No. 99-4,5 April-May 1999


Working Together to Advance Weather Forecasting as an Applied Science

In my last message I addressed administrators about the need for training sessions for their employees as well as the need for creative scheduling for employees to have time to do research, catch up on journal reading, write papers, etc. In this message I would like to address the "rank and file" members of the NWA who perform operational meteorology on a day-to-day basis.

Training is a two-way street. It is important that the opportunities for training be available for employees, but it is equally important that employees seize these opportunities with interest and enthusiasm. Having time to listen to a seminar, attend a workshop, read a journal article, or study a "busted" forecast should be relished as occasions to become a better meteorologist. Professional meteorologists should always be asking questions and expanding their horizons. My experience has been that the more education a person has, the less satisfied they are with their knowledge-and thirst for more. It is vital that we ask questions and strive to learn more to do a more competent job, not to please our boss but to please ourselves, advance our profession and improve service to our customers. As an educator I am always more interested in teaching a group of students who want to learn rather than those students who "just need to get three credits in an intro-meteorology course to fulfill a core requirement."

I have often been amazed when presenting a seminar at a forecast office how some people from offices many hours away have traveled to be able to attend the seminar, while others in the home office did not even bother to come due to one excuse or another. This is a disappointing but common experience.

A colleague once called me for a recommendation concerning one of my students. In addition to asking the typical questions about the student, he said, "Is this student hungry? Does he show enthusiasm and get excited about his work?" I want to know the same thing when I look over graduate school applications. I would rather work with a weak student who gets fired up over studying heavy snow storms and the like than a strong student who mechanically goes through the motions of his/her work. To me, a positive, enthusiastic attitude shows commitment and perseverance, two critical skills required to succeed in life. Let' s face it, few of us went into meteorology for the money! We are in meteorology because we are fascinated with how thunderstorms form tornadoes, the evolution of mesoscale convective systems leading to heavy rains and flash floods, how El Niño affects local climate regimes, etc. We are in it because we love it (even with the math!). I encourage each of you to take that vitality into your opportunities for training. Learning is not always easy, but if we really have pride in what we do then we should have pride and enthusiasm in performing and perfecting our knowledge, our jobs–our customer service.

Finally, I would say that if we want to be treated as professionals then we need to act like professionals, not only toward one another through our interactions, but also in how we approach our job. If management offers us the opportunity to do our job better then it is important to seize that opportunity. Training is a two-way street.

- Jim Moore


30 June - Abstracts due for NWA Annual Meeting (pg 3).

1 July - Nominations due for the NWA Annual Awards program (pg 5).

1 August - Applications due for the Sol Hirsch NWA Education Fund Grants (pg 5).

1 October - Deadline for reserving a room at discount rates for NWA Annual Meeting in Biloxi MS (pg 3).

Please see other meeting dates on page 6.


The National Weather Service has declared a river forecast system tested since March 1997 to predict flooding a success. The system is being tested at the Des Moines, Iowa, NWS weather forecast office and the demonstration project will continue through the remainder of 1999.

The Administration's Fiscal Year 2000 budget proposes expanding the river forecast system into the upper Ohio River Valley and upper Midwest beginning in the year 2000. "The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System, or AHPS, has been a huge boon for our office in providing river and flood stage information to local emergency managers and other agencies that have been tasked along with the NWS to protect life and property," said Des Moines Meteorologist-in-Charge Brenda K. Brock. "We have an opportunity now to show how well AHPS works with other new technologies being incorporated into our forecast and warning programs. We're very excited about the benefits all these technologies bring to our jobs of watching the weather." NWS employees aren't the only ones encouraged by the amount and types of information provided by AHPS; emergency managers and water managers have also seen definite advantages. "AHPS is very important to me," said Emmett County Emergency Manager Terry Reekers. "Without AHPS, we'd have a real gap in knowing what's coming." William H. Koellner, water control chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District Office in Rock Island, IL, said AHPS provides advantages not available before. During one flow event, Koellner said, AHPS forecasts "provided the needed factor of safety to assure that the motors could be reinstalled in the (Mississippi River) locks and dams 48 hours in advance of original plans, saving the navigation industry $300,000." As of 17 March, Des Moines became the first National Weather Service office in the country to employ in its forecast and warning programs all the technological components resulting from the decade-long NWS modernization. On 15 March, technicians installed the Automated Weather Information Processing System (AWIPS) at the office. Now Des Moines forecasters can apply AHPS, AWIPS, the WSR-88D radar, satellite data and NOAA Weather Radio 2000 (a computer-voiced upgrade of the nationwide warning network) to daily operations. "We're still learning AWIPS," Brock said, "but already we've seen significant improvements and time savings in preparing forecasts. AHPS has already proved it can help us provide better river information to emergency managers and others in water management, so we're eager to show how well all these technologies work together in helping us improve the accuracy and timeliness of our forecasts and warnings." Additional AHPS information from the NWS may be found on the Internet at: Details on the Des Moines AHPS demonstration and current river conditions may be found at: after clicking the AWATER@ icon. - NWS Press Release

The April and May Newsletters were combined and delayed due to a lack of submissions. The Newsletters and Digests are for members to share news, studies, new techniques – please increase your submissions. Thanks! Editors & Publisher


Gary Grice, was recently appointed as the Deputy Director for the NWS Southern Region. He will help oversee operations of a large and complex weather region extending from the desert southwest to the Atlantic Ocean. The Southern Region covers 10 states: New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, plus the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was previously the Deputy Director of the NWS Storm Prediction Center. He received a BS in Meteorology from Texas A&M University in 1966 and a MS in 1968. He joined the NWS in 1972, spending over 15 years as a field forecaster. Gary has held many elected positions in the NWA; he was the NWA President in 1990.


LIEUTENANT COLONEL HERBERT EDSON, USAF RET (1924-1999), a charter member of the NWA, died on 6 January 1999 in Denver, Colorado. He spent over 45 years as a weather forecaster and meteorologist, first as a military weather officer for almost 30 years, and then as an environmental consultant. He started his career in meteorology in the MIT and Chanute Field Weather Schools of the U.S. Army Meteorology Program during World War II. As a successful career AF Weather Officer he held such positions as Chief, Aerospace Sciences Division 3rd Weather Wing; Commander, USAF European Forecast Center; and Chief of the Development and Numerical Prediction Divisions, Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC). He supported meteorological and environmental requirements throughout the US, in England, Japan, Asia, and the European continent. As a scientist, he participated in many technical projects including the development of the first successful numerical cloud prediction model during the early days of AFGWC. He also did pioneering work in the application of meteorological satellites for real-time analysis and forecasting and wrote one of the first AF manuals for weather prediction techniques over Japan and northeastern Asia. As an environmental consultant, he designed and developed automated techniques to maintain air quality assurance for nuclear and fossil fuel power plants. He prepared numerous environmental impact assessments for coal mining, uranium mining and milling operations. And, he was a key player in the $1B+ environmental cleanup of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. He received a MS in Meteorology from NYU in 1956. He held several leadership positions within the AMS and the NWA, including Chairman of the NWA Environmental Committee. - Roger Edson

Call for Papers NWA 1999 Annual Meeting

The National Weather Association's twenty-fourth Annual Meeting will be held 16 – 22 October 1999 at the Isle of Capri Crowne Plaza Resort, 151 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, Mississippi 39530.

The Program Committee welcomes papers on the 1999 theme, "Working Together to Advance Weather Forecasting as an Applied Science." A wide variety of topics will be accepted to include: weather analysis and forecasting, new research applications, technological advances, radar and satellite applications, tropical weather forecasting (it is the 30th anniversary of Hurricane Camille), operational support to users, education and training (including public education/awareness), and meteorology careers now and for the future.

The Annual Meeting program (18–22 Oct) will consist of oral and poster presentations, training workshops, panel discussions, and exhibits. The Annual Awards Banquet will be held Wednesday evening, 20 October. Program Co-Chairpersons are: Dr. Paul J. Croft, Jackson State University, Dept of Physics and Atmospheric Sciences, Jackson, MS (601) 968-7012; and Kevin J. Pence, Science and Operations Officer, NOAA/National Weather Service Forecast Office, Calera, AL (205) 664-3010.

Special workshops and presentations for weathercasters and all others interested will be conducted on 16–17 October. Broadcaster Workshop Chairperson is John B. McLaughlin, KCCI-TV, Des Moines IA.

Individuals and organizations who wish to give a presentation or workshop must submit a one page abstract before 30 June 1999 by e-mail to: Dr. Paul J. Croft at Please indicate a preference for an oral or poster presentation and include a list of audiovisual requirements. Do not expect to have equipment that is not requested. Notification of abstract acceptance will be sent to primary authors by 15 August.

To provide or assist with the Broadcaster Workshop program (16–17 Oct), please contact: John McLaughlin, KCCI-TV, Des Moines IA, (515) 247-8888; e-mail:

For information on exhibits, arrangements and the general program, please contact the NWA office Tel/FAX: (334) 213-0388; e-mail:

HOTEL INFORMATION: The Isle of Capri Crowne Plaza Resort room reservations can be made by calling 1-800-843-4753, pressing 1 for the Biloxi location and then ask for reservations at extension 8760, 8761 or 8762. Please inform the reservationist that you will be attending the National Weather Association conference and that your conference code is "NAT". The "NAT" single and double room NWA discount rate is $71.82 per night plus state/local taxes (currently 10%). All reservations must be guaranteed by a major credit card and be made by individuals 21 years of age or older.

The deadline for making hotel room reservations is 1 October 1999. Cancellations will be accepted up until 72 hours prior to check in. Hotel check in is at 4:00 PM; checkout is at 12:00 noon.

AIRPORT INFORMATION: The hotel is 15 miles from the Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport and complimentary shuttle service is available departing the hotel at 5:15 AM, 9:00 AM, 12:30 PM and 4:15 PM. The Mobile AL Regional Airport is 45 miles east of Biloxi. The New Orleans International Airport is 85 miles west of Biloxi.

NEW DOPPLER INTERPRETATION WORKSHOP TO ALSO BE OFFERED Leslie R. Lemon, Chief Meteorologist, Weather and ATC Programs, Lockheed Martin Ocean, Radar & Sensor Systems and John McLaughlin, Chief Meteorologist, KCCI-TV, Des Moines IA, have teamed up to offer a two-day Doppler radar training course which will focus on operational recognition of severe convective storms using data from television station radar systems and government WSR-88Ds. This course will be held Friday and Saturday, 15-16 October 1999, preceding the NWA Annual Meeting at the Isle of Capri Crowne Plaza Resort. John McLaughlin, a leader in the use of C-band (television) Doppler data says, "with the large number of TV radars being installed across the country in the past few years, it is critical that broadcasters are properly trained in knowing how to interpret what they see and realize the operational limitations of these systems. Broadcasters, meteorology students and government forecasters can all benefit from the advanced training." More than 100 examples of TV Doppler data will be shown during the two days. Les Lemon brings years of experience with the WSR-88D system to the course. For many years, Les taught a two-day course on the NIDS radar products. According to Les, "this new course is different, in that we will concentrate on severe storm interpretation and how WSR-88D products and the C-band data can be used together in effective decision making." Les says, "an important part of the course is teaching the integration of NWS and media radars in the operational environment. In this multimedia presentation, severe convective storm structure and associated C- and S-band radar signatures will be emphasized and some of the associated visual features will also be highlighted." Active student participation is planned. The separate fee for the two-day workshop is $250 and $150 for full-time students. A certificate of completion will be presented to workshop participants. The course will end on late Saturday with briefings from exhibitors on new products/services.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION for the special radar course, broadcaster workshops and the Annual Meeting will be available in the June Newsletter and by mid-June on the NWA website at


The Arkansas NWA Chapter, 11 March meeting was opened at 7:05 PM by President George Wilken at the NWS Forecast Office in North Little Rock with 22 people in attendance. George talked about the Chapter's activities, plus he described programs for Chapter meetings later this Spring. The evening's special program was presented by Chapter members Scott Blair and George Hoelzman. They briefed on their storm chasing activities in Arkansas and other states. They also showed impressive video they had taken of tornadoes and other severe weather phenomenon. A drawing was held for two door prizes. Member Ashley Kells won a $20.00 gift certificate to a local bookstore and Scott Blair won a free one-year chapter membership.

The 15 April meeting was opened at 7:00 PM by President George Wilken at the NWS Forecast Office in North Little Rock with 26 people in attendance. Ed Buckner, Chief Meteorologist with KTHV-TV in Little Rock gave the attendees a tour of KTHV's "Live View" van. The van is loaded with weather instruments and a mobile TV transmitter. The van is used during severe weather episodes and live TV broadcasts are sent back to the TV studio. The van also has access to KTHV's Doppler weather radar. After the van tour, Mr. Buckner presented a slide and video program on KTHV's severe weather operations on 21 January 1999. That night, 63 tornadoes occurred in Arkansas. After the program, Chapter Vice President Jerry Reynolds briefed on his judging activities at the Arkansas State Science Fair in Conway in late March. Two students were awarded AMS Certificates of Merit. The Chapter will award these students a complimentary one-year membership to the Chapter and a one-year subscription to Weatherwise. Corresponding Secretary Newton Skiles stated that the Chapter had 50 paid members as of this meeting. President Wilken provided a Treasurer's report. A drawing was held for two door prizes provided by KTHV-TV. After the meeting, several attendees viewed the new AWIPS workstations. The workstations were described and demonstrated by chapter President Wilken.

- Newton Skiles, Corresponding Secretary and George Hoelzman, Secretary-Treasurer

The Heart of the Midlands NWA Chapter met on April 27th at the ABC affiliate, KETV channel 7 in Omaha, where Scott Buer, a senior photojournalist with the station, gave a unique presentation (minus video) of his experiences in the field. It was truly interesting how much meteorology he has learned since taking up photojournalism. This last round of severe weather in Omaha had Scott in the right places, as Channel 7 was really on top of coverage of some of the 14 funnel clouds that were reported. Two members were in attendance from the Douglas County R.E.A.C.T.

that were involved in helping to pinpoint these storms (two of the Chapters newest members!). Our average for the season, I believe, is 14 and we had that many in one 24-hour period! Is this a vision of things to come? Channel 7 Meteorologist, and our chapter secretary, Chuck McWilliams, gave us a grand tour of the Channel 7 NewsPlex, with all of its state-of-the-art equipment, and Chuck's charming wife provided refreshments for our group of 13. Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for 18 May at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Valley, Nebraska. Cathy Zapotocny will be our host.

- Ralph Hanson


WELS Research Corporation of Boulder, CO announced the acquisition of Alden Electronics, Inc. of Westborough, MA. Alden will retain its name and the corporate headquarters will be located in Westborough. The Boulder office will become the research and development center. The acquisition and merger also adds a new office in Vienna, Austria for marketing and customer support for a number of clients in Austria and Italy. Alden will continue to provide its national and international customers with weather data and information products and 24-hour customer support. Products include the new NOAAPORT and a new 36-hr detailed tactical forecast. The point of contact for Alden Electronics, Inc. is Kevin O'Reilly (800) 225-9492 ext.2391.

Mr. J. Bradley Davis, Chairman of the Board of All Weather, Inc. announced the acquisition of Qualimetrics, Inc. of Sacramento, CA. According to Mr. Davis, Qualimetrics is an excellent strategic compliment to AWI's operating company Systems Management, Inc. (SMI) based in Hunt Valley, MD. Qualimetrics is a vertically integrated manufacturer of weather sensors and weather observing systems for the commercial and governmental markets. Systems Management, Inc. (SMI), an All Weather, Inc. Company, is the world leader in the manufacture of environmental monitoring systems. SMI's quality products are supported by the company's continued adherence to ISO 9001 Standards. Enhancing aviation safety, SMI has produced and installed more than 900 automated surface observing systems (ASOS) throughout the U.S. and has sold and delivered more than 60 non-federal AWOSs, known as NEXWOSTM (Next Generation Weather Observing Systems) to states, municipalities, private airports and heliports, as well as international airports. To help ensure a cleaner environment, SMI's newest product is a real-time water quality monitoring system called AquaWatch ™. Point of contact at Qualimetrics is David Valler, (800) 824-5873. Point of contact at SMI is John A. Lasley, (800) 935-2767.


The National Weather Association began its awards program in 1977 to provide deserved recognition to those individuals involved in operational activities. The Awards Program recognizes the professional as well as the volunteer. The emphasis is on the people who excel in performing the day-to-day jobs of providing meteorological information and weather support services to the public.


Operational Achievement Individual Award: The award is presented to an NWA member who has made a significant contribution to operational meteorology (e.g., an accurate/timely forecast for one or more significant weather events.)

Operational Achievement Group Award: The award is presented to a group of two or more individuals for a significant contribution to operational meteorology. At a minimum, a majority of the group (greater than 50%) must be NWA members.

Member of the Year Award: This award is presented to an NWA member who has made significant contributions to the organization over a period of time.

Research Achievement Award: This award is presented to an NWA member whose research has made a significant contribution to operational meteorology.

Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award: This award is presented to an individual or organization directly assisting the meteorological community in providing weather-related information to the public. Individuals and organizations in the meteorological profession are ineligible for this award.

Public Education Award: This award is presented to an individual or organization providing significant contributions to increase the public's weather awareness.

Broadcaster of the Year: This award is presented to an NWA member Radio or Television weathercaster, or other member of the media, whose activities have significantly contributed to the development and presentation of weather information to the public service.

Aviation Meteorology Award: This award is presented to an individual or group to recognize significant contributions to aviation meteorology, such as impact of operational forecasts on aviation operations, and advances in aviation meteorology including research in detection and forecasting of aviation hazards.

Local Chapter Award: This award is presented to a Local Chapter of the NWA whose activities have significantly increased awareness of the weather and of the NWA and its objectives in their local area.

The Larry R. Johnson Award: To honor Larry, a founding member of the NWA and its 20th President, the NWA Special Award was renamed in 1998. Larry died of cancer at the age of 54. The award is presented to an individual or group to recognize unique events or extraordinary accomplishments that significantly contributed to operational meteorology.

Narrative nominations (no more than 2 pages) with additional comments or endorsements should be forwarded by 1 July 1999, to:

MONTGOMERY AL 36116-2134

Although there is no rigid time requirement for the awards, the Committee prefers that the accomplishment, if not on a continuing basis, occur within 18 months prior to the nominations.

Presentation of the Awards will be made at the NWA Annual Meeting banquet, 20 October 1999, at the Isle of Capri Crowne Plaza Resort in Biloxi, MS. - Andy Horvitz


The NWA Education Committee needs help from all members to spread the word to teachers in grades K-12 that $500 grants are available annually from the NWA to help improve the education of their students in meteorology. The teachers selected will be able to use the funds to take an accredited course in atmospheric sciences, attend a relevant workshop or conference, or purchase scientific materials or equipment for the classroom. Three grants or more are possible in 1999 thanks to the many members who have contributed to this fund in honor of Sol Hirsch who retired in 1992 after being the NWA Executive Director for 11 years. Applications can be obtained from the NWA Education Committee, 3809 Clarks Lane Suite 007, Baltimore MD 21215 or from the NWA office. Completed applications are due to the Education Committee by 1 August 1999.

- Sol Hirsch, Education Committee Chair


The Director of the National Weather Service, Jack Kelly announced, "I'm happy to tell you that two National Weather Service information technology systems were recognized as laureates in the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards program April 12th at the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, D.C. The NWS Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS), and the El Niño forecasting system used by the NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction were recognized along with other nominees. The Computerworld Smithsonian Award program honors the use of information technology to create positive social and economic change. Mary Glackin, Director of the AWIPS Program Office, and Ming Ji, a physical scientist with the Climate Prediction Center, accepted the laureate medals on behalf of NWS employees and the systems during a ceremony at the Smithsonian Institution Castle in Washington, D.C. ... Case studies of the climate forecasting system and of AWIPS are now part of the permanent research collection on information technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History... and both systems are eligible for more awards which will be announced in June."


The NWA office received an invitation from Dr. Minsinger, the President of the Blue Hill Observatory Science Center in East Milton, Massachusetts, to help sponsor their Skyfest. The NWA Council agreed to NWA sponsorship of this event supporting operational meteorology and instructed the Executive Director to send a $400 donation on behalf of all NWA members.

The non-profit Blue Hill Observatory, a National Historic Landmark established in 1885, organized a Skyfest celebration to mark the grand re-opening of the Observatory on 1 May 1999. The Observatory has been completely restored with a million-dollar grant from the Boston Metropolitan District Commission. The occasion was marked with festivities including lectures, demonstrations, kite flying, and evening fireworks.

Home of The Oldest Continuously Monitored Meteorological Records in North America, the mission of the Blue Hill Observatory is to foster public understanding of, and appreciation for, atmospheric science while continuing to maintain its long term observing and study of climate. New exhibits include interactive weather displays as well as photographic documentation of the past history of the Observatory including historic kite and balloon soundings of the upper atmosphere. Many organizations supported Skyfest for this historic facility to be reintroduced to the public in an appropriate grand fashion.

Joe Saccone, a charter NWA member, who lives near the Observatory, represented the NWA at the Skyfest. Joe and his wife Madelyn reported that it was a spectacular weather day - not a cloud in the sky and unlimited visibility. From the observatory you could see far out into the harbor, a great Boston skyline, and all the surrounding communities with great definition. The daytime events were well attended and included many children. Many people were non-meteorologists - hobbyists, teachers, etc. The cocktail reception was very nice and again well attended. Dr. Bill Minsinger greeted me as the NWA rep and thanked us for attending. Later he took the podium, announced and thanked all the contributors, and then introduced Bob Copeland (another NWA charter member), a retired Channel 5 meteorologist. After Bob gave a few remarks he introduced Don Kent, a legend in the weather broadcasting business. He is 81 and his wife is 79. They just bought 12 acres in New Hampshire and are building a new house - talk about staying young! They now grow blueberries for resale and live in NH but Don still does a broadcast 7 days a week for a Cape Cod radio station. Impressive guy! Harvey Leonard Moskowitz from WHDH-TV7 (another charter NWA member) closed out the program. A formal thank you letter was also received from Dr. Minsinger.


Call for Papers for the Third High Plains Conference, 28-29 July 1999, Goodland, Kansas. We are pleased to announce the Third High Plains Conference, sponsored as a joint session by the High Plains Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and the High Plains Chapter of the National Weather Association. This Conference will be held Wednesday, 28 July and Thursday, 29 July 1999, hosted by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Goodland, Kansas. Goodland is located about a 2 1/2 hour drive east of Denver International Airport via Interstate 70. Commuter air service is available between Denver and Goodland. We are looking for papers that reflect on recent experiences, research, work in progress, or changes in methodology that have an impact on working in the weather business on the central High Plains. Any topic is applicable, and presentations on the mesoscale dynamics of the lee trough and on extended forecast (Hour 60/Day 3 through Day 7) techniques are especially appreciated. Sessions will begin with an invited speaker and the remaining speakers will be given 20 minutes including questions.

The conference registration fee is only $25, thus no conference preprint or postprint will be available. Please write checks payable to the High Plains Chapter of the AMS.

Titles and 1-page abstracts should include each author's name and affiliation, the corresponding author's complete address, telephone/fax number, e-mail address, and requested session for presentation. Abstracts must be submitted by 15 June 1999 to: Third High Plains Conference Committee, National Weather Service, 920 Armory Road, Goodland KS 67735-9273. For further information, contacts are: Telephone: 785-899-3725 from 8 AM to 4 PM Mountain Time; Fax: 785-899-3501 and e-mail contacts:

Bruce Entwistle (

Scott Mentzer (

Llyle Barker (


Ed: The NWA lists job openings in the regular paper Newsletter copies free from equal opportunity employers for the benefit of members. Submit job openings to the NWA office at anytime. See for the latest listings.