Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium
AND Family Weatherfest

March 27, 2010: 9 AM - 4 PM

Hardin Hall, 33rd and Holdrege Streets, Lincoln, NE

FREE and open to the public. 


Theme:  "Celebrating 10 Years of Severe Weather Preparedness"


Our 10th Anniversary Symposium Presentations include: 

Scott Blair, National Weather Service, Topeka , “Tornadoes Impacting Interstates:  Service and Societal Considerations... stay in your car or head to the ditch?" 

Greg Carbin:  Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Storm Prediction Center.  "Top Ten Weather Events of the Past Ten Years".

Barb Mayes:  Forecaster & Climate Focal Point, NWS, Omaha.  "Nebraska Severe Weather, 2009 and Looking Ahead to 2010"

Vince Miller:  Prairiescapes Photo Tours.  "Photographing the Weather and Scenery of the Great Plains"    

Brian Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS, Omaha, "2010: The Year Spotters Make Contact", Storm Spotter Training Workshop (open to the public) 

Jack Williams, USA Today and The American Meteorological Society, “The Ultimate Guide to America's Weather” 

Additional Information about our speakers and their presentations:

Scott Blair:

Scott Blair is currently a general forecaster with the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) in Topeka, Kansas.  Prior to arriving in Topeka, he served as a meteorologist with the NWS in Goodland, KS.  In 2005, he graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences.  While in Louisiana, Scott was employed by KEDM-FM in Monroe, LA as a broadcast meteorologist, providing daily weather forecasts and on-scene live reports during several landfalling major hurricanes.  He was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Blair’s professional areas of interest are focused on storm-scale observational meteorology studies and emerging field and operational technologies to improve communication.  He currently is investigating the severe weather vulnerability of motorists and examining how this information can enhance the service, methods, and dissemination of critical information by the NWS and other agencies. 


Greg Carbin:

Greg Carbin is the warning coordination meteorologist at the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. His love of weather began when he was a child in New England experiencing the excitement of snowstorms. When he received his degree in meteorology from Lyndon State College, he knew he wanted to be involved in operational meteorology and forecasting. He came to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman after working for Fleet Weather and for the National Weather Service (NWS) in North Carolina. 


Barb Mayes:

Barbara Mayes is a forecast meteorologist and climate focal point at the National Weather Service office in Omaha/Valley, NE. A Michigan native, Barbara obtained her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Central Michigan University in 2000, with majors in meteorology, geography, and English, and minors in mathematics and history. Barbara earned a Master of Science degree in meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University in 2002. For three years (2002-2005), Barbara worked as an outreach and customer service program manager for the National Weather Service's climate program at its headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, but her itch to work more directly with the weather drew her out into the National Weather Service forecast offices. Barbara moved out to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in the Quad Cities (Davenport, IA) as a forecaster in 2005, then moved westward to the office in Omaha/Valley in 2008. Barbara's professional and research interests include topics such as climate (including climate variability, change, applications, and impacts), severe and extreme weather, and improving communication of weather and climate concepts.


Vince Miller:  Prairiescapes Photo Tours:

Vince has worked in severe weather research and was the first advertised severe weather expert for The Weather Channel (TWC) - where he was an on-camera meteorologist for its first 10 years. Vince has an avid interest in weather history and climatology, and has provided the daily trivia used in The Weather Guide Calendar since 1989.  His photography/videography has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX The Weather Channel, and others; he has also guided production crews from CNN, TWC, and Belgium for severe weather documentaries. Vince was the on-site meteorology consultant for the making of the movie "Twister".  Vince has given many weather talks (emphasizing severe weather and photography) and loves to share with anybody who wants to listen.     


Brian Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Omaha-Valley, NE:

Brian is the warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service Forecast Office, Omaha/Valley. Brian manages the warning preparedness, public outreach, spotter training program, severe weather, public forecast, and damage survey programs in the Omaha/Valley NWS office.  He also fills in as a forecaster.  Brian will review the significant storms that occurred in our area during 2009 as well as present the annual Spotter Training Workshop for Lancaster County.  The Spotter Training Workshop is open to the public and everyone is invited to come and learn more about the nature of severe weather.


Jack Williams:

Since 1981, when the Gannett Corp., Inc., asked Jack Williams to help develop weather coverage for the USA Today newspaper,  Williams has been honing his talent for using words and images to help ordinary people understand science, especially the science of weather, climate, and the polar regions.  Reporting for the USA Today newspaper and then its Web site after it went online in 1995, required Jack  to communicate complex scientific ideas using both words and graphics. As a result, he become skilled at visualizing how to explain scientific concepts with images and a few words, and then working with artists to realize his vision.  While with USA TODAY he made three reporting trips to Greenland and one to report from Barrow, Alaska, and a research icebreaker sailing on the Arctic Ocean. He also flew into a half dozen hurricanes aboard a NOAA P-3 research airplane.  The NSF sent him to Antarctica in January 1999 where he filed daily reports for USATODAY.com and wrote other stories for the online site and the USA TODAY newspaper.  The high point, so far, of his work was the June 2009 publication by the University of Chicago Press and the American Meteorological Society of his sixth book, The AMS Weather Book: The Ultimate Guide to America’s Weather.