NWA September 2020 Newsletter
Issue 20 - 9
What's in this newsletter:

President's Message
NWA President Todd Lericos


Watch the video here.

Video Transcript:


Transcript: Here we are, folks. September. Can you believe we're two weeks away from our virtual annual meeting? Absolutely amazing. Yet here we are. So much planning and effort has gone into making this meeting a success. I can't wait for you all to see the results. Remember last month I was talking about our three keynote addresses? Just an outstanding lineup with outstanding individuals.

Dr. Avi Goldfarb who is an economist from the University of Toronto and an expert in artificial intelligence is going to be talking to us about the future of AI and how it may affect the weather career fields. Dr. Florence Rabier from ECMWF, incredibly lucky to have her. She's going to be talking a little bit about modeling efforts that are going on in Europe. And of course, Dr. Desiree Hill, an amazing expert in crisis communication, who's going to be talking to us specifically about how weather communications may end up changing in the future.

Just those three talks alone are worth the price of admission, but I've got more for you. We also have three invited talks that are also slated to occur that week. Dr. Neil Jacobs, head of NOAA will be joining us. So will Dr. Lou Uccellini from the National Weather Service. And special guests Dr. Aaron Hill and Dr. Russ Schumacher, who will be talking to us about some machine learning projects that they're working on for forecasting severe weather. Just outstanding additions to the keynotes.

Then you start adding in all of the oral presentations and our panel discussions where our members can actually participate, and we're in for one action-packed week. It is going to be outstanding. Can't wait for you all to be there.

Remember registration is open now. Please go and register. The fee this year is slightly lower than you would normally see for an in-person meeting, but you get so much more. Everything that's going to occur that week is actually going to be recorded, which means you can go back and view it at any time. It'll be in your library forever. So go register if you haven't. Make sure you get your spot.

I need to make sure I mention our corporate sponsors. Without them, the virtual meeting might not have been possible. Baron Services is a platinum sponsor this year. And, of course, Midland Radio is always great with their sponsorships as well. We're also working on a few others which aren't yet complete, but we'll certainly announce those when they happen.

If you're interested in becoming a corporate sponsor, go ahead and contact NWA Headquarters. We'd be more than happy to help you out. It's a terrific opportunity to interact with our membership.

Okay, that's it. Two more weeks. I have a lot of work to do, so does is the rest of the NWA. But we're going to make this meeting a terrific success, and we want to see you there. If you have not registered, go do that now. Make sure you get your spot. And can't wait for an outstanding meeting. Take care and talk to you next month on the flip side.

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Registration Now Open for Virtual Annual Meeting


Want to become a Virtual Exhibitor?

Becoming an exhibitor at the NWA Annual Meeting will be more beneficial now than ever. This year the NWA Annual Meeting is being held virtually so your reach will no longer be limited to in-person attendees but will be widespread across the country through our mobile and desktop virtual conference applications.

Exhibitors will be showcased in the NWA virtual conference app giving a direct link between your team and the hundreds of expected online attendees. You can further extend your organization’s reach by integrating your virtual exhibitor booth with videos, virtual sessions, participating in chat discussions, and setting up giveaways. Promote your website, products, services all through the virtual exhibitor booth!


Want to become a Sponsor? 

View our Sponsorship Tiers article.

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Annual Meeting: Agenda
NWA Headquarters

View the Full Agenda.

Annual Meeting: R.A.C.E. Panel
Tyra Brown, NWA Board Member

In response to the racial injustice recently witnessed in our country, the NWA President called for the formation of an ad-hoc team to help find ways that our members can feel safe and supported as we work together to address racial inequality and inclusion in our field.

During the annual meeting, the NWA R.A.C.E. (Race and Current Events) Ad-hoc team has put together an engaging panel discussion focused on helping us learn ways to desegregate the conversation about race and racism. Guest speakers and conversation moderators Melissa DePino and Michelle Saahene, founders of From Privilege to Progress will briefly recount their lived experiences related to the Starbucks incident and its implications for understanding what racism looks like today.

They will follow with a moderated full group conversation about the importance of individual change and the ways in which it creates a culture of authentic inclusion and diversity in the workplace, a healthy and profitable business, and a more equal and just society. Empathy, active listening, reflection and reframing will be essential elements of the discussion.
The speakers and participants will draw conclusions collaboratively, and the speakers will summarize practical application for participants’ daily lives. Outcomes include heightened awareness, a readiness for deeper work and personal accountability toward authentic organizational culture change, and a common language with which to continue the conversation within the organization and in everyday life.

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Annual Meeting: Broadcast Sessions
Betsy Kling, Broadcaster Workshop Chair

Broadcast Meteorologists – or – Meteorologists Who Broadcast?

Let’s face it, we’re meteorologists first and foremost, but we do face slightly different challenges than some other sectors of the weather enterprise. This year’s 2020 NWA Annual Meeting Broadcast Sessions reflect that!

From forecast models and radar data to effective communication and managing your mental health, we have the experts and a team of veteran colleagues who will give you note-taking worthy information.
We’ll be virtual, but that doesn’t mean we’re apart. Join us. Cocktails optional.

Sunday September 13
2:00–3:30 PM EDT Broadcasters Workshop Session #1
8:00–9:00 PM EDT Legally Speaking with Attorney Bob Nelon
9:00–10:30 PM EDT Tape Swap

Wednesday September 16
12:30–2:00 PM EDT Broadcasters Workshop Session #2
Of course, ALL meteorologists are invited to hang out with us!

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Annual Meeting: COVID-19 & the Wx Enterprise: How Did We Get Here and How Do We Move Forward Together?
Trevor Boucher, NWA Social Media Committee

This panel will showcase how COVID-19 affected the lives of meteorologists from various backgrounds during different stages of the pandemic timeline. The moderator will guide the panelists through different stages of the pandemic, capturing how their work/life evolved from the initial chaos to the “new normal”. The hope from this interaction is uncover the commonality of our challenges throughout this pandemic event, through the lens of each panelist’s professional background. Through this commonality we find solidarity as a community of weather experts and enthusiasts.

Mary Erickson (NWS Deputy Director and NOAA Re-Integration Team Co-Lead)

Ashley Gann— Chief Meteorologist CBS-42, Birmingham, Alabama
Melissa Sizemore—Emergency Management Officer, Jefferson County, Alabama EMA
David Dillahunt—Southwest Airlines Meteorologist
Alex Hoon—Incident Meteorologist, NWS Reno, Nevada

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Annual Meeting: September is Virtual WeatherReady Fest Month!
 Alan Gerard, NWA Foundation President

Those of you who have been able to attend the NWA Annual Meeting in recent years have undoubtedly heard about or participated in WeatherReady Fest (WRF). Held each Saturday at the start of the Annual Meeting, WeatherReady Fest is a public education and outreach event organized by the NWA Foundation in support of NWAF Scholarships and Grants.

Unfortunately the ongoing health crisis this year made an in-person event impossible, of course. Therefore, we are taking WRF online and virtual! Not only will this keep the momentum of WRF going and raise funds for our scholarship and grant programs, it will also enable parents and teachers needing online information to support virtual science lessons to have a one-stop shop to go for great meteorological content from the best source possible, our NWA members.

If you would like to participate, we are seeking content about weather safety and preparedness, scientific experiments and tools, weather impacts--anything that helps us all stay safe and weather-aware.

Please use this form to submit the details of your original content that you are willing to share as part of WeatherReady Fest. Generally, we are targeting presentations in the 15 to 45 minute range. Throughout the month of September, we will highlight specific WRF presentations and talks via NWA and NWAF social media.

Thanks to all for participating and supporting the educational and scholarship goals of the NWAF!

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Annual Meeting: Student Conference
by John Banghoff and Amber Liggett, NWA Student Conference Planning Committee


Students or Recent Grads - don't miss out on this year's Student Conference during the 45th Annual Meeting!


Because the conference is virtual this year, registration prices for students are very affordable at a rate of $50 for student members and $190 for early career members. You will be able to access all content from the Student Conference and Annual Meeting at any time during and after the meeting. 

You can register here!

For more information, visit our Student Conference page, or watch this video for more details. 
Video Transcript:

John Banghoff:
What's up everybody I'm John.

Amber Liggett:
I'm Amber.

John Banghoff:
And we are the coordinators for this year's NWA Student Conference.

Amber Liggett:
We're super excited about this year's activities and wanted to talk to you a little bit and introduce ourselves and give you a better feel for what you can expect at this year's virtual student conference. John, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

John Banghoff:
Absolutely Amber, I currently work at the National Weather Service in State College, Pennsylvania. I enjoy eating ice cream, mowing grass, cheering on the Atlanta Braves and bleeding scarlet and gray from [inaudible 00:00:41] the Ohio State University. How about you, Amber?

Amber Liggett:
Well, John, I currently work for the Pennsylvania Department of Health as the public information officer and a freelance broadcast meteorologist at the ABC affiliate here in Harrisburg, PA. So in my spare time, I enjoy being a dog mom, a balloon artist, and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

John Banghoff:
Love that. Well through the course of our combined experiences in our short careers, Amber and I have developed a passion for helping students and early career professionals learn about the wide array of possibilities in the field of meteorology and related fields. And in fact, that happens to be the focus of this year student conference, Amber, if students attend, what can they expect?

Amber Liggett:
So throughout the day, you'll hear from speakers from across the field of meteorology and we'll be having talks that fit really well with this year's annual meeting theme, which is Forward Together. So you're going to hear talks about operational meteorology in the age of artificial intelligence, analytics and digital communications. You'll hear how one grad student is using artificial intelligence to improve tornado warning issuance, which is really cool, listen to a talk about how weather is going to affect economics in the years to come, and hear a particularly relevant conversation about adapting to the virtual work environments from meteorologists across multiple sectors, what else John?

John Banghoff:
The next part of the student conference this year is going to be one of my personal favorite parts. What is that you might ask? Well, it's speed mentoring. Some of you who have attended in the past are familiar with this, but this year we are pumped to have professionals from eight different sectors in meteorology and related fields. Over the course of this two hour long session, you'll have the chance to rotate through each room and network with these folks from various sectors. It's one of the best opportunities to form key networks that will undoubtedly set you up on a great course for your career. After that structured rotation you'll then have a chance to follow up with folks in TV, to the private sector, EM's and many others if you're interested. Perhaps the folks on the East coast need some dinner, folks on the West coast enjoy a mid afternoon snack but we cannot stress how important networking is at this stage in your career and we strongly recommend signing up for this year student conference. Now, Amber, how can they sign up?

Amber Liggett:
Yeah, so it's really simple. Just visit www.nwas.org and look for the registration link, which is towards top of the page. Now, the coolest part about this year's conference is that it's super cheap. So it's only $50 bucks per student members and $65 for non-members and another cool thing is that you'll have access to all the content from the annual meeting. John, what else should they know?

John Banghoff:
Amber, as we close I just want to go over two specific things. First, we can not speak highly enough for what this conference has meant to our personal careers over the past several years and what it's done to launch our careers. We promise you're going to learn a lot by attending and maybe you'll even make a connection that will lead to an internship next summer or a job down the road. Now, the second thing is, bring your questions. We're going to have some time in the afternoon at the student conference where Amber and I are going to be able to receive your questions whether related to meteorology or life or whatever it might be. We really want to share our experiences with you and help get you to where you want to go.

Amber Liggett:
So, John, we forgot the most important things.

John Banghoff:
Amber, what's that?

Amber Liggett:
When is it?

John Banghoff:
Yes, that is probably the most important detail they'd want to know. This year's student conference is on Sunday, September 13th from 12 to 7:00PM Eastern time. Amber, that was the first thing what's another thing we forgot?

Amber Liggett:
Don't forget to bring food to enjoy while you listen and participate.

John Banghoff:
Very, very important. Well, Amber, I think they have all they need at this point. If you guys have any questions over the next couple of weeks do not hesitate to reach out to us. Amber and I are both active on Twitter, or you can email us with the addresses listed below. We cannot wait to see you even if virtually here in a couple of weeks.

Amber Liggett:
Have a great week everyone. Don't forget to sign up and bring a friend.

John Banghoff:
We'll see you guys very soon.

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Virtual Poster FAQs
NWA Headquarters


Watch our Virtual Poster tips video!

1. What are the guidelines for my video recording?
You may record up to a 5-minute presentation, with up to 5 slides. Individual loops or videos each count as a slide. Videos should be saved and sent to factor 110 in .mp4 format. The file size should not exceed 1 GB.

2. I want to record a video, but I can't use Zoom. Can I use another platform to record?
Absolutely. You can use any platform to record your video. If you need assistance, factor 110 can assist in Adobe Connect or Zoom.

3. I don't want to submit a recorded presentation, just a PDF. What are the file requirements?
The size of your PDF should not exceed 10 MB. Simply convert your poster creation (from PowerPoint, etc.) into a PDF. 

4. Can my PDF poster be more than one page?
Yes, you may submit up to 5 pages, saved as one PDF.

5. What does my assigned poster session mean?
Your poster (video or PDF) will be viewable in the virtual platform for the entirety of the meeting and beyond. Your 1-hour assigned Poster Session time is when you should be available in your poster room (accessible through the Agenda-- just click on your poster title link) to answer Q&As live.

6. What does the Q&A look like in the meeting platform?
All Q&As will take place over a built-in chat function. If you would prefer to chat with people over video, that is also acceptable. However, you will need to create your own meeting link outside the platform. For example, you can post a note in your room: "Hi! Please join me here (i.e. Google Meet link) for more discussion about my presentation." When an attendee enters your poster room, they'll be able to view your poster PDF/video, and then ask questions via chat (or jump on the link you provided for video). **Please note: if you choose to start your own video chat, you must adhere to the NWA Meeting Policies and Code of Ethics.**

7. What if I want to continue the discussion about my poster presentation at other times during the meeting?
You have the ability to schedule meet-ups with anyone through the meeting platform. There is a Community Board where you will be able to publicly post additional meeting links and times you'll be available. It's totally up to you! You and attendees will also be able to leave comments in your poster room chat feature at any time.

8. When will I get access to the app?
Look for an e-mail from @factor110.com a couple days before the meeting starts. You will receive an invitation link to create your meeting profile and explore the virtual platform. On the first day of the meeting, your recorded session link/PDF will be made live in the platform. **You must be registered for the meeting through NWA in order to receive access to the platform.**

9. My title/presenter name is wrong. What do I do?
Please contact the NWA at [email protected].

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Annual Meeting Keynote & Invited Speakers
NWA Headquarters

This year's Keynote Speakers will include Dr. Avi Goldfarb, Dr. Florence Rabier and Dr. Desiree Hill.



This year's Invited Speakers will include Dr. Louis Uccellini, Dr. Neil Jacobs and Dr. Aaron Hill.

Read more about these speakers at nwas.org.

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Annual Meeting Sponsorship Tiers
NWA Headquarters

Sponsorships support meeting opportunities for attendees and are a way to connect to the weather community. To thank you, we offer the following ways to interact with and promote your organization to NWA meeting attendees, members and fans. Attendees include government, private sector and military forecasters, broadcasters, social scientists, students, professors, researchers, emergency managers and more.

All Sponsors Receive:

  • Company logo included on 2020 Annual Meeting webpage, listing in the sponsor area of the meeting app, and NWA Newsletter
  • At least one mention in NWA Social Media posts
  • Recognition at the start of key meeting sessions and events including:
    • Broadcast Meteorology Workshop
    • Student Session
    • Monday evening welcome event
    • General Session Tuesday
    • Logo shown before the start of the NWA Annual Award presentations
  • The name, email and affiliation of registered attendees

Title Sponsor - starting at $15,000 (one available) 

Additional benefits:

  • One complimentary virtual exhibit booth with five meeting registrations
  • Listed as Title Sponsor on the opening screen of the meeting app
  • Two (2) hours’ worth of complimentary break-out sessions for your private use
  • Logo on NWA website home page and NWA Member Connect
  • Four (4) additional social media mentions
  • Complimentary ad in two (2) NWA Newsletters

Titanium Sponsor - starting at $10,000 (two available)

Additional benefits:

  • One complimentary virtual exhibit booth with three meeting registrations
  • Listed as Titanium Sponsor on the opening screen of the meeting app
  • A one (1) hour complimentary break-out session for your private use  
  • Logo on NWA website home page and NWA Member Connect
  • Three (3) additional social media mentions
  • Complimentary ad in one (1) NWA Newsletter

Platinum — $5000

Additional benefits:
  • One complimentary virtual exhibit booth with two meeting registrations
  • Logo on NWA website home page and NWA Member Connect
  • Two (2) additional social media mentions

Gold — $3000

Additional benefits:

Silver — $1500

Additional benefits:

Supporting - $250 to $1499

If you would like to sponsor or co-sponsor an event, here are options. Please contact the NWA Office for details.
  • The Meeting Overall Student Session
  • Student Speed Mentoring
  • Broadcaster Reel Swap
  • Monday Evening Networking Event Breaks
  • NWA Annual Awards Event
  • Supporting Women in Meteorology Event

Have an idea that works better for you?

Please contact us via email or phone: 405-701-5167

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NWA Event Calendar

The full NWA Event Calendar is located in Member Connect.

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NWA Distant Socials
by Trevor Boucher, NWA Social Media Committee

Join our next session, Thursday, September 10 at 5:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET!

New Seal Holder

Congratulations to Peyton Sanders on earning his TV Weathercaster Seal of Approval!

Peyton is a meteorologist at WIBW in Topeka, Kansas, where he has worked since 2017. Like many other meteorologists, Peyton has been fascinated by the weather from a very young age.  

Growing up in Kansas, he was exposed to a wide variety of weather including blizzards, freezing rain, supercells, overnight mesoscale convective systems and tornadoes.

Peyton is thrilled to be able to work in his home state. The weather is so dynamic, he reports that he "is always learning something new."

Working in television allows him to share his meteorological knowledge while serving people. One of the things Peyton likes most about his job is "going out in public and getting to chat with people in my community about the weather."  So far, he said, his career has been a very rewarding experience.

Congratulations again Peyton on earning your NWA Seal of Approval!

Follow Peyton on Facebook and Twitter.

See all the other members who have earned a TV, Radio, or Digital Seal here, and more information on becoming a Seal Holder here.

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NWA Jobs Corner

Are you hiring? Reach a variety of candidates through the NWA Jobs Corner.


Current Jobs:

Meteorologist - KTVQ, Billings, MT (NEW! 9/4/2020)

Meteorologist  - Sonoma Technology, Petaluma, CA (8/19/2020)

View these jobs.

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New Article in the Journal of Operational Meteorology

A new NWA JOM article was published in September.

The Extreme Precipitation Forecast Table: Improving Situational Awareness When Heavy Rain is a Threat, by Stovern, D. R., J. A. Nelson, S. Czyzyk. M. Klein, K. Landry-Guyton, K. Mattarochia, E. Nipper, and J. W. Zeitler.


A collaborative team of Science and Operations Officers from the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), hydrologists from the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center (LMRFC), and management from the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) worked together to develop and transition a tool into NWS operations called the Extreme Precipitation Forecast Table (EPFT).

The EPFT was designed to help NWS forecasters improve their situational awareness (SA) when heavy rainfall threatens their county warning area. The EPFT compares Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF) to Average Recurrence Intervals (ARIs) from the NOAA Atlas-14 to alert forecasters to the potential for climatologically significant and extreme rainfall.

A counterpart to the EPFT, called the Extreme Precipitation Assessment Table (EPAT), compares observed precipitation (i.e., Quantitative Precipitation Estimates [QPE]) to inform forecasters as to the climatological significance of impactful rain events. This paper presents cases demonstrating the usefulness of the EPFT and EPAT in helping forecasters improve their SA in real-time operational settings when heavy rain was a threat.


The JOM publishes submissions in three categories: Article, Short Contribution and Commentary. The JOM is a peer-reviewed, all-electronic journal with an international scope, providing authors with the benefits of economical publication costs and rapid publication following acceptance.

If you are interested in submitting a paper to the JOM, please go to the Call for Papers webpage.

Thank you to the JOM authors, reviewers and editors for continuing to make JOM a success!

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Technical Editor: Winnie Crawford

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