showing boundary layer height, winds, and pollutant transport through the 2 days and nights of the simulation. Simulated winds and boundary layer height were fairly consistent with those measured by the instrumentation cluster at EPA. Results from the pollutant transport portion of the simulation suggested that local terrain variations, even slight ones such as those in Wake County, could have an effect on the transport of pollutants in the local area.

Rob's presentation ended at 8:41 p.m., and after questions the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Chairman Frank Schiermeier, retired from NOAA, called the first meeting of 2002 to order at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 17, with approximately 35 members and guests in attendance. The first order of business was to recognize the death of longtime chapter member Earl Droessler, who died on December 30, 2001. Obituaries recalling the life and many achievements of Droessler were passed around to those in attendance. A collection of over $100 was taken up and donated to the Math Department at Earl’s alma mater, Loras College in Iowa to support an endowed scholarship in his name.

Vice chair Emily Byrd of WNCN-TV introduced the speaker for the evening, Dr. Jerry Watson, associate professor emeritus of meteorology at North Carolina State University. Jerry presented the talk “Alternative Atmospheres, Circulation and Weather Systems on other Planets”.

Of the inner planets, only Venus, Earth, and Mars have an atmosphere. Mercury has no atmosphere, and a landscape much like our moon. Unlike Earth, where the atmosphere is composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen, the atmospheres of Venus and Mars are around 95% carbon dioxide.

Clouds on Venus are characterized by a chevron shape in the tropics and sub-tropics with a more zonal ring structure near the poles. Most of the clouds are located between 40 and 60 km above the planet surface and are composed mostly of sulfuric acid.

A single Hadley cell, where warm air rises towards the poles, dominates the large-scale circulation on Venus. Thermal tides are especially strong on this planet, due to the slow rotational speed of Venus.

On Mars, the first features noticed are the polar ice caps, the larger of which is located year-round in the southern hemisphere. The maximum precipitable water present on Mars is 0.01 mm, and the maximum surface pressure measured was approximately 10 mb. At these low pressures, water freezes at approximately –80°C, and CO2 freezes at around –120°C. A Hadley cell is present on Mars from the subtropics of the northern hemisphere to the mid-latitudes of the southern hemisphere.

Clouds on Mars are made mostly of water ice and wave clouds are often visible on the lee sides of craters and volcanoes. Ice fog often forms in canyons before sunrise and a polar head cloud appears over the polar ice cap in the winter months.

Cyclonic storms occur on Mars, and at least four were photographed by the Viking I spacecraft. Most of the storms occur in the early summer months along the polar caps where the warming Martian surface juxtaposed with the relatively cold polar caps creates the baroclinity required for the disturbances to form.

The Viking II lander observed several cold frontal passages during the winter months. The frontal passages were accompanied by a wind shift from south to north, a pressure rise, and wind gusts from 4 to 14 m s-1. The fronts were only about 6 km in width, relatively narrow compared to their counterparts observed on Earth.

Large, long-lived dust storms occasionally enshroud the entire planet with dust particle approximately 1 mm in diameter. These storms can last up to one Earth month and are most frequent when Mars is at perihelion during the southern hemisphere summer. Albedo features on the Martian surface frequently change after the three or four weeks it takes the dust to settle from a single storm.

Noting that there was little time remaining to examine the outer planets, Jerry concluded his talk at 8:57 p.m. After questions from those present, the meeting ended at 9:02 p.m.---Michael J. Brennan.


The December 2001 meeting of the Denver-Boulder Chapter was held on December 13 and it was a tour of the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver. The National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) is a joint facility funded and operated by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation. We were warned in advance to wear warm clothing and boy did we need it!

The U.S. NICL is a facility for storing, curating, and studying ice cores recovered from the polar regions of the world. It provides scientists with the capability to conduct examinations and measurements on ice cores, and it preserves the integrity of these ice cores in a long-term repository for current and future investigations. The facility currently houses over 14,000 meters of ice cores from 34 drill sites in Greenland, Antarctica, and high mountain glaciers in the Western United States.

The tour began with an introduction to ice core research. Ice cores are recovered and studied for a variety of scientific investigations, most of which focus on the reconstruction of past climate states of the Earth. By investigating past climate fluctuations, scientists hope to be able to understand the mechanisms by which climate change is accomplished, and in so doing, they hope to develop predictive capabilities for future climate change. An ice core from the right site can contain an uninterrupted, detailed climate record extending back hundreds of thousands of years.

After hearing about why scientists collect ice cores, we learned about the rather complex procedure of determining where to drill for an ice core. Many years of study go into determining where to drill. Ice core recovery is expensive, depending on where a core is obtained, it can be worth $3,000 to $20,000 per meter. Recovering ice cores is a long, slow process, and once obtained care must be taken in transporting the ice cores to the NICL for storage. The threshold for damage to the cores is about 15 degrees C. The cores are well taken care of once at NICL, the facility has four stages of back-up and personnel "on-call" 24 hours a day.

We started our tour of the facility in the exam room, where temperatures are kept at -8 degrees F. This is the area where ice cores are initially studied when received. We learned how the scientists use events in history, such as the first nuclear blast, to date ice cores. As part of our tour of the exam room, we viewed two ice cores from the Greenland Ice Sheet Project to demonstrate the potential differences in ice cores. One had distinct annual layers, while the other had no visible layers. While viewing the cores, we learned that the first is from a depth of about 1,807 meters, the ice is about 20,000 years old, and it contains about 80 years of layers. An interesting fact about the exam room, in order to prevent contamination of the cores, it is a Class 100 Clean Room (a room in which the concentration of airborne particles is controlled to specified limits per Federal Standards, in this case 100 particles per cubic foot of air).

Next we proceeded to the main storage area, where we really needed our long underwear! We may live in Colorado, but we usually do not experience temperatures in winter as cold as the main storage area -- a shiver-inducing -33 degrees F. As we huddled together, we learned about the cores stored at the facility and that NICL only has about 10% of its storage space remaining. When we all headed home after a thoroughly enjoyable tour, we realized maybe the temperatures outside were not that cold afterall.

The February 2002 meeting of the Denver-Boulder Chapter was held on February 20 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesa Lab in Boulder, CO. Dale Atkins, an avalanche forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), spoke about what weather conditions contribute to avalanches and the impact on people and property - including pictures and video!

Since 1950 avalanches have killed more people in Colorado than any other natural hazard, and in the United States, Colorado accounts for one-third of all avalanche deaths, the highest number of all the States. Unfortunately, in the United States the number of avalanche fatalities is increasing, thanks in part to more snowmobilers and the popularity of extreme sports. At the CAIC their goal is to minimize the impact of avalanches on the people and property of Colorado through a dual mission of forecasting and education. The CAIC is headquartered at the National Weather Service office in Boulder and is a program of the Colorado Geological Survey. The CAIC is in its 16th year of operation and is the oldest avalanche forecast program in the United States.

The most avalanche-prone months are, in order, February, March, and January. About 2,000 avalanches are reported to the Avalanche Center in an average winter. More than 80% of these fall during or just after large snowstorms. The avalanche danger increases with major snowstorms and periods of thaw. Avalanche danger is also dependent on the snow type, with avalanche potential being higher for continental snows (Colorado) than inter-mountain and maritime snows (Utah, Cascades). The change snow undergoes once on the ground, such as melt-freeze cycles, also impact avalanche potential.

There are two types of avalanches, loose snow and slab. Slab avalanches act as a cohesive unit failing all at once. The ingredients for slab avalanches include a cohesive layer of snow, a weak layer underneath, a steep slope, and a trigger, such as a skier, snowboarder, or snowmobile. In fact, most avalanche victims trigger their own avalanche, as opposed to just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The weak zone only needs to be about a square meter to trigger an avalanche, and these deficit zones can be scattered across the mountain face. In addition, only one in four buried victims survives, and the majority are saved by their companions. So the moral of the story is to watch for shallow areas of snow, for they are weaker, and to pick your traveling companions wisely.

For more information on the Colorado Avalanche Information Center see their web site at:

Attendance: 45---Andrea Adams.


The 12 December 2001 Meeting Washington DC Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) was held at the McLean VA office of the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). SAIC graciously provided a free light meal to DC AMS Chapter members.

Vice Chair Ken Carey opened the meeting by providing details to chapter meeting topics and outreach initiatives. Ken outlined the wide variety of upcoming meeting topics. Guest and topics include Vice Admiral Paul Gaffney's guest appearance in January, weather derivatives discussion in February, career opportunities panel in March, focus on severe weather forecasting and storm spotting and chasing in April, Washington media weather broadcasters in May, and our finale, a banquet in June honoring all science fair winners, with Congressman Dennis Moore on tap to speak. We also will be heavily involved with regional and local science, engineering, and technological fairs, including three new ones at the University of Maryland, Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Virginia Junior Academy of Sciences fair in Hampton, Virginia. We also are exploring several different outreach efforts, including mentoring of middle and senior high school science students.

Our panel of guest speakers from the power and transportation industries was featured next. The presenters were:

Traffic Management: Mr. Emil Wolanin, Program Manger, Intelligence and Transportation Systems (soon to be Chief, Traffic Engineer for Montgomery County, MD)

Virginia Department of Transportation: Mr. Daniel Roosevelt, Research Scientist, and VA Transportation Research Council

Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority: Mr. James Strader, Manager of Street Operations

Dominion Virginia Power: Mr. Mike Barmer, Regional Operations Center Manager

(left to right) James Strader, Manager of Street Operations, WMATA; Daniel Roosevelt, Research Scientist, Virginia Transportation Research Council, Virginia DoT; Emil Wolanin, Program Manager, Intelligence and Transportation Systems, Traffic Management (*Emil just got promoted and now will be the Chief, Traffic Engineer for Montgomery County, MD; Mike Barmer, Regional Operations Center Manager, Dominion Virginia Power

Mr. Wolanin stated that the Montgomery County does not budget for activities such as snow removal -- i.e., the county must ask for funds from the County's reserve funds to support each storm as they occur. They county depend upon accuracy of the weather forecast in order to prepare emergency storm equipment and get the storm routes cleared. He went on to discuss "Intelligent Transportation Systems" (ITS), the use of technology to improve movement and safety of people and goods. ITS' are used to improve how the transportation is moved under all conditions. Use of such systems leads to better deployment of personnel in response to weather conditions.

Mr. Roosevelt stated that the need for accurate forecasts of atmospheric and road weather became critical about 6-7 years ago when VA DOT started anti-icing. The state has now about 40 Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) stations from which they get air temperature, wind, precipitation, solar radiation, snow accumulation, status of the pavement, cloud cover and forecast information. The problem is that the information is site specific and the need is for route specific environmental information. VA DOT is working together with the other US states and 2 Canadian provinces on the "Aurora" project to get accurate, easy to access weather data. He advocates standards for observing, collecting, distributing, and displaying weather data for transportation purposes.

Mr. Strader is responsible for the bus service to an area that covers 1500 square miles, from the District of Columbia to BWI airport. He needs to have an accurate, timely weather forecast at least 12 hours in advance in order to check buss routes and make that decision that impact the movement of about 1500 buses at any one time of day. He needs to know -- what is the weather/precipitation going to be, when is going to be, where is it going to be, and when is it going to stop.

Mr. Bramer's comments were billed as "Dominion VA Power versus The Weather". He said they employee meteorologists who watch the weather fronts so that Dominion VA Power so they can sell power that they don't need -- i.e., so that they can sell power until storms reach our area. Dominion VA Power has weather issues in every season of the year. The keys to Dominion VA Power's operations are knowing the area on which the weather impact will focus and the timing of weather events.

The first meeting of 2002 was held 30 January at the Fort Myers Officer Club, Arlington VA. Vice Chair Ken Carey opened the meeting by remarking that we are looking into ways to cut down the Chapter's overhead costs. For starters, QSS has graciously offered to defray the cost of the printing the newsletters and SAIC donated money for the Chapter Scholarship Fund. We are also encouraging individual members to donate to the Chapter Scholarship Fund. Ken pointed out that the Chapter Web Page has a new look ( Ken next outlined the wide variety of upcoming meeting topics. Guest and topics include weather derivatives discussion in February, career opportunities panel in March, focus on severe weather forecasting and storm spotting and chasing in April, Washington media weather broadcasters in May, and our finale, a banquet in June honoring all science fair winners, with Congressman Dennis Moore on tap to speak. We also will be heavily involved with regional and local science, engineering, and technological fairs, including three new ones at the University of Maryland, Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Virginia Junior Academy of Sciences fair in Hampton, Virginia. Delbert Mann is looking for volunteers to help out with these Science Fairs. We also are exploring several different outreach efforts, including mentoring of middle and senior high school science students.

The guest speaker for the evening was Vice Admiral Paul G. Gaffney. VADM Gaffney became the 10th president of the National Defense University on July 7th, 2000. Prior to assuming his duties at NDU, he was Chief of Naval Research with additional duties as Deputy Commandant (Science and Technology), Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Before starting his talk, VADM Gaffney introduced the many distinguished visitors in the audience, many of whom has worked for and with during his Navy career: Rear Admiral Richard West (Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy), Dr Rick Spinrad (Technical Director, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy), DR James McNitt, Tom Nelson, DR Paul Twitchell (STC), Gary Mineart (Mitretek Systems), Bob Plante, DR Bill Burnett, Fred Klein (Mitretek Systems), Grant Aufderhaar (Aerospace Corporation), and Laurie Stackpole (Chief Librarian for the Ruth H. Hooker Research Library, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. ).

Vice Admiral Paul Gaffney

VADM Gaffney's topic for the evening was "America's Ocean Strategy in the 21st Century". He started out by stating that the Oceans Act of 2000, described in Public Law 106-256, establishing a Commission on Ocean Policy, is not just about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is a group of 16 Presidentially appointed commissioners, both scientists and non-scientists, who are charged with writing a new Ocean Policy and with making recommendations to the President and Congress related to this new "coordinated and comprehensive National Ocean Policy". The Commission owes a report to the President and Congress in 18 months. The commissioners are in the process of holding public hearings all over the United States in order to get at the issues that need to be addressed in the report. After just one hearing there are already hundreds of issues on the table.

The six (6) issues that are the most import to VADM Gaffney are:

  1. Do we understand the physical and biological processes?
  2. Are we educating the public on how to deport themselves with respect to the environment? How are we doing with K-16 education? Public Affairs?
  3. Do we understand the contradictions in using the oceans complex regimes and the policies that result to that end?
  4. Do we have sufficiency of investment?
  5. What are the ramifications of the US' strong International positions?
  6. How is the Federal Government working to be good stewards of the oceans; how are we working with both state and local governments?
In light of (1) -(6), VADM Gaffney discussed several areas of his focus -- fisheries management, pollution (mostly from farming); and achieving a sustained, integrated air-sea system. He finished his talk by stating "it is the oceans that connect us to our partners and separate us from the bad guys".---Lauraileen O'Connor.


Last month's meeting of the El Paso/Las Cruces Chapter of the AMS centered on the Science Advisor (SCIAD) program which has been in operation over 15 years. Ms. Marie Haaland, SCIAD Program Coordinator, was the guest speaker. Ms. Haaland gave a brief history of the SCIAD program, which was modeled after a Sandia National Laboratory (Albuquerque, NM) pilot program to encourage students in sciences and engineering. The SCIAD program connects professional scientists with schools and teachers so that they might conduct presentations, experiments and hands-on activities with students in the Southwest New Mexico region, primarily in Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Deming, Cloudcroft and Anthony. The program has a board of directors, which oversees all of our activities that extend beyond the volunteer program. The program has been very successful over the past years and many local AMS members have donated their time and efforts going to the local schools to give demonstrations, to participate in school science projects, and to initiate work/school programs.

Photograph of guest AMS speaker and El Paso/Las Cruces Chapter officers. From Left to Right: Robert Dumais (Secretary/Treasurer), Young Yee (President), Marie Haaland (SCIAD Program Coordinator), and Terry Jameson (Vice-President). Photograph of meteorological instrument demonstration (Weather Forecasting Branch) for El Paso and Las Cruces school children at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Points of Contact:
Marie Haaland
SCIAD Program Coordinator
Science Education Alliance
TEL: (505) 527-6057
Young Yee
President, El Paso/Las Cruces AMS Chapter
TEL: (505) 678-6468


On September 9th, 2001 the chapter held a meeting at the Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center in Miami. The following agenda items were discussed by the 23 members present:

The invited speaker for the meeting was Gregg Gallina from the University of Wisconsin- Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (UW-CIMSS). His talk was titled "Relationship between Environmental Vertical Wind Shear and Tropical Storm Intensity Change Utilizing Enhanced Satellite Derived Wind Information".

The seminar discussed the methodology used by UW-CIMSS for calculating environmental vertical wind shear in the tropical environment and examined specific thresholds of wind shear that can affect tropical cyclone intensity. Mr. Gallina described UW-CIMSS's use of high-resolution multi-spectral data from geostationary satellites to help fill the vast data void regions that exist over the tropical oceans, which allows for more precise calculations of vertical shear. Using these satellite winds, UW-CIMSS has developed a method to calculate vertical wind shear on a real-time basis. These analyses are being used to develop a better understanding of the effects of vertical wind shear on TC intensity change, as well as providing a tool to aid forecasters in the prediction of TC intensity change.

Mr. Gallina's main conclusions included:


The High Plains AMS Chapter met January 24th, starting off with a luncheon at the Town and Country Kitchen in Norton, KS. Twenty members and 1 guest attended the meeting, the visitor being Wes Moore from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). President Bruce Entwistle called the meeting to order after lunch at 12:42pm. The usual officer reports were read and approved. Treasurer Mike Moritz talked briefly about the chapter's tax exempt status concluding that we would most likely not need to file for tax exempt status since our three year gross receipts are less than the allowed $15,000. The chapter appears to be comfortable financially with a current working balance of $2207.41. Membership currently stands at 46 with the bulk of the membership coming from the four high plains National Weather Service offices at Goodland, KS, Dodge City, KS, North Platte,NE, and Hastings, NE. Mr. Moore offered the use of the KDOT offices in Norton as a possible site for future High Plains Chapter meetings, if a more technical aspect setting for presentations was needed. He indicated that their conference room is set up for nearly any type of presentation format.

President Entwistle indicated that AMS Minority Scholarship applications had been sent out to over 144 schools in the High Plains Chapter area of Kansas and Nebraska. Vice-President John Stoppkotte announced that chapter webmaster Aaron Johnson has posted most of the presentations from our successful 5th High Plains Conference last October to the chapter web page as we continue to maintain our conference proceedings in an online format in leu of expensive preprints or postprints. The proceedings may be viewed on the web site at

In other business, the chapter decided to actively pursue the AMS Chapter of the Year award. Chapter members Dan Neitfeld, Jim Johnson and Mark Mutchler attended the AMS Local Chapter breakfast at the 82nd Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. They felt that our chapter could be very competitive with its peers insofar as this award is concerned. New chapter officers were elected for the coming year with John Stoppkotte of NWS North Platte, NE moving to President, Jim Johnson and Tim Burke of NWS Dodge City, KS elected Vice-President and Secretary respectively, and Mike Moritz of NWS Hastings, NE staying on as Treasurer. Bruce Entwistle of NWS Goodland, KS will remain on the executive committee as Past President.

Old Past President Matt Gerard presented information concerning the High Plains Chapter's upcoming 6th Annual Conference. This year the conference returns to its origin in Dodge City, KS and will be held the 9th through 11th of October, 2002. The conference committee indicated that the conference announcement and call for papers will go out very soon along with the application for our new student paper scholarship competition. Last October's 5th High Plains Conference saw a student from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln win our $400 first place scholarship award and we look forward to much more interest in this worth while project at the next conference. Dr. Mark Anderson, a professor from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln has indicated that four of his students are already interested in the student paper competition this year. The conference will be two days in length with the major session on October 10th being on High Plains Severe Storms including guest speaker Dr. Charles A. Doswell, III. Mini-sessions planned for the 11th include a Spotter/Chaser/Emergency Manager session and a panel discussion on aviation weather forecasting. Speakers for these sessions are not yet firm. The conference venue will be the newly restored Sante Fe Depot and theater in Dodge City with the sessions being held in the brand new dinner theater facility. More information will be posted to the chapter web site as it becomes available.

The meeting was adjourned by new President John Stoppkotte at 1:40pm.---Tim Burke.


General Business Meeting: December 13, 2001

Start: 7:00 pm

The 6th person Award took place. The nominees were Vikki Cooksey, Heather Vieira, and Alicia Bruce. Heather, the winner of this award said she helped put up many signs, help make some e-mails, was the backstage coordinator of the Talent Show and help sell tickets.

End: 7:30 pm.

General Business Meeting: January 24, 2002

Start: 9:00 pm

Jason gives an update of the Storm Conference. So far, he has 16 abstracts. He said that is very good. He's getting registration forms everday. He says the STUDENT registration forms are different than the one on the web-site. The student ones are only for LSC students and has the discounted rates. He says the costs to go only went up 4% compared to last year. For a quad room, it's only 58 dollars. He says the deadline to get the forms and the full amount of money is February 15th.

Jason says more of the club members should be national members. They created a new form for students. This form is much easier to fill out. As a national member, you get bulletins and you can buy things at a reduced price. Also, you can get travel grants and fellowships. So, members should really consider becoming a national member.

End: 9:30 pm.

General Business Meeting: February 12, 2002

Start: 7:00 pm

End: 7:45 pm.---Cegeon J. Chan.


The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the American Meteorological Society met on Saturday, February 2nd on the campus of Kent State University. Opportunities were presented for chapter members to proctor local science fairs.

Dr. Scott Sheridan was the guest speaker. Dr. Sheridan is an Assistant Professor of Climatology at Kent State University. His subject of discussion was "Understanding and Forecasting Oppressive Heat." His research has been used to model oppressive heat watch/warning criteria for a number of cities including Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Toronto, and Rome. He explained that "Synoptic Methodology" examines how people have responded to different weather conditions. Dr. Sheridan stated that the mortality rate differs depending on the type of dwelling an individual lives in, the part of the country, one's job, a person's health, etc. He stated that the weather that is the most abnormal in a given area is often the most deadly. In a majority of the findings hot and dry weather, as opposed to hot and humid, causes the greatest mortality rate. There is still much to find out about oppressive heat and its affect on individuals. Dr. Sheridan's talk was well received.---Carol Hughes.


The Northeast Oklahoma Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (NEOCAMS) took a field trip on December 18th to the Mounds Astronomical Observatory. The Observatory is located about 30 miles south of Tulsa. The Astronomy Club of Tulsa regularly meets here to view the night sky. The Observatory contains a 16-inch reflecting telescope, which is used by the members to observe astronomical features more closely.

Several members of the NEOCAMS group participated in the trip, including chapter president, Sarah Taylor. Todd Lindley, who is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Tulsa, and an active member of the Astronomy Club, organized the trip.

The viewing began around sunset. NEOCAMS members used the large telescope to view a number of astronomical features. Jupiter was visible and so were 4 of its moons, including Europa. The jet features were observed on Jupiter, reflecting its turbulent atmoshphere. The 3 day old crescent moon was investigated as well. Craters and mountains were visible on the moon's surface. Participants were able to view the Sea of Tranquility. Mars, which is very small through the largest telescopes, was also visible. By mid evening Saturn was observed, including its ring system, cloud bands, and several moons.---Sarah Taylor.


The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS held a meeting on the 29th day of November at Angelo's located in Gretna, Nebraska, about 5 miles west of Omaha. About 30 members, visitors, and family were present. There was an all-you-can-eat buffet of pasta (ziti, pepper chicken noodles, and lasagna). The business meeting was called to order by vice-president Ken Dewey. Two guests in the area on business graced our meeting by attending: Ken King and Mike Looney, who are the Chiefs of Hydrological Services and Meteorological Services at Central Region Headquarters in Kansas City. Also new to the chapter was Col Chuck Benson, Vice Commander of the Air Force Weather Agency.

Old Business
Minutes were read from the last meeting. The treasurer (John Zapotocny) reported on the chapter's financial status and announced that the chapter gained 10 new members. The membership is up to 39 members, similar to last year's total.

The Forecast Contest was won by Dan Sligar (5 error points), with Dave Keller in 2nd (6 points), and Paul Demmert in 3rd (7 points).

New Business
In interesting weather, Dave Keller reported a camper covering blown off of a pickup truck the previous Saturday. Mark Connor noted his observations on the same day, but travelling through the storm from Indiana to Nebraska. The Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium 2002, "Observing and Forecasting Severe Weather on the Plains", will be on Saturday, March 30, 2002. And the National Weather Service announced National Event honoring the Skywarn spotters. In this event, ham radio operators attempt to make contact with as many Weather Service offices as they can. The Omaha / Valley office was one of the top 5 most contacted offices last year.

Guest Speaker
Cathy Zapotocny of the Omaha / Valley National Weather Service Office spoke about the NWS's Interactive Forecast Preparation System. IFPS is a combination of software and data that is designed to make NWS forecast preparation easier. Basically, model grid data, such as temperature, wind, and precipitation, can be manipulated by forecasters with a Graphical User Interface (GUI). The gridded data is then automatically converted into forecasts. The advantages of this system are many: faster forecast preparation, more detailed (specific) forecasts by time and location. The forecasts can be output as normal text forecasts, enhanced text or table output, graphics, voice, or digital data for use by government, university, and commercial users everywhere.

January 2001 Meeting Minutes

The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS held a meeting on the 30th day of January at Lo Sole Mio's located in Omaha, Nebraska. 31 members and guests were present. The Italian style restaurant offered four choices, which included: caesar salad, meatball sandwich, lasagna, and pasta e pollo. The business meeting was called to order by vice-president Ken Dewey.

Old Business
Jeremy Wesely read the November minutes. The treasurer, Dr. John Zapotocny, informed the members of the chapter's financial well being and indicated the gain of three new members, which brought the chapter membership up to 42 paid members.

John Schmit took top honors in the chapter forecast contest and was followed by Dave Keller in 2nd, and Bruce Telfeyan in 3rd.

New Business
Dr. Dewey announced that the Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium "Observing and Forecasting Severe Weather on the Plains" would be held on Saturday March 30, 2002 at the University of Nebraska's East Campus. Storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski, David Stillings, also known as "The Lightning Stalker", and professional weather photographer Jim Reed are several of the keynote speakers. In addition, Mark Conner will speak on the launching of weather balloons and provide a live launch demonstration.

Phillip Johnson is encouraging all members to take part in the judging of local science fairs. Cathy Zapotocny suggested that Johnson send a list of the science fairs to her and she could send the list out to all members. Johnson requested an AMS chapter donation of to go towards science fair awards. The motion was passed unanimously.

Science Fairs
  1. Central Nebraska Science and Engineering Fair Hildreth, NE. Saturday, February 23, 0900 to 1400.
  2. King Science Center Science Fair. (a weekday in late Feb.)
  3. Metro-Omaha Science and Engineering Fair Milo Bail Student Center, UNO Campus Saturday, 9 March, from 0800 to 1200
  4. Greater Nebraska Science and Engineering Fair Nebraska City High School, Saturday, 23 March, from 0800 to 1400
  5. Iowa State Science and Technology Fair Ames, Iowa Tuesday, 9 April, from 1315 to 2100 or Wednesday, 10 April, from 0930 to 1400
Guest Speaker
Dr. John H. Flowers of the University of Nebraska presented, "The Sonification of Daily Weather Records." Dr. Flowers found that statistical weather data can be converted into a series of tones and pitches, which can then be audibly analyzed. Sonification of data is especially useful to the visually impaired. However, Dr. Flowers believes that sonification of data can also be very useful to all researchers. An individual's sense of hearing can be trained to analyze weather records with greater perception than by visual means. People are able to ingest significant amounts of data through tones and pitches simultaneously, while visual analysis can at times be more confining. Flowers demonstrated the sonification technology by playing a series of data recordings.---Jeremy Wesely.


On Thursday, December sixth, our chapter strayed away from the usual insightful weather discussions and held our annual Christmas party. 20 PCAMS members and their family attended the festivities. After dinner, Chapter Vice-President Tom Mahoney talked about where all of the meteorologists that have worked in television in Green Bay are today. The talk was called "What ever happened to...", which was pretty appropriate because the video tape of television weather bloopers he wanted to show to us that night didn't get through the mail in time. The presentation may not have been as funny as the video tape, but proved to be interesting, especially for those who have been watching Green Bay meteorologists for a long time.

Our next meeting will take us to the Wausau area on January 23rd for a presentation on snow making at Granite Peak Ski Area, formally Rib Mountain. Dinner will be at Carmelo's Italian Restaurant at the base of the mountain from 5:30 until 6:45 p.m. The address is 3607 North Mountain Road, which is Highway NN. (Basically take Highway 51 north off of 29 west, then go west on Highway NN. You'll see the restaurant on your left just past the driveway to get to the ski lodge. We'll get some maps up on the website soon.) Our tour is from 7:15- 8:00 PM, warmup in the lodge after. Let us know if you will attend and if you want to car pool. We may be able to rent a bus or a large van if there is a lot of interest. Please RSVP to Jim Brey ASAP. Thanks to Tony Schumacher for his work on this one.

On February 20th, Dr. Steven Meyer will present a discussion on Climatic Probability Software at U-W Green Bay. Dinner will be at The Eagles Nest on Nicolet Drive 5-6:30 p.m. The talk and software demo will be at 7:00 p.m.

The first of our two April meetings will be on the third and will feature Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jeff Last's inspiring Severe Weather Spotters Training seminar at U-W Green Bay. Once again, a before meeting dinner will be at The Eagles Nest, 3261 Nicolet Drive.

On April 16th, Dr. William Hooke, Atmospheric Policy Program, American Meteorological Society, will present "Disasters - The American Experience Meteorology" at the U-W Fox Valley's Barlow Planetarium in Menasha. The talk will be from seven until 8:30 that night. The before meeting dinner will be at B.J. Clancy's on South Oneida Street.

We do not have a March, 2002 meeting scheduled at this time, but if you have a subject you would like to share your expertise on, just let the chapter officers know.

Elections for chapter officers are fast approaching. If you have any interest in running for a post, just send the current officers an e-mail announcing your intentions.

Snow making and getting whipped cream on our "warm tummies". That's how one would sum up our meeting Wednesday, January 24th at Granite Peak at Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau. 17 PCAMS members and their families learned how Mountain Manager John Pullen and his staff make snow at the ski hill. Pullen told us they have two types of snow guns to make snow in addition to snow sticks. One type of gun can make snow at temperatures of 27 below zero, and requires the use of snowmax. Snowmax is a bacteria derived from corn that gives the water droplets being shot out of the gun something to grab onto so they can start forming snow crystals. The other type of gun uses smaller water droplets, instead of the snowmax, to start the process. Pullen says they are using more and more snow sticks to make snow because they are much quieter than the guns.

In a typical season, 80 to 90 (M) million gallons of water are used for making snow on the mountain. So far, John Pullen says they've used 50 (M) million gallons. Computers control the three pumps that send the water up the mountain. And, it takes a half hour to get the water up the mountain, even though the water is at 600 psi at the top. That's a lot of pressure considering your kitchen faucet is running at 70 to 80 psi. At the end of our tour, some of us stayed at the bar for some hot chocolate drinks, (hence the "warm tummies) before heading back to Green Bay. PCAMS Member Tony Schumacher deserves a big thanks for setting this up.---Scott Patrick.


Fall / Winter 2001 PAMS Newsletter

Hello once again and happy New Year to all Palmetto AMS members, both old and new... Please allow me to apologize for the latent infrequency of this publication. I hesitate to do so, for the sake of universal redundancy, in blaming the tardiness of the current issue of this fine journal on the aftermath of the Sept. 11th tragedy, however true it may be. Lets just suffice it to say (especially to us gov't types) that our hearts and minds, like those across the nation, have understandably been focused elsewhere the last few months. I am, therefore, happy to report to you that both the AMS, as well as our venerable local chapter, are still alive, well, and ready for a prosperous and exciting 2K2. Your current Executive Board is back at work planning our winter and spring activities, so please keep checking e-mails for updates and new information.

On Aug. 16th of last year, a contingent of PAMS members took Delta Airlines up on their offer to tour their Operations Center at Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta. In a presentation rarely seen by outsiders, the members received a fascinating inside look at one of the most complex and technologically advanced private meteorological operations in existence. Following the tour, our hosts even allowed the group to experience one of the twice-daily briefings coordinating operations personnel from all over the country. Our most gracious thanks goes out to Joe Luisi and Delta for providing PAMS members a most enjoyable afternoon.

On Nov.30th, 2001, the PAMS got together at the SC Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) offices high over downtown Columbia for a pair of most informative and entertaining presentations from two members of our own Palmetto State meteorological community. To open the evening, Dr. Timothy Reinhold of the Clemson University School of Engineering gave a fascinating presentation on research being done to help protect the structural integrity of houses in the face of hurricanes and other high-wind weather events. Afterward, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Frooninckx (who recently took over for Colonel Billy Davis as commander of the 28th OWS, Shaw AFB) took us to the theater of war in Afghanistan through the eyes of Air Force meteorologists and the high-tech tools they use to protect the troops in battle through accurate weather forecasting. Following the talks, the members and guests retired to the Millennium Buffet for oriental cuisine and light conversation. The Board and membership would like to thank each of our esteemed guests for their participation in this event and invite them back again sometime in the near future.

Each spring for the past few years, PAMS members have participated in judging activities at the Central South Carolina Region II Science and Engineering fair. With this year's event rapidly approaching, our chapter once again needs a few good men and women to seek out the best atmospheric science projects in the Midlands. It takes so little time, but the experience so rewarding when you see the time and effort these bright young minds put into their research and how eager they are to share it with you, the atmospheric science professional. If you think you'd like to participate in this wonderful project, please contact Bob Buckley as soon as possible at: Judging will take place the evening of April 1st, 2002.

The Chapter is once again proud to announce that it will host the 8th Annual Palmetto AMS Mini-Technical Conference, to be held at the Russell House @ USC on March 15th, 2002. For those of you new to the PAMS, the Mini-tech is a way for members, as well as other professionals from the community, to come together and present their research in the comfort of a small, relatively intimate informal forum. It is an excellent symposium for the delivery of nearly any pertinent information related to meteorology and the atmospheric sciences, with the audience providing the insightful feedback often necessary to really polish the presentation. For those of you who'd like to participate this year, the call for abstracts is open until March 6th, 2002, with an absolute no-later-than deadline of Monday, March 11th, 2002. An e-mail including time, date, directions, and tentative agenda will be sent to all members as soon as all arrangements have been made.

An informal 2002 PAMS Board meeting will be held on March 15th, 2002 at California Dreaming [restaurant] following the 8th Annual Mini-tech Conference. The meeting will focus solely on the election of a new Secretary/Treasurer, their installation, and the transfer of duties to our new President and Vice President. The meeting is open to all current members and their guests.

As you know, per our current by-laws, officers advance upward year-by-year from secretary to VP to President. The time has come all too suddenly for our next ''Rotation of the Guard''. Please join us in congratulating our 2001 President, Rob Addis for a job well done! He has provided the Chapter with the excellent leadership it deserves and we are sad to see him return to the general membership. Good luck to his successor, current VP Andy Million, Senior Master Sgt, US Air Force, who will become the 2002 Palmetto AMS Chapter President following the Spring Board Meeting on March 15th.

We here at the Palmetto AMS are quite proud of our Chapter and the unique region it represents. As such, after much talk over the past year or so, the Board has decided to propose the adoption of a standard logo to represent our chapter both at the local and national levels. This logo could be used in a variety of ways, from highlighting our website and Chapter letterhead, to emblazing apparel and other trinkets for members and guests alike. Unfortunately, as non-artistes, we wonder who will design it and what will it look like? Well…you, the membership, can help out greatly in this endeavor by trying your hand at graphic design! Just sketch something out that you think would best represent the uniqueness of our Chapter, and then submit it to one of the Officers at your earliest convenience. The membership will then have a time set aside at a future meeting to vote on which one they like best. There may also be a prize for the winning design, so stay tuned for the results.

There are still a few folks who still owe dues for the 2001-2002 year. An e-mail will be forthcoming notifying those members who need to bring their dues up-to-date. Dues remain at $10 and are the Chapter's only available funding resource. Please see Paul Martin at any upcoming PAMS function to pay.

2001-2002 PAMS Board Officers
Rob Addis, President,
Andy Million, Vice President,
Paul C. Martin, Secretary/Treasurer, C. Martin.


The monthly meeting of the chapter was held at the NOAA Sandpoint campus in Seattle on 14 November. It featured a very interesting talk entitled “Why should forecasters care about the stratosphere?” by Prof. J. Michael Wallace of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington and Dr. Mark Baldwin of Northwest Research Associates in Bellevue, WA. Wallace and Baldwin used a tag-team approach to show the associations between the phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the frequency of major sudden stratospheric warmings, and in turn, how these warmings often subsequently impact the tropospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere. In particular, they demonstrated that the AO effectively modulates the incidence of cold-air outbreaks in the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Naturally, their presentation provoked considerable discussion.

The next meeting was planned for mid-December and will include a talk on how weather information is used by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The monthly meeting of the chapter was held at the NOAA Sandpoint campus in Seattle on 15 January. It featured a talk by Art Rangno of the Cloud and Aerosol Research Group of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. The title of his talk, "Storm chasing weathermanic kid (later a 60s campus activist) meets cloud seeding in the 70s: A Look Back at the Ensuing 30 Years of Tumult and Agitation", provides a good measure of the provocative nature of his presentation. He reviewed some of the major cloud seeding experiments in Colorado and Israel. While the results of these experiments appeared promising, later analysis by Art and others revealed that they actually failed to establish the efficacy of cloud seeding for enhancing precipitation in winter storms. The next event for the local chapter will involve co-sponsorship of the annual workshop on the Weather of the Pacific Northwest, scheduled for 1-2 March 2002.---Nick Bond.


The Cook College Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its first meeting of the new year on 31 January 2002. A lot was discussed at the meeting that included the many different possibilities of activities that the club would like to do. First on the agenda for the meeting was to discuss the possible guest speakers that the club would like to have speak to our community. The club narrowed the choices down to two possible speakers, and the final vote will be made soon. The date for the speaker will most likely be towards the end of April near Ag Field Day, a big event at our college for students, faculty, family members, and many others.

The club also plans to take a few trips during the spring semester. The club plans to go to the Mt. Holly Weather Center and take a tour of the place sometime around mid-late February. Another trip the club will be taking is a trip to NBC10 in Philadelphia, PA where we get to have a tour of the studio and possibly be introduced on an on-air segment. We would also like to try and organize a trip to NBC4 in New York sometime this semester, but plans for this trip are still trying to be made.

As far as forecasting weather, the meteorology club has a few good opportunities available to them. Rutgers has a radio station where members of the club send in their forecasts that are made public to the Rutgers community over the radio. Also, a new program called Weather Watcher opened the doors for many of our club members. This program allows club members to give an on-air weather segment to the Rutgers Community complete with graphics. Positions include anchors who will be the ones on the air broadcasting and making the graphics and producers who will assist them in making the forecast and such behind the scenes.

A member of the NJ State Climatologist Center spoke at the club's meeting. He would like members of the club to assist him in going to various middle and high schools across New Jersey and give presentations to the schools on different weather-related topics. Also, the club will be participating in Special Friend's Day. For this, members will spend the day with an underprivileged kid and do whatever the kid would like to do. These are two great opportunities for the club to help out in the community.---Lisa Robak.


February 6th, 7:00 p.m., on the University of Arizona Campus

Obtaining accurate forecasts of cloud coverage and precipitation amounts is particularly important in the arid regions of the desert southwest. Often, mesoscale models are used to provide these forecasts, particularly for very specific regions.

Ismail Yucel, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona has been working with mesoscale forecast models for a number of years. His presentation to the Southeast Arizona Chapter at the February meeting dealt with the work he is currently doing to improve model forecasts by assimilating cloud data from NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES).

Clouds not only have central importance in the determination of radiation budgets and precipitation estimates at the surface, but they are also the largest source of uncertainty in forecast models. Moreover, hydrological models, which predict runoff rates and stream flow, need to have reliable estimates of precipitation amount and location from forecast models as inputs. Satellite data assimilation is potentially a powerful technique for improving the performance of mesoscale forecast models.

The objectives of Yucel's research are to improve surface energy and water balances and enhance the short term forecasting ability of the models using the GOES visible and infrared data available for the continental United States every fifteen minutes. The two mesoscale models used in his study were the RAMS model from Colorado State and NCAR's MM5 model.

Yucel's results show that cloud data assimilation improves the model incoming solar, downwelling long-wave, and precipitation rate versus no assimilation based on ground-truth observations. Compared with the MM5 cloud cover forecast without data assimilation, the model including assimilation showed a significant improvement for up to 3 hours. Of the two mesoscale models used in the study, the RAMS model appeared to respond better to the cloud cover assimilation than the MM5.

Yucel is currently looking at how the model wind fields respond to the satellite cloud data assimilation. At present, the horizontal wind fields do not appear to change strongly enough in the presence of clouds, implying that the vertical updrafts are not being properly modified in the models when a cloud is assimilated. During subsequent discussion, it was suggested by Ron Holle from Global Atmospherics that another improvement in mesoscale modeling could come from finding a method to assimilate near-real time National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) data.---Michael J. Garay.


January 29, 2002

Jason opened the meeting and the minutes and treasurer's report were read. Abby gave an overview for the rest of the semester: Oklahoma trip, Adopt-A-Highway, Adopt-A-Beach, Parent's Weekend, Howie Bluestein for the next meeting. Kevin talked about possibly selling calandars, elections, Saturday afternnon volleyball, flag football, Chapter of the Year, and the webpage. Karl told everyone about the Seminar in Chicago during Spring Break. Mrs. Darcey for the Management Information Systems Department explaind the new graduate program for all majors. The meeting was adjourned to pizza and fellowship.---Mandy Kellner.


The 13 February 2002 meeting was held at the Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. The meeting started with Chapter Treasurer Becky Ebert giving us our account status and suggesting that we continue to have fundraisers to keep our account in good condition. Chapter CAFNR Representative Beth McCoy informed us that a new online Ag Student Newspaper will be starting 18 February. Also, our scholarship winners, Amy Maddox, Ben Roudenis, and Derrick Weitlich were announced to the club.

Dr. Patrick Market notified us about a few of the meteorological programs that will be running this summer for anyone interested in gaining experience in the field. He mentioned the University of Northern Iowa STORM Project, the NCAR summer program in Boulder, Colorado, and an intern position for Weather or Not located out of Kansas City. He also reported that the Cooperative Institute for Precipitation Studies Workshop in St. Louis will be held on 19-21 March.

Our new faculty member and new chapter faculty adviser, Dr. Neil Fox, informed us of a summer research project that he will be participating in called the International H20 Project. This project will be studying the distribution of water vapor over Kansas and will run from 3 June-17 June. Those students interested in going have to commit to these 2 weeks of field work.

Chapter Storm Chase Chair Dan Hinch reminded us that there will be a Storm Spotter meeting on 28 February at the Columbia City Council Chambers at 7:00pm. Chapter Education and Outreach Chair Ben Roudenis let us know that on 5 March, Camdenton High School will be holding a career fair and a few Atmospheric Science students will go to talk about our program. Finally, our new faculty member and speaker of the night, Dr. Neil Fox, gave an informative and interesting talk on Extreme Rainfall and Flood Forecasting in the United Kingdom.---Derrick Weitlich.


Chapter News from our meeting held on 2/04/02: ---Andrew Church.


Rich Marriott was the guest speaker for our inaugural meeting. Rich was a co-founder of the NW Avalanche Center, is currently a KING 5 Television meteorologist, and recipient of the AMS seal of approval for broadcast meteorology. Rich showed slides of the early days of avalanche forecasting in Washington State, and spoke about the history of avalanche control in Washington. This included the beginnings of the NW Avalanche Center, shelling to control avalanches, alternative methods of avalanche control, problems with weather instruments in mountain terrain, and the struggles of setting up a mountain weather station network at the dawn of the computer revolution.

After Rich spoke, President Scott Guhin spoke about our purpose at the UW, and the community. He encouraged our guests to join our chapter, and talked about our upcoming ski social that's in the works. Also mentioned was the upcoming due dates for AMS scholarships.

Ted Buehner, Puget Sound AMS President, was introduced, and has agreed to be our speaker for next months meeting. He will be speaking on the history of the AMS, and what it's doing now to contribute to meteorology.---Victor Lewis Stegemiller.


Chapter meetings resumed November 4, 2001 after our summer hiatus. Approximately fifty people attended the event which was graciously hosted by meteorologist Wayne Shattuck of WFTS-TV Channel 28. Special guests included a group of elementary school students and their teachers from the Lee Academy of Gifted Education in Tampa, led by Principal Bill Zinkel. The pupils had recently covered a Geography unit and attended the meeting for a first-hand look at the science of meteorology.

Host Wayne Shattuck, Meteorologist for ABC Channel 28.
Chapter President Andy Johnson introduced a new name for the meetings. We started calling our meetings "convergences," borrowing from a meteorological term.

This new format also affects several committees of the West Central Florida chapter. Instead of committees, these "groups" have been labeled according to the task they perform. For example, the "Social Group" is responsible for arranging guest speakers for future meetings, the "Phone Group" is assigned to remind Chapter members of upcoming Convergences and other events, and the "Special Events Group" handles community outreach tasks.

The Chapter members were brought up to date on the future changes to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society's News from our Chapter's Section. Correspondence from the Chapter sent to AMS headquarters would move away from reporting just minutes, and begin to exchange scientific information and projects in which Chapter members are involved beginning in January, 2002.

The Chapter was informed that it had once again applied for the distinguished "Chapter of the Year" honor from the AMS. Johnson explained the criteria laid forth by the AMS for qualifying for this award, and listed the numerous activities and services the West Central Florida Chapter has conducted for its members, the Tampa Bay community, and the national AMS.

The Chapter's annual student scholarship was named in memory of one of the Chapter's former members. The Bert Wappler Memorial Scholarship has sufficient funding for the year. However, members were urged to think of new ways to fund the scholarship for future recipients. Deceased chapter member Bert Wappler bequeathed $5,000 earmarked for the local chapter in his will. This funding has been used to partially support the education of three of its student members.

Future events the West Central Florida Chapter will be involved in include the 82nd Annual AMS National Conference in nearby Orlando in January 2002. This gives the WCF chapter a "unique chance" to contribute to the overall efforts of the AMS and provide local members with an opportunity to experience the wide variety of events and services provided by the conference. Membership supported the idea of setting up a booth at the annual meeting representing the WCF chapter and participating in the conference's poster presentation, with Chapter members present at both locations.

Chapter Webmaster Mark Mantz introduced and explained to attendees the Chapter's re-organized database system and Website to provide a greater convenience and service to the members to remain informed on local Chapter events. The database enables members to manage and update their own personal contact records and receive automated E-mails announcing upcoming Chapter events. Mantz also provided reusable nametags for each member, taken from the database's RSVP list, for ease in identification of fellow members. All who were present expressed their appreciation for Mantz's hard work and diligence in the maintenance of the database and the Chapter's revamped Website.

Chapter Vice President Charlie Paxton announced a change in a future Chapter meeting. Due to the additional security measures put in place following the tragedy of 11 September, the Tampa Bay office of the National Weather Service will not be permitted to accommodate the Chapter for its December Convergence. Alternate venues are being considered.

Dr. Arlene Laing, professor of meteorology at the University of South Florida, informed members of a scientific project she had been conducting with NASA. Between 15 August and 24 September, Laing participated with NASA scientists in dropsonde experiments, flying out of the Jacksonville Naval Air Station into thunderstorms and hurricanes, including flights into Hurricane Humberto. The professor provided interaction with her students by providing them with daily bulletins and pictures for the students to analyze. Laing described a time during her experiment flights when she witnessed the formation of a waterspout while in midair near the St. Johns River, saying it was nothing like she had ever seen before. Class concepts were connected to the actual experimentation of this project. Laing will present her findings at the national conference in Orlando.

Barry Goldsmith, a meteorologist at the Tampa Bay NWS office, provided the Chapter with a current weather discussion. He provided information about normal climatic conditions for early October in the Tampa Bay area, a significant decrease in thunderstorm activity and still warm, and that everything was "right on cue" for that time of year. Tropical Depression 11, according to Goldsmith, would take a west to west-northwest path into the central Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula thanks to an easterly flow provided by a ridge positioned over the state of Florida.

Goldsmith also announced new informational summaries on recent weather phenomena that would be posted on the Tampa Bay NWS Website, providing the public with useful and understandable data about recent weather events affecting the Bay area. These summaries would be located in the "What's New" section of the Website's main page and posted within a matter of a few days after the events.

Students as future weather anchors. Chapter members in the Weather Center.

The remainder of the Convergence was led by meteorologist Shattuck, who toured the group through the WFTS-TV facilities. The building that houses WFTS operations was built in 1995. Shattuck explained that everyday news and weather operations took place in the former Home Shopping Network studio in Clearwater for a few months before their current building was completed. The tour concluded in the ABC 28 Forecast Center, where chief meteorologist Phillips joined Shattuck in describing the variety of equipment and software the weather department used to gather and present their forecast presentations on a daily basis. The meeting concluded after Shattuck took questions from the members and grade-school guests and a group portrait taken in the weather office.

January 2002 West Central Florida "Convergence"

Even though it was a bit of a drive for most members, the West Central Florida chapter could not pass up the opportunity to attend the first annual Weatherfest in Orlando. Our chapter meeting was held concurrently with the 82nd Annual A.M.S. meeting at the huge Orange County Convention Center. We had an informal meeting prior to setting up our booth co-located with the Cape Canaveral and Florida Institute of Technology chapters. We displayed our poster depicting the convergence of Florida sea-breezes as well as the analogous idea of the educational, media, government and public/private sectors. The poster was later moved downstairs for the official poster session. Chapter officers Andy Johnson, Charlie Paxton, Mark Mantz and Amanda Ramella participated in the Weatherfest along with past scholarship winner Casanova Nurse and current meteorological intern David Knops. Chapter member Dr. Arlene Laing helped in the development of the poster in addition to speaking at several sessions and symposia. Charlie Paxton also presented a paper on Florida wildfires to guests at Weatherfest.

The West Central Florida Chapter was once again honored as being designated on the local chapter honor role at the local chapter's breakfast. Several members stayed for the entire conference including Andy Johnson, Charlie Paxton, Mark Mantz, Casanova Nurse, David Knops and Dr. Arlene Laing. Additional highlights that our members attended were the Student Conference, Career Fair, the WMO's secretary general's presentation, Charlie Paxton's Florida lightning talk and Barry Goldsmith's presentation on AWIPS warning systems at NWS, Tampa Bay.

All of the members experienced a heightened awareness of technical and non-technical issues (such as the President's symposium on the Society and Society), as well as a tremendous feeling of camaraderie. The venue gave us the opportunity to socialize with our members and make professional contacts with other meteorologists and other local chapters. This will certainly be remembered as one of our most unusual and rewarding chapter meetings.---Andy Johnson.


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