Chapter News
March 2003


The Asheville Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its third meeting for 2002-2003, March 20, 2003 (after postponement of February meeting due to inclement weather). Twenty-eight people attended the meeting.

Business Meeting

Old Business

A regional science fair will be held at the Ramsey Activity Center at Western Carolina University, March 24-25. President of the Chapter, Paul Roelle will be one of the judges for 8th - 12th grades and is asking for more volunteers to help with the judging. A vote was taken and passed to give $80.00 for 1st and 2nd prizes at the spring and fall Science Fairs.

The Vice President of the Chapter, Dimitri Chappas announced the winners of the Winter Storm Forecast Contest. The primary objective of the snow forecast was to identify the first date of measurable (not trace) snowfall in downtown Asheville. The second objective and tiebreaker was a forecast of the maximum 24-hour snowfall.

New Business

There will be a conference held in Raleigh, in May, geared towards operational forecasters. Date to be announced.

Guest Speaker

Our guest speaker for the night was to be Senator Steve Metcalf from the NC Senate to discuss air quality and the effects of the Clean Smokestacks bill. He was unable to make it due to appropriation meetings in Raleigh, NC. Mr. Andrew Goldberg from the Mountain Air Quality Coalition, who worked closely with the senator on the bill, spoke to us instead.

The air quality of the Western North Carolina mountains has 4 components: 1) Ozone (NOx and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and sunlight); 2) Acid rain; 3) Particles; and 4) Mercury.

Most of this "dangerous" air quality comes from coal-fired power plants, and emissions from cars and trucks. Western North Carolina is growing at a rate of 1.4 percent a year and the amount of vehicles in this area is growing. Mr. Goldberg also discussed the issue of "emissions trading."

Health impacts of dirty air are: premature deaths, asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, heart attacks, birth defects, and impaired fertility. Almost every other day last summer, health warnings were put out which Mr. Goldberg stated was neither normal nor acceptable.

Emission controls need to be put on various plants and the money for this comes from consumers. 2.3 billion dollars are needed to clean up 14 coal fire stacks in NC. There should be a huge reduction over the next 20 years in NOx and SOx emissions, plus mercury emissions will also be reduced.

The Clean Smokestacks bill received a standing ovation when it became law. There are caps on emission trading in North Carolina. Hopefully, surrounding states will get on the bandwagon and pass laws also. Greenhouse gases (CO2) will be looked at in the year 2005.

Mr. Goldberg then answered questions from the audience.---Susan A. Tarbell.


The fourth meeting of the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was held at Cheddars Restaurant in Decatur, IL. The meeting began at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, 12 March, 2003. Our guest speaker was Mr. Ron Przybylinski, Science and Operations Officer at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in St. Louis, MO. Mr. Przybylinski spoke about the upcoming Bow Echo and MCV Experiment (BAMEX) field project.

President Ed Keiser opened the meeting and discussed upcoming meetings for the chapter, while continuing to appeal for attendees to pay their dues for 2003. Mike Tannura, Vice President and organizer of the planned Midwest Conference on Severe and Hazardous Weather, discussed the rapid progress being made to plan for this regional conference. Several special invited speakers have accepted our invitation to attend and conference registration costs are being calculated. Keynote speakers include Dr. Louis Uccellini (head, NCEP), Dr. Gregory Forbes (The Weather Channel), and Dr. Robinson (Rutgers University). Dave Kristovich distributed draft minutes from the January 2003 meeting and Mary Schoen Petersen reported that there were 37 dues-paying members.

Bow echoes and mesoscale convective vortices are important components of the severe weather season in the U.S. Midwest. The guest speaker for the night, Mr. Ron Przybylinski, is an organizer of the field experiment to collect a comprehensive dataset on these phenomena. Data collected by stationary and mobile radars, P-3 aircraft, a mobile integrated profiler, mobile sounding systems and a mobile mesonet will be used to better understand and ultimately predict these important convective phenomena. The project is centered at Mid-America Airport near Belleville, IL, from May to June 2003. The meeting adjourned around 9:15 PM.---David Kristovich.


Meeting Minutes From The
Central Michigan Student Chapter
Of The American Meteorological Society:
March 2003

The National Severe Weather Workshop in Norman, Oklahoma, was a complete success for the individuals who attended from our student chapter! The events took place from February 27th-March 1st, which was a Thursday thru Saturday. Months of planning this trip had gone into affect long prior to leaving. Over the course of the semester, our Student Chapter of the A.M.S. spent a substantial amount of time participating in various fundraisers to raise money for the trip. This included a pasta fundraiser that helped raise much of the money for the trip. There are some refunds taking place through the Student Budget Allocations Committee (S.B.A.C.) from our school. However, they will reimburse no one, until they have a written paragraph from the individuals who attended, in order to have an idea of the trips success. Anyone interested in seeing pictures of the conference should feel free to visit our website at:

Most of the key topics discussed at the conference involved Severe Weather Awareness. There was even a presentation made on the Van Wert, Ohio tornado outbreak that took place a few years ago. There were several classes and presentations given by many of the top professors and instructors from around the nation. Among them included, General John Kelly Jr., the assistant administrator of NOAA, and Dennis McCarthy, Director of the Central Region Headquarters of the NWS. There where also several attendees from various N.W.S. stations at the conference.

While the Oklahoma Conference was not possible for all members of our student chapter, there is another in the making! The next conference option for our group is at Valparaiso University in Indiana. This will be a Great Lakes Meteorology Conference held April 5th, and looks to be just as a success as the last! What a semester we've had!

Among other things happening in our chapter, our forecasting committee is doing a great job forecasting the weather for the local newspaper in the Mount Pleasant area, also known as Student Life. It allows our forecasting skills to become a valuable tool for the students of our campus to rely on. Also, we recently had a group of our members volunteer their time at Rosebush Elementary near our campus. During the time they spent there, they talked to students about weather related topics, as well as how they personally got interested in forecasting the weather.---Derek Van Dam.


Thursday, March 20, 2003

Chairman Frank Schiermeier reported that Education chair George Bridgers had attended the North Carolina Central Region Science Fair at Centennial Campus Middle School and handed out several awards.

Secretary Mike Brennan from NC State introduced the speaker for the evening, Bob Woodson, Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Central Carolina Skywarn. Bob was one of the first graduates of the meteorology program at NC State, and has been actively involved in Skywarn for several years.

Skywarn was founded as a nationwide network of volunteer spotters trained by the National Weather Service (NWS) in 1969 to be the eyes and ears of the NWS in severe weather situations. Central Carolina Skywarn is responsible for 18 counties in central North Carolina centered in the Triangle area.

Skywarn spotters are trained to relay reports of various types of severe weather, including hail; tornadoes and funnel clouds; damaging winds; measured wind gusts; flash flooding in non-flood prone areas; rainfall rates one inch per hour or greater; and winter weather reports of the buildup of ice, sleet, and snow. Negative reports of the types of weather mentioned above are also valuable in areas that the NWS is monitoring.

Most Skywarn reports are relayed to that NWS by amateur radio, where often a Skywarn volunteer mans the amateur radio station at the office. The Skywarn network operates in three modes, which regulate the traffic on the network. Most times, the network operates in "stand-by" mode, where reports are monitored, but other traffic on the net is allowed. During severe weather outbreaks, the net is operated in "active" mode where all radio traffic goes through network control and regular traffic is stopped. Finally, "emergency" mode is used in life-threatening situations, such as a tornado on the ground, and only reports of life-threatening conditions are allowed.

Central Carolina Skywarn uses three radio repeaters to relay reports, which can be picked up on any scanner. The main repeater is on 146.88 MHz, located on the WRAL-TV tower in Clayton. This repeater provides an 80-90 mi. range on a 5-6 Watt radio. The backup repeater is located near Lake Wheeler at 145.39 MHz. A third, experimental repeater operates on the link system at 441.725 MHz, and is part of the Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP). This allows transmission through the Internet to a repeater and provides for almost unlimited range. IRLP was used during Hurricane Lili to relay reports from Louisiana to the NWS in Raleigh and to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL.---Michael Brennan.


Chapter members and guests gathered on 17 March 2003 at the University of Maryland Department of Meteorology to discuss Atmospheric Science Research Initiatives in the Metro DC area. The speakers for the evening were professors, researchers and students from local DC universities.

After a light meal of pizza and sodas (donated by the hosts for the evening) and an opportunity to view several student posters, Chapter Vice Chairman Ken Carey and the meeting host DR Russ Dickerson welcomed the attendees. DR Ken Pickering started off the program with a presentation on the University of Maryland Department of Meteorology's graduate curriculum and research activities. The department is in the process of changing the name of the department to the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. The program is primarily a graduate program with about 70 students, supported by tenure track staff of 13 professors, 26 research faculty members, and 7 Post-doctoral students. Within the last few years the department implemented a new curriculum with 3 concentration areas: Ocean Dynamics, Atmospheric Physics, and Climate and Earth Sciences. Each area has 6 core courses and many electives.

The next speaker, Graduate Student Andrea Molod, gave an overview of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University. Programs are offered in ecology, geological biology, soil science, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrogeology, and mineralogy. A computationally intensive program in environmental atmospheric sciences and oceanography covers topics such as global climate change and atmospheric ozone. Each concentration provides extensive opportunities for field and laboratory research. Some study areas are: atmospheric tracers; tracer (trace gases) transport; atmospheric transport of bio-aerosols (pollen); and North Atlantic Ocean circulation and Climate (a tracer transport study of anthropogenic carbon and CFCs).

The overview of the Howard University's Atmospheric Science Program was given by Graduate Student Michelle Strachan. The graduate granting program was established in 1998 and it currently has 12 students -- 100% of graduate students are fully supported with stipends. Howard University is in partnership with other United States and International Universities. Major collaborations include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), State University of New York at Albany (SUNYA), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Pennsylvania State University, NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC), and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. It is a -full member in the University Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). The university has a new Bachelor of Science (BS)/Master of Science (MS) program that allows students to get both a BS degree together with an MS degree in 5 years. Research thrusts include: atmospheric chemistry and aerosols; relationships between atmospheric chemistry and urban health; chemicals meteorology; intelligent integration of atmospheric measurements and models. Howard University's Atmospheric Science Program also supports a number of training programs, including a summer workshop in remote sensing, Undergraduate Summer Research, Summer Weather Forecasting Workshop, and Internships. It also supports several outreach programs including a Weather Camp for High School Students from DC and Maryland; a community lecture series; Weather Broadcaster Training with the NBC4 4-Winds Program.

Rikkita Russell, the co-coordinator of Howard University's 2003 Weather Camp, gave a brief overview of the first Weather Camp (summer of 2002), a collaboration of Howard University, the National Weather Service (NWS), the DC Chapter of the AMS -- and was made possible by a grant from the American Meteorological Society (AMS). It was a huge success. The purpose of the Weather Camp is to inform students about atmospheric physics; give them hands on field trips and activities they might not generally be exposed to; show impact of atmospheric sciences on everyday life; and to enlighten the students on the daily routine of college life (the students get to stay on campus.) For the Summer 2003 Weather Camp, Howard University is recruiting high school sophomores and juniors from DC and Maryland with an interest in a weather related field. The students will again live on campus, receive a $400 stipends and all on-campus expenses paid for the full two-week camp. Rikkita said that the Weather Camp Program is looking for corporate and private donations of weather related items (and money to buy weather related things) for the camp bags that are given to each student. She also said she looks forward to working with DC AMS members again both before and during this summer's Weather Camp.---Lauraleen O'Connor.



MARCH 2003

Speaker: Matt Moreland from the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service

Matt explained the use of the Interactive Forecast and Processing System (IFPS) currently being implemented across the National Weather Service. This is a very exciting time in the NWS and they hope that by providing the forecasts in graphical formats they can be utilized in many other areas.

The Interactive Forecast Preparation System, or IFPS, is a new way of producing forecasts that involves drawing instead of writing. IFPS is also a new way of distributing information with images versus text.

The IFPS vision statement from the NWS Southern Region: "Your Pin-Point NWS Forecasts for the 21st Century. Your way. Whenever you want them."

The advantages are faster and more frequent forecast updates with greater detail in forecast products. There is also more consistency in forecasts between NWS offices. IFPS will offer increased availability of information: forecast data can be downloaded for commercial use.

Matt's presentation included the following topics:

1. Intro to IFPS
2. GFE (Graphical Forecast Editor)
3. ISC (Intersite Coordination)
4. Web Images and graphics
5. NDFD (National Digital Forecast Database)
6. Text Products
7. The Future of IFPS
8. IFPS Demonstration

Other meeting notes…
1. We have two more meetings this year (April and May), which should both be very interesting. Dr. Bernard Meisner, who has spoken to our group before, will be our April guest speaker on the 24th and Dr. James Franklin from the Tropical Prediction Center will be our guest for our last meeting on May 27th. We will also invite our Science Fair first place winners to be on hand in May to explain their projects to all of our members.

2. The Magic School Bus Exhibit will continue into the summer and we have many openings available for interested parties. All of our members are encouraged to take a look at their individual schedule to see if you can squeeze one or two days in to volunteer at the exhibit at a time of your convenience. Thanks for everyone's help on this project and I believe we have and can continue to make an impact on kids that visit the exhibit while it is here in Houston.

3. We will be electing new officers at our last meeting in May.---Liz Murphy.


Lyndon State College Chapter
American Meteorlogical Society
General Business Meeting: March 5, 2003

Start: 8:00 pm

President Cegeon Chan

Vice President Gabriel Langbauer Secretary Amy Lawton Treasurer Richard Pezzillo Public Relations Heather Vieira President Cegeon Chan End: 8:30 pm

Lyndon State College Chapter:
American Meteorological Society
Executive Board Meeting: March 19, 2003

Start: 8:00 pm

President Cegeon Chan

Vice President Gabriel Langbauer Secretary Amy Lawton Treasurer Richard Pezzillo Public Relations Heather Vieira End: 8:20 pm---Amy Lawton.


Hello North Texas AMS/NWA members,

The seventh regular meeting of the North Texas AMS/NWA Chapter will be held on Tuesday, March 18. Here is specific information regarding the meeting time, location, and speaker:

Event: Seventh regular meeting of the North Texas AMS/NWA Chapter

Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Fort Worth National Weather Service/River Forecast Center Office

3401 Northern Cross Blvd.
Fort Worth, Texas 76137
(The office is located in north Fort Worth. See attached map for directions.)

We are honored to have Mr. Barry D. Worden as our guest speaker for this meeting. Mr. Worden currently serves as facility manager for Texas Motor Speedway, and has held that position since 1997. Prior to that, Mr. Worden served the City of Arlington for 27 years as Communication Services Administrator / Police Officer. He also served as Director of Security for the Texas Rangers baseball team for 26 years. Mr. Worden is married, and has two children and one grandchild. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington.

In other chapter news, congratulations go out to local chapter member Bill Proenza, director of the Southern Region of the National Weather Service. At the AMS national convention last month Bill was named a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. This is a true honor for those who are placed in this category. Only about 3% of all AMS members are ever named a "Fellow". It is an honor recognizing individual service to the Society and to the field of meteorology over ones' career.

Also, we are losing another past president of our chapter! Congratulations go out to Mike Vescio, as he was named the new Meteorologist in Charge of the NWS Forecast Office in Pendleton, Oregon. Mike, we appreciate your service to our chapter, and wish you the best of luck in your new position. Just one thing...we hope you're not going to Pendleton to tornado chase on the side...might be a bit of a wait.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the meeting on Tuesday. Please email me if you have any questions.---Dan Dixon.


Omaha-Offutt AMS, March 27, 2003

Matthew Parker, an Assistant Professor of Meteorology/Climatology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, gave a presentation to the Omaha-Offutt AMS chapter entitled "Adiabatic versus nearly adiabatic layers: Compensating subsidence, tornadogenesis, and convective outflow". Parker shared insights into some preliminary work that he's conducted with Jason Nachamkin of the Naval Research Laboratory.

Parker noted the increased recent attention to adiabatic lapse rates in tornadic environments. In addition to their effect upon updraft strength, he suggested that their effect on gravity wave propagation may also be important, a point that has received comparatively little attention.

Parker reviewed the fundamental importance of gravity waves in dispersing thunderstorms' local heating via propagating "compensating" subsidence. However, because gravity waves cannot propagate in adiabatic environments, in such regimes the convection's heating can be accumulated in the convective column, at least until the convection produces a sufficiently strong divergent wind field to advect it away.

Parker discussed the basic mathematical and physical underpinnings of these processes and noted that advection by the perturbation wind is considerably slower and less efficient at dispersing the heating than is gravity wave propagation. Interestingly, in an undisturbed adiabatic environment, the Rossby radius of deformation is initially infinitely small, which suggests the tantalizing possibility for vortical flow fields that are in some sense balanced on the cloud-scale.

Idealized simulations with simple convective heating profiles reveal that a compact, large-magnitude pressure minimum can accumulate below cloud base in an adiabatic environment, with a significant attending cyclostrophic flow field. However, such compact pressure minima do not occur in nearly adiabatic environments because gravity waves rapidly disperse the heating from the column. Owing to the lack of gravity waves, it appears that adiabatic lapse rates may uniquely favor rapid generation of low-level vortices, especially in environments with appreciable background vorticity.

Parker also discussed gravity waves' importance to convective outflow. Idealized simulations with simple evaporative cooling profiles reveal that cool downdrafts become increasingly unlikely to reach the surface as the lapse rate departs from adiabatic, in large part because gravity waves become effective at laterally propagating the temperature perturbations away from the zone of cooling, thereby sapping the downdrafts of their negative buoyancy.---Matthew Parker & Jeremy Wesely.


Minutes for Tuesday March 18, 2003

The meeting was called to session at 7:13PM as President Brent Maddux welcomed members. Treasurer Paul Roller reported on the chapter's budget and Secretary Morgan Gallagher read the minutes from the last meeting on February 25th. President Maddux then introduced Chuck Doswell who gave a lecture on storm chasing. Afterwards the chapter was adjourned to pizza and refreshments.

Plans for officer elections were discussed. The Oklahoma trip was announced for either the weekend of March 28th or April 4th. Adopt-a-Beach is scheduled for April 26th and TAMSCAMS' annual career fair is scheduled for April 8th. Vice-President Travis Herzog gave a report on t-shirt sales, all the t-shirts have been sold. President Maddux requested nominations for the Reynolds Award and suggestions for events TAMSCAMS might hold during Parents' Weekend (perhaps an ice cream social).

Friday Night Spikes (weekly sand volleyball games) have resumed. The girls' softball intramural team has a record of 2-1, the boys' softball intramural team has a record of 1-2, and the boys' basketball intramural team's season ended with a record of 0-4. Thanks again was given to Kevin Walter, Jason Sippel and Kelsey Curtis for assistance with redoing the Meteorology Display Case for the department.

The next TAMSCAMS meeting will most likely be held the second week of April and elections will be conducted then.---Morgan Gallagher.


Wednesday, March 5th, 5:00p.m.

The focus on this month's agenda was attending conferences and trips. Of closest interest was the Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. We have a group of students currently planning on attending that conference. We also have a trip planned to our National Weather Service Office in Valley, NE on April 11th to give us a quick tour of what its like inside the Weather Service. Also discussed was a trip to channel 10/11 here in Lincoln to see a live meteorological broadcast in action.

There was also a discussion of possible internship possibilities this year. We ended the meeting with a quick discussion from those of us that attended the National AMS tour and the Severe Weather Workshop in Norman, OK. There was also mention of our big AMS student chapter banquet at the end of the semester.---Kelly D. Faltin.


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