September 29, 1998 Meeting

The meeting was held at the National Weather Service Office in Jackson. The guest speaker was David Biggar, NWS meteorologist and a captain in the United States Air Force Reserves.

Meeting Minutes

The first meeting of the 1998-99 academic year was held 29 September at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Jackson. President Paul Croft called the meeting to order with 11 members present, including officers Barbie Bassett and Alan Gerard.

President Croft announced tentative chapter plans for the upcoming year, including the possibility of hosting a “Women in Science” forum sometime later this fall. Additionally, he announced that the chapter would once again be presenting a poster at the AMS Annual Meeting in January.

The program for the meeting was then introduced by Chapter Secretary Alan Gerard. The speaker was David Biggar, NWS meteorologist and a captain in the United States Air Force (USAF) Reserves. While on active USAF duty, Biggar was stationed at the 45th Weather Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, where he worked in weather operations for spaceflight launches. He discussed the fact that the area surrounding Kennedy Space Center (KSC) contains the densest meteorological network in the world and that a team of military, federal, and private meteorologists use this data to provide support to spaceflight operations at KSC and Cape Canaveral Air Station. Some examples of the many types of sensors used by the 45th Weather Squadron include several different types of lightning sensors capable of detecting both in-cloud and cloud-to-ground discharges; weather radar, including a dedicated WSR-74C radar and the local National Weather Service WSR-88D; jimspheres and standard radiosonde balloons; weather reconnaissance aircraft; and meteorological instrumentation towers. Biggar discussed the very complex weather rules that meteorologists must determine to be satisfied before a launch can take place. He concluded by showing a portion of a NASA press briefing in which he participated as the squadron’s press officer.

Minutes submitted by Alan Gerard.

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