Thursday, January 27, 2005


Now this is not to imply that single men cannot be good, many of them are. I just feel fortunate and blessed to have such a great woman by my side, who is also a great Mommy to our 18 month old Jayla. Mrs. Foot has given me a lot of freedom the past week to do what needs to be done with this site to make it better for our readers. We love our daughter to pieces, but is has been nice this week while she is visiting Grammy so Mommy and Daddy can get quarter grades done...and I can analyze ad infinitum on the next storm.

Many of you will also be thankful for Mrs. Foot, because she read the site today for the first time in a while…. AND COULDN’T FIND THE FORECAST!! This is a problem. I am embarrassed. If my own wife has trouble finding the weather on the site, then changes are needed. Fast. So we went for a walk, and talked (about other things too, not just the weather) and she recommended some modifications that will make it easier for you (and her) to find what you are looking for. I
t is neat that this new format would come into play on the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY to the date this site has been online. That's right, the first broadcast was January 26, 2004. What a year in weather is has been, and will continue to be.

SO HERE IS THE NEW FOOT'S FORECAST FORMAT. It has three simple parts.

1. The straight weather forecast (whatever the hot topic is… a snowstorm, hurricane, etc.) The basic nuts-and-bolts forecast will be issued first for the area under threat of bad weather. No computer model mumbo jumbo, no NAO this and PNA that. Just the weather.

2. The scientific analysis. If you are skeptical of the forecast, have told your friends to start buying snowblowers, or want the scientific basis behind my call, read on to this section. If you are satisfied with the call made in section 1, you can skip section 2 and 3.

3. The philosophy. You understand the weather and the science, but are hungry for more and want the full picture with all it's complicated half-witted analogies and more. Then read on past the analysis to the philosophical background of the forecast.

DISCLAIMER: During megastorm mode, I cannot guarantee this will always be followed, as fatigue, frustration and excessive blogging late at night in advance of major storms may lead to a mangled merger of the 3 sections above, but I will do my best. I strive to put the best safety interests of my readers ahead of weather lingo and ego.

BEFORE WE GO ON TO THE WEATHER… Grading January 22-23 snowstorm/blizzard # 1

Baltimore to PA/MD line: Forecast 8-12 Actual 6-7 Score 6/8 = 75% C

Dundalk, MD (my home): Forecast 8-12 Actual 5 Score 5/8 = 62% D

Southern PA (York Cty.) Forecast 8-12 Actual 6 Score 6/8 = 75% C

Western PA ( 7 Springs) Forecast 12-18 Actual 10 Score 10/12 = 84% B

Philadelphia (airport) Forecast 12-15 Actual 12.6 Score 12.6/12 =105% A*

New York City (JFK) Forecast 10-14 Actual 11.5 Score 11.5/10= 115% B

Boston (Logan) Forecast (initial 6-8” by Sunday night, final call was 30” total)
Actual 22.5 Score 22.5/30 = 75% C

Washington (Dulles) Forecast 4-6” Actual 6” Score 6/4 = 150% E

Overall storm forecast GPA: 2.12 Grade C
If you discover an error in my number, either the forecast amount or actual, let me know.
Explanation of snowfall grading scheme:
All future storms (including today’s micro-blizzard in Mass.) are graded on a single number issued for a specific location where an accurate observation can be verified, such as an airport, or a general trend as reported by colleagues.

I will give a range of expected snowfall, but at the final forecast before the storm begins, the grade is based on the single accumulation number which I will announce. For Boston, I originally called for 4” and should have stuck with that, but revised it to 9” for Logan International based on higher QPF. For the region surrounding the graded location, it is assumed there will be a variance of 2” on either side of the number, but the grade is on that number.

So the Boston area grade is: 5.6 inches reported at Logan as of 1:00 AM Thu / 9" predicted= 62% and that’s an D. So at least I passed. Because despite the higher QPF, the heavier snow portion of te storm moved out quicker, and the real bomb-out did not occur until the Low had moved well-offshore. Some light wraparound snows added another inch overnight.

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