Minutes of the High Plains AMS/NWA Chapter Meeting

January 8, 2014

The High Plains AMS/NWA Chapter had a virtual meeting on January 8th, 2014 at 2 PM.  There were 25 Chapter members on the call.  The teleconference began with a webinar from Greg Carbin at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK (see below).  The business meeting started at 2:50 PM, with President Bill Taylor of WFO North Platte, Neb welcoming everybody.  Treasurer Scott Bryant, from WFO Hastings, Neb reported the Chapter treasury had $5,831.34 in it, with $1,810 committed toward the Jim Johnson Scholarship, leaving a Checkbook balance of $4,021.34.  Scott also reported volunteers were needed from each office for the Jim Johnson Scholarship committee.  These volunteers need to send out information letters to area High Schools, with a deadline for students to submit their papers by March 15th.  The next subject discussed was the upcoming High Plains conference in Hastings, Neb.  The Conference is planned for August 6th and 7th, a Wednesday and Thursday, leaving Tuesday afternoon open for an expanded conference agenda.  A vote passed to waive the registration fees for student presenters, including poster presenters.  Another motion was tabled, to have up to $1000 allotted toward the Student presenters, with half committed to the prize money and up to $500 of the other half to go towards travel or hotel expenses of the students.  A small committee was formed to iron out the details of this motion.  If any office has an individual or team preparing to visit a college to present the student competition, Rick Ewald/SOO at Hastings, Neb. WFO is the point of contact.  The conference will be low cost, as the local college will provide meeting space, and other expenses will be held down as much as possible.   For anyone wanting to present at this conference, send your abstracts to Rick Ewald, Hastings, Neb. WFO.  Mike Umscheid, WFO Dodge City, KS, informed us our chapter is now a Tax Exempt, 501-3 organization.  The business meeting ended at 3:20 PM.

Greg Carbin's webinar was entitled "Meteorological Memories of 2013", or "The Top Ten Weather Events of 2013".    Greg went through the year (2013) in review somewhat chronologically.  From January 28th  to 31st, over 700 reports of severe weather were received, including the EF3 killer tornado at Adairsville, GA, and the EF4 devastating tornado at Hattiesburg, MS which caused over $94 million in damage.  The next event on the list was the February Nor'easter, which saw Portland, ME set an all-time snowfall record of 40 inches.  This storm was 35 years to the date after the famous Feb 7, 1983 Nor'easter in the same region.  Number 3 on the list was the Mar-Apr flip-flop between 2012 and 2013.  2012 was unusually hot, and 2013 was cold.  Also, this normally stormy period was relatively quiet, with only 14 tornadoes reported, the fewest for Mar-Apr since 1969.  During May 18th to 20th, it was the only time in U.S. history that with 3 consecutive days of EF4-5 tornadoes occurred.  Shawnee and Moore, OK (again) both got hit by EF5 tornadoes on May 20th.   There were 26 people killed in tornadoes during this 3 day period.  Number 5 on the list was the May 31st El Reno, OK tornado.  The rating of this tornado is still in question, either an EF3 or EF5, and is the widest tornado on record at 2.6 miles.  This was a very large CAPE day.  Actually, due to back building, very heavy rain fell in the Oklahoma City area, with 7-8 inches recorded at OKC.  A new rainfall record for May, 14.62 inches, was set at the OKC NWS office.  The next weather event was the Derechos of June 12-13th.  Next, were the wild fires of the Southwest, during June 29th to 30th.  There were 19 firefighters lost in the fire near Yarnell, AZ, the most firefighters lost in over 81 years.  Number 8 was the July to August 17th flooding, in areas that were seeing a drought.  Philadelphia saw 8 inches of rain in one day, a record for them.  Ninth on the list were the Colorado floods from September 9th to the 15th.   For this 7 day period, Boulder received 12.91 inches of rain, or about 75% of the normal yearly rainfall for Boulder.   The last weather event on this Top Ten list is the Nov. 17th severe weather outbreak - the most active one day tornado outbreak of 2013.  There were 3 Killer tornadoes, mainly in IN and IL.  There were 7 deaths total.

The next meeting is planned for March, and will attempt to be a face to face meeting.

Bill Taylor, President
Tim Burke, Secretary