Houston Local Chapter of the AMS

       September-October 2005 Newsletter


Next Meeting: Thursday, October 20th, 2005



Dinner & Meeting Location:

Boudreaux’s Cajun Kitchen

Address: 5475 West Loop S
Houston, TX 77081-2288

Phone: 713-838-2200



Time(s): 6:00 PM (Dinner) / 7:00 PM (Meeting)





Meeting’s Theme & Topic:



The Houston AMS Chapter’s 2005-6 season opening meeting’s theme….

The Hurricane………





Obviously, with the recent devastation & evacuation brought on by Katrina and Rita, this month’s topic will re-focus on the decision-making process when threatened by a land-falling tropical cyclone. The atmosphere of Boudreaux’s, with its Cajun flare and New Orleans’s spirit, should remind us of what was for those unfortunate residents in Katrina’s path. Chances are you experienced the pre-Rita evacuation nightmare (either directly or indirectly); only to eventually draw a sigh of relief when she tracked further north. How will we in the Houston area handle the situation when once again called upon to evacuate? What goes, or should go, into the decision-making process in determining the necessity of a large scale evacuation?


Regardless of prior outcomes, Preparation is the key…….the personal decisions we make will ultimately reward or punish us in consequence.



Speaker: Mr. Lance Wood, Senior Forecaster with the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service, will present his Decision Tree. He will demonstrate how to use this flow chart-like tree which could aid decision-makers on how to assess the forecast track confidence while being able to find a realistic forecast error.  Mr. Wood will also show examples of how the tree performed during the 2005 season.




Hurricane Katrina Information:










Hurricane Rita Information:







Notes from the President:


Autumn is here and time to resume our Houston Chapter of the American Meteorological Society activities.  Your officers have met and planned what we feel will be a series of interesting speakers and social activities for the coming year.


The historic events still unfolding along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina & Rita have, I’m sure, been in the hearts and minds of you all; both as concerned citizens and as fellow professionals in the field of meteorology. The area hit happens to have a large concentration of meteorologists.  Our NWS Forecast office is in Slidell, LA, the NOAA Data Buoy Center, Navy Weather Service Headquarters, and Air Force Hurricane Hunters all on the coast of MS, private consulting companies, and television meteorologists in New Orleans have gone through trying times.  Of our folks in Slidell, at least 10 have had their homes completely destroyed.

As far as I know, none of the staff have lost their lives to Katrina. Tragically, the mother of an employee at our regional headquarters was killed in the storm surge in Bay St. Louis, MS.


In recognition of the great impact a hurricane can have on us, our first meeting will focus on the tropics. Lance Wood will present an update on a study he has led concerning evaluating the confidence level for NHC tropical cyclone track forecasts in the Gulf.  We chose Boudreaux’s as a fitting venue in recognizing the impact Katrina had on Cajun Country.  I hope to see you there!


Your President,

Bill Read



Reminder: DUES ARE DUE!



Upcoming 2005 Conferences:


11th Conference on Mesoscale Processes
24-28 October 2005, Albuquerque, NM


32nd Conference Radar Meteorology
24-29 October 2005, Albuquerque, NM



86th Annual AMS Meeting

January 29 - February 2, 2006, Atlanta, GA



Chapter Web-site: www.amshouston.org


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


E-mail is Preferred:

The use of email helps us cut down on costs.  If it is available to you, we would like to add you to our e-mailing list.  If you have changed your address, prefer another address, or no longer want to receive this newsletter, please let us know by filling out the form and giving it to any officer. 


Brought to you by……Houston AMS Chapter ’05-’06 Sponsors:






We are looking for additional sponsors for the 2005-2006 Houston Local Chapter of the AMS.  Please contact one of our officers above if you or your company would like to sponsor the newsletter.


Dues/Address Change:

Don't forget to pay your $10 annual dues that were due this past September. 

Please include dues with the form below and turn it into any officer. If you prefer, you can mail the form and check to our Treasurer, Brian Planz. 

Checks should be made out to:  Houston Chapter of the American Meteorological Society

Send to:

Brian Planz

c/o Wilkens Weather Technologies, Inc.

2925 Briar Park Drive, 7th Floor

Houston, TX 77042

Include Below Information with Dues or Address Change.  Please mail to Treasurer or give to an Officer.




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Houston Chapter of the American Meteorological Society

c/o Patrick Blood, Houston/Galveston National Weather Service, 1353 FM 646, Suite 202, Dickinson, TX 77539