September 13, 2016 Meeting

The first meeting of the 2016-2017 year took place at the Jackson State University e-Center in Jackson. Our guest speaker was James Stanley of WeatherVision.

Meeting Minutes

Call to Order
The first meeting of the 2016-2017 AMS/NWA chapter was called to order at 7:15pm by President Eric Carpenter. The meeting was held at WeatherVision at the JSU E-center.

Rolls
Recording Secretary Joanne Culin passed around a sign in sheet. Twelve people were present.

Minutes Approval
Minutes from the June meeting were summarized by Recording Secretary Joanne Culin.

New Business
The business session began with a treasury report. Treasurer David Cox gave the report. He stated that $130.50 began the meeting in the treasury. Dues were collected by five people for a total of $80: two students and three regular members. The total in the treasury after this meeting was $210.50. Regular dues remain $20, and student membership dues are $10.

Daniel Lamb gave an update on the ULM radar. The magnetron has now been installed at the site, but there’s now a separate issue with a filter. There are also some IT issues to work out on the ULM side of things.

Suggestions for future meetings were discussed. Jason Brand suggested a professor at MSU who is doing research on the cost and social impacts related to watch and warning issuances. He also suggested a US Navy meteorologist who is on the coast, as well as WDAM meteorologist Nick Lilja and the indices he creates for severe weather forecasting. Al Leiber offered to do a talk on weather photography. Daniel Lamb suggested Brett Adair, who is a storm chaser in Alabama. David Cox also mentioned Will Simmons, a former WCBI meteorologist who now flies with the hurricane hunters.

Normally during the first meeting, officers are elected. It was discussed that some emailed poll/nomination form would be created and sent out for nominations and voting. Eric said that if anyone was interested in being an officer to email him. It was suggested a description of the duties would be helpful, especially since several new members were present. Eric will do this soon.

The tour and presentation of WeatherVision then started and was given by James Stanley. James began working at WeatherVision in April 2015 and was his first job out of college. Previously, he had interned at NWS Sterling, VA and NWS HQ in the Office of Hydro Development. He did this in high school. He also interned at Weatherbug and ABC7 in the Virginia area. WeatherVision has been at the E-Center for three years and prior to that they were in a building off of I-55. WeatherVision tapes forecasts for 24 stations in the United States and the locations of the stations vary widely across the country–from Billings, MT to Toledo, OH. They also have a few stations in the Deep South and recently gained Victorville, CA and Greensboro, NC. There are 4 meteorologists who work there, James and Brandon are the weekday guys and there are two on the weekends. Their workday is around 6:30am/7am until 4pm and most of the weather is done by 1pm. In the afternoon, they perform other duties such as IT work, and James helps out with sales(advertising) and getting additional stations.

Most of the forecasts they produce are 30-60 seconds long but a couple are around 3 minutes. They may produce about 75 forecasts per day. They look at the National Weather Service Area Forecast Discussions (AFD) every day to help with the forecast. Their graphics system is called WeatherOne, which comes from Norway. They are the company’s only American client but it is the number one graphics system for weather in Europe. When it comes to taping the forecasts, they may do 30 forecasts in a row but they have prequels ahead of them to know which part of the country they will be talking about. Some stations James does everyday and some alternates. They submit the forecast via FTP and the stations download them. Sometimes the station won’t need the forecast for another six hours and sometimes it is needed in 30 minutes. One of the stations they work with needs closed captioning so they add captions for that one. Some stations have asked about doing live updates for breaking weather, but the WeatherVision company doesn’t have the resources to do that. The rates charged for the forecasts depend on the markets, where bigger markets pay more.

The group played around in front of the camera, trying out being on camera and working with the green screen. James also showed the production room and demonstrated the process for producing the videos.

Adjournment
The meeting concluded at 8:30 pm, and it was adjourned.

Minutes were submitted by Joanne Culin, Recording Secretary.

June 29, 2016 Meeting

The group poses for a photo in front of the chroma key wall.

For more pictures from this meeting, click here.

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