2024 TESSA Conference Notes

Randy Jennings

May 18, 2013
Here are my notes on the presentations from the 2024 Texas Severe Storms Association National Storm Conference that was held on March 2nd in Arlington Texas. Great conference as always (and it is free). The full 2024 TESSA video is at 2024 TESSA National Storm Conference (youtube.com). Times are spots in video.

  • 19:30:00 - Jennifer Dunn, WCM Fort Worth NWS, Helping Each Other: The NWS, Storm Spotters, & Chasers
    • Started out similar to her talk at his National Storm Chaser Summit but with some case studies at the end that were interesting.
    • NWS needs chasers to make reports, she goes into what they like to see/hear in reports
    • She once again noted that Spotter Network no longer goes into NWS systems since the switch of NWS Chat to Slack. They have to log into a separate system to view Spotter Network reports, so she noted that until they get that feed back that Spotter Network probably isn’t the best way to get reports to them (see said that right now most offices in the plains prefer phone calls to the number at the bottom of their webpage).
    • Case study on 11/4/2022 was interesting, esp when she brought up how well Warn-On-Forecast (WOF) did on forecasting a tornado 4 hours ahead of time. WOF is a rapidly-updating, high-resolution ensemble model system. WOF doesn’t run every day (limited money for cloud compute resources) and doesn’t start running until 17z. You can see the output at Warn on Forecast:WoFS (noaa.gov).
    • She moves into talking a Vrot.
    • She talks briefly about how damage assessment is done.
    • She mentions that NWS policy prohibits them from asking anyone (except in some cases Civil Air Patrol) for resources (i.e. they can’t ask a fire/police dept or chaser to fly a drone), but if you have drone damage path video, please share it – it really helps them.
  • 2:18:15 David Finfrock, NBC5 Meteorologist “75 Great Years”
    • Great slide show of early WBAP TV/KXAS pictures from over the years during the break before this.
    • NBC 5 was a pioneer in TV meteorology. The TV station has been running for 75 year now and the weather department has been around for 74 years. David has been with them for 48 years.
    • He shares old pics and memories of the old days and the legendary Harold Taft. Really neat to see how the technology processed.
    • The story of how he got hired by Harold is funny.
    • In recognition of the contribution he has made to public safety and weather education he was presented with the TESSA Award. He is only the second recipient of this award, the first being Al Moller, legendary NWS met and father of the Skywarn program.
  • 4:33:45 Martin Lisius “Exploring the Culinary Wonders of Tornado Alley: Places that will Raise a Storm Chaser’s Spirits on Bust Days”
    • Martin recommends restaurants in tornado alley, esp the southern plains.
  • 5:23:00 Greg Stumpf “Threats-In-Motion (TIM): Improving Lead Times for Severe Storm Warnings”
    • TIM is a warning generation approach that would enable the NWS to advance severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings from the current static polygon system to continuously updating polygons that move forward with a storm. This concept is proposed as a first stage for implementation of the Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats (FACETs) paradigm for severe weather warnings.
    • Great to see how they are overcoming some of the problems (like ancient warning distribution systems) and are getting closer to making this operational.
  • 6:26:25 Roger Edwards “A Career of Progress in Understanding and Forecasting Severe Storms”
    • The biggest news was that he is retiring from SPC at the end of this year.
    • A interesting talk about how things have evolved over his career.
  • 7:24:30 Jamie Winterstern “Projects after Supercell”
    • Very similar to his National Storm Chaser Summit talk; a behind the sense look at the making of the movie.
    • At the end he did say he is already filming another chasing project and has some important meetings coming up, but he didn’t say much more about the new project.
  • Other News
    • Kim George is retiring from Tempest Tours after next year, and along with that is retiring from planning TESSA with Martin, so this was her last TESSA to help organize since it is every other year.
    • Next conference is in 2026. Details will be posted at https://tessa.org/.