Time to Bloom

They say Phoenix has made the desert bloom. Indeed, flying into this city or looking out the hotel window reveals an impressive display of urban ingenuity over the timeless harshness of desert climate.

Plenty of papers at this AMS Meeting will examine the pitfalls of this urban oasis–its heat waves, droughts, floods, lightning, and dust storms.
Yet, the meeting will repeat this desert flowering in a microcosm. A day ago this building, the Phoenix Convention Center, was empty. Teeming with people from any number of conferences but empty of water, weather and climate experts…people like you. Now it’s rapidly filling up with a whole community–thousands of your colleagues and their work and ideas. You will hear about new projects, the latest technologies, concerns and hopes for future research and services, ideas for new businesses. You bring your expectations, fill up with ideas, and then leave Phoenix brimming with possibilities.
Arizona, it turns out, is a good place to fill up. In fact there are few more spectacular places to do so. Just as Phoenix bloomed from practically nothing, the Grand Canyon, of all places, recently bloomed from arid to wet, suddenly sloshing with fog. It filled with meteorology. You can, too–the results will be just as spectacular.


The Lines of Communication are Open

A breakout panel at Saturday’s Student Conference emphasized the importance of communication in meteorology. Panelists Ginger Zee of Good Morning America, Jorge Torres of KOB-TV in Albuquerque, Marshall Shepherd of the University of Georgia, and Keli Pirtle of NOAA discussed what it means to be a meteorologist in the modern world of social media, apps, and soundbites.

They're Not Pulling Punches in Phoenix

The 2015 AMS Student Conference must be off to a great start already. NOAA’s Deke Arndt already made a stir with a striking analogy about the relative meanings of weather and climate. Clearly the gloves are off and the discussion is moving fast. Now is the time to let your guard down and take in as much as you can!

The App Is Back!

The 95th AMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix begins this weekend. Are you concerned that you won’t be able to keep track of everything going on at the meeting? Do you want to be certain that you don’t miss any presentations, exhibits, or special events? Are you looking for some help with organizing all of your plans for Phoenix? We have a solution for you: the AMS 2015 mobile app! mobile app On it you can find lists of exhibitors, sessions, Town Hall Meetings, and even individual authors making presentations. With the app, you can access helpful documents (including maps of the Phoenix Convention Center), keep up with social media activity, watch videos from the meeting, and get shopping, dining, and entertainment suggestions for the Phoenix area. There’s even a “locate me” feature in case you get lost in the convention center–which could be a common occurrence with so much going on!
The app will also provide real-time alerts and information from the meeting’s organizers. And maybe best of all, it includes a personal scheduler that allows you to keep track of your day-to-day plans so that you don’t miss anything.
You can do all of this with just a few clicks on your mobile device, whether it’s an iPhone or iPad, Android device, or Blackberry or Windows phone. And it’s free! So what are you waiting for? Download the app today by visiting this page (and get some tips for using the app here).

Survivors Meet the Storm

As  Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) headed their way this weekend, Filipinos began to show they were a people far too experienced in the ways of typhoons.
Anxiety mixed with prudence. 500,000 people evacuated to safer quarters. Many residents of Tacloban–the city hardest hit by last year’s disastrous Typhoon Haiyan—took shelter in the local stadium. Others stocked up with food and other supplies. The city’s deputy mayor told the BBC, “It’s stirring up a lot of emotions in our hearts and bringing back so many painful memories.”
Those who study severe weather warnings are increasingly noticing this phenomenon: whether by fear or familiarity, people with prior experience have a peculiarly complex reaction to impending severe weather.
For example, a succession of well predicted tornadoes hit central Oklahoma within a short span in May 2013. During the third outbreak of that period, public reaction went awry. Before meteorologists could warn of the dangers of fleeing by car, residents hit the roads and caused potentially catastrophic traffic jams. The spontaneous evacuation, unlike any seen previously for a tornado, exposed the public to great risks.
In a paper to be presented at the AMS Annual Meeting next month at the Phoenix Convention Center (Wednesday, 7 January, 11:15 a.m., Room 226AB), Julia Ross and colleagues will analyze the effects of experience on the public’s “freak out” response to these tornadoes.
Quoting a recent paper by Silver and Andrey in the AMS journal, Weather, Climate, and Society, Ross et al. note that direct experience with hazards amplifies risk perception.  But their survey results show both reasoned and fear-driven reactions to the warnings—and possibly some regionally specific preferences as well.
(In the presentation to follow Ross et al. at the Annual Meeting, Lisa Dilling and colleagues analyze the opposite of a wary, seasoned public. They report on the effect of surprise in the Boulder, Colorado, floods last year.)
If anyone knows typhoons, it’s the people of the Philippines. Supertyphoon Haiyan, which killed 7,000 a year ago, was but one of six different tropical cyclones that have killed more than 1,000 Filipinos in the past decade.
This time around authorities say they’re aiming for zero casualties. But there’s more than just anxiety to deal with. It takes time to rebuild from a blow like Haiyan. A Haiyan survivor in Tacloban told the Associated Press, “I’m scared. “I’m praying to God not to let another disaster strike us again. We haven’t recovered from the first.”

The Annual Meeting Is Closer than You Think!

The 2015 AMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix is less than six months away. AMS President Bill Gail and 2015 Annual Meeting Organizing Committee chairs Andrea Bleistein, Andrew Molthan, and Wendy Schreiber-Abshire recently sent out this reminder that the deadline for submitting abstracts for the meeting is fast approaching:

Have you submitted your abstract for AMS 2015 yet?
Yes? Then you know that we’ve got something for everyone with over 30 conferences and symposia featuring almost 300 topics!
No? Don’t worry–there’s still time to submit your abstract before the deadline of 1 August!
This year’s theme is: Fulfilling the Vision of Weather, Water, and Climate Information for Every Need, Time, and Place
View the Call for Papers here: http://annual.ametsoc.org/2015/index.cfm/call-for-papers/
Submit your abstract online here: https://ams.confex.com/ams/95Annual/oasys.epl
Even if you don’t plan to present in Phoenix, we hope you make plans to join us in January. Check out our website to learn more about all the exciting things going on at AMS 2015!
We can’t wait to read your submission and look forward to your participation,
Bill Gail, AMS President
Andrea Bleistein, Andrew Molthan, and Wendy Schreiber-Abshire
2015 Annual Meeting Organizing Committee Chairpersons

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