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

TESSA 2006 Texas Storm Conference
Saturday, March 11, 2006, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Colleyville Center
Colleyville, Texas







Louis Wicker, National Severe Storms Laboratory
Alan Moller, National Weather Service - Ft. Worth, Texas
Roger Edwards, Storm Prediction Center
Martin Lisius, Chairman, Texas Severe Storms Association
Gary Woodall,
WCM, National Weather Service - Ft. Worth, Texas

Featured Speaker

Louis Wicker, National Severe Storms Laboratory

Lou Wicker is a research meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Lab in Norman, Oklahoma.  His primary research interest focuses on understanding and predicting severe storms and tornadoes.

Lou earned a bachelor's degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 1984 and followed that with a master's degree from OU in 1986.  He then moved onto the University of Illinois and received a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences in 1990.

From 1990 through 1992, Lou was a visiting scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois where he continued his work to understand severe storms using the supercomputing facilities at the center.  In the fall of 1992, Lou joined the faculty at Texas A&M University as an assistant professor of meteorology for the next seven years.  In the spring of 1999, Lou was awarded tenure by Texas A&M and promoted to associate professor of meteorology.  In the summer of 1999, Lou joined the staff at the National Severe Storms Lab in his present position.

Lou's Ph.D. research was one of the first computer simulations that simultaneously contained both the severe storm and the tornado.  Lou also helped develop, with his advisor and colleagues, one of the first video presentations of severe storm research in 1992 with "A Study of a Numerically Modeled Severe Storm."  In 1995 another one of Lou's simulations was used in the IMAX movie on tornadoes and hurricanes.  In 1994 and 1995, Lou was a principle investigation in the NSF sponsored field program "Verification of the Origins of Tornadoes Experiment; VORTEX" where he and several dozen other scientists attempted detailed field studies of tornadic storms.  During the last five years, Lou and several other collaborators developed and built two new mobile C-band Doppler radars for the study of severe storms, hurricanes, and flash floods.  His latest work computer simulation was presented in the spring 2004 NOVA show, "Searching for the Supertwister."

His presentation is titled:

The Role of Technology in Storm Science, Forecasts, and Warnings:
the Past, Present, and a Possible Future.

This talk will examine the close relationship between technological development and the improvement in weather forecasting. Dr. Wicker will describe the connection between the development of computers in the late-1970's that directly led to a revolution in our understanding of severe storms and operational forecasts and warnings. Technology developments in the late-1980's, such as Doppler radar, and rapid scan satellite, have also played a role in improving storm forecasts and warnings. His talk will conclude with a "forecast" of how the current ongoing explosion in personal computing, communications, and information technology might impact future forecasting, warnings, and dissemination regarding severe weather.


Alan Moller, National Weather Service - Ft. Worth, Texas

Alan Moller grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. He crossed the Red River to study meteorology at OU, receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees in the process. Alan participated in the first official chase program, the 1972 Tornado Intercept Project (TIP). He has chased storms since that time, as well as becoming involved in projects involving the development of spotter training, forecaster training, and participation in several forecasting experiments/training sessions, including a 1985 FSL forecast experiment, a 1986 national microburst symposium, the 1991 Tornado Symposium, and a forecasting stint for the 1995 VORTEX project.

Alan's professional interests include hazardous weather diagnosis and forecasting, severe storms and tornadoes, and furthering the cause of public severe weather preparedness. His hobbies include photography, reading and learning, weight lifting, storm chasing, and taking out the trash every Thursday and Monday.

His presentation is titled:

The Art and Science of Hand Analysis for Tornado Forecasting

Alan's talk will center on the role of hand analysis in the diagnosis and forecasting of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Time permitting; a hands-on analysis/diagnosis of a severe storm event may be given to participants.   


Roger Edwards, Storm Prediction Center

Roger specializes in tornadic supercell thunderstorms as a meteorologist at SPC in Norman.  He is a dedicated nature photographer and storm chaser of 20 years, and has been part of several NSSL intercept teams over the years.

His presentation is titled:

Basic Storm Observing Strategy and the Beauty of Atmospheric Violence

Part 1: Forecasting storm behavior to customize an intercept strategy for optimally safe viewing before storms develop, and to see changes in storm behavior while in intercept mode.

Part 2: Favorite storm shots from the past two decades.


Martin Lisius, Texas Severe Storms Association (TESSA)

Martin is an active storm chaser of 17 years and the founder and Chairman of TESSA.  He co-produced the storm spotter training video StormWatch with the National Weather Service, and founded StormStock and Tempest Tours Storm Chasing Expeditions.  He has worked in the film and video production industry for more than 20 years.

His presentation is titled:

Copyright Protection for Storm Photography

Martin will discuss the steps that storm photographers can take to protect and defend their intellectual property from unauthorized use.


Gary Woodall, WCM, National Weather Service - Ft. Worth, Texas

Gary Woodall is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Fort Worth, Texas.  Gary received his Bachelors Degree in meteorology from Florida State University in 1985, and his Masters Degree in 1988 from the University of Oklahoma.  While at OU, he served on the university's severe storm intercept team and performed Doppler radar analyses of severe storms.  Gary's Weather Service career began in Midland, TX, serving at that office from 1988-1990.  He served at the Lubbock, TX Forecast Office from 1990-1993, and at the Southern Region Headquarters in downtown Fort Worth from 1993 to 2000.  He moved to his current position at the Fort Worth Forecast Office in September 2000.  He has helped develop spotter training materials which are used nationwide by the NWS.  He has authored scientific papers documenting severe weather events, and has participated in local and national weather education and outreach programs.

His presentation is titled:

Super Storm Spotter Training Session

Visual, Environmental, and Radar Characteristics of Severe Storms

Gary will present the first-ever Super Storm Spotter (SSS) session, a uniquely advanced storm spotter training session designed for spotters who have already attended National Weather Service basic and advanced training.  The SSS session will feature the most advanced training available in the country.  Spotters from across the region are expected to attend.

This presentation will look at severe storms and the environments in which they form.  The environmental ingredients required for severe storms and methods for spotters to identify the presence of these ingredients will be discussed, in addition to guidelines on radar interpretation and spotter positioning with respect to various types of severe storm events.

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