2017 Information Archive

Call For Papers

The Texas Weather Conference: Preparedness to Prediction to Protection

The second annual Texas Weather Conference will be held on March 3-4, 2017 at the University of Texas Commons Learning Center in Austin, TX. Program, registration, and hotel accommodation information is available at our website, www.txwxconference.com.

Continuing with the theme of “Preparedness to Prediction to Protection,” the Texas Weather Conference seeks to combine the experience, knowledge, and vision of all those with a stake in weather and climate in the state of Texas. Public, private, and broadcast meteorologists will join emergency management officials as well as scientists and students from Texas universities in discussing the latest in preparedness, prediction, and response to high-impact weather events and climate extremes. Sharing cutting-edge research and operational experiences from multiple perspectives is expected to unite the Texas weather community around common goals and needs to minimize the detrimental impacts of weather and climate on society.

Papers are solicited in a variety of fields relevant to the scope of the conference, including: severe weather; river and flash flooding; drought and water resources; winter weather; tropical weather; coastal flooding; fire weather; air quality; wind energy; and climate extremes. Each session will blend the latest in scientific understanding with presentations on risk communication and response. Therefore, interdisciplinary sociological studies on high-impact weather and collaborations involving multiple communities in the weather enterprise are of particular interest. In addition to oral presentation sessions, abstracts are also solicited for a poster session encompassing the topics listed above. Student poster submissions are particularly encouraged.

Please submit abstracts no later than Friday, December 16, 2016. There is no fee for abstract submission and abstracts are limited to one first author submission per participant. Please indicate at the time of submission if you prefer an oral or poster presentation, recognizing that oral presentations will be limited based on the number of submissions and time constraints. Authors of accepted presentations will be notified by email and a preliminary program will be posted by early January 2017.

For additional general information, please contact the conference planning committee at txwxconference@gmail.com. Contact information for all committee members is also posted on the website if you have specific questions to address to them.

2017 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Harold Brooks

Senior Scientist

National Severe Storms Lab

Dr. Brooks is a research meteorologist and Senior Scientist in the Forecast Research and Development Division at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman, Oklahoma. He majored in physics and math at William Jewell College and graduated in 1982, with a year at the University of Cambridge studying archaeology and anthropology. His master’s degrees are from Columbia University in Atmospheric Sciences. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Atmospheric Sciences. After graduating from Illinois, he was a National Research Council Research Associate at NSSL and joined the permanent staff there in 1992. During his career, his work has focused on why, when, and where severe thunderstorms occur and what their effects are. He has been an author on two IPCC Assessment Reports and a US Climate Change Science Program report on extreme weather. He organized the Weather Ready Nation workshop to identify scientific priorities for severe weather forecasting in 2012.. He received the United States Department of Commerce’s Silver Medal in 2002 for his work on the distribution of severe thunderstorms in the United States, the NOAA Administrator’s Award in 2007 for work on extreme weather and climate change, and the Daniel L. Albritton Award for Outstanding Science Communicator in 2012 from NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. Robert Korty

Associate Professor

Texas A&M College of Atmospheric and Geographic Science

Dr. Korty is an Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M, where he has been on the faculty since 2007. Dr. Korty earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia, and Ph.D. in Climate Physics and Chemistry from MIT. His research interests include large-scale climate dynamics, and for the last several years has focused on the question of how tropical cyclones respond to changes in climate. He teaches courses in dynamics, tropical meteorology, and statistical methods.

Dr. Clint Dawson

Professor, Department Associate Chair

University of Texas at Austin, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics.

Clint Dawson is a native Texan, graduating with BS and MS degrees from Texas Tech, and a Ph.D. from Rice University. Since 1995, he has been a faculty member in the aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics department, and a core member of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds the John J. McKetta Centennial Energy Chair in Engineering, and heads the Computational Hydraulics Group at UT Austin. His research focuses on algorithms and high performance computing for coastal ocean modeling, with applications to hurricane storm surge and environmental modeling.

Dr. Daan Liang

Professor and Interim Director of the National Wind Institute

Texas Tech University

Daan Liang is a Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering (CECE) and holds the position of the Interim Director of National Wind Institute (NWI), an intellectual hub for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary education, research, and commercialization related to wind science, wind energy, wind engineering and wind hazard mitigation at Texas Tech University. In this role, Liang is the chief administrator responsible for leadership, management, and stewardship of NWI’s facilities, finance, personnel, and operation. He is also responsible for an interdisciplinary doctoral program in wind science and engineering and strategic relationships with other research centers, universities, industries, government agencies, and national laboratories. His research interests include windstorm damage assessment, disaster mitigation and recovery, and structural health monitoring of civil structures. He has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Texas Department of Transportation, and private industry. Liang received his B.S. degree in Engineering Management from Tianjin University, Tianjin, China, in 1997, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University at Buffalo, NY, USA, in 1999 and 2001, respectively.

Rick Mitchell


NBC 5, Dallas-Fort Worth

Rick Mitchell has been a broadcast meteorologist for nearly 30 years. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with a degree in atmospheric science. Out of college he spent three years at AccuWeather before moving on to television. His television career began in Des Moines before heading to Oklahoma City where he spent 18 years. He currently works for KXAS-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth. He has covered just about every weather phenomenon from tornadoes and hurricanes, to blizzards and ice storms. In 2018, he will take over as chief meteorologist at KXAS becoming only the third chief meteorologist in the station’s history.

2017 Committee/Sponsor Information

Conference Program Committee:

  • Dr. Brian Ancell: Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science, Texas Tech University

  • Colleen Coyle: Meteorologist, WFAA-TV (ABC), Dallas Fort-Worth

  • Melissa Huffman: General Forecaster, National Weather Service, Houston/Galveston WFO

  • Dr. Chris Nowotarski: Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science, Texas A&M University

  • Tim Oram, Meteorological Services Branch Chief, National Weather Service, Southern Region Headquarters

  • Martin Ritchey, Emergency Management Coordinator, Caldwell County

  • Dr. Amanda Schroeder, Hydrologist, National Weather Service, West Gulf River Forecast Center

  • Chikage Windler: Chief Meteorologist, KEYE-TV (CBS), Austin

  • Dr. Zong-Liang Yang: Professor and Director of the Center for Integrated Earth System Science, University of Texas

Conference Host Team (Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service WFO):

  • Trevor Boucher, General Forecaster

  • Nick Hampshire, Lead Forecaster, Co-Chair

  • Dr. Larry Hopper, General Forecaster, Co-Chair

  • Aaron Treadway, Meteorologist

  • Jon Zeitler, Science and Operations Officer

Conference Logistics Team (Texas Floodplain Management Association):

  • Markie Casebier: Executive Office Administrator

  • Selena Mirza: Projects Manager

  • Roy Sedwick, CFM: Executive Director


2017 EM Panelist Information

Jeff Braun

Fort Bend County

Jeff Braun has worked in local government for over 30 years, including service as City Manager in three communities. He was appointed as the Emergency Management Coordinator of Fort Bend County in 2003.

Maribel Martinez

U.S. DOE Pantex Plant

Dr. Maribel Martinez has over 10 years experience in Emergency Management working at the local, state, and national government levels. This includes 6 years as the Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator for the Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management and 3 years within the Consolidated Nuclear Security Pantex Emergency Management and Safeguards and Security where she is currently the Vulnerability Assessments Section Manager and site Meteorologist/Emergency Management support during high weather impact events. Maribel is an IAEM Certified Emergency Manager and graduated from Texas Tech University with a Masters in Atmospheric Science and a doctorate in Wind Science and Engineering.

Martin Ritchey

Caldwell County

Martin Ritchey is Chief of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Coordinator for Caldwell County Texas and serves as Chairman of Capital Area Council of Government’s Homeland Security Task Force. Mr. Ritchey has responded to multiple tornadoes, floods, major fires, commuter and freight rail incidents, commercial aviation accidents, a major bridge collapse, several mass casualty – mass fatality incidents. In the past two years he coordinated three presidentially declared flood disasters and the deadly hot air balloon accident in July of 2016.

Shel Winkley (Moderator)

KBTX, Bryan / College Station

Shel Winkley is the Chief Meteorologist at KBTX in Bryan / College Station, Texas. He has been with the station since 2009, when he started as Morning Meteorologist, and worked prior to that at KFDA in Amarillo (where he was known a "Shotgun Shel"). Shel is a proud member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Ol' Army Class of 2007 and has the honor and opportunity to help out with weather related forecasts & situations for Aggie Athletic events.

Eric Meyers

Navarro County

Emergency Management Coordinator for Navarro County since January of 2000. Navarro County OEM is an ALL VOLUNTEER office within the county. As EMC, we have worked a wide variety of incidents including HAZMAT incidents, wildfires, assistance with LE operations, major sheltering operations, and very specialized incidents, such as the STS107 Columbia Recovery Mission. One of our primary roles is the coordination of all weather related events. We have dealt with every aspect of weather related operations including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, winter weather, and especially flash flooding. Our office is dynamic and fluid to be able to respond, recover, mitigate and plan for the hazards which present themselves to Navarro County.

Steve Rosa

Brazoria County

Steve Rosa currently serves as the Emergency Management Coordinator for Brazoria County. Steve have worked at Brazoria County for 12 years, starting as the Strategic National Stockpile Coordinator in the Bio-Terrorism division of the health department for 3 years. He then accepted the position of Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator and held that position for 3 years. In 2010 he was appointed by County Judge E.J King as the Emergency Management Coordinator. He was reappointed to this position on January 1, 2015 by County Judge L.M. “Matt” Sebesta Jr. Steve is celebrating 39 years of marriage, has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.