Houston Local Chapter of the AMS

 April 2006 Newsletter


Next Meeting:


Thursday, April 20th

7:00 - 8:00 P.M.









  The John C. Freeman Weather Museum


The Weather Research Center



5104 Caroline Street Houston, TX 77004


Dinner Time(s) & Location: 5:30ish-6:30 P.M.


Chipotle Mexican Grill*

5600 Kirby Dr # N-1
Houston, TX 77005 Phone:
  (713) 666-9769 



* This dinner meeting is strictly a non-formal gathering, although we do hope to see you there before our meeting!






The Weather Research Center (WRC) would like to invite members of the local AMS chapter to the Grand Opening Events of the Museum


The following is a schedule of planned events:


Thursday April 20, 2006:

8 A.M. The Weatherman’s Classic – Hermann Golf Club

1 P.M. Tournament Lunch @ The Museum

7 P.M. Local Chapter AMS Meeting


Friday April 21, 2006:

11 A.M. – Ribbon cutting / Media Event


Saturday April 22, 2006:

10 A.M. – 4 P.M. – Grand Opening to Public


WRC is looking for volunteers to work the Meet the Meteorologist booth.  Please contact the center at 713-529-3076 or email: wrc@wxresearch.org .


Please peruse the Press Release located further down the newsletter for further information.



Weather Research’s 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Seasonal Outlook


The Orbital Cyclone Strike Index [OCSI®] is based on the premise that the orbit of the Sun about the center of solar system [gravity] has an influence on the general circulation of the earth’s atmosphere.   This influence is apparent in the paths of Atlantic tropical cyclones.  Freeman & Hasling (2002) have recently pointed out that this orbit of the sun is shared by the earth.  This work helped define the premise above.  Jose (1969) & Landscheidt (1976) found that the orbit of the Sun is related to solar activity including sun spots.  In other words, there are orbital influences reflected in the solar activity.


The Orbital Cyclone Strike Index [OCSI] has been used by Hasling & Freeman since 1985 to make a prediction of which section of the U.S. coast has the highest risk of storm landfall. In order to compare the OCSI with other annual predictions, Dr. Freeman & Ms. Hasling make secondary predictions of the number of storms in the Atlantic Basin each year. 


Jill F. Hasling is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Fellow and Board Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM).    Ms. Hasling is one of 350 active CCMs in the world and one of only 14 women meteorologists who is a CCM.  One may become a Fellow only after they have made outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or the related oceanic sciences over a many years.  Fellows cannot be more than two-tenths of one percent of all AMS Members.


 Notes from our President:


The Chapter has a very busy finish to the year.  Last month we participated in judging at the Houston Science Fair.  Thanks to Gene Hafele, Brian Planz, Doris Hood, Lance Wood, Mark Keehn and Rick Scott for serving as judges.  Also, we helped rate applications for the minority scholarship program sponsored by the AMS.  This month we will help the Weather Research Center celebrate the culmination of a lot of effort in the opening of The Weather Museum by having our April meeting at their new facility. 

The May meeting is our final one for the year.  As in the past, we turn our focus to the coming hurricane season.  The National Weather Service is bringing Mr. Stacy Stewart from the National Hurricane Center as a keynote speaker at our annual Hurricane Workshop on May 30 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  Mr. Stewart is willing and able to stay over on Wednesday, May 31st to speak at our closing meeting about the historic 2005 season and NOAA's view on how active 2006 will be.


We will also elect officers for 2006-2007 at the May meeting.  Our chapter elects four positions: Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President.  The only qualification needed is a willingness to volunteer a little of your time in advancing the principles of your professional society.   Many of us longer term members have served in one capacity or another and are always available to advise and help out.  And remember, serving as an officer looks good on a resume!   Please consider offering your services at election time this year.

See you on the 20th!


Bill Read



Dear Local Chapter Member:
AMS is assisting NOAA in administering information about their new scholarship program called the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship.  I am sending this information to you in hopes that you will assist us in getting the information out to students, who will be in their junior undergraduate studies in the Fall of 2006.

Take note that the deadline is soon, 22 April 2006.  We appreciate any support you can provide.  The following link will take you directly to the Hollings Scholarship information:




Kelly Savoie – AMS    ksavoie@ametsoc.org



Upcoming 2006 Conferences:


27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology

24–28 April 2006, Monterey, CA



Chapter Web-site: www.amshouston.org


National web-site: http://www.ametsoc.org/


W.R.C. Press Release:

Weather Museum Forecasted to Open April 22, 2006


April 10, 2006…The John C. Freeman Weather Museum is opening in the Houston Museum District on April 22.  A project of the Weather Research Center, a Texas-based education and research organization, the new museum will provide a facility for people of all ages to learn about the weather, its history and public safety.  Recent weather disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have made it clear that, more than ever, weather matters in our lives.  Understanding the science behind weather formation and the ways in which storms develop is crucial to all of us so that lives and property are protected.  Science education is vital to making that understanding possible, which is why The John C. Freeman Weather Museum at Weather Research Center was created.


The Weather Museum Exhibits To Include:





The Museum will also house a computer classroom for weather classes and weather camp, a video room to view weather videos and the Clayton B. Crooker Library so visitors can research weather information more than 100 years ago.  The John C. Freeman Weather Museum at Weather Research Center will distribute weather safety information as well as maintain exhibits and programs that increase knowledge about weather.  Thousands of school children will be accommodated in the various educational programs offered by the Weather Museum, including summer weather camps, special talks and other demonstrations.  Internships for high school and college students involved in meteorology will be offered.  Adult tours and special programs for teachers will also be available.


                            The Weather Museum’s Goals and Objectives


The goals of the Weather Museum at the Weather Research Center are to reach as many people possible and educate them about weather and weather safety.  One of these best ways to do this is to start with the young student.  Weather education must cover all aspects of the weather due to the fact that our society is very mobile and you never know what type of severe weather a person might experience. Another goal is to demonstrate to students that math and science are used in the real world. Meteorology is a science that uses trigonometry and physics.  Museum visitors will learn how math and science occurs in our every day lives. The Museum will not only preserve historical equipment and weather data but be a place for people of all ages to come and learn about weather safety and just how weather works.


The Weather Museum recently received generous grants from the Brown Foundation and the Robert W. & Pearl Wallis Knox Foundation.   Simonton Windows has donated five dozen hurricane-resistant Simonton StormBreaker Plus vinyl windows.  Installation of the windows is being funded by Norandex/Reynolds.  Money for the Weather Museum is also raised at the Weather Research Center’s

annual Weatherman’s Classic Golf Tournament, held at Hermann Park on April 20th.   Many future exhibits are planned for the Museum as funding becomes available.  For sponsorship and donation opportunities, please call (713) 529-3076.


The Weather Museum at the Weather Research Center is located at 5104 Caroline near the Children’s Museum of Houston.  Admission to the Weather Museum is $5 for adults, $2 for students and seniors and free for children under age 3.  The Museum will be open Tuesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  For more information, please call (713) 529-3076.


The John C. Freeman Weather Museum is a project of Weather Research Center; a Houston, Texas based non-profit educational and research organization founded in 1987 by Jill F. Hasling and the late Dr. John C. Freeman.    The Weather Museum was a life long dream of Dr. Freeman whose dedication to education inspired thousands of students to study weather and science.  Dr. Freeman was a native Houstonian who attended The Rice Institute and Professor and Researcher in Meteorology at Texas A&M and the University of St. Thomas.


The center operates a worldwide forecast operation and provides groundbreaking research to scientists around the globe.  The Weather Research Center is one of only three organizations that predicts the upcoming hurricane season.  President Jill Hasling is one of only 20 women Board Certified Consulting Meteorologists by the American Meteorological Society in the world.  She and her staff provide severe weather advisories, marine forecasts, long range outlooks, environmental studies, forensic meteorology services and more.



­­­­­­­­Contact Information:

Feel free to contact any of the officers for comments, questions, suggestions or even additions to the newsletter.  We would appreciate hearing from you.


President Bill Read

Ph: 281-534-2157 (Ext:222)

email: bill.read@noaa.gov


Vice President Anthony Yanez

Ph: 713-778-8950



Secretary Patrick Blood

Ph: 281-337-5074 (Ext:304)

email: pgblood@yahoo.com


Treasurer Brian Planz

Ph: 713-430-7100

email: penst8wx@houston.rr.com


Or e-mail the Local Chapter: houstonams@houston.rr.com



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