Chapter News
October 2012


October 30, 2012 Meeting Minutes

The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 5th meeting of 2012 on Tuesday, October 30th at the Ruston Fire Department Headquarters in Ruston, LA.  This was a joint meeting between our chapter and the student AMS chapter from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.  The meeting began at 6:30 pm, with nineteen members and students present.

Dylan Cooper, a senior atmospheric science student from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, began the meeting with his presentation on “The Observational Analysis of Hurricane Isaac”.  His study focused primarily on the effects of the hurricane’s wind field on its intensity, in which he has ingested microwave satellite imagery and dropsonde data from the hurricane hunter reconnaissance missions as inputs into his analysis.  This is an ongoing study in which he hopes to complete prior to his graduation in Spring 2013.  Tony Viramontez, Jessica Bickham, Adam Gildwarg, and Brittany Gill gave a second presentation entitled “Investigating Instrumental and Environmental Contributions to Microscale Rain Gauge Variability”.  This study detailed the variability in various rain gauges, its underestimation and overestimation, and collection issues, all of which could play a role in the determination of whether flash flooding would/could occur.  A network of 12 CoCoRaHS rain gauges and a tipping bucket rain gauge were established within a controlled area on the roof of Hanna Hall on the University of Louisiana Monroe campus.  The team used data from two separate heavy rain events (Hurricane Isaac from August 30-31, 2012 and a slow moving deep upper level trough and warm front from September 30 - October 1, 2012), and compared the data sets from each gauge to determine the role wind speed and blockage plays, while also improving data collection techniques.  Additional heavy rainfall events and data will be needed to develop more accurate methods of collection, and decrease inconsistencies during high wind events.  Justin Pullin, a senior atmospheric science student, gave a third and final presentation entitled “A Comparison of Significant Tornadoes in the Central and Southeastern United States”.  His study focused on whether EF2+ tornadoes in the Plains and Southeast U.S. exhibited different storm structures and characteristics.  Pullin found that significant tornadoes are most common during the early evening (6-8 pm) in both regions, and that QLCS’s and MCS’s also exhibit a nocturnal maxima between 4-6 am.  He also found that the majority of significant tornadoes in both regions are associated with discrete supercells, and that nearly one-fifth of the EF2+ tornadoes occurred after a merger took place.  

Following the presentations, Chapter President Jason Hansford provided career information in meteorology to the students, focusing on opportunities in the National Weather Service and emergency management.  Member Alex Sigler and Vice-President Bryan Walter provided career opportunities within the U.S. Air Force and Operational Weather Squadron, while member Rhonda Lee gave information within the field of broadcast meteorology.

The following members and students were present:

Jason Hansford, President                      Justin Pullin (Student)

Bryan Walter, Vice President                  Jessica Bickham (Student)

Leslie Sexton, Treasurer                         Brittany Carson (Student)

Alex Sigler                                                Jared Marquis (Student)

John Mussey                                            Adam Gildwarg (Student)                     

Chris Nuttall                                             Ryan Willis (Student)

Patrick Omundson                                  Tony Viramontez (Student)

Rhonda Lee                                             Brittany Gill (Student)

Dylan Cooper (Student)                           Larry Hopper (Professor)

Jenae’ Clay (Student)


The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.---Jason Hansford.



October Meeting Minutes.---Bryon Lawrence.



The AMS High Plains Chapter met via a teleconference on Tuesday, October 30th, at 11:30 AM. 30 Chapter members phoned in, and logged onto the accompanying webinar.  The Weather Loan Box our chapter funded for the Nebraska Teacher Association was a success. The Box is located at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and can be checked out by schools.  Pictures of the Weather Box and its content can been seen on our Facebook page, . The next High Plains conference is on hold, with little promise of funding being available.

The webinar was hosted by Mike Moritz and Briona Saltzman, both of Hastings WFO, NE.  Mike and Briona relayed insight from the Praise Experiment on the Phased Array Radar, which they participated in at Norman, OK this past summer.  Mike and Briona reported each day, as if going to work.  They then went through scenarios on a WES, Weather Event Simulator.  They were to warn on storms, using only the reflectivity and velocity data from the Phased Array Radar, but no environmental data.  One advantage the Phased Array radar has is very rapid volume scans, as quick as 20 to 30 seconds.  Also, the radar can be pointed in one direction and vertically scanned, dwelling on the area of interest.  They spent approximately 2 hours per day actually going through exercises, then 3 to 5 hours assessing and reviewing their daily performance. One “Expert” operator sat across from a “Novice” operator, both seeing the same data.  Every minute of the warning experiment was then closely examined and recorded, including asking at what point they decided to warn, and what data helped them make that decision.  One disappointed point of information was that year 2030 was the earliest the Phased Array Radar would hit the field offices.  You can email Mike at, to obtain a copy of this Powerpoint webinar presentation.

The next meeting, virtual, will likely be in early December.  A webinar is in the process of   being scheduled by the WCM from SPC, Greg Carbin. Details will follow soon on this next meeting.---Bill Taylor and Tim Burke.



October Chapter News.---Sean Stelten.



Meeting Minutes for October 25, 2012

I.  Call to Order

The second NWA/AMS meeting of 2012-2013 year started at 7:10 p.m. and was opened by newly elected NWA President, Joanne Culin.  The Chapter meeting was held at Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in Pearl, MS. 

II. Rolls

The new recording secretary, Eric Carpenter, passed around a sign-in sheet for attendees to sign. 18 people were present, including four officers.

III. Minutes Approval

Eric summarized minutes from the previous meeting and formally announced Joanne as the new NWA President.  We thanked Vincent Webb, former NWA President, for his service during the past couple of years.   


IV. New Business

After Joanne opened the meeting, Daniel Lamb, social media/webmaster, provided us with an update on the much improved chapters’ web page.  Daniel has spent a lot of time typing in the meeting summaries from past meetings and he requests feedback from members in an effort to improve the page further. 

The next order of business was to discuss the November meeting being planned for WJTV.  We are waiting for confirmation from WJTV that Nov 15th will be the date for this meeting.  Discussion then turned to the possibility of the chapters starting a toy drive for Blair E Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson.  This would be conducted in memory of Dr. Loren White’s daughter, Cynthia, who was a patient there.  Tony Mastro, WJTV-TV Chief Meteorologist, and John Moore III of the JSU Meteorology Program, both indicated that they may be able to garner interest for a toy drive.  Tony suggests that we look for opportunities with Friends of Children’s Hospitals and visit their website at for more information.    

At the conclusion of the business session, Joanne gave the floor to Jeff Rent, MEMA Director for External Affairs.  Prior to beginning the tour, Jeff described his duties and the primary mission of MEMA.  Jeff is heavily involved with public outreach campaigns, especially those geared toward weather disaster mitigation.  MEMA aids local governments and first responders when they are unable to handle disasters on their own.  The impressive MEMA facility is 73,000 square feet, and it is comprised of 8 inch steel reinforced concrete walls.  It has enough fuel to be run for a week by back-up generator.   

After describing the facility, Jeff took the group on a tour of the Media Room, the Joint Information Center, and the Emergency Management Operations Floor.  During disasters, the operations floor can become very active as multiple agencies work together under a Unified Command Structure (UCS).  Under the UCS, multiple agencies work together within the Incident Command System to form an integrated response team that is better able to maximize resources and enhance efficiency of individual response organizations.  During Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, MEMA successfully operated the UCS for the first time.

Jeff encourages everyone to tour the facility and says that MEMA frequently gives tours to groups from as far away as Bangladesh, Bolivia, India, and Germany.  The tour ended with a question and answer session, and then we all gave Jeff a hearty round of applause and thanked him for a fantastic tour.  

V.  Treasury Report 

Following the tour, Jason Brand gave a detailed balance report and then advertised collection of dues.  The current treasury balance is $243.00.  This is an increase of $120.00 since the last balance report given in September’s meeting.  

VI. Adjournment

The meeting concluded at approximately 8:40 pm.  The next meeting is expected to be held at WJTV-TV, on the proposed date of November 15th.---Eric Carpenter.



We had our general business meeting on October 3rd at 7pm in the Burke Mountain Room. We had 35 attendees including the board members and the meeting ended around 7:55PM.

Kayla Flynn, our Community Outreach Officer, began the meeting with a new community outreach opportunity.  She talked about the Everybody Wins! program. It is a reading mentor program in St. Johnsbury.  She also talked about other service opportunities. They included traveling to schools in the area to give talks about meteorology and traveling to the soup kitchen in St. Johnsbury on weekends. 

Then, Secretary Matthew Davey spoke about the mailings that were going out to promote our 38th annual Northeastern Storm Conference. He told the members if they wanted to add a professional or academic person to the list to email him. He also told them to come to the ECM tomorrow and help stuff letters.  He then announced the 8th person award (the award for the most events in a month) was Colton Zercher.  He will be featured on our website. 

Next, President Jeb Postle announced who the key speakers would be for our conference.  He encouraged many of the underclassmen to consider going. After, he talked about the upcoming 2012 Sector search and how they were visiting URI, WPRI, WSI and the NWS in Taunton, Ma. 

Vice President James Sinko reminded the members how to access the club website and view the event tracker.  He also asked for feedback on how the the website is set up.  

Then, Treasurer Torrence Gaucher informed the club members that any dues that had not been given to him will result in a late fee.  He gave an update on our Student Government Association and our fundraising.  He then talked about arrangements for Sector search because the group will be staying at his house. 

Amanda Curran, our Public Relations Officer, recapped the events from last month and reminded everyone about the ECM on Thursday.  There, she will talk about the events such as the First Inch Contest. 

Historian Sarah Murphy showed off some pictures of the St Lafeyette hike.  Unfortunately, due to extreme weather conditions, we were unable to hike Mt. Washington with the Plymouth State Chapter of AMS.

Finally, our Faculty Liaison Claudine talked about concerns about scheduling conflicts in certain Meteorological courses.  She said she had already talked to the professors about it and they are in the middle of solving the problem.---Matthew Davey. 



10 October 2012

General Meeting

Attendance: 50

Start time: 8:25

End time: 9:03

22 October 2012

Open Officer Meeting

Start time: 5:31pm

End time: 5:50pm

Total Time: 19 minutes

Introduction (President Peter Mullinax)

---James Fowler.



AMS Meeting Minutes (10/11/12)



October 16th, 2012

55-60 attendees


Opening Remarks:

Officer Information:


President – Max Tsparis:

                   - November 13th, 7:30 PM

                  - Union Rooms: 315-316

                   - Chance to meet and greet with professionals in your

                     Meteorological area of interest

                  - January 6 – 10, 2013 (first week of 2nd semester)

                  - December 3rd, 2012  Early Registration Ends

                    -”Visualization Software Development for Hurricane Hunters”

                  -Specific for Hollings Recipients

                  - General Internships in Tampa Bay

                  -Contact Flight Director/Meteorologist Ian Sears



Vice President – Nikki Perrini:

 - Weather warriors

                   - Sign up to be part of the team

                   - Any questions send me an email

                     - Hunter Green

Treasurer  -  Lauren Visin:

                     - Beach day Oct 20th

                  - Homecoming Game tailgate Oct 27th

                  - Halloween Bake Sale Oct 31st

                  (this is a commitment to buy one)


Secretary  -   Matthew Brady:



                   Most Application Deadlines is February 8th, 2013



                  Most Application Deadlines is October 25th, 2012

  - First Edition was sent out in Early October.

                    - will be released twice a month

                    - If didn’t receive the newsletter via email, talk to me after  meeting

  - If you have facebook and not in our group, then talk to me after meeting about this also


Science and Outreach -  Connor Dacey:

                  -Tuesday, October 23rd at 7 PM, Online, register link will be posted

       - Thursday, October 25th from 9:00 AM to Noon

        - Volunteers for Public Outreach with NWS/FDEM

                   - Doodle Poll up to fill in times you would like to volunteer   (

                    - November 15th, 7:30 AM – 12:30 PM


Past President  -  Jonathan Belles:

- A two-way dialogue about this nation’s severe weather through better communication of risk,    preparedness, and recovery

              - Impact Based Science

- The Goal: To have every person in America ready for the weather and to open a social bridge      between scientists and the public.

              - Your Role: Be a Force of Nature!!

              - Get Involved!!!

                   - How much Klout do you have?

 - When is the last time you actually talked about      something on twitter?

                  - Do you Instagram or do you Filter?

                  - Do you own your brand?

- Are you a multimedia Meteorologist


Speaker:  Dr. Eric Barron, President of Florida State University

                                             Former Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)


Next Meeting:

Early to Mid-November, at 7pm and Location TBA

Will be announced on our Social Media Sites and on our Late October Newsletter


Find us on the Social Media sites (continuously updated):

    - Facebook: northflams

    - Twitter: @northflamsnwa

    - Website:

    - Gmail:


Schedule of Events:

Saturday, October 20 – Beach Day

Thursday, October 25 – Career Fair at Hartsfield Elementary

Saturday, October 27 – Duke/Homecoming Tailgate

Wednesday, October 31 – Halloween Bake Sale

November 1 – November 12 – Outreach and Tabling with  NWS/FDEM at North Florida Fair

November 13 – Mixer event with Professionals

November 15 – Killearn Lakes Science Fair Judging

November, TBA – General Body Meeting

November, TBA  - More Social/Outreach Events

Meeting Ends: 8:35 PM---Matthew Brady.



September/October Newsletter.---Elise Dolinar.



October 2012 Meeting

Spaghetti Works, Omaha Nebraska

The second meeting of the year for the Omaha Offutt AMS was held at the Spaghetti Works in downtown Omaha on the evening of October 24th, 2012.  Approximately 30 people were in attendance.  The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Tim Wagner from Creighton University, who presented an entertaining slide show discussing his experiences on a field program in Chile while a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin.

The meeting, abbreviated due to illness and absence of three officers, was called to order at 6:45 PM by Treasurer John Roth.  It was announced that all business that could be delayed would be delayed until the November meeting when the president and the vice president would be present.  John presented the treasurer’s report for the month.  The starting balance was $1394.06 with $369.34 of expenses and income of $738.57.  The bank balance is $1516.76 with a petty cash allowance of $246.53 for a total balance of $1763.29.

Recording Secretary James McCormick read the minutes from the September meeting, and he also announced that in the future, minutes would be sent to the group online so the report did not have to be read in full at every meeting.  Updates on chapter projects were provided, including a great list of guest speakers lined up and an update on the chapter poster presentation for the national AMS meeting in Austin.  A motion to approve the minutes was approved. 

John Roth asked for any new business from the floor that needed to be mentioned at this meeting.  None was brought up.

The motion to adjourn the meeting was brought and carried at 6:52 PM.---Richard Ritz. 



October Meeting Minutes.---Steve Pierce.



This October, our Vice President Julie Budd was able to hook the club up with really cute and comfortable hoodies. They say "Oswego State Meteorology Established 1971" on the front, and are perfect for the cold weather that has arrived. Also this month, our club has bcome active in the college's intramural sports. We have a basketball, broomball, and floor hockey teams. Both our broomball and basketball teams have made it to the playoffs! 

Earlier this month, some of our members talked to the club about their summer internships. This is extremely beneficial because it helps to open up opportunities for current members, especially the junior and senior classes. Our very own Dr. Scott Steiger also addressed the club about applying to, and attending graduate school.

Currently, we are working on uniting the Earth Sciences department at SUNY Oswego. Officers of the Astronomy, Geology, and Meteorology clubs have come together to plan one, big game night for all three clubs to attend.For more information on what we're up to, visit our student-run site at Pirraglia.



On October 1st the E-Board met once again to keep up to date on upcoming events and trips.  We still had to work out our annual Fall Trip which was already canceled once this semester but is now set for the weekend of November 16th through the 18th.  The Meteorology Club will be taking interested members to Boston for that weekend to visit the AMS Headquarters and also to take a tour of the Blue Hills Observatory. There was also more planning for our trip to Austin for the AMS Conference. The last day for members to confirm there attendance was October 12th by also handing in their trip deposit to us by that evening.  We then booked the hotel rooms and did a final search for group rates for the airfare.  In total there are 26 Rutgers undergraduates attending the conference this year!

The first general Meteorology Club meeting of the year was held on October 12th and featured guest speaker Dr. David Robinson of the Rutgers Geography Department and who is also our New Jersey State Climatologist.  During his presentation Dr. Robinson talked about what he did here at Rutgers and also talked about what his job entails as the NJ State Climatologist (some of which was not quite what one would maybe expect).  It was a fun meeting which also included our traditional photo contest after the talk and also announcements to the rest of the club about the updates to the Fall Trip.---Jeffrey Mart.





The October 2012 meeting of the Twin Cities Meteorological Society began at 7:10 p.m. at Aamodt’s Hot Air Balloon Rides in Stillwater.  A quorum was not initially present, so a business meeting did not take place.  President Mike Griesinger, Vice President Jim Marusak, Secretary Chris Bovitz, and (eventually) five other members were present.

Our host and speaker was Scott Aamodt, owner of Aamodt Hot Air Balloon Rides.  He has been hot-air ballooning for more than 20 years.  He and his brother got started in the business in the 1980s mainly because of their father, who also flew balloons.

Most of the flights are done by Aamodt, but there are a couple more pilots on staff, so his balloons can fly seven days a week. He has four balloons (and baskets): the smallest basket can carry two passengers, and the largest basket can carry up to 18, including the pilot.  In a season, which usually runs from April to October, they make 40 to 60 flights.

Weather is very important to Aamodt’s operations, and he has often canceled previously-scheduled flights because of inclement weather. He warns his customers that they need to have a flexible schedule because of this.  His sources of weather information are meteorologists at a local TV station and the National Weather Service office.  He’ll call both offices, but he will also look at data on the Internet such as aviation or ballooning forecasts.  He used to call the flight service station for weather and forecasts, but now he just uses the Internet. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations limit him to 4,000 feet above the ground in Minnesota and 6,000 feet in Wisconsin, so winds aloft are important for his operations.  A light wind at the ground or at take-off can belie a strong wind higher up or in a potential landing zone.  Gust fronts from storms across the state can also affect his operations, so he must think a few hours head on whether to fly or not, and whether to call his customers to tell them that it’s not a good flying day.  He or his other pilots will also not fly if there is convection within 75 miles of Stillwater.  This is not only for wind (horizontal and vertical) but also for lightning.  He has also canceled flights when the heat index is too high, mainly above 92 °F.  Above that, it takes much more fuel to keep the balloon warmer than the ambient air, the margin for error shrinks considerably, and it’s just not very physically comfortable for him or his passengers.

Although his rides are usually hour (or less) long (winter flights often last longer), weather conditions can change from marginal to dangerous.  He recounted a few episodes of the weather’s being fine when he lifted off and rapidly (and unexpectedly) deteriorated while he and his passengers were aloft.  Wind speed and direction are often constraints for his flights.  He will not take off from Stillwater with a wind from the southeast through the northeast, because that would put him in an urban area.  Wind speeds greater than 10 miles per hour make landings rough.  Flights he pilots take off within two hours after sunrise or two hours before sunset:  The winds are usually lightest during those parts of the day, convection tends to not have started or is ceasing for the day, and it needs to be bright enough find a landing site.  Also, with his avoiding flying during the hottest part of the day, he doesn’t have to worry about dealing with thermals.  Mismanagement of the balloon as it rides through a thermal can cause a dangerous situation, similar to an airplane’s or helicopter’s dealing with a downburst.

Most flights take off from his base in Stillwater; however, he has launched from Wisconsin when there has been an east wind.  About half an hour into the hour-long flight, Aamodt is looking for a place to land.  He uses visual cues such as directions of flags to indicate winds near the surface.  He prefers to land in a wind of less than 10 miles per hour.  His landing locations are selected based on their flatness and proximity to roads so his chase truck can retrieve the basket and drive it back to Stillwater.  He has ditched in the water a couple of times when he had no other choice, but he much prefers to land on land.

Aamodt talked about one’s being certified to operate a balloon, either privately or commercially.  One must become certified by the FAA in lighter-than-air aircraft.  Just as getting certified in fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft, one must enroll in a ground school and partake in in-the-air training.  The FAA requires 35 hours of flying to become certified for private or commercial flights, and a pilot can fly solo after just 10 hours and certified pilot’s sign-off. Most insurance companies require at least 100 hours of flights for better rates.

He compared owning a hot-air balloon with owning a boat.  He feels the best way one can get into the business is by finding a used balloon with a few hours left.  Find an instructor who can get you to 10 flight hours (and make it through ground school), then get as many flight hours as possible.  It’s possible to become certified in one season if one flies as much as possible.

His balloons are made of rip-stop nylon and can hold between 90,000 and 300,000 cubic feet of air.  He uses propane heaters and has more than enough fuel for a one-hour flight.  They also have quick-release ropes to allow the hot air to quickly escape for landing.  The baskets are made of hand-woven wicker and cost tens of thousands of dollars.  Wicker is relatively light, and flexible.  If taken care of properly, a basket can last for decades.  Propane burners put out up to 18 million British Thermal Units (BTU) of heat to heat the air in the balloon.  In the bigger baskets, which have four burners, it can get quite hot in the basket, and shielding is used.  A good pilot ensures he has plenty of fuel and at least two sources of to ignite it.  Most pilots, even if they don’t smoke, also carry cigarette lighters as a second backup ignition source.

Aamodt has been to some balloon festivals.  In mid-November a popular balloon festival takes place in in Guadalajara, Leon, Mexico.  There are about 150 balloonists with 300,000 to 400,000 spectators, and the pilots are taken care of very well.  There is a smaller festival in Austin, Texas, run by a local company.  He then said that central Turkey is a great place for ballooning.  They have a similar season as Minnesota, but the conditions are very good for ballooning, and there is a great demand for balloonists, mainly by tourists there.  The October Albuquerque festival was brought up, but Aamodt feels that there is too much pressure and too much commercialization of that event for his tastes.

After a few more questions for Aamodt, the meeting ended.---Chris Bovitz.



Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

The second meeting of the year for the Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society met on at Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 at 5:30pm in NSSTC 4065. The first item on the agenda was the Treasurer report from Ryan Rogers on the chapter's budget and the Rocket City Weather Fest budget. The current balance was $872.07 while the Weather Fest budget had spent $2,081.00 with $1,313.00 left to use which would help pay for t-shirts, event costs, etc. Second item was to make sure all the club members’ dues were paid in order to be included in the picture for our webpage and AMS chapter poster.

President Matt Saari and Secretary Danielle Kozlowski are the co-chairs of the 3rd Annual Rocket City Weather Fest. Matt and Danielle had a separate meeting with the volunteers for the event after the monthly club meeting. Weather Fest is scheduled for Saturday October 13th, 2012 from 10am to 3pm at the Shelby Center on the UAH campus.

President Matt Saari talked about the seminar from Hurricane Hunter Chris Dyke on Friday October 12th, 2012. Matt proposed that the UAHuntsville AMS chapter vote on becoming a joint AMS/NWA chapter. After following our voting procedures, this proposition passed and now the club will be officially called the UAHuntsville AMS/NWA chapter. We will be selling Yankee Candles to family members, friends, etc. as a fundraiser for the club and the money will be due November 16th, 2012 for Christmas orders.

UAH Girl’s in Science and Engineering Day will be held on 20th of October 2012 and Stephanie Mullins, Matt Saari and Danielle Kozlowski will be giving talks about careers in atmospheric science and meteorology to 3rd through 5th grade girls.

Danielle and Matt also talked about becoming an AMS student member in order to get a discount on registration for the AMS Annual Conference in Austin, TX 2013. They also mentioned the multiple ways one can be funded to attend this conference, such as the Student Assistant Program, the Student Travel Grant and more! Matt briefly discussed the plans for this year’s UAH AMS reception in Austin.

Stephanie Mullins talked about the Jingle Bell run here in Huntsville during the first weekend in December. The UAHuntsville AMS chapter will be trying to put a team together for this event. Also, we plan on having our research vehicles (MAX, MIPS, M3V) in the Huntsville, AL Christmas parade this year! Along with the Christmas parade, we will have our research vehicles in the UAH Homecoming Parade as well on Friday October 12th, 2012. We had approximately 30 members attend the October AMS meeting.---Danielle M. Kozlowski.



News and Information from October, 2012

Meeting Minutes:

Jared Rackley, President

Matt Daniel, Vice President

Minh Phan, Secretary

Lauren Lindsey, Treasurer

3:45 –Q&A Session with guest speaker, Ginger Zee, begins. Secretary, Minh Phan, and Treasurer, Lauren Lindsey, introduce Good Morning America meteorologist, Ginger Zee, to UGA AMS members in attendance. 

Ginger Zee tells us a little about herself and her career. As a broadcast meteorologist for a network program, she is quick to say that her job is not always as glamorous as it seems. The time and effort put into her job is demanding, but there is never a dull moment. Every single day is a unique experience for Zee, and she cherishes every moment of her experience. Students ask her about some of her more memorable moments covering weather, and she tells stories of her encounters with a wildfire in Boulder, CO and of a tornado outbreak in March of 2012.

4:15 – UGA AMS takes a short walk on campus from the Geography Building to the Miller Learning Center for Ginger Zee’s main lecture/presentation.

4:30- The Lecture/Presentation begins

President, Jared Rackley, welcomes all in attendance and speaks briefly about UGA AMS and the organization’s goals and objectives to inform those in the audience who are unfamiliar with the American Meteorological Society. 

University of Georgia professor, Dr. John Knox, displays a brief presentation about our guest speaker, Ginger Zee. Dr. Knox previously taught Zee at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. 

Dr. Knox presents Ginger Zee to the audience. Ginger begins her presentation, highlighting the importance of making connections and impressions on everyone and anyone you meet. She cites UGA professor, Dr. John Knox as a connection that has helped lead her to great success.

She then proceeds into talking about her career as a meteorologist at local news stations across the country, and ultimately, at Good Morning America. Initially, Zee didn’t want to go into broadcast meteorology. She wasn’t quite sure of what she wanted to do, but as she continued her education at Valparaiso University and made connections with her teachers and classmates, she began to realize that she really wanted to pursue the television aspect of weather. She talks about her internships with broadcast meteorology legends, James Spann and Tom Skilling. After a two-year stint at a local PBS station and completing her undergraduate studies at Valparaiso, Zee sent out 105 resume tapes, but not one single job was offered to her for 9 months. But Zee says that her persistence and perseverance paid off.

The journey to where she is now at Good Morning America has been a struggle, but she has loved every minute of it.  There is not a typical day for her as a meteorologist . In the last 10 years, she has rarely had any holidays off. Contracts and agents are a pivotal part of working in television. She briefly discusses the topic with audience members who are considering a career in broadcasting. 

Her position as a meteorologist at a network station has its perks. At her time so far at ABC News, she applauds the network for bringing more weather into its programming. She explains that network news seldom mentions weather unless it is showing to viewers the aftermath of a major severe weather event. But Zee wanted to change that. She wanted to show weather to people and teach them about it, too. Showing viewers about what happened after a storm is great, but telling people that a storm was coming their way to prepare them for approaching danger was a vital part that was missing.  When the tornado outbreak in early March 2012 occurred, Zee was able to warn people that severe tornadic storms were going to rip through places like Ohio. Her work was unprecedented, as network news never warns people about impending danger.  Her goals were to bring science to the dinner table of Americans, and she accomplished that.

It is obvious that Ginger Zee loves her job and is very passionate about meteorology and atmospheric sciences. She encourages everyone to pursue their own passions. “Take what you love, and make it your everything.”

5:30 –Audience members are given a chance to ask Ginger Zee any questions. From the decision to go on to graduate school to the changing role of meteorologists at television stations, Zee offers her opinions and takes from her experience to answer everyone’s questions.

6:00- Members in attendance have a chance to talk to Ginger Zee one on one and take photographs with her.

6:15- UGA AMS takes a group photo in front of The University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium.

          The presentation/lecture by Good Morning America meteorologist Ginger Zee was presented by The University of Georgia Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. In an effort to reach out to as many students on campus and citizens of the local Athens-Clarke County GA community as possible, UGA AMS opened the presentation up to the general public. Prior to the event, a press release was created and distributed to local publications and the Associated Press. We invited students from UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to join us for the event as well, as the event appeals to journalism student. Members of the community found out about the event and came to listen to Zee’s talk.

           One young guest in particular, Greyson, caught the attention of Zee. A young elementary school student, Greyson is extremely enthusiastic about weather. During severe weather, he warns neighbors and relatives around the country, and his family is very supportive of him. His mother asked Zee about what they can do as parents to support their son’s interest and passion in weather, and Zee gave urged them to simply keep doing what they’re doing. Taking him to weather events and letting him connect with weather professionals is a great way to lay the foundation for his future.

          And that’s what this is all about. We reached out to an intelligent young man in the local community who’s already very interested in meteorology. And now, he has made a positive impression and a connection to one of the best meteorologists in the business. By hosting events like our talk with Ginger Zee, we hope to get more people involved and connected with the wonderful world of weather. We want to increase our outreach to students and community members, and sponsoring engaging and interesting events throughout the year is a great way to educate, entertain, and build new relationships.

List of news publications that featured UGA AMS and our program, featuring Ginger Zee.

The University of Georgia UGA TODAY

The University of Georgia Franklin College Chronicles:

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication:

The University of Georgia Grady College Newssource

Athens Banner-Herald

In other news, UGA AMS has completed the makeover of two display cases in the University of Georgia Geography Building. The cases were virtually untouched for months, and the display was in need of an upgrade. UGA AMS had a temporary display last year to advertise the organization, but changes were needed. The new upgrade to the case is dynamic and eye-catching. It features information about the organization and ways to get involved. Pictures and even a weather station are now accenting the new look. Every month, the case will be changed to coordinate with seasonal weather. Now, there are pumpkins and fall leaves to represent the Autumn season.




The University of Georgia Student Chapter is committed to public outreach. We believe it is important to share our knowledge of weather and meteorology to as many people as possible. On October 3, 2012, members traveled 25 minutes north of UGA to the Jefferson Parks and Recreation center in Jefferson, GA. There, we held a presentation for an after-school program of roughly a dozen elementary and middle school-aged children. Our focus was on basic meteorology (different types of clouds and precipitation) and weather safety. Our members made a point to teach the children phrases like, “When thunder roars, go indoors” and “Turn around, don’t drown,” so that the children can take these important life-saving tips to their friends and family. The children were given an opportunity to ask questions as well at the end of the presentation.

---Minh Phan.



We had our 2nd meeting on October 9th and have made a lot of progress since our last meeting in September. We have helped students make plans in order to be able to attend the AMS Conference this year in Austin, Texas. It is expensive for a lot of our members to travel to Texas all the way from Illinois so we are trying to help them find the most cost effective way to be able to attend.

Our committee’s have lined up some great activities for us this year! Our website committee is currently updating our website with our new information to make it easier for anyone to contact us. It will be up to date very soon.

The academic committee is organizing speakers and topics for our monthly meetings. For our October meeting, several of our members gave speeches on internships and what to expect when applying for one. We also plan to have meetings that discuss applying to graduate school, storm observation class, and the AMS conference.

The fundraising committee is organizing several fundraisers. We will be helping out our community by raking leaves for people living in the Champaign area. We have also started a snow pool contest within our department. Our local chapter will be selling shirts to our members as well.

The community outreach committee is looking to help out with a food drive at the Crisis Nursery, which is an organization that helps in preventing child abuse and neglect. Our chapter would also like to participate in a Boy Scout awareness event in order to help the Boy Scouts earn a weather badge! We are also looking to present a weather safety speech at a local middle school.

Our AMS services committee is talking to student chapters in our surrounding area and working on organizing an event that we could do with other student chapters. We would also like to get a well-known AMS member to come and talk to our students about his or her experiences in the field.

Our membership committee has organized some fun activities that will help the members get to know each other better. We will be having a “poor college student potluck dinner” before our fall break, a pizza and a movie night as well as a bowling night. We also organized a trip to our local apple orchard and farm this October. We got to pet farm animals, pick pumpkins, get lost in a corn maze and eat a lot of apple cider donuts! It was a perfect way to start off fall.---Ana Ortiz.



The meeting was held Tuesday, October 9th, 2012.

(students who are not members of AMS were encouraged to sign up)
AMS Membership: http:///

Student Opportunities Discussed:

Student Ideas:

Upcoming Tours:

Fund raising:

Club Activities:

---Peter Goble.



Minutes for General Meeting

October 9, 2012

This meeting was held at the National Weather Center in Room 1313.  The meeting opened with President Lauren Duhon, introducing Kaitlyn Smoleroff and Chris Nunley to talk about needing volunteers for Weather Festival on November 3rd.  Lauren then talked about Mr. Meteorology on November 30th at 7pm in the Atrium of the National Weather Center. Brian Henning then discussed the new website and “all its wonders”.  There are now updates of what OUSCAMS is doing, a discussion board with weather stories and weather conspiracies.  Everyone should go check it out.

Next, Megan McClellan, Secretary, discussed the incentive points.  Attending different meetings and attending different seminars get points, but in order to be considered, members must pay dues. 

Addison Alford then discussed t-shirts.  They will be dark grey.  There were 4 designs submitted and a vote was taken.  The artist of the design was Bethany Hardzinski.  This was the end of the business portion of the meeting.

Next, 1st Lt. Elizabeth Ramoso of the United States Air Force was introduced by President Lauren Duhon.  Lt. Ramoso is a Weather Officer stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, but is about to be shipped to Japan in November.  She went to Saint Louis University for her Meteorology degree.  While at StLU, she was in Air Force ROTC.

A few of the things she discussed were the Air Force Weather Agency.  It is current run by Dr. Fred Lewis and that position is a civilian slot.  Lt. Ramoso talked about space weather and combat.  The 14th climate runs this portion.  They run 4 solar observations but are mainly run by civilians.  There is a need for new Lieutenants in the Air Force.  One can either join ROTC or can go to Officer Training School (OTS).

If an officer wants advanced degree, Lt. Ramoso said there is a way to do that.  There are Naval Post-Grad and civilian universities, but the GRE is required, so go ahead and take it when one graduates.  There are special-ops weather teams, but they are male only, completely volunteer, and are deployed a lot.

If one does not want to go directly in the United States Air Force, the Reserves/Guard is always an option.  If one goes into the reserves, they could work with the Hurricane Hunters or active duty.  One neat fact is the Hurricane Hunters have 10 of the 12 planes that are allowed to fly into hurricanes.

Lt. Ramoso apologized for going through her presentation so quickly, but mentioned she is accustomed to doing 10 slides in a minute to brief the other officers.  She ended her presentation by saying she would stick around if anyone had any questions.

Lauren Duhon then took stage and thanked everyone for coming.  The meeting was then adjourned.  The next meeting will be held at the National Weather Center in Room 1313, on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at 6:30 PM.---Megan McClellan.



October 2012

Chapter Honor Roll notice

During the month of October, the UPRM AMS Student Chapter received word that we had been awarded Chapter Honor Roll for our work during the year 2011-2012. We want to thank the AMS for this great honor, our past chapter officers and everyone who was part of the Chapter for their hard work and dedication! The recognition is well deserved.

Education opportunity:  Astronaut Visit

On October 4th, the UPRM campus received a visit from astronaut Gregory “Box” Johnson.  Pilot of the last Endeavour flight, and the penultimate space shuttle program flight, Johnson spoke about career possibilities as astronauts, and regaled students with stories of his time in space.  Students from the Chapter were very excited to get to meet and talk with such an important person, and took the chance to learn a bit about topics like space weather and astronomy.  The astronaut left our students with a very important phrase: "If you wanna be someone, you have to dream big, and reach the stars"

Some of our Chapter members posing with astronaut Gregory “Box” Johnson.

Monthly reunion

Our October meeting took place on October 9th at 10:30 am. In attendance were active member and prospective members of the Chapter. As per the established agenda, some of the topics discussed were past events, the upcoming 7th Member Initiation, Member of the Month selection, and a briefing of other upcoming activities for the month.

After a Q&A session, our members chose Demonstrations Committee Leader Christie Torres as Member of the Month. We wish to congratulate her for her hard work. More info about her and other Members of the Month can be found at .

Special Meeting: AMS Meeting briefing

After our Monthly Meeting on October 9th, we held a special meeting for those interested in attending the 93rd AMS Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce members to the conference, tell them about the different activities that take place, and help them find ways to fund the trip. Officers and members exposed the following funding alternatives for attending the AMS Meeting: Student Assistantship position, being hosted by the Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology program at UPRM, attending with personal funds; past attendants of the PR Weather Camp could ask for funding from the program; and finding outside sponsors.

Education opportunity:  School visit

On October 7th, members of the Demonstrations Committee visited a school in Yauco, PR, where they presented different weather related demonstrations in an effort to interest students in the wonderful field that is meteorology.

Weather Today: Let’s talk with meteorologist Nestor Flecha

For October’s Weather Today, we received former UPRM student, Chapter president and current WAPA TV meteorologist, Nestor Flecha. For a couple for hours on October 18th, Nestor Flecha spoke to students from all academic fields about his path through college, what led him to work on a news station, and all the details that go with working in front of a camera. He joked about being recognized while grocery shopping and being in local gossip columns, and inspired students to follow their dreams and never give up.

Fundraising: Trick or Hot Dog!

During the month of October, we held our traditional hot-dog and donuts sales ( on October 1st, 8th, 15, 22 and 29). They were all very successful.

Academic activity: Talk “Where can a meteorologist work?”

There are a lot of career opportunities in atmospheric sciences and meteorology. However, many times people only think of meteorologists as the weather men and women in front of a green screen on TV. The chapter advisor, Dr. Carlos U. Pabón-Ortiz gave a brief talk about about varied career opportunities, as well as different ways in which members can complete the Curricular Sequence on Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology in UPRM. This talk was extremely helpful to all who attended, and we are very grateful to Dr. Pabón-Ortiz for his time and commitment to the Chapter.

Social event: Stormy Night Party!

Members of the UPRM AMS Student Chapter and the Society of Physics enjoy in the Halloween party

On October 30th, the UPRM AMS Student Chapter, in collaboration with the Society of Physics Students, hosted a marvelous Halloween costume party. Members from both organizations, as well as guests, enjoyed a night of snacks, costumes, karaoke competitions, all while getting to know each other. It was an extremely entertaining night, and helped establish a good rapport between members and officers of both organizations.---Ana P. Torres.



October Meeting Minutes.---Jennifer Collins.



October Chapter Meeting

Dues are $10 for the year, and those who have not already done so need to get those to Tim ASAP. The AMS Annual Meeting is January 5-10, 2013 in Austin, Texas. There are two parts: Weekend (January 5th and 6th) and Professional (January 7th-10th). We need designs if we are going to have a chapter T-shirt, so for those of you with artistic mind we need your help! Grad Student Mentors, we need to you to send a self introduction of yourselves to your undergraduates. We are proud to announce the opportunity to partner with the Wind Engineering department. The dues are $5, and you will have opportunities to attend seminars given by professionals in their respective fields. They will also be helping us with Severe Weather Awareness Day.

Here is a list of chapter activities that we came up with during the meeting can do together throughout the year: Science Spectrum Day, Hiking in Caprock Canyons or Palo Duro Canyon, First Friday Art Trail, The Floating Cows in Ransom Canyon, Monday Madness at Main Event, Volleyball Potluck in Urbanovsky Park, Tailgating at Raidergate (November 3rd and November 10th), and Attending Various Sporting Events such as Soccer, Basketball, Football, Baseball, ect.

Severe Weather Awareness is our biggest event for the year, and our plans are close to being set. The official date has changed, and it is now taking place on March 2, 2013. As a result, we now will have access to the Exhibition Hall and the Main Entry.---Mitchel Coombs.





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