April 16, 2015 Meeting

The seventh meeting of the 2014-2015 year took place at the National Weather Service office. Our guest speakers were Jennifer Watson and Ari Sarsalari of The Weather Channel.

Meeting Minutes

Call to Order
The seventh NWA/AMS meeting of the 2014-2015 year took place on Thursday, April 16th at the National Weather Service office in Jackson. Food was catered by Dickey’s BBQ. The meeting was called to order for food around 7:10pm, but officially started around 7:25pm by President Joanne Culin.

A sign-in sheet for attendees was passed around. Twenty people were present.

Minutes Approval
Minutes from the March meeting were summarized by President Joanne Culin.

New Business
The business session began with $30 in dues being collected bringing the treasury balance to $270. Regular membership dues remain $20, and student membership dues are $10.

Our guests for this meeting were Jennifer Watson and Ari Sarsalari of The Weather Channel(TWC). Jennifer does social media for TWC. She is also a weather producer, who makes graphics and run radar for the on camera meteorologists (OCM). She is the second social meteorologist that TWC has had. She got her geography degree from East Carolina University and her meteorology degree from Mississippi State University. She was a broadcast meteorologist in Tupelo at WTVA and then in Huntsville at WHNT. Ari is a Digital Video Meteorologist. He produces 40 second video forecasts for their website. He attended the University of Wisconsin. He also was a broadcast meteorologist in Huntsville at WAAY.

Jennifer and Ari gave a presentation on the April 28, 2014 Tornado Outbreak in the Tennessee Valley. The presentation contained lessons learned from that event with regard to being a broadcast meteorologist. Some tips included:

  • Keeping historical perspective
  • Immerse yourself in experiences(listening to stories)
  • Build trust and have genuine empathy
  • Don’t overhype events but when it does get bad, hit it hard.
  • Keep graphics clean
  • Make areas of concern pop
  • Limit lightning in graphics and use hi-res data
  • Know your stuff
  • Know your radar, especially dual pol and practice this during quiet weather
  • It is not your job to just relay NWS information

They showed examples of their broadcasts during this event, especially Ari’s. Several other weather videos of tornadoes and events were shown. Some general conversation took place about how TWC runs. There are over 200 meteorologists the TWC. Some forecasters are there 24/7 in the Global Forecast Center, which is almost like a mini NWS. There is a meteorologist morning meeting to talk about the weather every day. There was some brief talk about TWC naming the winter storms. They wanted to name the most impactful winter storms. This was based roughly on the system in Europe which names the high and low pressure systems. All OCM are degreed meteorologists and some even do their own surface map analysis. After the El Reno tornado, where Mike Bettes got rolled over in his car by the tornado, there are two meteorologists that go on the storm chase, which includes Mike. Before, he was the only one and he was doing the live shots, etc. The other met now solely watches the weather.

The meeting concluded at approximately 9:00 pm, and it was adjourned.

Minutes submitted by Joanne Culin, President.

April 2016 Meeting

Ari Sarsalari and Jennifer Watson present to the chapter

For more pictures from this meeting, click here.

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