Video Webinar Wind

FIU "WOW" Factor

  • By AMS Staff
  • Dec 3, 2020

Erik Salna, M.S., Associate Director of Education and Outreach, Extreme Events Institute (EEI) and International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC), Florida International University (FIU), Miami, Florida presents on hurricane safety research and innovation at FIU's Wall of Wind.


AMS: Well, good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to our very first further band webinar. We are so excited to have you here. My name is Tiernan and on behalf of AMS and the Weather Band, I'm thrilled to welcome Eric Salna to be our very first webinar presenter.
Eric has had an amazing career not only as a broadcast meteorologist and as an entrepreneur,
But he is now the Associate Director of Education and Outreach at the Extreme Events Institute and the international hurricane Research Center at the Florida International University in Miami, Florida. We are thrilled to have him here today to talk about the WOW! factor at FIU and the Extreme Events education experience. So thank you so much, Eric, for being here. 

Just a couple housekeeping things: if you do have a question during Eric's presentation, please go ahead and put it into the Q & A I will be monitoring that and we will be checking for questions periodically throughout the presentation.
And if you do have any problems with audio or anything like that, feel free to put it in the chat and we'll do our best to address any technical issues. So with that said, I'll hand it over to you, Eric.

Erik Salna: Well, thank you, Tiernan. Thank you very much, and good afternoon everyone.
Very happy to be here today and have the pleasure and the honor of being part of the AMS, the new AMS Weather Band and I'm kicking it off with the first webinar for this whole new initiative.
Boy, that's a pretty exciting and very exciting for me to be here today to be a part of all of this, and I see a great future for this Weather Band because it's going to bring in folks from all all professions and weather enthusiasts, just like me and many others out there to talk weather and to talk research and to talk the wonders of weather that got us all interested to get into the science of meteorology. So with that in mind, I'm just going to kick it off with just a brief Weather Briefing if you will 
And I'll go ahead and share my screen here, and hopefully we can get this to work. Here we go. And let's do this. And oh okay so all right, Tony, can you see my satellite loop there.

AMS: Yes. Looks great.

Erik Salna: Alright. Awesome. Well, we're going to start with our visible satellites showing weather across the entire United States here today because we're going to talk a lot about weather topics here today. And so I thought, let's start off with the weather briefing. We just had the Thanksgiving holiday and now we're moving into the month of December and moving into the winter season. 
So what's happening out there? Now, what we can see the western half of the country is pretty cloud free with areas of high pressure there. But notice in the mid section of the country and along the Deep South. We have lots of clouds, and that's a storm system that's now going to be moving off to the northeast and spreading a variety of mixed precipitation rain and sleet and eventually snow into parts of the Northeast. 

Down here in Florida, we finally had our first strong cold front end. We had some chilly temperatures, Florida style anyway, in the upper 40s into the low 50s. But now we're saying just beautiful weather in the 70s with low humidity. So looking really nice here now. 

So, okay, I'm going to now go back into my share. And now let's go into my PowerPoint and start that. All right, now let me go ahead and make a switch here on the display.

Erik Salna: Okay, how's it looking here. Do we have my first slide full screen?

AMS: Yes. The full screen looks good.

Erik Salna: All right, great. Thank you. Alright, so let's kick into the WOW! factor and many things to talk about when we think about FIU and what we're doing there, and with our research. So first of all, I'm going to kick it off again with my contact information. I'll show it again at the end of my presentation, my email is [email protected] and of course I'm with the Extreme Events Institute in Florida International University, so you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter as well.

So kicking it off with first this family picture. This goes way, way back when I was just a little kid back in the 1960s and pointed out, there's, there I am. Grew up in the Chicago suburb of Monday line where we had all four seasons of the weather. And it's interesting, I think, as a meteorologist for many of us. We got bitten by that weather bug when we were at that very young age because of the variety of weather, especially with the change of seasons throughout the country.

So a big event happened, and there was a lightning bolt that hit a big tree right outside my window and scared me to death. But that initial fear grew into a curiosity and then into a passion for weather and I know there are weather enthusiasts all over the place that have an interest in weather they didn't necessarily get into the weather profession or as a meteorologist. But they really love weather and they love learning about it and are fascinated by it. And of course, I took that curiosity which became a passion in my heart.

And said, Okay, I've got a dream to be a meteorologist, so I did the hard work and made that dream come true. And of course as I talked to the kids all the time. We talked about STEM careers and to be a meteorologist involve science, technology, engineering and math. Which isn't always easy, but I always tell the kids work hard, study hard get extra help, and you get into us get into can get into a STEM career field as well, including meteorology.

Another early childhood influence I had was the Apollo space program. And for me growing up in the schools, way back then they used to wheel out, believe it or not, they have black and white televisions into our classrooms to watch the rocket launches from Cape Canaveral here in Florida. And for us to get to the moon was so inspirational. And how did we do that, how could we do that with the technology back then.

That had an influence for me going into science and it was a fascinating time for the United States. And now, as you know, we're going back to the moon again. And another early childhood experience. How many times have you watched the movie Wizard of Oz and that tornado in The Wizard of Oz was so captivating so watching that movie, seeing that tornado and then learning afterwards. It's really interesting to learn about how did they create that tornado in that movie.

Where they don't have the special effects of today, like they did with the making of the movie Twister. So read how they made the Tornado in the Wizard of Oz vs Twister. It's fascinating on the technology and how they got it done.

Well as Terry mentioned I had many years in television broadcasting over 25 years and I still freelance. I've been doing some of that here in South Florida but be I left full time TV to go into more weather education and research and that's where I'm at now at Florida International University at the Extreme Events Institute and the International Hurricane Research Center where we do a variety of Hazards research and it focuses primarily on hurricanes, but includes others as well. We have what's called the disaster risk and resilience in the Americas program, where we talk about disaster risk reduction and how we can make that and move that in many countries outside of the United States, and especially in the Caribbean and Central America.

Now the Florida public hurricane loss model, is a model that predicts what the cost of a hurricane might be after it makes landfall. And then, of course, a storm surge model we're working on and collaborating with the National Hurricane Center. And I want to say that we're also weather Ready Nation ambassador. So if you're not aware of this program, go ahead and go to the National Weather Service weather Ready Nation. And if you're doing activities related to making the country more resilient, you could become a weather Ready Nation Ambassador as well. 

And right on our campus is the National Hurricane Center. Co-located with the National Weather Service Miami office so it makes it really convenient when it comes to collaboration and partnership.
We also did create a Spanish language hurricane information website. So if you want to use that as a resource, it is there for you to compliment the information at the National Hurricane Center puts out

So speaking of hurricanes. Boy, what a hurricane season. We had a history-making hurricane season and technically it's over as of November 30 but there still could be something that maybe might develop here through the month of December, we shall see.

But certainly it's been active up to this point and various parts of the season just are just really, really interesting in terms of how many people in communities were affected by storms. This map here is just showing you the many coastal areas that saw Tropical Storm force winds even hurricane force winds with the many landfalls that we saw across the country. And of course, you know, we ran out of names we hadn't done that since 2005 and we had to go into the Greek alphabet. And it's got as far as iota. We hope we don't go much farther than that at all. But certainly, historical and you may have seen this picture already where NOAA put all the pictures of all the systems together and just showed how active this season has been

So when you look at the numbers 30 named storms 12 storms hit the US coastline. We had six major storms, we had
five storms reach go through rapid intensification which we know thanks to the Hurricane Hunters. We can't thank them enough for the huge number of missions that they flew into the storms. Also there was use of some new technology like the NOAA underwater hurricane gliders so it's really fascinating when we think about where our knowledge and understanding of hurricanes is going with some of this new new technology that's starting to be used.

And of course, when we talk about hurricane season still lots of education and outreach related to the forecast cone. What does it mean, and what does it not mean - what can it can be used for and where you can get information and first of all how you create it. 
Well, it's done, as you may know, through a variety of hurricane models to try and predict the track. There's models and also try and predict the intensity. But the focus is that track and then they encircle all those tracks and create the cone. So the cone is talking about where it might be at a certain place in time geographically speaking and it will show you the predicted intensity, but it doesn't talk about all the hazards, which is what we really need to be prepared for.

So that's why beyond the cone, you have to go to the National Hurricane Center and then National Weather Service to look at more specific graphics of information showing you where the strongest winds will be, the timeline of the winds storm surge and heavy rainfall. Of course storm surge water kills more than the wind. Wind is important, but the water is something we have to be very, very careful and prepared for. And that's why in the last few years, the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center have been issuing storm surge watches and warnings to put that emphasis on the danger of the water.

And whenever there's a severe weather event in your local community, don't forget your local National Weather Service office. So when a hurricane threatened South Florida, we turned for specific local information to our local National Weather Service Miami office so make your local, National Weather Service office a favorite in your browser. Then when it becomes where you go to get weather information. There's lots of great weather sites out there to do that, but certainly your local National Weather Service office is key and for us in South Florida. They'll be the ones to show us specifically with graphics where the weather hazards will be and how they'll affect our area.

So to get that information for the models and predict where that storm is going to go, we can't forget the Hurricane Hunters. Another fascinating story in the science of meteorology. What a story, they have and what a mission that they have as well. We have the newer Hurricane Hunters. And then we have the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters where they literally, as we know, fly into the eye of the storm and as you talk to the pilots of these missions.
Very exciting flights and the turbulence that they experience is is as I sometimes relate to our a roller coaster. When I talk to the kids. So it's a fascinating story, but it's also data that we absolutely need and we have the P3 aircraft in the background. And we have the G for jet which pies at high altitudes to get that data.
And once they get into the storm, they need to get information close to the center through the storm. And we do that through that instrument package called the dropsonde. And that was happening throughout this entire hurricane season to help us get that data on where the storm is 

And of course we now also used drones. And that's a new area of research, how well can drones, which will fly at low altitudes, as opposed to the higher altitudes to get data to help us with forecasting. And it's amazing when you look at these pictures of what they see when they make it through that eye wall and there's the eye.

A hurricane is fascinating to look at from a meteorological aspect and certainly also, it has big impacts when it approaches a community and we have to be prepared. But for the science of how these form and how they intensify, research still going on. In conjunction with the Hurricane Hunters education outreach we've been part of the NOAA hurricane awareness tour where they take their hurricane aircraft and the National Hurricane Center and their team.

Every year it goes either along the Gulf Coast or the East Coast and then they go into the Caribbean to bring all this information and outreach and education to the public to get them ready and to actually show you the aircraft and you get to talk to the pilots as well.

So at this point, after what we've seen with this hurricane season and the education and research that's still going on, we take a pause for a moment and we have to realize that this these storms when they're out in the ocean is one thing, but when they make landfall they affect people's lives, their homes, their businesses.

We can't ever forget that. And so many folks were affected this hurricane season.

We have just gone through a period of Thanksgiving. All of us here in the United States, but it's a time also where all of us can can consider donating to the many nonprofits that are doing relief efforts, not only in the United States, but in Central America as well. And they were so hard hit. So we think of them and keep thinking of them as they recover.

Erik Salna: Okay, Tony, how we doing.. Anything pop up as far as the question at this point, or are we good to go?

AMS: We've got two questions actually.
The first one is about the NOAA underwater gliders. There is a request for more information on what they measure and how they are used.

Erik Salna: That's a great question, and I have to do more research on that myself. I know they employed some, they're using some, and obviously they're an instrument package, different from the dropsonde which follows from the aircraft through the atmosphere down to the ocean. Well, now we want to find out what what's happening with the waters in the environment where the storm is going to come. So a big part of that, of course, is going to be ocean temperatures. So they're going to look at ocean temperatures which are a hurricane ingredient - warm ocean temperatures help fuel a developing a system. But beyond that, how much, and how well they've worked and how much more they're going to be used, I'm not sure. I'm sure they got information this year and then we'll start to then publish some of that information, but at this point you can go ahead and look up the NOAA site and Google the the underwater gliders to learn more.

AMS: Great, thank you. I will drop the link for that that page into the Q & A as well. 
And then the second question is: Have you been on one of the Hurricane Hunter flights. And were there any scary moments?

Erik Salna: I myself, personally, I've been on a couple of reconnaissance flights in the C130 and actually on the NOAA hurricane awareness tour. So I've been on the aircraft: The P3, the G4, but never have flown one actually into a real hurricane into the eye of the storm. But let me tell you, I've talked to many people who have and the pilots who have, and their stories are riveting when you hear about their approach to that eye wall and the turbulence that they experience and then having to fly that aircraft through that storm to get to the eye: all of them have tremendous stories on what that's like. 
And we can't thank them enough for the missions that they do.

AMS: Great. And those are the questions.

Erik Salna: All right. Awesome. Thank you.
I will say, my very first job was actually cloud seeding over Greece, and we were flying into developing showers, which would become thunderstorms. And so we were flying small size aircraft into those developing cumulonimbus clouds. So I have experienced firsthand the turbulence and the updrafts and the downdrafts of a developing storm system in a small size aircraft and you can imagine I got tossed around pretty well compared to the larger C 130s or the P3 and so having a taste of that updraft and downdraft was certainly unforgettable. 
You learn about it in the book, but when you get into the cloud and actually feel it, you never forget it.

Alright, so now I have a question here. Are there are natural disasters occurring around the world?
So when you think about that, you may think that the natural answer might be yes. But I'm here to tell you today that the answer is no. And what do I mean by that?

Well, part of the work that we do at the Extreme Events Institute is that we talk about the fact that there are natural hazards occurring all the time. But they only become disasters when they collide with the human physical or economic systems. So what that means is we've always had hurricanes. But now when they run into towns and cities, that's when we come into that collision.
So the term natural disaster puts too much blame on nature and not enough on how and where we have built our communities and how we've created our own exposures and vulnerabilities.

By blaming this disaster on Mother Nature, decision makers are off the hook for being responsible for the vulnerabilities in their community. So it fosters the idea that no matter what decisions are taken by local policymakers, it would happen anyway. But guess what: we can do something and we should do something. And that's a big part of the research that we do at the Extreme Events Institute and when you go to our website, front and center, you'll see the hazard risk equation: 
On the left, it says EmR/DR/CatR = and on the right we have H + Ex x V
On the left hand side: Is it an Emergency / Disaster / or Catastrophe?
And that depends on H, the hazard. 
But on the right side, Ex references exposure: How many buildings and people are in harm's way, and then V is for vulnerabilities, for building practices and building codes, local decision making, preparedness. All those can determine how bad that event will be in that community. 

So for example, if we use that equation in Florida. Let's take the H from the equation and it's hurricane Irma
And Irma came up through the Keys and then into Florida and we look at Florida. First of all, the Florida population and the density of population and how it's grown so much from 1950 to 2015 and beyond. And most of that population is right along the coasts. So there's your exposure.

In terms of housing, there's been a dramatic increasing of housing across the entire state. So now more buildings in harm's way. And now you bring in the V, the vulnerability part with building codes. So this is an example after Irma we see in the Florida Keys that building in the center was built to the 2014 building code and the homes on either side were built to an older building code.

So this just shows you how we have made progress. We know how to build stronger, build better through enhanced building codes. Florida, especially South Florida, has the strongest codes in the nation, but it's the goal to make them strong all across the country.

So again, it's another way to have this conversation about natural hazards and how they can affect the community because it's all about that keyword now "resilience," and with climate change issues and more extreme events, we have to stop the spin cycle of damage and rebuild, damage and rebuild in the same place or the same way. We have to do things in a better way. So that brings in wind engineering, which is all about what we do at FIU with what we call the wall of wind. 

This is a facility at FIU where we can create up to Category five hurricane conditions and the whole purpose is, is we build structures and test them in a hurricane force wind situation. 

We've done outreach with the wall of wind, we've created a small exhibit that we have in our local site science museum, so we can teach these topics to moms and dads and kids as well. And we also have a really cool Wall of Wind mitigation challenge where we have high school teams compete. They build their own structures and test them in the Wall of Wind. So at this point, we're going to play a video where you're going to learn more about the wall of wind

Video Narration: 
The Wall of Wind, a facility at FIU which we call the WOW, is the largest and most powerful hurricane Simulation Facility in a university setting that can simulate Category five hurricane wind; the highest rating on the saffir Simpson hurricane scale.

Dr. Arindam Chowdhury:
The wall of wind allows for wind loading experiments on various structures at multiple scales. And because it is an open facility, it is capable of doing destructive testing on structures to study their failure and collapse moments without the risk of damaging the wind tunnel.

The wall can do holistic system level testing. That means we can test structures with the confidence and connections as integral part of those structures. And study the system level performance. We can also look at wind and rain intrusion into actual building envelopes and we can study progressive damage of the system.
So this is a new way of looking at hurricane impacts on building systems because building envelopes are one of the most vulnerable elements in hurricanes.

Roy Liu-Marques: 
Here in the control room for the Wall of Wind we can monitor a lot of the systems that are part of the Wall of Wind. And we can also control them. We can control our pressure scanning systems, wind speed measurement devices, load cells, force balances, transducers, and a lot of other instruments that we have available in this facility. We also have a system with high definition cameras that we can see over here and record when a part of the model failed and how it fails. 

Walter Conklin:
Our safety program includes personnel safety which includes trainings through the environmental health and safety department within Florida International University. It also includes safety protocol to ensure the safety of all equipment within the Wall of Wind. 

Dr. Peter Irwin: 
The wall of wind is a very versatile wind testing facility. It can test up to speeds that are equivalent to Category five hurricane speeds. One hundred and 60 miles an hour. And it also simulates the wind profile and turbulence of natural winds very well. So we have already tested and we will continue to test a wide variety of different research projects in this facility. For example, we have tested full scale systems for roofing like standing seam metal roofs, roof paving system, tiles, shingles, and so on.
These can be tested essentially at full scale and it allows us to look at the way the whole system performs under wind loading as well as its interaction with the wind loading. So that's a very important role of this facility.

We also have been developing techniques that are applicable to smaller structures, which we call partial turbulence simulation. This allows us to approach relatively large scale models in the facility and we combine the test data with other analysis and computational methods to give us predictions that include all the big scale turbulence that we may not be able to include at that scale in this facility. We've done testing related to the transportation industry.

One example would be variable signs. We've done a project here with a PhD student, whereby we've refined the arithmetic coefficients used in the astro code and the gust factors and we've looked at the phenomena of vortex shedding and galloping which could cause vibrations of these structures at high wind speeds. This is another example of the application of this kind of facility. 

Dr. Ioannis Zisis: 
One of the most important aspects of wind engineering research is related to the codification of professional research findings. So here in the Wall of Wind we test small large and full scale models in order to extract those important information that we can use in order to enhance current building codes and wind standards. The codification process in these types of studies has a direct impact on people's safety and economic development of our community.

Dr. Laird Kramer
So the STEM Transmission Institute makes use of this classroom to allow students to learn about their sciences in the classroom as scientists. In this case, this is a bridge between the Wall of Wind and students learning in the classroom. So brings the wall of wind straight into this classroom where students are going to learn about it through this active learning process 

Dr. Arindam Chowdhury
Wall of Wind was used to develop and validate various innovative mitigation techniques for lessening hurricanes impacts on structures. One example is the validation of the aero edge which are edge devices that can be put on the roof to reduce the wind uplift damage on roof components.This product was developed by the industry partner of the wall of wind and has been patented. Wall of Wind has proved to be a multi user research infrastructure both for national and international researchers

Video Narrator:
The vision of the Wall of Wind facility is to significantly advance the state of the art in wind engineering research and education and to impart resiliency and sustainability to new and existing buildings, planning systems and lifeline infrastructure so as to prevent wind hazards from becoming disasters.

New Video

Erik Salna: This, in addition to what you saw, is a new product that's being created at FIU. 
We see those turbines on the right hand side, on the left hand side there's no turbines, it's gravel that gets scoured out. That's what happens during hurricane force winds. 
On the right hand side, those turbines limit the amount of scouring so therefore limits the damage on that rooftop
And at the same time those turbines can produce electricity. So it's a green technology and also helping to prevent damage. Some innovative products being developed at FIU.

Alright, here's another video no sound on this one. So I'll just voiceover it and it has to do with the media team that came to FIU. And they wanted to see a structure destroyed and we said, well, okay, we understand that. But we want to show you how not have your home get destroyed. So we want a teachable moment. So the media team came and we created a very special structure.

One side was mitigated against hurricane force winds and one was not. You can see it there and we left out some typical household items that you would see. And here's what we call the strong side of the structure with metal hurricane shutters on the openings. And we had hurricane straps holding down the roof and the other side. No shutters and no roof tie downs. And so we hit the strong side first with up to Category four wins and no failure.
All for less than $250 and materials. 

Now we spun the structure around where there was no mitigation and we didn't have the roof tie downs and watch what happens. Catastrophic failure! Huge night and day difference. 

Watch that roof.

Went airborne out the building. Flying debris everywhere. 

So you can imagine what happens in a community being affected by a major hurricane, and you have older structures starting to blow apart and that flying debris starts going everywhere.

So this illustration really showed you how we can build stronger structures and look how far that roof flew. Over 200 feet and landed up against our debris wall to catch the big debris that comes outside the building.

So we've learned over time roof shapes, some are better than others when it comes to hurricane force winds. So you have a flat roof a hip roof and Gable roof. Well, which one is the best in a hurricane force wind? Well, it's the hip roof because it's more aerodynamic, the way the wind goes up and over. In new construction then, well you use hip roof construction, especially in Hurricane communities to be more aerodynamic because there's all kinds of pressure forces going on that building as the wind blows across it, positive and negative forces that work on the walls and then the openings and the roof. 

So as I said, How do we hold that roof down well? Especially here in Florida, you go in your attic, you're going to see all those metal hurricane straps, which are required to hold that roof and and add so much strength integrity to the overall home. Another weak area to it to fortify is the garage door. Typically, the largest opening in any home. But if that fails that stresses the roof so you can improve and have code approved garage doors that are stronger against wind and flying debris.

Because flying debris. Look at this. These are pictures from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico of flying debris piercing right through palm trees. So that's what we need to protect our homes and businesses from. So we have to use shutters and I always, always ask the students what is stronger: plywood or metal?

And of course metal is stronger than plywood. Plywood has been used, is still used, but it can be very difficult to employ and to put up, whereas the metal shutter can be more secure and stronger against that flying debris. And something we don't want to use is tape. For many years, we've used tape. And unfortunately, there still some tape being used today, but that's old education. We have new education basically saying tape does nothing. Don't use tape and try to protect a window.

And we've learned that, thanks to the Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety, that prior to a major storm. One more thing you can do is close all the interior doors within your home, from the closets to the bedrooms to the laundry room wherever those interior doors are it's one last thing you could do before as a major storm hits. 

And what homeowners can do anywhere in the country is to get a wind mitigation inspection to determine how strong is my home. And depending on the year it was built in and the materials that were used, you get a scorecard so that mitigation scorecard can tell you now okay if I do this, this and this, then I will then have a stronger home.

And I showed you the National Hurricane Center on the campus of FIU before. I'm showing it to you again but now we're going to look at it differently with a question. What building material was used? 

And it's obviously concrete. We don't want the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center blowing away when they're trying to forecast the storms during the hurricane season. So it's a very resilient building built strong obviously to withstand a strong wind
So for every dollar we spend on mitigation, it saves at least $6 on damage and cleanup.

And that's the whole point: we have to move in this direction of being more resilient and come up with better ways to construct and where we construct and how we construct so we don't have this cost after every major natural hazard event. This is a famous picture of a home that was mitigated in the upper Texas coast near Houston showing mitigation can work.

And then a little story: When my wife and I, Jane went home shopping here in South Florida. Well, for all of us as consumers, how do you go shopping for a home? Well, my wife wanted to know about the granite countertops in the walk in closets and the new appliances. Well, me, Mr. Mitigation meteorologist, I wanted to know is it a hip roof, does it have shutters, is there a CBS concrete construction because that'll make it stronger.

So it's another message. We're trying to get out into the community for all of us as consumers, and how to think about hazards in any area, when we may be buying a home.

All right, so we were part of a really cool documentary that we put together on resilience across the world. The whole topic is resilience and this is just a trailer for that film.

Video Narrator: Around the world disasters are on the increase.
In the past 10 years earthquakes, heatwaves, floods, hurricanes, fires and volcanoes have killed over a million people affected another 2 billion and close to $4.5 trillion damage.

I just never saw that much water this street was probably this high.

The first words. I said, were Oh, my God. Everybody's dead. There was just nobody nobody coming out.

This is where our house used to be
That's what washed our house away

Narrator: Our homes are where we look for shelter. But when a disaster strikes. We're on the front line.

If you think your house is safe, think again.
-My house was destroyed by the flood-
We're going to reveal the hidden risks and ask, is your home built to last.

Building codes are critically important to life safety and property protection.

The public -they need to be asking these questions of the builder - Why won't you build a home that will survive?

It's either pay a little more now or pay a hell of a lot more later. 
We're going to discover how you can make your home safer.
Disasters are not natural. Nature provides events, but we provide the vulnerabilities that take a natural event and make it into disaster or worse, into a catastrophe.

Erik Salna: So that documentary is called built to last. And if anyone wants more information with regards to that document or you can go to the built to last a website or contact me as well if you want to actually show the program even on a TV station.
Well, this summer, we put together a great series, a 12 part series on all these topics I just talked about. And it's called eye of the storm. So if you want to learn more. We have this 12 part education video series.

Go to Eye of the Storm at the Museum of Discovery and Science

And what's really cool is it's not just the science. We talked to the experts and talked about their careers as STEM careers, for example, Ken Graham, the director of the Hurricane Center. We talked to him about why he became a meteorologist. Shirley Barrish who flies into the actual hurricanes as a NOAA hurricane researcher and why did she become a meteorologist. So we talked to the experts and have them talk about their STEM career in addition to the science.

So kicking off the AMS weather band. I know it's about weather here on the planet Earth. And of course, we want to do what we can to be good stewards of this earth moving forward and learning about the science, mitigation and preparedness and being more resilient.
But on the topic of weather, I call it the wonders of weather - there are so many things that got us interested in weather and there's more research being done. So this is where I want to kind of just maybe be the bridge moving forward to all the other webinars on this brand new AMS Weather Band and just getting into various topics and wonders of weather and really where are we headed with research and knowledge and just talking about these phenomena and visuals that are just incredible: mammatus clouds at sunset. Lightning. This was a recent picture that was taken, where the lightning looks like a tree with the lightning pointing upward. 

We have those sprites that come out of the top of thunderstorms, which are still doing research on another fascinating area of weather. And who doesn't love a great sunset. Or sunrise and the change of colors as the sun sets. And of course, we saw the purple skies after some of the hurricanes coming through how the sunlight was then reflected on refracted and recreated a purple hue to the sky.

And a few visits across the country to experience, weather, if you haven't been there yet. I'll never forget going in the Mount Washington Observatory. Where I climbed to the top of that crow's nest. There I am. And that was at that facility where they measured that 231 mile per hour winds. So if you've never been there. It's a great place to experience and learn about extreme wind and of course at the Museum of Science in Boston, the Theater of electricity learning about lightning and seeing the big giant van der graaf generator. The big theater show that they put on and many science museums across the country have science weather exhibits, but certainly this is one of the best, and I know all the folks at AMS in Boston have probably seen that theater of electricity. It's an amazing show.

And of course, I'm very interested in moving forward, how we can take some of this new mixed reality augmented reality and virtual reality and how we can now visualize those things with all of us to experience it, and then be empowered to be prepared and be more educated

And of course, it's the Christmas season. So just wanted to kind of end up with a few closing thoughts on gifts for the Christmas season weather related gifts. So who wouldn't want a brand spanking shiny new barometer? And then of course you can have the weather radio. So, very important. But then you can have a little fun. In the lower left hand is what we call the weather rock or the weather stone.
And of course, I actually have one of these weather houses to the Bavarian whether house where the man or the woman comes out to let you know if it's going to rain or not. So there's some fun things out there.

So from Miami Fort Lauderdale South Florida, I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays. And this was an actual cloud that formed off the beach that kind of looks like a Christmas tree. So I'll finish with that.
I think that there's my contact information to learn more about anything, I may have talked about. 
Alright, that concludes my presentation. At this point, we can have more conversation and answer any questions.

AMS: Great. Thank you so much, Eric, and we did have two more questions in the Q & A section. And the first is, is the work done using the Wall of Wind applied to the impacts of tornadic winds on structures. Or is it primarily focused on hurricane impacts?

Erik Salna: That's a great question. The wall of wind focused actually on hurricane force winds. And so the way the wind environment was constructed in the flow management was to mimic what a hurricane wind is like as it moves through a community. So that's the focus of how we designed the wall of wind. However, there are research facilities in other parts of the country that are doing great work, and in the line of tornado research using tornado chambers. You can think of Texas Tech. You can think of Iowa State and then also up in Canada. It's called the Windy Dome. There they have all their fans in a circular pattern to kind of create that circular vortex flow of the wind to mimic more of a cyclonic flow or a tornadic flow.

So we're mainly focused focused on hurricanes. Now, but we are going to be enhancing our system in the future. And when we do, we'll let everybody know about it.

AMS: All right, and then the, the second question here: have the media asked to stand in front of the wall of wind? I'm not sure all the media appreciate their risk they face and covering hurricanes and real time.

Erik Salna: You know, that's a great point and a great talking point, if you will. First of all, we get media requests all the time to come to the wall of wind. And I give a many of those media tours; we get media from around the world that want to come and see and learn about the wall of wind. And yes, many times they ask if they can stand in front of the wall of when you feel that force. And unfortunately, the answer is always, no, we cannot allow that because of the danger involved. So they can videotape it and we provide video and so on and so forth. Unless they come in and want to be part of a special project that's where we develop a structure with the media, but we can't put people in front of the wall of wind.

The second part of that question having to do with media in general, covering hurricanes and we know that's being done today and many places, and it's absolutely it's video that people are drawn to. They're watching they're seeing how bad it is trying to communicate the message. That's why people have to evacuate. They have to be in their safe place, and certainly media takes all the precautions as many as they can to be safe it during those circumstances, but it's, it is a hazard. It's a hazardous time when a storm is coming in and they have to be so very, very careful not to get hurt when they're trying to show us that live video of any storm event.

AMS: That's great. Thank you so much. It looks like that is all the questions that we have. We also had a thank you and the Q&A. So I wanted to pass that along: A great talk. Thank you for giving it!

I will second that with a rousing thank you so much for kicking off our weather band webinar series. This has been an incredible presentation and we really appreciate you doing this for us.

Erik Salna: Oh, you're very, very welcome; it's it's been a pleasure. It was an honor to be asked to be a part of this new Project with the AMS Weather Band. And as I said in the beginning, and I hope now this is now this is we know it's just the beginning. And that in terms of great speakers following after me, bringing their knowledge, their education, their excitement their conversation to the science of meteorology and the water and climate issues. How exciting and to be a place where we can have those conversations in a way that you know all of us can then be a part of and and in our community and what can we do to help maybe make things safer in our community and be more prepared. So having now being the first to now be that lead person to hand it off to the many great speakers coming up after me, I can't wait to see the really cool and fun stuff, if you will, when it comes to the AMS weather band and what everyone's going to be seeing in the future, and of course you have to stay tuned for next week's speaker, which is, he's totally awesome, Bob Henson and what he'll be able to talk about next week, so stay tuned for that.

AMS: Thank you so much, Eric. We are very excited that you kicked us off here and are pointing forward to so many more great events to come. But again, just thank you for for highlighting this opening and for giving such a great kickoff here. Our next webinar will be on December 10 at the same time 3pm eastern time With Bob Henson, and you can find more information about that on the website. I'm just going to drop the link in the chat here for anyone who's interested. But really, Eric, thank you again so much for this wonderful talk. And this will be available for Weather Band members to view later, so spread the word and share with your friends and Erik, hopefully we can have you back to talk more about the innovations, as they continue with the wall of wind

Erik Salna: Thank you very much. My pleasure. Again, this was great. So Happy holidays to everyone as well and we'll see you again soon.

AMS: Thanks, everybody, and take care