Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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"Back in the High Life..."
- 1986 single and album title by Steve Winwood

8:00 AM THU 4.15.2010
Southwesterly flow on the backside of the high pressure system will bring warmer conditions north today. Increasing temperatures and rising moisture content of the atmosphere should spawn thunderstorm activity across the northeast and southeast from Friday evening into Saturday morning.

THE 2010 POLLEN AND PEST ATTACK! Much of the Eastern U.S. experienced record precipitation this winter from both rain and snow. Although NOAA reported a generally cooler than December to February overall, millions of trees and flowers began blooming early, firing up the allergy season with force up as soon as winter signed off. The copious precipitation will lead to a record mosquito outbreak this year, rivaling the allergy annoyance. Then there will be those lovely little black waterbugs too. Ahh, the joys of warmer weather.

Projections from the North Atlantic Oscillation are a heads up going into the April 19-23 Earth Week: Negative values of the NAO index suggest cooler than normal temperatures then. This time of year, that is usually accompanied by showers and stationary fronts. The trade-off would be rainy conditions can at least clear the air for allergy sufferers; though it permits more standing water for mosquito larvae to inhabit. We just can't win for losing. Back in the high life again? For Powderhounds, that's the start of Meteorological Winter, December 1. Surely you can hold on for another seven months now, can't you?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

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"Oh what a beautiful morning..."
- from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma

7:00 AM THU 4.8.2010
Like the famous line from Oklahoma, today's temperatures and summer-like skies certainly makes it feel as though we're gettting the Fourth of July cookout ready instead of putting away Easter decorations. The good news is that easterners looking for relief from the heat will get it from the cooler temps to follow tonight's severe storm potential as the front sweeps east. Until then, you know the drill for this setup: Warm southerly breezes will pump in humid air all day, combining with daytime heating and sharp temperature changes approaching from the west. That's a spicy recipe for severe storms by 9:00 PM tonight containing wind gusts near 50 mph and small hail likely.

Georgia and the Carolinas will be in the crosshairs first this afternoon, followed by Virginia this evening and Maryland-Delaware-Pennsylvania into the overnight hours. As time and school schedules permit, our forecasters will be posting updates in our Severe Storm Center throughout the day and into the evening.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Some like it hot..."
- Robert Palmer in the 1985 single by his band Power Station

7:00 PM EDT TUE 4.7  While some are welcoming this summer preview, many others may not be so thrilled with Robert Palmer's idea of "turning up the heat 'til we fry." Afternoon temperatures in the mid to upper 80's across dominated much of the Eastern U.S., with some locations tying or exceeding record highs of 85-90 or above for today's date. The last time it was officially this warm so early in April at Dulles Airport was April 7, 1991 (84 F) whereas today, Mother Nature did 5 degrees better, reaching 89 F by 2:00 PM EDT.
Regarding severe weather risks, the chances increase by Thursday across GA, AL and TN as well as the Mid-Atlantic region into Friday morning. The warm moist flow ahead of a somewhat stalled front in the Midwest will continue to raise humidity and heat index levels until it moves through by Friday. Outdoor sports fans and athletes alike should keep a watchful eye to our Severe Storm Center for an early word on where the next outbreaks may pop.

With thunderstorm and tornado activity building across the nation, the Forecast Team is seeking citizen forecasters or university meteorology students interesting in collaborating on Severe Storm Center updates. Review our application procedures, submit a letter of intent to and you can become a "face with the place" of Team Foot's Forecast.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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"Tell me can you feel it...the heat is on!"

6:00 AM TUESDAY 4.6.2010 
With today marking the return of most families to a regular schedule following Spring Break, our headline probably speaks to many corners about the week and months ahead. A summer-like pattern has turned on the heat across the eastern U.S., with a frontal boundary draped over the Great Lakes. Highs today in many areas will reach or exceed 80 F by mid-afternoon. The western Atlantic surface high will feed Gulf moisture through the eastern U.S., setting off occasional bursts of severe weather in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. The eastern seaboard is likely to be spared any significant severe weather outbreaks for the next 36 hours.

Those working outdoors, in second floor school buildings with no A/C, or in after school sports will begin feeling the heat and rising humidity. Coaches and athletes alike: It's time to get back in the habit of hydrating frequently. We're also watching weather for Major League Season Openers, so check your regional forecast zones in the left sidebar on who hits 90 F first today.

Another place turning hot is the expansion of this website. We are fired up to welcome new contributers to our team of citizen forecasters. Student meteorologists Nick Scirico at North Carolina State University and Daniel Ross at Georgia Tech are steaming ahead with development of a Facebook forecast page for the Tri-State Region (NJ, NY, CT). Nick is originally from Albany, NY. NC State students Drew D. and Erik P. are helping launch a forecast zone for the entire Carolinas. In the Mid-Atlantic, Forecasters Ryan Krimm and new forecaster Aaron Salter launched "the Bayshore" for eastern Maryland and Delaware, Greg Jackson pitched forward the Birdland Zone and Jason M. moved on a new Facebook forecast page for the Capital Region. We're also turning up the temp from the southern Chesapeake to the tropics with exciting developments soon to set sail. Winter was just rehearsal for the team you can count on every day of the year. ~Forecaster Foot

Monday, April 5, 2010

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Northern Virginia - Western Maryland
to the West Virginia Panhandle
Forecaster Karl Jackson - Manassas, Virginia

11:00 PM SUN 4.11.2010 
I am back everyone, bringing the Virginia to the West Virginia Zone back on the map!!  I started a new job last month working 15 hours a day which was something that I had to get used to.  Now on to the weather.  There is not much to talk about because it will be pretty much the same for the next 7 days.  Look for highs ranging from the mid 60's to the lower 70's and lows in the 40's.  The only hiccup in the forecast might be on Tuesday night when we might have a chance of showers.  Enjoy the nice weather!!


KEY FOR ZONE MAP (image credit: Sterling, VA National Weather Service)

Red Metro Zone
Green Western Suburbs Zone
Turquoise I-81 Zone
Grey Mountain Zone 
Click the link below for your detailed forecast in each zone

Thursday, April 1, 2010

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"Walking on sunshine..."
- lyrics from 1985 single by Katrina & The Waves

10:45 PM THU 4.1.2010
After the fury of Pour'easter II like so many previous storms this year, many of you were walking on sunshine today. Friday, temperatures across the most of the Eastern U.S. will continue climbing into the upper 70's to low 80's. For the first time since last fall, the entire Eastern U.S. will be blessed with a nice weekend.

Despite wonderful sunshine, our hearts and prayers are extended to residents in the Northeast reeling from the second major flood in three weeks as observed by the Northeast River Forecast Center. It is no surprise the National Weather Service in New York City reported this to be the wettest March on record for some these areas. For example, Central Park, received 10.69 inches of rain for all of March.

- Providence News Journal. Even more stunning is rainfall observations in Rhode Island from Wednesday 3.31A similar 10" of rain actually fell ALL IN ONE DAY across parts of Rhode Island, as shown below in the Significant Event Report from the Taunton, MA NWS Office or click the image for a larger version. Flood Warnings are extended to 5:30 PM today across much of southern New England.

However, data and charts mask the true suffering of people whose lives, dreams and vacation plans were suddenly swept away by this latest round of an harsh El Nino-influenced season thus far. The enclosed MSNBC video gives a sense of how tough it will be some residents faced with resurrecting livelihoods and towns already strained under a difficult recession for many. We wish them Godspeed, hoping the sunshine dries the flood and warms the heart.