Chapter News
March 2005


ARKANSAS

Meeting Minutes
Arkansas Chapter of the AMS
March 24, 2005

The second Chapter meeting of 2005 was held on March 24th. The meeting convened at 700 PM at the KARK-TV studios in downtown Little Rock with 12 members and guests present.

The program for the evening was a studio tour hosted by KARK-TV Chief Meteorologist Brett Cummins and KARK-TV meteorologist Dan Skoff. Brett and Dan provided the group with an in-depth look at how their station does weathercasts. The station uses state-of-the-art equipment and graphics to provide routine and severe weather information to its viewers.

The tour also included a look at the Control Room, News Room and Production Areas.

During and after the presentation, the group participated in a question and answer session.

The meeting was adjourned at 820 PM.---Newton Skiles.


ArkLaTex

The second general meeting of 2005 took place on March 1st at 7 pm with 14 people present. The featured speaker was Tim Marshall of HAGG Engineering in Dallas Texas. The officers that were present were...

Treasurer: Daniel Johnson
Secretary: Mark Frazier
The chapter members present at the meeting included…

Gary Chatelain
Mary Eveld
Jason Hansford
Patrick Omundson
Bryan Reed
Neel Rogers
Mark Rowlett
Leslie Sexton
Benjamin Touchstone

Non members present included…

Ken Falk
Douglas Oltmer
Rob Payne

Two new members include Jason Hansford and Bryan Reed.

Secretary Mark Frazier opened the meeting welcoming members and guests.

Secretary Report: Secretary, Mark Frazier deferred the reading of the January 19th, 2005 meeting to the next chapter meeting.

The featured speaker, Mr. Tim Marshall shared his experiences of 27 years in storm chasing. The presentation lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Following Tim's presentation, it was decided that the next meeting would be in May, but meeting location and activity would be deferred to the officers.

Secretary Mark Frazier motioned to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded. The meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.---Mark Frazier.


CHICAGO

Mr. Daniel Andreev who served nine years as a meteorologist with the Bulgarian Air Force provided a presentation entitled "Some Aspects of the Weather Forecast Presentation Technology in Bulgaria, Europe. Mr. Andreev came to the United States in 1998 and now works with the Acxion Corporation developing software.

Government sector meteorology in Bulgaria has three branches, the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, the Air Force Meteorology Center and the Civil Aviation Authority Meteorology Center.

Private sector meteorologists have formed a company called TVMET. TVMET prepares and presents weather forecasts for television, the Internet, mobile devices and meteorological support by subscription and on demand. TVMET also trains television weather forecast presenters.

Weather forecasts and graphics are prepared by TVMET for Bulgarian television (BTV) and other television stations in European countries, as well as for newspapers. TVMET makes weather forecasts and data available via the Internet. Current weather conditions, updated every minute, are available on websites such as weather.digsys.bg or tvmet.bg. Cameras provide views from towns and tourist areas on the TVMET website. Other data available on the TVMET website include sea water temperatures, wave conditions, ski conditions, 5 day forecasts for select locations in Bulgaria and climatic information for 23 areas.

TVMET provides mobile broadcasting via cell phones, I-pods, etc. Animated maps and current conditions from 30 locations in Bulgaria are available by remote access.

TVMET's subscription and on-demand services are provided to many clients including hotels, tourist spots, television channels and commercial and scientific organizations. The Bulgarian government purchases data and forecasts from TVMET.

The forecast process for TVMET includes data collection from 34 automated sites in Bulgaria via the Internet. Some of the automated sites collect data related to erosion measurement, soil moisture, soil temperature and salinity. Global models such as the AVN, LOOPS, GRDAS and ETA are utilized by TVMET meteorologists during forecast preparation. Climatology is also critical for generating maximum and minimum temperature forecasts. Graphics are produced for television stations that include temperature, pressure, wind, cloud, precipitation and weather condition information.

All of the information collected and disseminated by TVMET is accomplished by a staff of two meteorologists, both of which were former Bulgarian Air Force meteorologists.

Mr. Andreev completed his presentation by discussing some research he has been involved with concerning Unsteady Flow Visualization or Vector Fields Visualization. Unsteady Flow Visualization can be explained by spot noise (single to multi-point), Line Integral Convolution (LIC) or a combination of spot noise and LIC.---Mark T. Carroll.


COOK COLLEGE - RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Meteorology Club
Wednesday, March 9, 2005 @ 8:00pm ENR building room 223

---Ariana Shah.


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

DC Chapter. The 21 March 2005 meeting, hosted by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Tyson's Corner VA, included a complimentary dinner, (courtesy of SAIC), a short business meeting and a presentation by Dr. John Marburger III, Science Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).


During the business part of the meeting, Vice Chairperson Jason Samenow said the April 2005 meeting would be held at the new Marian Koshland Science Museum located at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. Jason also announced that the DC AMS is a sponsor of the upcoming EasternUSWx.com meeting, 29-31 July 2005 (more information is available at http://www.dc-ams.org/ Meetings Link). The Weather Channel's Winter Weather Expert Paul Kocin as well as many other meteorologists will give educational presentations that should entertain/inform weather enthusiasts and veteran meteorologists alike. Chapter Chairperson Chris Moren encouraged members to renew their membership, to volunteer to be Chapter Officers (since several of the current officers will be stepping down), and to volunteer to be Science Fair judges. He also asked members to spread the word that the deadline for submission of applications for the DC AMS Scholarship is 1 May 2005. Chapter member Fred Klein spoke a few minutes on the upcoming Oceans 2005 that will be 19-25 September 2005 in Washington DC. The theme for the conference is "One Ocean" so the focus will be global oceans and more information is available at http://www.oceans2005.org/

Dr. John H. Marburger, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, was confirmed in October 2001 and serves as Science Advisor to President Bush. Dr. Marburger also co-chairs the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and supports the President's National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).

According to the OSTP web page ( http://www.ostp.gov/ ), Congress established OSTP in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 Act also authorizes OSTP to lead an interagency effort to develop and to implement sound science and technology policies and budgets and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end.

OSTP's continuing mission is to serve as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal Government OSTP is authorized to: Dr. Marburger focused his remarks on the current U.S. actions to address climate change. He began his remarks by stating that, prior to President Bush's election, the Senate had effectively already voted against the Kyoto Protocol* and that the President opposed Kyoto since it would risk harming the U.S. economy. To obtain a credible assessment of climate change science to serve as a basis for Adminstration climate policy, President Bush turned to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The NAS published their report in mid-2001 (the full report is available online at books.nap.edu/html/climatechange/climatechange.pdf.).

Marburger highlighted President Bush's June 11, 2001 speech on climate change in which the President stated that (1) the earth is warming, (2) there is a natural greenhouse effect that contributes to warming, and (3) that concentrations of greenhouse gases, especially CO2 have increased substantially due to human activities. The President acknowledged the uncertainties in climate change science but indicated, we can begin now to address the factors that contribute to climate change. In the speech, the President announced that he had set up the U.S. Climate Change Research Initiative to study areas of uncertainty and, more importantly, to identify priority areas where investments can make a difference. The speech is available online at: (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/06/20010611-2.html),

Dr Marburger praised the Climate Change exhibit at the new Marian Koshland Science Museum, but said it fails to count nuclear power as an option to the carbon dioxide-based power that drives the U.S. economy. It is clear, he stated, that the effect of carbon dioxide is so great that we won't make a big impact on global warming until we make big changes in energy technology. We must explore such energy sources as nuclear, wind, solar, and hydrogen energy, which don't add carbon dioxide to the environment. President Bush has set goals and priorities, and funded new clean energy technology development that will break the link between the economic production and carbon dioxide emissions. The President and his Cabinet are aggressively pursuing these policies.

[*NOTE: The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ( http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/conveng.pdf ) is an amendment to the UNFCCC international treaty on global warming. It also reaffirms sections of the UNFCCC. Countries which ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases. It was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, opened for signature on March 16, 1998, and closed on March 15, 1999. The agreement came into force on February 16, 2005 following ratification by Russia on November 18, 2004.]---Lauraleen O'Connor.


HOUSTON

March 2005 Minutes

Speaker:
Mr. Tim Garner: (Spaceflight Meteorology Group) Lead Forecaster

Program:
March's meeting was very unique and poignantly hit all of us Americans-Houstonians both in our hearts & at home. Mr. Garner discussed NASA's Spaceflight Meteorology Group's (SMG) efforts in the recovery of the doomed re-entry of the Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) on February 1st, 2003. Their goal was to recovery as much as humanly possible by tracking the debris field via the WSR-88D radar. Mr. Garner shed light on his group's mission those weeks following that tragic day.

After explaining what ultimately caused the disaster, which was the damaged left wing (disintegrating upon re-entry) caused by a dislodged fuel tank panel striking the wing's edge upon ascent, Mr. Garner got into what his office had to do in support of the recovery mission. They virtually had to re-construct the atmosphere by mapping the winds along the orbiter's re-entry trajectory. Massive amounts of data collection, from profiler data to GOES satellite data, was utilized in this intensive reconstruction which took months to complete. He also dismissed the "Purple Bolt Theory" as a photographic mirage/artifact. He discussed the 88D's logistical issues when they were trying to piece together the forensic puzzle of what was occurring at 200,000 feet up (63 Km), or at the level at which the orbiter disintegrated, the morning of February 1st. Some of the issues included non-uniform radar clocks, radars out of calibration, and trying to match up different VCPs (Volume Coverage Pattern) across the vast network….plus the fact that the radar cannot "see" anything above 70,000 feet. Fine particles of aluminum-oxide particles (needles) that melted and then re-cooled sifted downward in the mean flow and this is what the Doppler Network was remotely sensing. This debris path extended from western Texas to eastern Florida over a span of 24 hours.

Tropospheric and mesospheric analyses were performed to determine this debris field behavior. Other tools used were the SABER (IR radiometer on satellites), METeor radars, and the climatology GRAM-99. After the atmospheric reconstruction was complete the basic synopsis was that, other than some minor mid-level turbulence, the orbiter encountered a normal environment required for a safe re-entry; or all parameters were within 1 to 2 standard deviations (1-2 s).---Patrick Blood.


IOWA

AMS Meeting Minutes - Meeting #5 3/1/05
General Email List: isuams@iastate.edu
Officer Email List: amsofficers@iastate.edu
AMS Homepage: www.meteor.iastate.edu/ams

2005 Iowa Regents' Day
Chris and Elise went to the state capital and represented AMS. Chris had a radar display and we also had our poster presented. They talked to our Ames Senator and the Story County Supervisor. They were very interested in our club and our connection to our community. We hinted at what we could do with more money!

Thank you from Adam
First off, talk to Heather if your name is not on the mailing list or website address list. Thank you to those that helped at the WiSE Scout it Out presentation. It went very well! Thank you to those who helped out with the fundraiser. Lastly, thank you to those who helped with Roosevelt Science night.

Treasurer Update
$965.10 after Pokey Sticks

Apparel Update
Look for electronic order form from Brian. Paper forms will also be in the AMS mailbox. We will follow the same procedure as last time. Give your order form and money to Brian or Adam by Monday 7, 2005. There is also a new design, so look for a picture from Brian as well.

Forecast Contest Updates
AMS-Nothing newsworthy. Esterville will be ending soon. National-We are forecasting for Birmingham, AL. Please send opt-outs to Janet by Thursday evening. Our next city that we will be forecasting for is San Francisco, CA.

Fundraiser
We raised $38. This was the first time that we had a fundraiser on campus, so thank you to those who donated supplies, time and money to the cause. Thank you for all of the help that was received from Chris A., Red, Steve, Heather, Morgan, Adam, John B., Kari, Liz, Rachel, Kuai Le, Jon, Justin, Chris D., Matt, Angie, Felix, Jesse, Lillian, Jill, Scott, and Sheena.

Elementary School Science Nights
There are two science nights planned. One is April 7th from 5:30-8 pm at Fellows Elementary. The second is April 14th from 7-8 pm at Sawyer Elementary. Look for an email from Janet to sign up to help out with these events.

University Village/Schilletter Village Tornado Safety Discussion
A lot of international students are housed here and not all of them know much about severe weather. We will talk about how to spot severe weather, reading a radar loop, and more. Sign up with Bill Henning (tubularb@iastate.edu) if you are interested in helping out.

Social Events
2005 Spring Break-Plans are moving forward and hotel reservations have been made. There was a meeting afterwards. Let Liz (edw@iastate.edu) know if you are interested in going. We HAVE to know now if you are going or not.

Spring Picnic-Sunday, April 24th at Brookside Park; look for an email from Elise with more details.

Jesse, Jon, Rusty, and Reggie each won a IM bowling t-shirt! Congratulations! Jessica's mother has offered to make us dinner during the conference. Email Jessica (jreese@iastate.edu) if you are going to the conference and interested in the dinner. It would take place on Thursday night

IM basketball is over. The guys lost a VERY close game. We have signed up for soccer and if you are still interested email Elise (elisevj@iastate.edu). Elise has the list of the rest of the IM games. Email her if you are interested in any other IMs.

National AMS Campaign
$15 (checks to AMS). Place your money and application in the AMS mailbox by Monday. If you need an application, email Liz (edw@iastate.edu) or go to www.ametsoc.org. Benefits include possible scholarships, BAMS, other journals, looks good on a resume, and much more.

2005 Severe Storms & Doppler Radar Conference (www.iowa-nwa.com)
Registration is March 10th, but please register as soon as possible. If you are paying by check, give that to Elise. Remember, this is a professional conference and you will be representing Iowa State, so please act responsibly. We will stay at the Marriot which will cost $40-$45 per night with about 5 people per room. Email Elise (elisevj@iastate.edu) or Kari (kkozak@iastate.edu) by Monday, March 7th with the people you would like to room with, if you can drive, and if you are willing to have the room put on your credit card (you will have to work out payment with your roommates). We are working at getting funding from two sources. If you are interested in getting funding, email Kari BY NOON TOMORROW with your name, address, and social security number. YOU WILL NOT GET FUNDING IF YOUR NAME IS NOT ON THIS LIST!!!

Storm Spotter Training
Tomorrow at 8 in the Agronomy Lecture Hall. It will take about an hour to an hour and a half. There is no cost.

Cy's Eyes on the Skies Update
Nominations for co-producers are due next Wednesday. We will vote after spring break. We talked about improvements for next year like the new graphics system, making the show 30 minutes, and more. We also discussed the name change. If you have an idea for the new name, nominations will be taken over email (to Kari or Elise) and are due next Monday. We will vote on a possible new name next Wednesday and then the final vote between the old name and possible new name will take place with co-producer voting after spring break. Ashley Alteri will continue to join us on Cy's Eyes to help us improve along with some other television meteorologists.

Severe Weather Awareness Week School Talks
We will be talking to elementary schools during severe weather awareness week to teach the kids about severe weather and safety. Sign up with Adam (ajkuban@iastate.edu) if you would like to help.

2005-2006 Officer Nominations
President: Elise Johnson, Bill Henning
Vice President: Janet Schenck, Rusty Lord
Treasurer: Jon Baranick, Jake Petersen-Pearlman
Secretary: Justin Gehrts, Heather Moser, Ashley Carter
Social Chair: Ian Lazaretti, Liz White
Historian: Geoff Grochocinski, Morgan Brown, Chris Davidson, Jill Ihrke
Webmaster: Scott Lincoln, Kaj Johson-O'Mara
YOU CAN EMAIL ANY NOMINATIONS TO ADAM KUBAN. Those nominations are due by March 8th. If you were nominated, be prepared to speak for a few minutes about your qualifications for the role you were nominated for.---Janet Schenck.


OMAHA-OFFUTT

The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS held its March meeting on March 18, 2005, at the Garden Café restaurant in Omaha. There were 35 members and guests in attendance.


At 6:38 PM chapter President Jeremy Wesely called the business meeting to order.

Recording Secretary John Roth read the minutes from the February meeting. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Phil Johnson and seconded by Fawn Morley, and the minutes were accepted.

Jeremy announced that chapter newsletters and forecast contest forms were available. John announced the results of February's forecast contest. There was a tie, so Joe Hanser and Jen Roman were declared co-winners. Jeremy stated that Matt Sittel was making up coupons for reimbursing contest winners.

Fawn Morley stated that the education committee had reviewed three applications for minority scholarships and passed them up to the national headquarters. Evan Kuchera announced that he and John Eylander would be speaking at the Omaha Children's Museum on April 9 on the subject of severe weather safety. Jennifer Roman announced that the first two meetings of Weather Explorer Post 999 had been held. The first meeting featured discussions on winter weather, and the second featured a tour of the KMTV television studio. Sarah Walters was presented an Explorer Post 999 T-shirt as thanks for hosting the tour. Phillip Johnson reported two prizes had been awarded at the Metro Omaha science fair. Two more science fairs were coming up on April 2nd, Iowa State in Ames and Greater Nebraska in Nebraska City. Phil also stated that they were not able to acquire weather radios as planned, since they had to be purchased in bulk. So the money had been spent for books as prizes. Brian Waranauskas offered to donate two weather radios as science fair prizes.

Old business:
None.

New business:
Jeremy announced the April chapter meeting would be held on April 12 in conjunction with the AFWA Heritage Luncheon. Mr. Art Gulliver would be one of the speakers at the luncheon, speaking on the history of the chapter as it reaches its fiftieth anniversary. Tours of AFWA would follow. Anyone interested in attending who is not on the chapter distribution list should get hold of Jeremy, since important information on the event would be forthcoming via email. A list of those planning to attend would be needed in advance to procure tickets and schedule the tours. Col John Lanicci also added that the visitor reception center would be moved to the SAC Gate by then, so visitors would need to enter by that gate.

With no more business, a motion to adjourn the business meeting was made by Fawn Morley and seconded by Joe Hanser, and the business meeting was adjourned at 6:51 PM. Dinner was then served.


Following the business meeting and dinner a presentation was made by Mr. Tim Samaras of Applied Research Associates in Littleton, Colorado. His talk was entitled "Stable Sensors for Tornado Core Measurements." Mr. Samaras described the instrument he designed for this purpose, the "Hardened In-Situ Tornado Pressure Recorder", or HITPR. It is a shallow cone-shaped probe designed to remain stationary in high winds and withstand pelting of wind-driven debris and hail. It contains pressure, temperature, and humidity sensors and a data recorder, powered by on-board batteries. The design allows accurate measurement of static air pressure, independent of the wind speed blowing over the probe. Variation of pressure at different positions on the probe also allows measurement of wind speed and direction. Mr. Samaras explained how it is used. He places the probe in the expected path of a tornado, turns on the sensors and recorder, and after passage recovers the probe and downloads the recorded data. He has had success with his HITPR probes over the past three years, including capturing the largest one-minute pressure drop ever recorded, 100 millibars, recorded as a tornado passed directly over a probe, near Manchester, South Dakota, in June 2003. He showed video footage of the storm, with the pressure trace taken from the probe super-imposed on the video. Several other videos of near misses were also shown. In 2004, he added a "Media Probe" to the mix. Designed similarly to the HITPR, but larger, it contains seven video cameras, six horizontal pointing in 60 degree increments, and a vertical camera. He showed some remarkable video footage shot from these cameras as the outer wall of a tornado passed by.---John Roth.


PACKERLAND

Meeting Minutes-March 10, 2005

A near capacity crowd of chapter members and students met at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay Christie Theater, to hear a presentation titled "TSUNAMI!" from Allen Paul Price, an Associate Professor of Geography and Geology at the University of Wisconsin-Washington County. Professor Price is an expert in the case study approach to teaching science and geography. The following is a brief summary of his presentation.

The magnitude 8.1 earthquake (some estimate as high as 9.3) that struck Indonesia on 12/26/04 occurred about 30 kilometers below the surface, and covered an area 1200 kilometers x 100 kilometers. The quake shifted the North Pole 2 centimeters, and sped up the earth's rotation. The wave, or Tsunami, created by the quake traveled at up to 620 miles per hour in the ocean. Unfortunately, coastal zones tend to be areas that are highly populated. Current estimates are that between 228,000 and 310,000 were killed by the waves.

Tsunami's can be triggered by several factors, such as underwater landslides, underwater explosions, volcanic eruptions, meteorite impacts, and earthquakes. Basic earthquake theory was discussed. The Indonesian quake lasted about 8 minutes, an extreme length of time. Damage factors for Tsunami's include, the source and magnitude of the quake, ocean levels, wave travel distance, slope of the shoreline, coastal configuration, and the human element.

The primary effect of the wave is impact damage and flooding. Secondary effects include, habitat destruction, and water/soil contamination. Tertiary effects are, displacement of people, loss of jobs, etc. Unfortunately, there was no warning system in place for the area that was devastated. Warning systems are being developed and are available. This, combined with better planning, could help to avoid the tremendous loss of life if a future Tsunami occurs, anywhere on the earth.

The presentation wrapped up with a question and answer session. Professor Price was given an ever-popular AMS coffee cup for his excellent efforts.

In PCAMS business, the local officers were introduced by President Steve Meyer. The next meeting will be on April 14th, when Jeff Last conducts the annual storm spotter training. On May 5th, Professor Meyer will make a presentation on long-term weather forecasting.---Dale Walker.


PALMETTO

Integration of Local, State, and Federal Resources in Emergency Management

On March 11, 2005, the Palmetto Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (PAMS) hosted the 11th Annual Mini-Technical Conference at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) in Columbia, South Carolina. Chapter Vice President, Allen Weber of Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), moderated a special session on the Graniteville train crash and resultant chlorine spill in Aiken County, South Carolina on January 6, 2005. The SRNL's Atmospheric Technologies Group (ATG) and the National Weather Service played an integral part in the response and mitigation of the chemical release by providing timely observations and numerical simulations of the meteorological conditions throughout the event.

Chris Alverson of the Safeguards, Security, and Emergency Services Division at the Savannah River Site and a member of the Graniteville Volunteer Fire Department presented operational concerns from an emergency responder's perspective including actual 911-calls, personnel issues, and the interaction of first responders with local, state, and federal resources, particularly the SRNL Atmospheric Technologies Group (ATG). An existing mutual aid agreement with Aiken County allowed ATG meteorologists, Charles Hunter, Matthew Parker, Robert Addis, Robert Buckley, and Allen Weber, to provide atmospheric conditions and forecasts through the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS, version 4.3.0) and two transport models (LPDM and PFPL).

At 0240 LST (0740 UTC), over 90 tons of liquid chlorine, cresol, and sodium hydroxide were released into the environment over a short time span. The liquid chlorine, highly volatile at standard atmospheric conditions, rapidly vaporized to form a dense and highly toxic airborne cloud. Using meteorological data from a local network of observations stations, and output from an operational mesoscale forecast model, ATG scientists applied atmospheric transport and dispersion models to estimate potential downwind hazards. Initial hazard estimates were performed with ATG's Puff/Plume code, a segmented trajectory Gaussian dispersion model. Additional plume transport calculations were performed with a Lagrangian particle dispersion model (LPDM), which provides full utilization of 3-dimension wind forecasts provided by the operational mesoscale model. Results from the models were posted to a designated external web site, enabling local emergency management officials and the SC DHEC to assess the appropriateness of evacuation orders within the significant threat area over the several days of response and recovery operations that followed the derailment.


From left to right, Chris Alverson (SRS),
Bob Buckley (SRNL), Matt Parker (SRNL),
Chuck Hunter (SRNL), and Allen Weber (SRNL)

Founders of the meteorology group at SRNL,
Ben Rusche, left, and Todd Crawford, right


The ATG also conducted a detailed post-accident analysis of the chlorine release. The operational configuration of the mesoscale forecast model uses a 2-km horizontal grid resolution. To account fully for local topographic characteristics, the model was modified to include nested grids of 500 m and 125 m centered on the accident site. Fine resolution topography from digital elevation maps was used to characterize the Graniteville area and archived analyses from the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model provided initial and lateral boundary conditions at 3-hr intervals. Simulated values of wind speed and direction were compared with regional observations and were seen to capture the flow for this day. Application of the fine-scale meteorology was used to illustrate pollutant transport in a general sense over an 18-hour period following the accident, indicating transport to the northeast. In addition, the Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability (HPAC) was used to simulate migration of the dense gas immediately following the accident. The predicted plume location is supported by the location of fatalities that occurred in the immediate area, as well as visual evidence of damage to plant life. Based on the detailed modeling, the dense chlorine plume was gravity driven and flowed toward lower elevation to the southwest and against the prevailing wind direction. Subsequent transport was toward the north-northeast as the dense cloud became more dilute and subject to behavior as a passive gas.


Chris Alverson (SRS),
left, and Bob Buckley (SRNL), right

Chris Alverson (SRS), left,
and Matt Parker (SRNL), right


The National Weather Service's Columbia office was represented by Meteorologist-in-Charge, Bernard Palmer. Mr. Palmer detailed the NWS wind forecasts for the accident and the warnings that were given to the affected area and the general public through the NOAA Weather Radio. Mr. Palmer noted that this was the first time in recent memory that a non-weather emergency was disseminated via Weather Radio. These notifications were modified as the accident scenario played out over a period of many hours.

The Mini-Technical Conference also highlighted the ideal relationships that should exist between the private, public, and government sectors of the meteorological and climatological communities, which Matthew Parker of SRNL emphasized in his presentation on the American Meteorological Society's Commission on Weather and Climate Enterprise (WCEC). The AMS is poised to improve communication through the WCEC, which is the first new Commission in the last 30 years. Mr. Parker's work is a reflection of the dedication of ATG founders, Todd Crawford and Ben Rusche, (in attendance at the meeting), to the integration of weather science across a broad spectrum of disciplines that continues to foster the professional growth of the atmospheric science community in South Carolina.---Jason Caldwell.


SMOKY MOUNTAIN

Please find the minutes for the March 28, 2005 meeting of the Smoky Mountain Chapter of the AMS at http://www.ametsoc.org/chapters/smokymnt/minutes-mar2005.html.----David Gaffin.


SOUTHEAST ARIZONA

Summary of the March 23rd, 2005 SEACAMS Meeting The March meeting of the Southeast Arizona Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was attended by about 22 members and guests. Those who attended this meeting were treated to a tour of the KVOA studios, a local NBC affiliate, given by Chief Meteorologist Jimmy Stewart and one of the studio directors. Jimmy Stewart gave a demonstration of how he does his live weather broadcasts and showed us some of the latest technologies in broadcast meteorology. He explained how the graphics work and what is done to help the warnings, put out by the National Weather Service, to be disseminated to the public. The studio director gave us a tour of what goes on behind the scenes during a news broadcast, as well as 24 hours a day. There are many involved in making sure that our local NBC station has a continuous flow of shows, news, and spots for commercials, which is how they make their money.

On a separate note, Mary Glueck and Carl Noggle represented SEACAMS in the Southeast Arizona Science and Engineering Fair on March 15, 2005. They were special awards judges and chose the winner of the special AMS award.---Dawn Fishler.


TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Minutes from the Wednesday March, 7th 2005 meeting at Texas A&M Universtiy.

President Zachary Glenn opened the meeting by welcoming all the members to this month's meeting.

Vice President Justin Horne once again updated everyone about the trip to the NSSL & SPC which will be March 24-25th. He also spoke about our annual trip to Texas Adopt-A-Beach (April 23rd).

Secretary Roger Gass gave a recap on the February meeting and informed everyone to check on the website ( http://www.met.tamu.edu/TAMSCAMS ) for updates.

Treasure Brady Taylor told the members they could buy t-shirts and make orders for polos after the meeting. He also gave the treasurer's report for the organization.

Social Chair Keri Turner informed everyone that there will be a social bowling night in April.

Shane and Jennifer spoke about the TESSA conference that was held in Dallas/Fort Worth. They also talked about having case studies to help members be more prepared for the sever weather season.

Our very own Fuqing Zhang spoke about the departments new polices for internships.

Adrienne LaFleur told us about an on campus program on Tsunamis that was held later in the week.

We then took nominations for the 2005-2006 TAMSCAMS Officer elections. Voting will take place in April's meeting.

Here are the current nominees:

President:
Roger Gass
Chris McKinney

V-President:
Brad Klotz

Secretary:
Melissa Polt

Treasurer:
Alicia Dale
Emily Riley

Social Chair:
Juan Arredondo
Keri Turner
James Burger

Zach then introduced our guest speaker Armando Garza, MIC at the Corpus Christi NWS office. Garza spoke all about the NWS and how it operates. He also talked about pros and cons for working for the NWS. In addition, he talked about internship opportunities the NWS provides.

After Garza's presentation on the NWS, we asked members to sign up if they were interested in doing weather forecast and being on air for Texas A&M's local radio station, KAMU.

After our speaker and general business, the members went up to the 12th floor for pizza where we also celebrated the member's who had birthdays and "1/2" birthdays this month.---Roger Gass.


TWIN CITIES

The March 2005 meeting of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Meteorological Society was held on March 22, 2005, in conjunction with the 9th Annual Northern Plains Convective Workshop at St. Thomas University. After a brief business meeting where results of local science fairs were discussed, we heard from featured speaker Jon Davies about a practical and ingredients-based approach to tornado forecasting.

Jon classified three different types of conditions from which strong (F2 or greater damage) tornadoes: Supercell, nonsupercell, and cold-core lows. Each type of situation has its own set of parameters. For supercell tornadoes, CAPE, storm relative helicity, deep layer wind shear, and low lifting condensation levels (LCL) are key parameters. Nonsupercell tornadoes which aren't associated with mesocyclones get their vorticity from the low levels. They need a well-defined boundary with pockets of enhanced vertical vorticity with a wind shift from south to west or northwest, CAPE, thunderstorm updrafts developing on the boundary in phase with and stretching vertical vorticity, and a steep low-level lapse rate with deep surface moisture. With cold-core low tornadoes, the normal supercell tornado parameters don't work. One needs a closed 500 mb low (-22C to -16C), a nearby surface low (within 200 miles of the upper low) with a cold front and warm front close by creating a triple point, a narrow moist axis (dewpoints warmer than 52F), clear air behind the cold front/dryline.



Jon then described a number of parameters which can be used to indicate the likelihood of different types of tornadoes. Some of these are available for viewing on the SPC web site. Jon cautioned forecasters from using the actual values of these fields as predictors and using values as "magic numbers" or "bulls-eyes"; instead, one should look at trends and relative values. Also, the coincidence of the maxima (or minima, as appropriate) are areas where one should focus attention for other parameters. The parameters might not outline the areas of the best storms, so they should not be used as an infallible forecast indicator, but as a guide.

After a short break, Jon led exercises with the group on using the principles in his talk to forecast the locations of tornadoes.

Our next meeting will be at 7pm on April 19, 2005, at the Twin Cities WFO in Chanhassen, MN. Rich Naistat will present an overview of the Advanced Warning Operations course he will facilitate at the WFO during 2004-05.---Chris Bovitz.


UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

University of Utah American Meteorological Society Student Chapter Meeting Minutes
Thursday, February 24, 2005
4:00 P.M. INSCC 490

*Eric Crossman gave us an update on the educational outreach program. The remaining opportunities to help with this program at this point are March 10 and April 22.

*AMS t-shirts are almost gone. T-shirt designs for the 2002-03 & 2003-05 school years can be purchased for $5. T-shirt designs for the 2004-05 year are $10.

*We disscussed the upcoming photo contest and how we need to go about placing advertisements around campus. The overall deadline for pictures to be turned in is March 31.---Maura Hahnenberger.


 



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