NWA September 2018 Newsletter
Issue 18-9

What's in this newsletter...


The Saint Louis Meeting was hot!
Alan Sealls, NWA President 

The National Weather Association 43rd Annual Meeting was hot! Including a successful Saturday WeatherReady Fest, each of the first four days reached 95 degrees or above at STL! Days 5 and 6 were back into the 80s. With attendance of well over 550, I saw the NWA past, present and future. Here are just two photos that feature the fine bunch of weather lovers we are. Look closely at the big picture and see if you can spot charter members Dan Berkowitz and Carl Thormeyer.

Marvel at the most ethnic and gender diversity I've ever seen at a NWA meeting. Attendees hailed from outside the 48 contiguous states and from outside the U.S. Study the other picture of Penn State's finest and get used to seeing Robert Johnson, Matt Hoenig, and Vivian Rennie. They'll be back as they grow into professional meteorologists. They are our future.

The presentations were like an all-you-can-eat buffet. There was something to please every prognosticator's palette. We got brain food and eye candy at the same time. Peruse pictures and slides on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and checkout the highlights of our Awards luncheon.

So, when and where is next year's meeting? Hold on just a little longer. These secrets will soon be revealed online and in our social media. Until then, here's the Call to Action: review and comment on the proposed new Bylaws and Certificate of Incorporation by September 22. You only have a couple of weeks of review before you get to vote on them. Stay updated and be an active part of the NWA future.


The 20th Annual High Plains Conference
Jeremy Martin, President
Wesley Hovorka, Secretary

The High Plains AMS/NWA Chapter held its 20th Annual High Plains Conference in Hastings, Nebraska, August 7–9. The NWS office in Hastings, Nebraska, hosted the two-day conference, which included a two-hour workshop, three keynote presentations, a panel discussion, and 25 other presentations. The conference started the evening of Tuesday, August 7, with Aaron Johnson (NWS Dodge City SOO) and John Stoppkotte (NWS North Platte SOO) conducting the Tornado Warning Improvement Project Team Workshop. They showed new ways to interrogate the radar for tornado development. The keynote speakers were Jeff Piotrowski (Storm Productions, Inc.), Mark Robertson (Emergency Management Coordinator for the University of Nebraska), and Jared Guyer (Storm Prediction Center). There was a panel discussion Wednesday afternoon that included Steve Eddy (NWS Hastings MIC), Kirt Smith (Emergency Management Director for Hamilton County, Nebraska), Tim Reith (NTV News), Melissa Wheelock (ESU 10 Administrator), and Michael Moritz (NWS Hastings WCM). A short chapter meeting was then conducted at the end of the conference, which ended shortly after noon on Thursday, August 9. The conference agenda is available on our website.  

The High Plains Chapter is supported by the NWS offices of North Platte and Hastings, Nebraska, and Goodland and Dodge City, Kansas, as well as entities from the media and private forecasting. The chapter prides itself on providing a venue for high quality meteorological and climatological presentations by those in the forecasting and research communities. It also provides a relaxed atmosphere for first-time presenters to develop into seasoned speakers, while bringing invaluable information on High Plains forecasting for the attendees. The 21st High Plains Conference will be held in Goodland, Kansas, in 2019.

20th High Plains Conference attendees.

Another Three add Seals to Their Resumes
Justin Chambers, Broadcast Committee Public Relations

The list of Weathercaster Seal holders for the National Weather Association grew by three this month. Meteorologists from North Carolina, Alabama and Oregon can now proudly display their shiny new seals on air and online.

Let’s start with Ariella Scalese at Spectrum News North Carolina. Originally from Philadelphia, she started her meteorology career in Laredo, Texas. “I love weather because of how big of an impact it has on daily human life,” Ariella says. She was inspired to get into weather after she saw a meteorologist talk at her school (See, those school talks DO work!).

Ariella graduated from Lehigh University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in earth and environmental science and minored in mass communication. She has also completed her studies at Mississippi State University in broadcast meteorology.

“If I wasn't a meteorologist I would be a labor and delivery nurse. I have always loved children, especially infants and babies,” says Ariella. “My mom is an OR nurse and would come home and talk about surgery. I think that turned me off from the medical field, plus I don't like blood!”

In August, Ariella moved on from WSAV in Savannah to Spectrum News North Carolina. Congratulations on the new seal and the new gig!



 Next is Thomas Geboy at WKRG Mobile. A Mississippi Gulf Coast native, Thomas is happy to work close to where he grew up. “When I was little, I used to track hurricanes with my grandmother the old fashioned way—with tracking maps,” says Thomas.

Thomas witnessed Hurricane Katrina firsthand, and that’s when he decided to pursue meteorology as a career. It’s no wonder that his favorite type of weather to track is tropical.

He is a proud Mississippi State Bulldog as he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast meteorology. Fun fact: he played on the ice hockey team for the Bulldogs. He is also finishing up studies for his master’s degree in geoscience with a concentration in applied meteorology.

When he’s not hanging out with his wife and dog, you may find Thomas snacking on his favorite guilty-pleasure food. “It’s definitely wings or French onion dip with wavy chips,” exclaims Thomas. Kudos on the new degree and the new seal!




 Last and certainly not least is Tracy Hinson of KPTV Portland. Originally from Silicon Valley in California, her curiosity in weather spiked when she witnessed a tornado touch down near Sunnyvale.

Tracy holds degrees in both journalism and operational meteorology. She has forecast the weather in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and worked in newsrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tracy loves animals, and says if she wasn’t doing weather she would be a zookeeper. She currently owns a horse and a prairie dog, and is a former Miss California Rodeo Salinas.

“My favorite type of cloud is fog,” exclaims Tracy. “It’s a cloud so low that you can walk in it!” Growing up in the Bay Area, she sometimes had band practice on a fog covered field. She still plays the French horn, piano and flute. We should get her to jam out during the NWA Annual Meeting karaoke night!


A big congratulations once again to all of our brand new seal holders! Well deserved, indeed!



Ginger Zee Presents to Southwest Michigan AMS/NWA Chapter
(sites.google.com/a/skywatch.org/swmi/, www.facebook.com/amsnwa)
Craig James Woods, Secretary

The Southwest Michigan AMS/NWA Chapter held a meeting on July 31. President Warren Wheeler called the meeting to order shortly after 7 p.m. All board members were present with total attendance of 40 people.

Vice President Cort Scholten presented a list of meetings and scheduled speakers for the upcoming season (fall 2018 through spring 2019). Cort also revealed that in the summer forecast contest, all entries were too low in forecasting the number of 90-degree days for this summer. As of July 31, there were already 15 and the highest forecast was for 13. All of the winners will be announced in the fall. You must be present at a meeting to collect your winning gift card.

Treasurer William Marino reported the chapter's total cash balance as of July 31. There are 24 paid members of the club, which is a new record. In addition, the members approved the purchase of a projector and cables for speaker presentations.

Linda Paige, the chapter Officer At Large, talked about the signed copies of books originally owned by the late renowned tornado researcher Dr. Theodore Fujita that we will raffle off during our fall meetings.

Our guest speaker was Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist for the ABC television network. Ginger grew up in West Michigan, went to Valparaiso University, and started her broadcast career at WEYI-TV in Flint, Michigan. She came to WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids in 2004. It didn’t take long for bigger television stations to recognize her great talent, and she soon headed off to WMAQ-TV in Chicago in 2006. In 2011 she went to work at ABC in New York City doing weekend weather for Good Morning America, and in 2013 she became the first female chief meteorologist of a television network. This was truly a remarkable accomplishment in a span of just 10 years.

In the past couple of years, Ginger has appeared on the ABC program "Dancing with the Stars", gotten married, had two children, and written two books. On bad weather days she often appears on the ABC evening news program as well as Good Morning America making for a day that begins at 4 a.m. and doesn’t end until 8 p.m. She also has plans to write two more books. Does she never sleep?

Her slide presentation was a review of her life and how science has been the driving force behind what she does. Her strong belief that meteorology involves humanity comes through in everything she does, which has included covering all types of natural disasters in addition to experiencing the thrills of paragliding and swimming with tiger sharks.

The question and answer session included several comments about how her honesty and openness about the ups-and-downs in her life has influenced many people. She has become a role model to many.

The meeting was adjourned shortly after 8 p.m. Visit the chapter website to see our meeting schedule.

Thank you Ginger for being the emcee of the 2018 WeatherReady Fest at the Saint Louis Science Center!