CAAS Meeting Minutes – September 8, 2007

CAAS met Saturday evening September 8 with much clouds and threatening weather. This was appropriate to the topic though which was a presentation on Meteorology by Allen Lee. We had a delicious covered dish dinner with the highlight being a homemade squash casserole by Linda Sorrows. Thanks to all who brought something.

The meeting opened with a treasurers report by Pat Morris. Rocky talked about the upcoming star party at Pinnacle Mountain on September 15 and “Seeing in the Darkâ€? presentation at the Aerospace Education Center Planetarium on September 19. James Fisher and others are getting out some good publicity on this and we hope it will be well attended. James also announced that CAAS has been invited to the first showing of a new planetarium show at the AEC on September 22 at noon.

Allen Lee then taught us how to predict the weather with a list of sites giving raw meteorological data. He showed us how to analyze a sounding which is data taken by a weather balloon. By looking at the current data from a local weather balloon you can determine what kind of seeing you can expect for the evening. In addition he taught us about radar and what the TV meteorologists use to give us our weather. We have access to the same data and with the other information he gave us he proclaimed that we now knew more about predicting the weather than most of our favorite weather personalities.

It was a fascinating lesson in meteorology and there were many questions and discussions. The best moment though was during Allen’s introduction when he told us he was from Wyoming and went to school at Texas A&M. Just as he stated that he started out in Astronomy with dark skies in Wyoming, the lights went out for a few seconds (due to the raging thunderstorm I am sure) and he got to say “Like thisâ€?.

The meeting adjourned about 9:00 pm. By the way Long term predictions look good for this next Saturdays star party at Pinnacle Mountain.

Rocky Togni