January 31, 2012 Meeting

The meeting was held at the National Weather Service Office in Jackson. Our guest speaker was Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service in Birmingham.

Meeting Minutes

Call to Order
The January NWA/AMS meeting of 2012 was called to order at 7 p.m. by President, Mr. Vincent Webb.  The Chapter meeting was held at the National Weather Service office in Flowood, MS.  A cheese tray was provided for guests.

Recording Secretary Ms. Nancy Lopez took attendance, and the sign-in sheet confirmed 12 attendees aside from the guest speaker.  There was a mix-up noted on the e-mail list for the meeting announcement, and she made a recommendation to update the list prior to the next meeting.  Also, Mr. Daniel Lamb used the new Facebook link and Google Plus as another way to announce the Chapter meeting, and he announced its early inception which is entitled “Central Mississippi Chapter of the NWA and AMS, Jackson”.  Also, a twitter account is available at: @CentralMSnwaams.

Minutes Approval and New Business
Treasurer Ms. Joanne Culin gave an update on the financial report.  She did not collect any further dues at the meeting with the balance being $155.  However, some of those funds will be used for the guest speaker’s visit.  She reminded the group on the dues fees for regular or student Chapter members.

With no old business being discussed from November’s meeting, the floor was turned over to guest speaker, Mr. James Stefkovich.  Mr. Stefkovich is the Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama; however, he did have roots in the Jackson office before Alan Gerard came on board.  He also worked for a time in the Dallas/Ft. Worth weather office, and next month will mark a 30-year career for him in the weather field.  After he opened with a pun on his lineage, he focused on the seriousness of last year’s tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011.  He talked about the challenges and lessons learned from the event, and that the predicted tornado parameters were higher than he’s ever seen in his career.  The Governor of Alabama even issued an emergency declaration for the potential disaster before it happened.  The seriousness of the event was well-taken in advance for all involved, which ended up being 1500 miles of tornado track in the state that trailed severe weather up most of the East Coast afterwards.  That was not good news when just two weeks prior, another tornadic episode occurred.  It led to a monthly total of 109 April tornados, breaking the old annual record of 94.  Despite good warnings, a lot of the damage was from structurally-deficient buildings, which is a major dilemma in the region.  He pointed out a flaw noticed on Doppler radar at one station that had false velocity readings due to their technology limitations, and stated it was better for media to use reflective radar.

Mr. Stefkovich ended the discussion by giving pointers for all offices involved in these types of events.  It is an effort of weather offices, media, emergency managers and the public at large, and since people often use multiple sources before they take action, it is not possible to a “one-method-reach-all” at this time.  As a final talking point, he stated this outbreak was so unusual and far-reaching, he was even interviewed by Tokyo TV for three, very detailed hours.  The group chatted informally before adjourning.

The meeting concluded at approximately 7:55 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Nancy Lopez, Recording Secretary.

January 31, 2012 Meeting

Guest speaker Jim Stefkovich delivers his presentation on the historic April 27, 2011 Superoutbreak

For pictures from this meeting, click here.

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