TESSA Serving the community since 1993.
The Texas Severe Storms Association 

The 2016 National Storm Conference

Dedicated to the memory of Alan R. Moller

9:00 a.m. - Welcome & Announcements, Martin Lisius, Chairman, TESSA & Kim George, Conference Coordinator

9:15 a.m. - Gary Woodall, KD5WUT, WCM National Weather Service - Memphis, TN

9th Super Storm Spotter Training Session: "Situational Awareness Tools for the Spotter"

This presentation will review the types of organized storms and categorize the environments typically associated with each type. Gary will discuss theories of severe weather production and spotter clues associated with these processes. He will highlight diagnostic and prognostic tools to assist the spotter in evaluating the convective environment and anticipating storm behavior. The presentation will conclude with a case study of a recent severe weather event.

Gary Woodall is the WCM at the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office in Memphis. He received his BS in Meteorology from FSU in 1985, and his MS in meteorology from OU in 1988. Gary has developed storm spotter training materials that are used nationwide by the NWS and is considered by many to be one of the top spotter trainers in the country.

11:00 a.m.  -  Mark Fox, WCM, National Weather Service -  Fort Worth, TX

"Tornadoes Know No Calendar"

This will encompass an in depth look at the December 26, 2016 tornado outbreak in the DFW Metroplex. We will talk about how reports are gathered; before, during and after the storm hits.

Mark Fox is the Warning & Coordination Meteorologist for the Dallas/Fort Worth Weather Service forecast office. Mark earned his meteorology degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1989. His experience includes 10 years of broadcasting at the NBC affiliate in Wichita Falls. His National Weather Service career began in West Palm Beach, Florida before making stops in Fort Worth, Amarillo and Lubbock. 

11:45 a.m. - Martin Lisius, KC5TQI, Chairman, TESSA

"Gimme Shelter"

Veteran storm chaser, and author of "The Ultimate Severe Weather Safety Guide," Martin Lisius will discuss engineered above ground storm shelters, sometimes called "safe rooms," and show one being installed in his own home.

In addition to his role as TESSA chairman, Martin works as a producer and cinematographer.  He founded StormStock, a weather image library, which provides elements to TV and film producers worldwide for such productions as the academy award-winning "An Inconvenient Truth."  In addition, he produced several severe weather programs including "The Chasers of Tornado Alley" (PBS) and "StormWatch," the primary storm spotter training video used nationwide by the National Weather Service.  Martin is also the founder of Tempest Tours, Inc., a storm chasing expedition company that focuses on education and safety. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington

12:15 p.m. -  Lunch break. Food trucks will be located in front of the conference center.  Other nearby lunch options are McDonald's, Which Wich Sandwiches, and McAllister's Deli.

1:00 p.m.  -  Rick Mitchell, NBC5 Meteorologist

"An Analysis of the December 26, 2015 Texas Tornado Outbreak"

An unusual late December tornado outbreak took place in north Texas on December 26, 2015. Twelve people died in the twelve tornadoes that occurred during the afternoon and evening hours. The strongest tornado was an EF4 on the northeast side of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. I will look at the weather conditions that made this outbreak possible, and discuss the challenges that were present while covering severe weather on the day after Christmas .

Rick Mitchell joined NBC 5 in August 2012. Prior to NBC 5, Mitchell had been chief meteorologist at KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City, OK, since 1994. While there he was responsible for providing coverage of some of the most intense storms including several tornado outbreaks, flooding, blizzards and wildfires. Before that, he forecasted weather at WOI-TV in Des Moines, IA, and at AccuWeather based in State College, PA. He earned a bachelor of science degree in meteorology from the University of Nebraska, and has also received the CBM seal from the American Meteorological Society. He has been recognized for his severe weather forecasting experiences from the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters and the Associated Press. Mitchell's team of meteorologists at KOCO-TV was also recognized by then Oklahoma governor, Frank Keating, for their exceptional work covering EF-5 tornado in May 1999 in Oklahoma City.

2:00 p.m.  - Bobby Prentice, Meteorologist (instructor) National Weather Service/Warning Decision Training Division in Norman, OK.

"Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor (MRMS)"

Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor (MRMS is a real-time system of applications that integrates radar, surface observations, satellite, lightning, and numerical weather prediction data, and utilizes advanced data integration and quality control techniques, in order to generate automated, seamless, national, four dimensional radar mosaics, storm attributes and multi sensor quantitative precipitation estimates at high temporal and spatial resolution. MRMS provides a more accurate and complete display of storms that single-site radars during severe weather outbreaks.

Robert (Bobby) Prentice earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma in 1990. He worked as a research assistant at the National Severe Storms Laboratory 1989-1990. He joined the National Weather Service in 1990 and has worked at office in: Monett, MO, Des Moines, IA Albuquerque, NM, the NEXRAD Operations Training Branch, and the FAA Academy. He currently works at the Warning Decision Training Division in Norman, OK. His expertise includes: Severe convective storms, weather radar, aviation meteorology, training, and the operational warning system.

3:00 p.m.  - Jason Jordan, Senior Meteorologist, National Weather Service, WFO Lubbock

"Lightning From Many Different Perspectives"

Lightning is both beautiful and dangerous; it can provide us with amazing photographs but can also leave behind damage and death. From being able to see it with our own eyes or in photographs, to plotting it on maps, visualizing 3-D structure of individual flashes, to perspectives from space; our understanding and application of lightning and lightning data has increase over the years. We will explore a bit of the history of how lightning develops and is detected, the applications of using lightning in the field to in the forecast office, and some of the latest ways lightning is being visualized and used in science and operations.

Jason Jordan is a Senior Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lubbock, TX and has been with the National Weather Service for over 20 years. He graduated in 1999 form Texas A&M with a Bachelor's Degree in Meteorology and from Texas Tech University in 2003 with a Master's Degree in Atmospheric Science. Using a background in radar meteorology, severe storms, and operational forecasting, Mr. Jordan over the last three years has become involved in research related to atmospheric electricity as well. His experience in operational meteorology has allowed him to participate in several experiments at the Hazardous Weather Testbed, be a part of several national teams within the NWS, and also be a member of the American Meteorological society's Scientific and Technological Advisory Committee on Atmospheric Electricity.

4:00 p.m.  -  Blake Naftel, visual journalist, severe weather historian and filmmaker from West Michigan

"A screening of untitled film leading up to the Storm Chasing Anthology series"

Filmmaker and journalist Blake Naftel presents a film chronicling the six-decade history of storm chasing culture. Naftel spent a year traveling independently through 36 states and Southern Ontario, Canada recording personal stories from 112 individual meteorologists, storm chasers, and their relatives. The resulting on-camera interviews, combined with thousand of hours of original videotape, film, and photography showcase a one-of-a-kind condensed visual history which has grown from one individual beginning in 1956, to thousands of hobbyists, scientists, and atmospheric observers worldwide. Part of a a larger, ongoing Storm Chasing Anthology series, the project seeks to digitally preserve stories and imagery for posterity, educational, and historical purposes. Color, 53 minutes. Produced, Directed, and Edited by Blake Naftel.

Blake Naftel earned a B.S. in Geography/GIS and communications from Western Michigan University, and worked for various affiliates as a reporter, photojournalist, weather producer, and technician with-in the broadcast television and radio industry for 18 years. Naftel is the founder of Three Reel Films, a documentary film and multimedia production company and presently is an independent contractor/US-based weather content producer for The Weather Network.

5:00 p.m. Raffle prize presentation -for the final prizes of the evening
The Grand Prize raffle drawing at the conference this year are 2--one year subscriptions to Baron Weather Services Web-Based Monitoring System, instant access on your tablet device, a comprehensive tool for weather tracking, advanced situational awareness and street-level precision weather data, valued at $529.00. A RAOB software package valued at $1,140.00 donated by Environmental Research Services, LLC. Other raffle items will be announced during the conference.


TESSA T-shirts, decals and videos can be purchased at the TESSA Store in the vendor area.  Super Storm Spotter items are available.  Please support the conference by purchasing items from the TESSA Store.  Take time to thank the supporters listed below for helping to keep this event free and open to the public.  The 2016 Super Storm Spotter DVD is available for order at the TESSA Store for $15.95.

Raffle tickets are $5.00 each and can be purchased at the TESSA Store.  Prizes will be awarded at the end of the conference.  Funds from the sale of tickets and TESSA Store merchandise will be used to help pay for today's event.  Must be present to win.

We would like to thank the following for their generous support.

The American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association
chapters of North Texas and the National Weather Service.

Primary Sponsors:
NBC5 Weather Team, Tempest Tours, Inc., Baron Weather Services, and RAOB

Vendors: SkyWarn Supply, National Weather Center, Missouri Storm Shelters, NBC5 Weather Team, Baron Weather Services, Texas CoCoRa HS, North Central Texas Council of Governments (COG), and Midland Radio

Special thanks to Prairie Pictures, Inc. for providing staff and materials.

Conference Team:
Martin Lisius, Kim George, Steve George and Megan St. Cin.

Please advise us before the conference ends if we failed to thank anyone who provided support.

Get Active!
Take what you have learned at the conference with you and help your community.  Commit to doing at least one of these tasks this month: If you are not a storm spotter already, become one.  Volunteer to speak about severe weather safety at your neighborhood school, church or at your place of business.  Write your state or US representative and ask for stricter building codes that address tornadoes and damaging winds in your area.  Ask for laws that require stricter codes or the construction of shelters for apartments and mobile home parks.  Join your local chapter of the American Red Cross, National Weather Association or the American Meteorological Society.  If you think the National Weather Service is doing a great job, share your opinion with your regional NWS office or tell your US congressman.  Finally, identify your best storm shelter option in your home and tell your family (almost always the smallest, most interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy structure).

TESSA Mission Statement
The Texas Severe Storms Association (TESSA) is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization founded to bring together both amateur and professional severe weather scientists in an attempt to better understand dangerous storms through the collection and diffusion of knowledge.

Monetary contributions should be made payable to "TESSA."

A complete list of severe weather safety tips can be accessed on-line at http://tessa.org/safety_tips.html

Texas Severe Storms Association   PO Box 122222   Arlington, Texas 76012   www.tessa.org