Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's just a question of W H E N."
- voice of Charleton Heston, in the opening scene from Armaggedon.
1. EXCESSIVE HEAT DISMISSALS. June 28 followup comment: The call made on June 5 played out in Baltimore County Schools as expected, with a 3 hour early dismissal due to heat on Monday June 9. am wagering that many county school systems in central Maryland and Northern Virginia will be forced to close 2 - 3 hours early this coming Monday. It's actually not about the daytime high..but rather the overnight low. If you arrive to school at 7AM Monday with a morning temperature already at 80 F in 90% humidity, it will not take long for regular daytime heating to boost that up to 90 before lunchtime.

2. ISABEL WAS ONLY A REHEARSAL. The current weather pattern I believe is a continuation of what I explained to many people at my school and elsewhere. The Mid Atlantic would experience a fairly cool and drawn out spring, with temperatures staying at or below normal. Then come early June, we would race into the 90's and stay above normal into July. The traditionally hottest periods of the year..late July into early August, may in fact be cooler than normal, and that I am concerned might setup a persistent upper level trough along the East Coast. With La Nina now backing off and the possibility of even switching over to a weak El Nino, this whole scheme is looking eerily similar to the summer of 2003. Were the Bermuda High to back off into the Atlantic come September, and a weak trough establish near the coast, this has the potential to steer any western Atlantic tropical systems toward the Eastern seaboard. Since 2003, I have been telling hurricane watchers and many others that Isabel was truly just a rehearsal, and the bigger threat is a 1933 type Category 2-3 storm that travels up the west side of the Chesapeake Bay. You know what Mr. Heston said, right...

3. SUNSPOTS, PACIFIC WATERS AND POLAR SEA ICE. These are three major influences on Eastern US winter weather that will be receiving top-billing on this site over the next 6 months. Were you to combine the upcoming sunspot cycle minimum (decreased solar output this winter) with a switch over from a currently fading La Nina to a possible weak El Nino, and a rapid return of Northern Hemisphere snowcover and polar sea ice...what do you have? I believe these three factors point to a less-than-active hurricane season followed by above normal snowfall for the Northeast and Mid-Alantic. My overall projection for this region is that this coming winter will more than make up for the lackluster performance of the previous two and closely resemble 2002-03. You all no doubt remember that season featured the February President's Day Blizzard (remembered now as "PD II" ) among many other heavy snowfalls in the I-95 corridor. I remember it well for the 9 snow days in the Baltimore County Schools.