Chapter News
October 2011


The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 5th meeting of 2011 on October 24th, at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport. This meeting began at 6:30 pm, with fourteen members present.

Jason Hansford, Chapter President and Senior Forecaster with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, gave a presentation entitled “The 2011 Summer Heat Wave and Drought - A Recap and the Winter Outlook”. Hansford provided a summary of the record heat and drought which has affected not only the Ark-La-Tex this past summer, but also much of the Southern Plains. He also listed the numerous agricultural and hydrological drought impacts plaguing the region, as well as the influence the heat and drought has had on the record fire weather season. The presentation also included a Winter Outlook, which depicted La Nina conditions already developing in the Equatorial Pacific, and is poised to affect the region for a second consecutive winter. This phenomenon will likely result in a continuation of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for the coming winter, which will not allow for the exceptional drought conditions in place to improve in the foreseeable future.

Hansford also held a short business meeting following his presentation.  

The following members were present:

Jason Hansford, President

Bryan Walter

John Mussey

Kelly Spencer

John Beck

Chris Nuttall

Billy Andrews

Gary Blair

Mike McCrary

Mark Robertson

Gareth Juays

Randy Pritchard

Matt Hemingway

Patrick Omundson                                                                                 

The meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.---Jason Hansford  For Brandi Richardson.



The meeting was called to order at 5:20. 

David reminded everyone to pay their $20 dues. Only a few people have paid thus far, so in leniency he's extended the deadline to the end of next week. Place cash or a check addressed to CCAMS (spelled out) in the envelope in 1125. It's for a good cause, and public humiliation is in store for those who do not fulfill their duty.

In Nikki's stead, Sarah reported that people who wish to get involved in outreach should email nmd46.

Molly, following her most recent email, added that she would like to get out an issue by Thanksgiving. Anyone who knows a good interviewee or who has an idea for a meteorology-related article, fictional or not, is encouraged to contribute, and soon. Let her know what you are planning. Articles should be at least several hundred words and include a graphic of some sort.

Kevin updated the club on forecasting activities. Ron is at the tournament level in WxChallenge, so hopefully he can remain at that level until spring. All WeatherPhone lead and junior forecasters should be in contact and ready to go. It seems there will be no credit this semester, but Matt nevertheless recommended the experience, especially for underclassmen.

Matt again expressed the need for an apparel chair. After some general reticence, Jordan volunteered for the post, and was greeted by rather sarcastic applause.

Jeff is working on the website, providing updates and filling in missing information. He's looking for photos, summaries of internships, and the like. Collaborators to help assemble and organize the site would be appreciated.

Lindsey needs an approximate headcount for the AMS conference in January, and for that purpose a form will be forthcoming shortly. Fill it out no matter who you are. There will also be a letter-writing campaign to solicit monetary support from alumni. Lindsey further reminded the club that AMS travel grants are due 10/14, so apply if you're going! Sarah added that research abstracts are due Monday.

Sarah said Wysocki wants more AMS members — it's good for the club, because it makes good publicity, and good for you, because you get a magazine and are in the national loop. Annual dues are $20, and can be paid online.

Garrett, social chair, is looking for ideas for fun things to do, and to that effect he passed around a sheet that collected at least a dozen proposals. Already-planned activities include a H**** H***  the weekend of the 15th, and a potluck sometime in November. The idea for a Thanksgiving dinner was suggested by someone, and received with approbation.

Sarah announced that the atmospheric-science-only internship seminar will be held 10/14 at 4:30 in the main classroom. It will last about one hour. Most of the organizing will be done this coming week, but she assured the club it will be worth attending.

In response to a question, Kevin said that the Sun is giving the club "the silent treatment." Bitterness over past relations is evidently still extant.

To conclude the meeting, Sarah threw in a pitch for a career panel occurring soon after the meeting. Pizza was to be provided, but attendance should be motivated not by food, but by a desire to hold up the atmospheric-science end of the bargain in this joint venture with SES. The meeting then tapered off into conversations and the sporadic paying of dues.

And there you are, the most important parts of yesterday's meeting. I'm Colin Raymond; have a good night, everybody.---Colin Raymond.



Members of the High Plains Chapter AMS met at the Town and Country Kitchen in Norton, KS on October 27, 2011. There was a long, but important business meeting among the 14 members in attendance.

The treasurer reported a checkbook balance of $4535.24 with the Jim Johnson Scholarship balance at $2415...leaving an ending balance of $6950.24.  Form 1023 first draft is done… and Mike Umscheid will be meeting with Jim Johnson (who has much experience in this area) to go over the form and additions/corrections/etc. before submission to the IRS, hopefully in December.  The Wichita Chapter had around $750 loss due to unforeseen taxes from the host hotel.  Overall, the conference went well with many good speakers and a decent turnout.    A discussion was started about how we can potentially tackle the problem of lack of student presentations. (I.e. focus more on the local colleges and cast a wider net including allowing other physical science students… increase financial incentive/scholarship?) Our chapter voted to offer $400 to the Wichita Chapter, as a goodwill gesture.    Do we want to get away from our grassroots High Plains emphasis?  The decreasing numbers of talks from the 4 offices that make up the chapter are a concern, and some discussion was brought up on how to increase the numbers of meteorological talks from operational mets out of the 4 offices (GLD, DDC, GID, and LBF).


Dates selected for the next conference are August 8-10, 2012, which is Wednesday-Friday… to be held at the Wilson Center (Hastings College).  The first organizational meeting was already held, with two committees started for planning, etc.  We want to go back to the focus of original High Plains Conferences… try to get as many high plains speakers as possible.  Our chapter was selected for the National Weather Association “Chapter of the Year” Award for 2011 – 3rd time in 8 years (2003, 2008, 2011)!  Tim Burke, chapter Secretary, accepted the award in person on the chapter’s behalf… thanks to several financial contributions from chapter members. The plaque was presented to the members and will reside at the Goodland WFO (current President, Chris Foltz).

It was suggested a few meetings back to create hard dates for the following year’s meetings. The President suggested the2nd Wednesdays of January, March, and October, with the 4th face-to-face meeting being at the conference in August.  June 13th and December 12th are set for conference calls.

Online voting is going to be the method of voting for 2012 officers: Vice President Al Pietrycha, GLD will not be running.   If anyone is interested, please submit your nominations to the chapter either through e-mail or at the next meeting in December.  The next conference call meeting in December will hopefully have 2012 officers selected so that they can assume their role beginning the first face-to-face meeting in January.   Another  discussion started concerning whether the chapter checking account should be at a bank that is better suited for interstate banking to make it easier for new treasurers (like one of the more popular national branches.. i.e. Bank of the West).  Start thinking ahead about participating on the Jim Johnson Scholarship committee.  The chapter needs one member on the committee representing each WFO (GLD, DDC, GID, and LBF).---Tim Burke.



October Meeting Minutes.---Ryan Lueck.



The meeting was called to start at 7:34 PM at this time Laura, our President informed everyone, That we have secured Dr. Greg Forbes of the Weather Channel as long as he is not needed for severe storms in the plains in early March. She also informed the club on the status of our other speakers that will be attending the conference. Laura also promoted the national AMS Meeting by informing club members of a program that allows students from each department to go for very little or no cost if they work a few hours for the AMS at the Conference.

Craig, our Vice President, updated us on which panel speakers we have confirmed for our Storm Conference in March. He also updated the club on bringing SKYWARN to campus to do training. We talked about the date for this happening either Nov. 4th or Nov. 11th, from 5 to 7PM, location to be announced. Reminded about the internship opportunities listed on our club website. He also had members sign up if they had an internship over the summer to give a small presentation about what they did, so other club members can begin to look at the opportunities that exist this next summer. This is an annual night where current members share their experience from the their summer internship with other members. Finally, he reminded everyone that the member spotlight would be someone new this month.

Next, Brian reminded the club that their dues are due on Friday Oct. 7th, and that they can pay him or the treasurer Tori.  He also mentioned that the event tracker on the club website is kept up to date after each meeting and event that the club has or participates in. Next, Tori, the treasurer Tori, reiterated that dues are due on Friday. Also informed the club the amount of money we made from our car wash, and what funds we have for our next few activities. Tori, then talked about the sign up for our sector search at the end of October and members talked about their experience and described the search more to the class that will have the chance to go on the trip.

George, then, talked about the St. Johnsbury shelter walk coming up on Oct 8, at 9AM. The walk will be at the St. J School and is suggested donation, but not required. He also talked about school visits that some members have done at their local schools back home. Next, Pat, our Public Relations officer, talked about the flag football tournament will now be Nov. 5th, on the soccer field, weather permitting. Also, the first inch contest, to guess when the first inch of snow will fall on the Lyndon Campus has sign-ups starting Oct. 10th. 1 guess for $1, or 5 guesses for $3.

Our Historian, Rachel, reminded to send pictures to her to be put on the website and that she is working on two different newsletter, one for the alumni, and one for the National Spotlight in next months magazine. Finally, our department representative, Jeb, reminded everyone of the senior’s weather briefing each Thursday at 12:30PM in ASAC 315. Also, an alumnus, Jason Frutato, will be giving a talk on climate on Monday October 10th. He also informed of the professors that would be teaching some of the main courses in the Spring semester. Finally, Laura concluded the meeting after the 2011-2012 club photo was taken.---Brian Knopick.



October Chapter News.---James Belanger.



Meeting Type: Speaker Series

Date: November 2, 2011

Attendance: 41

Meeting in Session: 8:30 pm 

II.              Presentation about Accuweather by AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Dombek

III. Presentation about working at AccuWeather by Meteorologist and Millersville Alumnus Erik Pindrock

Meeting Ended: 9:55 pm

Meeting Type: Speaker Series

Date: November 3, 2011

Attendance: 33

Meeting in Session: 8:36 pm 

Meeting Ended: 9:39 pm---Colin Thomas.



Meeting Agenda

OCT. 11, 2011 

Meeting Agenda

OCT. 25, 2011 



The chapter has been participating in the Wx Challenge hosted by the University of Oklahoma.  We begin every meeting by looking at the results and analyzing the forecast to see what changed.  Every Monday, the chapter holds a wx challenge briefing to help underclassmen and anyone who is having a hard time with forecasting or just wants to get some insight into how they should forecast.

The chapter has been preparing for the annual AMS conference coming up in January.  We have been holding fundraisers such as trash for cash to raise money for travel expenses.

OUCAMS was recognized at a St
ormReady Awards Ceremony for their successful efforts to make the Ohio University campus prepared for any weather threats.

Our treasurer collected dues at the end of the quarter and will keep a roster of all members.  The chapter is now above 35 active members!

OUCAMS is selling weather T-shirts to those interested.  The t-shirt is black with a yellow caution sign that has a person storm chasing.  This is being used as a fundraiser for the chapter.

We have two students that have been awarded the AMS travel grant for the annual conference! Also, Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis received a full grant to begin preparations to set up a micro network of wx stations around the Athens area.  Meteorology students will be assisting in the set up of the stations and with the analysis of data.

For the holidays the chapter is donating canned goods and other none perishable food items to the Nelsonville, OH food pantry.  Our initial goal was 100 cans, but we made it to 200 cans!  We also collected clothing to donate to shelters around Athens county.

Meteorology students and those in the chapter have been given the opportunity to learn forecasting skills from current student forecasters through Scalia Lab.  These skill sessions are offered every week around the noon hour.---Elise Dolinar.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011 Meeting Minutes
Spaghetti Works, Omaha, NE

Jay called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. and greeted the 32 members and guests in attendance.

President’s Report (Jay Martinelli): Jay announced that our next meeting will be on Monday, November 14 at Valentino’s, 108th and Q Streets in Omaha.  Our guest will be Dr. Adam Houston, from UNL.  He will be speaking to us on Predecessors to Tornadogenesis.

(Recording Secretary note:  Dr. Houston’s website at: )

We also have our January 2012 speaker is lined up, date and time TBA.  This will be Dr. Tony Lupo, who will be speaking to us about Anthropologic Global Warming. 

(Recording Secretary note:  Dr. Lupo’s website at: )

Our February 2012 speaker will be Kevin Grode, from the Army Corp of Engineers, to talk with us about the recent Midwest flooding.  Again, date and time TBA.

We are still working out details of our December 2011 meeting, and will announce that ASAP.

We had some very good news about our chapter.  We were voted Local Chapter of the Year by the National AMS.  Jay thanked all the officers and members for their participation and commitment to service last year.  This was met with applause from the audience.  He also quipped that this would pretty much guarantee that we would not win Chapter of the Year again for his administration.  We will continue to strive to serve our membership and community.

Treasurer’s Report (Fritz VanWijngaarden):

Beginning balance:  $ 299.80 Petty cash, Closing checking balance = $1653.85, Total = $  1953.65.  He also said he will get an accounting of our membership numbers and start to report this at each meeting.

Recording Secretary’s Report (Karen Harder-Sittel):

The meeting minutes from September were sent to the membership by email, the National Chapter, and also posted to our AMS Facebook page.  A motion that the minutes be approved and submitted to the record was passed. 

Corresponding Secretary's Report (Richard Ritz):  

Richard was teaching a class; therefore Jay stepped in to report.  Jay told the membership that Richard has read over much of our old reports and documents, and has been working hard to consolidate and revise much of our chapter’s documentation, including our Constitution and By-Laws.  He has been communicating with the National AMS and other solid resources to accomplish this.  There were a few items in our By-laws which are completely out of date, such as “we cannot have a meeting in December”, and “no lunch meetings”.  Obviously we have been doing both of these things for at least a decade.  Richard has worked to tighten up and modernize these important items.  We will have the membership look at and approve final drafts.  Thanks to Richard for taking a deeper look at this.  

Vice President’s Report (Kristen George):

Kristen reported that there are 5 submissions for the t-shirt contest. These were e-mailed to the membership, and 8” x 11” printouts were available for viewing at the front table of our meeting room.  She will email a survey for the membership to vote on.  Your votes are anonymous, but in order to be sure that there is only one vote per person, she asked that you provide your name in the survey.  Your name and vote will be kept confidential, and your comments are appreciated.

New Business:


Karen asked for volunteers for the King Science and Magnet school Science Fair.  The date is Tuesday, November 29, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.   The snow date is Thursday, December 1.  They could use our help for even one hour of the 6 hour judging period.  Details of the fair were sent out to the membership via email and are posted on our Facebook site.  This is a very easy science fair to judge – we try to seek out weather exhibits and provide some counseling, but mostly we just visit whoever needs to be judged at the time of your availability.  Jay remarked that there are a very diverse range of projects, and that the school and students appreciate our help.  Karen also added that while we aren’t judging weather per se, she often will seek out projects which have to do with weather, and just let the kids know about the AMS, and also the National Weather Service.  The student displays are up all day, and even if the students aren’t at their project, we can still leave a little weather propaganda at their display.  She commented that in her years of volunteering there, she always finds that most students interested in weather don’t even know about all the great weather resources that are out there, so it is always a great opportunity to help out weather enthusiasts.  Bruce remarked that there is always a free lunch also.

Bruce Telfeyan told the membership that the national AMS conference is coming up in January, and was wondering about the status of our new poster.  (Recording Sec. notes: we voted on procuring these funds in November 2010, but it was too late to get the poster complete by the January 2011 AMS meeting)  Jay responded that we have secured the digital copy of our most recent poster, and have taken many pictures to update it.

Jay asked how many people were attending, and there were several.  He reminded the members about the Chapter Breakfast.  Bruce and Fritz both commented that we would like to have as many Omaha people at the breakfast as possible. Fritz also added that it would be great if our January chapter meeting was not the same week as the Annual AMS meeting. Jay said we will be sure to avoid that week.

(Rec. Secretary note: Tuesday, January 24, 2012, from 7 to 9 a.m. Information is on the Local Chapter Affairs website at )

Cathy Zapotocny remarked that there were some new people at the meeting, and asked that we go around the room to introduce ourselves to each other.  Jay thought this was a great idea, and we each spent a few minutes going around the room introducing ourselves to the membership.

Our meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m., after which we listened to an animated and interesting talk from Dr. Jon Schrage, from Creighton University.  He spoke to us about his recent work on a possible mechanism regulating nocturnal stratocumulus decks in West Africa.---Karen Harder-Sittel.


October Meeting Minutes.---Steve Pierce.



Meetings were held on October 6th and October 23rd, with just over 30 members attending both meetings. The art department at SUNY Oswego is currently updating our club logo, which we hope to have soon. The club is looking into getting jackets, and our logo will be on them.


We have started our BFB (Better Forecasting Bureau) again, being run by our own Club President Stephen Travis and Webmaster Joseph Finlon! The purpose of the BFB is to cover various topics that relate to forecasting techniques. Some of the topics covered are forecasting tropical weather, lake effect snow, and nor’easters. The meetings of the BFB in October were on 13th and 27th, with a good number of club members and non-club members showing up.


On Saturday, November 5th, our club will be hosting our own Weatherfest. From 11am-3pm, we will have members of the local community come to the Oswego campus to participate in weather related activities (such as making fog in a jar, and using ice and warm water to see convective currents). We will also have a panel of speakers taking questions, and, if conditions permit, we are hoping to have a balloon launch during the day.

For more information on our club activities and upcoming events, visit our website at Pirraglia.



The month of October started while the Rutgers University Chapter was in the middle of our annual trip to the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire.  There were seven club members that went on the trip to get a tour of the Observatory on Saturday the 1st.

We held our second E-Board Meeting of the school year on October 12th, in which six of the officers attended.  A lot was discussed for upcoming events and future plans.  We first recapped what we thought of the Mt. Washington trip this year and it was agreed that the new hotel was greatly preferred to previous years' accommodations and that we will try to book with them next year.  The second order of business was AMS 2012.  We will be leaving on Friday, January 20th and returning the following Friday, the 27th.  The deadline for confirmation for attendees was set for Sunday the 16th and the next day Matt Drews (Club President) reserved the hotel rooms.  November 11th was set as the deadline for handing in trip deposits.

Other topics of discussion at the E-Board meeting:

Our General Club meeting for the month was held on the 19th of the month at 8:00pm.  President Matt Drews opened the meeting and then Jacob Carlin was introduced to give his presentation.  Jacob, who is a Senior in Meteorology, gave a presentation on his experiences at a NCAR leadership workshop he attended this summer.  After the presentation we had our weather photo contest and we had a first, second and third place prize for the top pictures.  Anthony Adams was voted to be the first place winner with a photo of large storm waves that he took during Hurricane Irene at the shore.  Matt then made a few announcements about upcoming events including the Mid-Atlantic Hurricane Presentation by Rick Schwartz that was coming up on the 26th at 7:30pm.  The meeting was wrapped up some Met Club Pictionary.

The RU Met Club was pleased to host Rick Schwartz as he came to Rutgers on the 26th to give a presentation on Mid-Atlantic Hurricanes which was based off of his book.  Schwartz researched and collected information on all the major hurricanes that are known to have impacted the Mid-Atlantic states and compiled it all into his book as detailed historical accounts.---Jeffrey Mart.



October 2011



For our October TAMSCAMS meeting, our theme was undergraduate research. Members had the opportunity to perform a short presentation on research or internships they were involved in over the summer. This let other members see how they can get involved and showed what kind of jobs are available to a meteorologist. All members were urged to pay their dues by October 19 so they may participate in the fall trip (which is still under consideration). In addition to all of this, it was brought up that there is an opportunity for juniors and seniors to apply for funding to attend the annual AMS Student Conference in New Orleans in January. Many students showed enthusiasm about applying for this. Finally, as a way to get members to know one another and help get freshmen involved in the organization, an intramural volleyball team was created and any member has the opportunity attend and play. The next meeting is scheduled for November 1st.---Kristen Collier.



The third meeting of the UAH student chapter of the AMS for the academic year began at 5:30 on Thursday, 27 October, 2011. The first item on the agenda was a brief summary by President Stephanie Mullins of the chapter’s accomplishments so far for this year, including a discussion on the Rocket City Weather Fest and the luncheon and seminar with Dr. Greg Forbes of the Weather Channel. A call was made for new members for the RCWF planning committee to begin organizing the event for 2012.

We then had a report on the chapter’s finances by Treasurer Naren Rongali. This report included a list of all members that have paid chapter dues, as well as chapter budget and an overview of the Rocket City Weather Fest budget, the net proceeds of which are donated to the Red Cross. A motion was made by Elise Schultz and was seconded by Matt Saari to add $198.09 of the chapter’s budget to donate to the Red Cross. The chapter members voted and the motion passed unanimously so that an total of $1000 will be donated. The Yankee Candle fundraising event was also discussed. Order forms are due on Friday, 4 November and can be picked up in the office of Ken Leppert.

The next item on the agenda was an overview of upcoming outreach events. The chapter will have volunteers at the Girl’s In Science and Engineering Day, an event to encourage primary school-aged girls to pursue interests in the sciences, which will take place on Saturday, 12 November 2011 in the Shelby Center on the UAH campus. Volunteers are needed to help Stephanie Mullins and Christina Branson work a demonstration booth and give a talk about their interests and how they became involved in Atmospheric Science.

For future spring activities, Eric Anderson spoke as a representative of the Earth Science Student Assocation of UAHuntsville about the joint outreach activity for the celebration of Earth Day. He also requested volunteers for the Earth Week event which will take place on 16-20 April 2012. A theme is still being requested for the poster contest, and members are encouraged to submit their ideas. The Habitat for Humanity event is still being planned, and a doodle poll will be sent out in the near future to choose a weekend.

The annual AMS meeting in New Orleans, which will take place on 21-26 January 2012, was also discussed. A reception for UAH members is tentatively planned for Tuesday, 24 January. The chapter awards breakfast will also be held that morning. Members are again encouraged to send pictures from chapter events for the chapter poster for the annual meeting to

A social outing is planned for Friday, 4 November 2012 to the UAH hockey game at 7:00. For more community involvement, on Sunday, 20 November 2011, members will be participating in the Jingle Bell 5K run. A donation fee of $25 will help benefit the Arthritis Foundation. A team has been formed by the name of “Rain Dears”, and interested members are encouraged to register at: .

There were fifteen members in attendance. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, November 17 2011 at 5:30PM in NSSTC 4065.---Christina Branson.



October 4th, 2011

This meeting was held in the Student Leadership Room of the National Weather Center.

The first thing talked about at this meeting was preparations for the upcoming October 11th General Meeting.  The main speaker at this meeting will be Rick Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the NWS Norman WFO.  Additional speakers will be Sharan Majmudar, a professor at the University of Miami, and Danielle Barker, a School of Meteorology student trying to help Joplin tornado victims.  Food for this meeting will have to feed 85 people.  The plan is to have some sort of Chinese food, with Taco Bell as a potential back-up.  This meeting will be publicized through email and via signs that will be hung up around the National Weather Center.

The next thing talked about was the OUSCAMS polos that Addison Alford is in the process of ordering.  Total cost of the 47 polos will be $825.

Next on the agenda was preparations for the upcoming November 8th General Meeting.  There is no scheduled speaker for this meeting at this time, but Stacey Hitchcock has received an email from David Parsons regarding the potential for Don Marks giving a seminar about modeling.

The final item on the agenda dealt with upcoming outreach events.  The Norman Public School visits begin on October 10th, and the National Weather Festival takes place on October 29th.  Addison Alford, Carl Green, and Trevor Bengtsson will run the OUSCAMS table on the first floor of the National Weather Center.

The meeting was then adjourned.

October 11th, 2011

This meeting was held at the National Weather Center, in Room 1313.  This meeting opened with several announcements.  The first announcement was that the outreach at Norman Public Schools has been going very well, and people are excited, and the school is getting noticeable funding which will be used towards the creation of a weather museum in Norman.  The second announcement was that the OUSCAMS polos that Addison Alford ordered are on their way.  The third announcement was that some new things are being added to the OUSCAMS incentives list, possibly including day shadowing the SPC or NWS Norman.  The final announcement was to remind everyone that the abstract for the OUSCAMS poster is due soon, and that creative people are needed to put together an idea for the poster.

After these announcements, Dr. Sharan Majmudar took the stage.  Dr. Majmudar is a professor at the University of Miami in the division of Meteorology and Physical Meteorology, and he came to the meeting to speak about the graduate program at Miami.  The graduate meteorology program at Miami is located on Virginia Key, a small island off the coast of Florida and east of the city of Miami.  One of the main focuses at Miami is tropical weather, and many graduate students work closely with people such as hurricane hunters, and the National Hurricane Center.  The school is in the process of building a large tank in which they can push hurricane force winds through to conduct many different kinds of research.

Dr. Majmudar then talked about the Atmospheric Sciences Club at the University of Miami.  He is the Advisor for this club, which is essential Miami’s version of OUSCAMS.  He mentioned that if any members of OUSCAMS are going to Miami for grad school, or even just on a visit, to contact the club to show them around campus.  This is because the club would like to make a connection with the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Majmudar then talked about applying for the graduate program at Miami.  He mentioned that when apply, applicants with the intention of getting a PhD down the line are preferred.  In addition, applicants with previous work with credible sources, such as internships with the SPC or a WFO, are preferred.  Another option for post-Bachelor degree work at Miami is the new Master in Professional Science program.  This program is a one year post graduate degree.  One main difference from traditional graduate school work is that this program is essentially student funded.  Another difference is that it is more of a training year for a certain profession, and does involve an internship.

Dr. Majmudar then talked again about the general overview of the University of Miami’s Rosentiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.  The School is split into six different divisions, and the division OUSCAMS members would be interested in is the division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography.  Strengths of this division include topical meteorology, climate, ocean modeling, experimental oceanography, and satellite remote sensing.

Lastly, Dr. Majmudar then talked about several of the things that the School is currently working on.  One of the things is oil spill modeling using LES, which is a modeling technique to compute turbulent flows.  This project is BP funded, and a lot of internships are available.  Interested students should contact Professor Tamay Ozgokmen.  Another thing that the school is working on deals with cloud feedbacks.  The answer to how much the earth may warm as greenhouse gases increase may related to clouds, and this project uses climate models and satellite observations to understand and constrain cloud feedbacks.  Interested students should contact Professors Amy Clement and Brian Soden.  As always, the school has a lot of work dealing with hurricanes, with many different projects going on.  Professors working on these projects include Shuy Chen, David Nolan, Nick Shay, Brian Soden, and Dr. Majmudar himself.

Another project the school is currently working on deals with the Agulhas Current, and how its leakage of waters into the Atlantic Ocean will affect future climate.  This is studied by using and developing state-of-the-art coupled climate simulations.  The final project Dr. Majmudar talked about dealt with small-scale / large-scale connections in the atmosphere.  More specifically, Professor Brian Mapes is working on how small-scale changes in a mid-latitude or tropical region affect the large-scale atmosphere.  After talking about this, Dr. Majmudar left the stage.

The next speaker was Danielle Barker.  Danielle is a Junior in the School of Meteorology at OU, and is from Joplin, MO, which was devastated by a tornado on May 22nd, 2011.  Danielle is in charge of a program whose goal is to collect donations to help the citizens of Joplin.  Danielle is looking for people who can donate things such as food, clothes, Christmas decorations, and gifts.  If you are interested in donating, please like “OU Loves Joplin, MO” on Facebook to find out more information.

The final speaker of the night was Rick Smith, the Warning Coordination Officer for the Norman Weather Forecast Office.  Rick first briefly went over some Oklahoma weather records that were broken in the past year.  These include the largest hailstone (6” in diameter), the highest measured wind speed (151 mph at the El Reno MesoNet station when it was hit by a tornado), the most snow in 24 hours (27”) and the coldest temperature (-31 degrees Fahrenheit).

Rick then talked at length about the National Weather Service.  The National Weather Service is a division of NOAA, and NOAA is a division of the Department of Commerce.  The mission of the National Weather Service is to provide climate, water, and weather forecasts and warnings to protect life and property and enhance the economy.  Essentially, the NWS provides people information to make better decisions when it comes to weather.  The NWS also provides weather-related support for any kind of disaster.  This is why there are televisions in all NWS offices – so the meteorologists who work there can get information on real-time situations.

Next, Rick transitioned into talking about the structure of an NWS Weather Forecast Office, and about working for the NWS.  There are 122 different NWS WFO’s, and essentially qualified applicants can apply for jobs wherever they are interested in working – almost no one is forced to work in a location that they do not like.  There are several different types of jobs in any one WFO, including forecasters, meteorological interns, hydrologists, and hydrometeorological technicians.  The Norman WFO has 23 employees, but the number of employees can vary depending on the size of the area that a specific WFO covers.  With regards to working for the NWS, many people get started as student volunteers.  This is an unpaid position, but it provides meteorology students a way to become familiar with how a WFO works.  Another way to work for the NWS before graduating college is through the SCEP program.  SCEP stands for Student Career Employment Program, and it is essentially a paid internship.  However, due to funding cuts the future of the SCEP program is somewhat in jeopardy at this time.  With regards to more permanent employment at an NWS WFO, the entry level position is actually called a meteorological intern.  Despite the name, this position is full-time.  From there, there are forecasters, then senior forecasters (five senior forecasters at every WFO).  Higher level positions include science and operations officer and warning coordination meteorologist.  Finally, the highest position available is meteorologist in charge.  At the Norman WFO, Mike Foster holds this position.

After finishing up his discussion on the NWS, Rick Smith then talked about the May 24th tornado outbreak in Oklahoma.  One good thing about this event was that the NWS knew that a tornado outbreak was likely days in advance, and they could therefore forecast and prepare for the outbreak, and also coordinate with public safety officials and the media.  In the end, there were “only” 12 tornadoes in the Norman WFO area for this outbreak, but 5 of them were significant tornadoes, and 3 were violent tornadoes, including the EF5 Piedmont tornado and two EF4 tornadoes in McClain County.  The threat for a tornado impacting the National Weather Center on May 24th was so high that the Norman WFO coordinated with the Tulsa WFO beforehand about the possibility that Tulsa would have to take over Norman’s duties for a period of time if the National Weather Center was evacuated.  The Norman WFO never evacuated but the Storm Prediction Center did turn over operations to a backup office in Nebraska for a period of time.

In the end, the May 24th outbreak caused 11 fatalities, which was the most in Oklahoma since May 3rd, 1999.  In the aftermath of this outbreak, one of the big questions that popped up was why we still have so many fatalities even in this day and age of advance warning.  Out of the 11 fatalities, only 2 were by people who were taking shelter – the other 9 were outside or in a vehicle.

The most destructive tornado on May 24th was the El Reno – Piedmont – Guthrie tornado.  As destructive as this tornado was, things actually could have been worse as the tornado was out in open country for most of its lifetime.  Still though, the tornado did some pretty incredible things, such as ripping an oil rig out of the ground.  Rick then explained that rating this tornado an EF5 was a fairly controversial move, as the tornado did not have any pure damage indicators because it did not hit a lot of structures.  In the end, the tornado was rated an EF5 due to RAXPOL radar data which indicated a wind speed over 100 m/s for several minutes, which was over the 90 m/s cutoff for an EF5.  In addition to this EF5, Rick said that the two EF4’s in McClain County were very close to being upgraded to EF5’s.

Rick then ended his presentation, leaving OUSCAMS his email ( ).  In addition, you can like US National Weather Service Norman Oklahoma on Facebook, and follow @NWSNorman on Twitter.  The meeting was then adjourned.  The next meeting will be held at the National Weather Center, in Room 1313, on Tuesday, November 8th, at 6:30 p.m.---Emily Thompson.



October 2011 


The Award for Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year notice


On October 5th, around noon, the chapter president received an unexpected message from AMS president Mr. Jonathan Malay. Malay wanted to convey this excellent news: we were selected to receive the AMS award for Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year for the first time since our founding. Later­­­­­­, AMS officially released the news, stating that we received the award “for building a regional community of weather awareness through communication with educators, contributing to a variety of local charities, and instituting novel approaches to membership integration.”

We thank our founders, current and former chapter officers and members, professors, school officers, and professionals, all of which have made invaluable contributions to our success. We are extremely honored to receive this recognition, and will continue working together to accomplish AMS objectives within UPRM and our community at large.


Special Meeting


A special meeting was held on October 6 at 10:45 am. A total of 21 students, including active and prospective members, attended. The president started the meeting by officially announcing that the chapter was selected as Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year. The award will be received in January 2012 at the 92nd AMS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. This introduction fit perfectly within the main topic of the gathering, which was an orientation about the AMS Annual Meeting. A panel of four members who had attended the conference discussed their individual experiences and funding situations. They represented four different perspectives:

              (a) attending as a student assistant

              (b) attending as a freshman student

              (c) self-funded attendee

              (d) attending as a presenter

Figure 1. From the left, panelists Gian Villamil, Dennis Negrón, Irmarís Rivera and José Algarín, and chapter president Rosimar Ríos-Berríos.

All of them considered attending this conference an excellent opportunity for networking and increasing their knowledge about meteorology and related sciences. Different funding opportunities were mentioned, including the AMS Assistantship Program. The members were encouraged to seek different alternatives to participate in this experience. The panel was followed by a discussion of the logistics of the upcoming Pre-Halloween Party for fundraising.

Monthly Meeting

Thirty students, including active and prospective members, attended the monthly meeting on October 13 (10:45 am). Following the traditional agenda, the chapter officers began by summarizing past activities and accomplishments. Then, they moved on to the main topic of the gathering, which was the upcoming 6th Student Chapter Initiation to be held on November 5th. As established by our constitution, the members were asked to vote for this year’s honorary member nominees who were selected by the chapter officers. Both of the nominated honorary members were approved, and the officers reviewed other details of the activity. Finally, they gave the financial report and discussed other upcoming events, such as the Pre-Halloween Party and the monthly Weather Today. 

Activity: School Visit

On October 13, the Demonstrations Committee leader and an enthusiastic potential chapter member visited the Antonio González Suárez Regional Bilingual Elementary School in the western town of Añasco. Students from 5th and 6th grade were amazed by the weather-related demonstrations presented, and the teachers were excited about how these demonstrations complemented their classes.

Activity: Interview at Univision PR, WKAQ and El Nuevo Día

The chapter officers were invited by broadcast meteorologist Ada Monzón (Chief Meteorologist, WLII-DT) to be interviewed for Univision’s local news in PR. The interview aired live on October 25, at 12:50 pm. Monzón asked about the recently announced AMS Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year award, and about our various endeavors. She also asked about the AMS scholarships received by two of our chapter officers:


This exciting experience was followed by an interview with journalist Normando Valentín at WKAQ 580 AM radio station, which was scheduled by Monzón. Monzón also put the officers in contact with Mario Alegre, journalist and editor of the Science and Technology section from local newspaper El Nuevo Día. Alegre and the officers had an amiable conversation that same day, which will be published as an article in the section he leads.

Figure 2. Interview by Ada Monzón at Univision PR (left), and by Normando Valentín at WKAQ 580 AM radio station (right).

Activity: Pre-Halloween Party


The Pre-Halloween Party was held on October 19, serving both as a social gathering and a fundraising activity. The members had the opportunity to get to know each other better and relax in a friendly environment as they crossed over into the latter half of the academic semester.  


Activity: Résumé Writing Workshop


The chapter’s Weather Today committee invited Margarita Carlo, employment interviewer at UPRM’s Placement Office, to teach our members how to prepare an effective résumé. The workshop, held on October 25 and focused on students in scientific fields, provided helpful tips to the 12 attendees. These guidelines will serve as excellent tools as our members progress in their professional careers.


Activity: Hot Dog and Donut Sales


Our traditional hot dogs were accompanied by delicious glazed donuts during the four sales that were held during this month (October 10, 17, 24 and 31) as part of our fundraising efforts.



October Chapter News.---Jennifer Collins.



4 October General Meeting Notes





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