Monday, August 22, 2016

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Life Is What You Make It

TRUE STORIES OF REAL STUDENTS WHO LEVERAGED THEIR 
EXPERIENCES IN FOOT'S FORECAST AND BEYOND TO ADVANCE CAREER 
OPPORTUNITIES AND ACHIEVED THE LIFE THEY KNEW WAS POSSIBLE.


Members of our team at Penn State meeting in March 2013


8/22/2016 (Mr. Foot) For the first few years of life, my younger brother and I were fortunate to have my grandparents living right next door. This was in the mid 1970s, in an era before internet memes or buying a poster with an inspirational quote. If you wanted a saying or life message, you had to draw it, carve it, do paint by number or knit it with yarn. 

From as soon as we could read, one of the first decorations in my grandparent's house we saw and learned was a little hand-knit sign in the sitting area. It was the knitted image of a sailing ship, ringed on the border by the Alphabet and the numbers 1-10. 

Under the ship was a simple message: "Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out after it."

In the 12 years of the Foot's Forecast story, you could say that became our unofficial tagline. Dozens and dozens of talented people whom joined our team over the years became the type of go-getter employers and colleges are clamoring to recruit. These students didn't wait for opportunities to come, they went after the future they wanted. 

Below is a sampling of their true life stories. 

He built an online reputation & landed a paid internship and got a job offer before graduating college.


GREG JACKSON, CALIFORNIA UNIV. OF PA
Greg Jackson was a junior at North Carroll High School in Carroll County, MD and wasn't sure how to kick start his life. He played tennis, ran track but was otherwise an unremarkable student. But he had a passion for weather and communicated with the Foot's Forecast team for several years in our website's comments section. 

In December 2009 we reached out to him with an offer to join the team, unsure if he was a student or not. His story since then is one many incredible examples of how students turned an niche opportunity into a life-changing string of successes.


  • In Spring of his high school junior year, Greg (above, left) was offered a paid summer internship at UMBC, working alongside another one of our forecasters, Dakota Smith (above, right) who went on to graduate from Penn State in meteorology.
  • Had a PhD-reviewed research paper ready for college applications BEFORE his senior year;
  • The college recruiter at California Univ of Pennsylvania said in the interview, "I am well aware of your accomplishments online, we have all been following you for over a year in Facebook."
  • Greg was granted a scholarship to Cal U of PA, gained internships at an Environmental firm while at school, and was offered a full time job with the firm upon graduating. 
  • He finsihed with a double major in Environmental Science & Geography and is now employed full-time as an Environmental Scientist at the Potomac-Hudson Engineering Firm in Pittsburgh.
She turned passion into profit to build funds for college, and has already presented at national conferences. 

AMBER LIGGETT, MILLERSVILLE
Amber's story is, just like her company name, truly amazing. Our team first met her in the summer of 2011 while Amber was attending the NOAA-funded Weather Camp program at Howard University. She had just finished her sophomore year in high school near Pittsburgh. Amber joined the team, and got linked up with Greg Jackson once he began attending classes at Cal U. of PA in the same area. 



Amber's Amazing Balloons, the company she started before high school 

Amber presenting at a conference in New Orleans, January 2016

  • As a dedicated member of our Pennsylvania team, Amber took full advantage of opportunities to collaborate with other team members around the state, building contacts at multiple universities. 
  • While operating the Three Rivers forecast page in Facebook and taking classes full time, Amber was also operating her own profit-making venture providing exciting balloon art experiences to children, at birthday parties, public events and more. 
  • In between all this, Amber remained an active forecaster for several years, representing our team at public events and numerous conferences.
In 2013, Amber was accepted to Millersville University, and is now a junior. She has already presented a a Meteorology conference in New Orleans, and is treasurer of her college chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). We are excited to see the next chapter in her amazing story and hope it is an inspiration to others with passion.


To learn more about how you can build internship opportunities like these, visit our "Offers" or "Join Us" tabs above for more information

or contact our Executive Director, Keith Krichinsky for questions: keith.krich@footsforecast.org

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

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Why Is Spring Still On Backorder?


9:15 AM EDT 4/6 - Wondering what is going on with this April chill? For those of us who thought the season would take a sharp turn to Summer, a resurgent period of cold has obviously put those plans on backorder. Long range indications show that traditional warmth expected this time of year looks to remain delayed through at least the middle of April and possibly longer.

This "third-year-in-a-row" delay of Springtime warmth (as similar cold episodes occurred in 2014 and 2015), warranted an investigation of where northern climate indicators stand, as summarized below. See below the text for live-linked images of the cited data.
  • ARCTIC SEA ICE EXTENT: Currently reported near 10 year averages, according to the National Ice Center. We hypothesize this level of sea ice and the higher reflectivity of nearby snow cover is having a dampening effect on surface air temperatures, and thus may be retaining a colder influence on passing High pressure systems. 
  • CANADIAN & NORTH AMERICAN SNOW COVER: This measure of geographical snow extend, as reported in this graphic from the Rutgers University Snow Lab, indicates current snow cover levels as of March 30, 2016 are running slightly higher than 30-year seasonal averages. 
  • GREAT LAKES ICE COVER: An important regional influence on eastern U.S. snowcover is water temperature and ice cover on the Great Lakes. A comparison of present ice cover in 2016 to the previous two years shows interesting differences. The April 2016 lake ice coverage is a minimal 1.1% reported by NOAA, whereas this same time period in 2015 and 2014 showed levels of 37% and 54% respectively.  
ANALYSIS: Less lake ice in 2016, due to a warmer El Nino winter, in concert with cooler Canadian air masses crossing into the U.S. has permits Low pressure systems recently to harness the Lakes as a moisture source for Eastern snowfall. The resulting northeastern U.S. snowcover has in turn created a regional chilling effect on area temperatures, as each passing High pressure system has helped to reinforce the regional cold.  See below the latest snowcover imagery from the NOAA Snow & Ice Data Center and scroll further for live-linked imagery and our conclusion at the end.


ARCTIC SEA ICE EXTENT


NORTH AMERICAN END OF WINTER SNOW COVER
Note: Line of best fit denoted by Rutgers Global Snow Lab 



U.S. & CANADIAN SNOW COVER


GREAT LAKES ICE COVER EXTENT


CONCLUSION: These indicators point to the possibility that until Arctic Sea Ice and corresponding Canadian snow cover shows an appreciable decrease, a continual period of cold and occasional post-Winter snow squalls that may last through end of the monthBelow is the 6-10 day temperature probability outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, indicating in the blue shaded areas a higher probability of below normal temperatures through April 15. 


Monday, March 21, 2016

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Real Spring ...right to Summer or not?

6:00 AM EDT 3/23 - Turning the corner into the next weather pattern, our Long Range Team is evaluating indicators for how this first period of Spring is going to unfold. The investigation centers on these three scenarios for the 30 day period ahead to late April for the Mid-Atlantic. Simply put, does the region face either:
A) A typical Spring pattern of alternating periods warm/cold, dry and rainy? 
B) Prolonged periods of below normal temperatures from a resurgent northern Jet Stream? 
C) Rapid arrival of summer-like conditions with widespread above normal temperatures?    
To best assess these questions, supporting evidence is needed from current status of large scale indicators. This provides a"pulse of the pattern" in order to examine how these indicators may influence local and regional weather in the weeks ahead. The three indicators chosen are 1) Status of EL Nino's decline from the peak; 2) U.S. & Canadian snow cover; 3) Atlantic & Gulf sea surface temperatures. 

Our findings are being posted in each section as the analysis becomes available for review. 

FIRST, THE BIG PICTURE : STATUS OF EL NINO




SECOND: SNOW COVER & ARCTIC TEMPS


A brief comparison of snow cover for this time period between the current El Nino event and the last one of record in 2009-10. Although this particular date in 2016 versus 2010 is just one day in a year-long data set, the intent is to demonstrate the significant differences in snow cover from the most recent moderate El Nino event to the current strong event.



THIRD : SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES