Sunday, April 25, 2004


4/25 AFTERNOON COMMENT:
"Everybody's working for the weekend."

- Unknown artist

It's getting to be that time of year... beware STATIONARY FRONT MONTH.

THE FORECAST FOR THIS COMING WEEK (valid for PA and MD)

Monday - Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Cool, highs below 70.

Tuesday - Scattered showers and storms continue. Cooler, highs in mid 60's. Even cooler at night. Isolated frost in northern areas.

Wednesday - Clearing but windy. Highs mid 60's.

Thursday begins another nice stretch of SUPERDUPER weather. Clear and getting warmer each day. Highs around 75 to start, then touching 80 or more by the weekend.

ANALYSIS OF THE WEATHER PATTERN WE HOPE TO AVOID

Although I personally enjoy May as one of my favorite months, ranking high with July, October and February, it can also be a wickedly brutal month when it comes to rain.

This is the time period when the atmosphere is making final adjustments out of the winter mode and into summer mode. So May is often a preview of the summer ahead. If we get into a situation like what is coming this week... with persistent cool and rain for several days, there will be a backlash of hot weather in June and July. Hence a hot summer.

Examples of "backlash" weather:

May 1988 - Mid Atlantic grumbled under 3 weeks of continual rain and dampness.
Result - Hottest summer on record followed. 25 days in a row of 90 F plus in Philadelphia.

Jan-May 1989 - abnormally warm winter and spring limited snowfall in Pennsylvania.
Result - Long period of rainy, unseasonably cool weather dominated the summer. On June 21 in Baltimore, the temp did not top 60 F!

May 1993 - Cool but sunny weather prevailed most of the month.
Result - Extreme early summer heat on east coast. Early July temps reached 100 in DC-PHL corridor.

So let's home that everything stays nice and balanced... no big wild swings in temperature. No huge heat spells, no radical cold snaps. Everybody just stay calm, breath deeply, relax. Let's just stay around 70 degrees, a few days of rain here, a few days of sun here. If we can accomplish that, we'll have a nice easy slide into summer without the weather pattern being careened into a see-saw effect, with one month counter-acting for discrepancies in a previous month.

It's all about the quota system. There is a certain amount of cold that must run it's course this time of year. Then the warmth takes over. Problems begin when the cold weather stays longer than it is supposed to, which creates delays in the onset of warm weather, which will either intensify the warmth when it arrives, or extend it out longer than necessary. This in turn affects the onset of cold weather in the fall...
you get the idea.

SCIENCE LOVERS PROGRAMMING NOTE:

This Sunday, May 2 and Monday, May 3 will be the showing of an NBC special: "10.5"
Time is 9-11PM Eastern Time both nights. This is the media's depiction of what a catastrophic earthquake would do to the West Coast. It promises to be a visually stunning, emotionally depressing event. As a scientist however, I am eagerly anticipating this show to see how accurately NBC portrays FEMA, USGS and Earthquake science.

Interestingly enough, some Earthquake researchers have predicted a high probabililty of "The Big One" to hit southern California between now and September 5 of this year.

So I hope you can see this show, and learn yet another reason why I prefer the East Coast over the West Coast. Here, we only have destructive hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards.



4/25 AFTERNOON COMMENT:
"Everybody's working for the weekend."

- Unknown artist

It's getting to be that time of year... beware STATIONARY FRONT MONTH.

THE FORECAST FOR THIS COMING WEEK (valid for PA and MD)

Monday - Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Cool, highs below 70.

Tuesday - Scattered showers and storms continue. Cooler, highs in mid 60's. Even cooler at night. Isolated frost in northern areas.

Wednesday - Clearing but windy. Highs mid 60's.

Thursday begins another nice stretch of SUPERDUPER weather. Clear and getting warmer each day. Highs around 75 to start, then touching 80 or more by the weekend.

ANALYSIS OF THE WEATHER PATTERN WE HOPE TO AVOID

Although I personally enjoy May as one of my favorite months, ranking high with July, October and February, it can also be a wickedly brutal month when it comes to rain.

This is the time period when the atmosphere is making final adjustments out of the winter mode and into summer mode. So May is often a preview of the summer ahead. If we get into a situation like what is coming this week... with persistent cool and rain for several days, there will be a backlash of hot weather in June and July. Hence a hot summer.

Examples of "backlash" weather:

May 1988 - Mid Atlantic grumbled under 3 weeks of continual rain and dampness.
Result - Hottest summer on record followed. 25 days in a row of 90 F plus in Philadelphia.

Jan-May 1989 - abnormally warm winter and spring limited snowfall in Pennsylvania.
Result - Long period of rainy, unseasonably cool weather dominated the summer. On June 21 in Baltimore, the temp did not top 60 F!

May 1993 - Cool but sunny weather prevailed most of the month.
Result - Extreme early summer heat on east coast. Early July temps reached 100 in DC-PHL corridor.

So let's home that everything stays nice and balanced... no big wild swings in temperature. No huge heat spells, no radical cold snaps. Everybody just stay calm, breath deeply, relax. Let's just stay around 70 degrees, a few days of rain here, a few days of sun here. If we can accomplish that, we'll have a nice easy slide into summer without the weather pattern being careened into a see-saw effect, with one month counter-acting for discrepancies in a previous month.

It's all about the quota system. There is a certain amount of cold that must run it's course this time of year. Then the warmth takes over. Problems begin when the cold weather stays longer than it is supposed to, which creates delays in the onset of warm weather, which will either intensify the warmth when it arrives, or extend it out longer than necessary. This in turn affects the onset of cold weather in the fall...
you get the idea.

Science lovers programming note:

This Sunday, May 2 and Monday, May 3 will be the showing of an NBC special: "10.5"
Time is 9-11PM Eastern Time both nights. This is the media's depiction of what a catastrophic earthquake would do to the West Coast. It promises to be a visually stunning, emotionally depressing event. As a scientist however, I am eagerly anticipating this show to see how accurately NBC portrays FEMA, USGS and Earthquake science.

Interestingly enough, some Earthquake researchers have predicted a high probabililty of "The Big One" to hit southern California between now and September 5 of this year.

So I hope you can see this show, and learn yet another reason why I prefer the East Coast over the West Coast. Here, we only have destructive hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards.


Monday, April 19, 2004

4/19 EVENING COMMENT:
The heat is on... the heat is on--hon. The heat is on, tell me can you feel it, tell me can you feel it..
the heat is..... ON."

- Glenn Fry, thanks to alert reader Lee S. from Altoona

That's an understatement for today. You knew that after last week, summer would do this instant appearance anyway. But the string of nice sunny days will temporarily come to an end. There is a weak cold fron moving through the Northeast tonight. It will deliver a few isolated thunderstorms in northern Baltimore County, the Lancaster-Harrisburg area, and a few might get as far as Chester County, PA.

In it's wake, Tuesday-Wednesday will be cooler, but still in the 70's. As we approach the weekend, a large area of rain and damp weather is moving toward the northeast from the southern plains. It will be difficult to dislodge this area of moisture unless it gets the chance to move east and rain itself out by the weekend. No tornadoes, no severe thunderstorms, just rain.

However, we have definitely moved into a summer like pattern. The long cold grey days of that upper level low from earlier this month are gone, for now. It seems we will be visited by a "couple days war, then a thunderstorm, then a couple days cool" pattern. The only concern is that I've seen this before... way too warm in April, followed by stationary fronts and cold rainy days in May. We shall see.

In the meantime, enjoy the refreshingly gentle warmth of these spring evenings. I think it is fun to go outside at night and pretend that it IS summer, and then remind myself that summer is still YET to come!
Here in Baltimore, it sure is wonderful... still about 80 F even at 8:45 PM with a nice breeze.

Guess that means you can call me a 'summer lover.' Yep, that's the third installment in our seasonal aficinado titles. From powderhounds to spring-a-lings to summer lovers.

THE OVERALL WEATHER SUMMARY IS...

Tuesday - Cooler in all areas, a little breezy. Highs mid 70's.

Wednesday - Cloudy, perhaps some rain late in the day. Cooler, highs around 70.

Thursday - Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 70.

Friday - Risk of thunderstorms continues. Highs in the upper 60's.







Thursday, April 15, 2004


4/15 MORNING UPDATE:
"When I think of a day that's gray, and lonely, I just pick up my chin, and grin, and say....
The sun will come out tomorrow, clear away the cobwebs and the sorrow, come what may."

- Tomorrow, from the musical 'Annie'

Maybe that's your song today if you're still doing taxes. At least the rain has stopped.

I am pleased to report that my group returned safely from Whistler, British Columbia and what an incredible time it was. For a glimpse at the stories and pictures... please visit the special blog site for the trip:

http://whistler2004.blogspot.com And the rumors are true, plans are underway to propose a return trip in 2005. There were 12 adults and 8 kids. Although everyone had a blast, I think the adults had a better time than the kids, sight-seeing, skiing, snowmobiling, hiking and more. If you have a lust for adventure, Whistler is the place any time of year.

A special request goes out to my friends in "the Zone." Maybe someone can put a little bug in Mr. Bereska's ear (the principal of Hereford High School). I hear he is a big time skier. Perhaps he would be interesting in having members of the Hereford High Ski Club join Dundalk in next year's Whistler adventure?

NOW BACK TO THE WEATHER

Girl you know it's true... the long awaited warm-up is coming and will arrive in force by Saturday. Expect 70 by then, mid 70's by Sunday and close to 80 by Monday. This should help dry out fields nicely for practices and games. By next week we will get back to a more normal Spring-like pattern instead of constant rain and clouds.

Another update Friday on what to expect for next week.

4/15 MORNING UPDATE:
"When I think of a day that's gray, and lonely, I just pick up my chin, and grin, and say....
The sun will come out tomorrow, clear away the cobwebs and the sorrow, come what may."

- Tomorrow, from the musical 'Annie'

Maybe that's your song today if you're still doing taxes. At least the rain has stopped.

I am pleased to report that my group returned safely from Whistler, British Columbia and what an incredible time it was. For a glimpse at the stories and pictures... please visit the special blog site for the trip:

http://whistler2004.blogspot.com And the rumors are true, plans are underway to propose a return trip in 2005. There were 12 adults and 8 kids. Although everyone had a blast, I think the adults had a better time than the kids, sight-seeing, skiing, snowmobiling, hiking and more. If you have a lust for adventure, Whistler is the place any time of year.

A special request goes out to my friends in "the Zone." Maybe someone can put a little bug in Mr. Bereska's ear (the principal of Hereford High School). I hear he is a big time skier. Perhaps he would be interesting in having members of the Hereford High Ski Club join Dundalk in next year's Whistler adventure?

NOW BACK TO THE WEATHER

Girl you know it's true... the long awaited warm-up is coming and will arrive in force by Saturday. Expect 70 by then, mid 70's by Sunday and close to 80 by Monday. This should help dry out fields nicely for practices and games. By next week we will get back to a more normal Spring-like pattern instead of constant rain and clouds.

Another update Friday on what to expect for next week.