Thursday, September 29, 2011

 "Let's Get It Started In Here" 
-2009 single by the Black Eyed Peas (Video embed below)

10:00 PM EDT 9/29/2011 | If you are new to Foot's Forecast and are wondering what this is all about, it started with a simple idea developed by high school students. Almost eight years ago, this website began by publishing class weather predictions on the internet, makinig collaborative investigations available for educational purposes by teachers and students. Today our team has 50 members in 17 states, and our total site and facebook traffic is a combined 150 million hits from all over the world. We have grown to become a nationally-recognized weather forecasting and information services company, with an education outreach model not seen elsewhere on the internet. Just all started with one 10th grade class from one high school in a working-class community in Maryland. (Photo: The Mid-Atlantic Team gathers for Forecaster Greg Jackson's senior graduation party in June 2011)

Ready to start it?

Yahoo News recently said our concept is "innovative and hugely informative." The Seattle Times wrote that we are a "credible weather source." The Baltimore Sun was the first to famously say back in February 2010 that we were  "uncannily accurate" with storms that winter. With a  new winter looming, we know more than a few powderhounds reading this site are dreaming of all things snow. We think it is time you "get it started in here" and innovate your future by joining our team. Weather is just the starting point for an opportunity list as long as your imagination will permit: We welcome students or enthusiasts from photography to podcasting, in vimeo or volunteering, who live for surfing, snowboarding or saving the environment. Let's cut to the chase and get your name in the pipeline. Send us a brief letter of intent to and you'll get an auto-reply with more details. 

Our story, from then to now

Hurricane Isabel,  September 18, 2003
Photo credit: NOAA
The idea of this website started in a 10th grade Earth Science classroom in the Baltimore County Public Schools of central Maryland. Mr. Foot and his Earth Science students, after several wildly successful snowstorms predictions in the 2002-03 season, thought it would be useful to publish their forecasts on the internet for use by friends and colleagues at Dundalk High School.  The words "Foot's Forecast" first came about in 2003-04, published via handouts for the President's Weekend Blizzard of February 2003, and Hurricane Isabel in September 2003. Eventually students said, "just put it on the internet." The site was launched on January 26, 2004 as the first collaborative weather forecasting blog in the Mid-Atlantic.  

By 2005, visitors to the site were coming from well beyond Baltimore County. After five years of developing forecasting methods, building an audience and recruiting advisors, the team began including college students from Pennsylvania, students from Maryland school systems,  and then college students from other states. A famous front page article in the December 19, 2009 Baltimore Sun by Science Writer Frank Roylance and additional articles in Maryland's Dundalk Eagle by Reporter Bill Gates changed everything. Since then, the site grew from a few hundred visits a day to 1 million just in January 2011. Our facebook page readership reaches over 60,000 daily readers from a third of the states in the U.S. The story is still being written, and we hope you will be among the next writers.  

Our forecasting has been there...through the Mid-Atlantic Ice Storms of 2004 to the historic 2005 hurricane season, the "Valentine's Week" storms of February 2007 and Hurricane Ike in 2008 to the "Beyond Epic"  Mid-Atlantic Blizzard of December 2009 and the "Snowmageddon" double Blizzards (#1) and (#2) of February the present day. Our accuracy? One example is an 80% statewide average for Maryland, published in our Storm Grade Data from the 2/4-6/2010 event. 
(photo: Lead Forecasters Connor and Mike our "Hurricane Alpha" simulation with the Baltimore County Emergency Operations Center in June 2011)

The team is ready...are you?
If you are interested in innovating your future, join our team and become the face of the place for weather in your state or county: info@footsforecast.orgDetails on how to apply to our team are also found on this application page(Photo L to R- Two of our newest members: Forecaster Ross H. of the Cape Fear Zone in North Carolina, and Forecaster Megan M. of the Northern Virginia ZoneBoth are graduates of the Summer 2011 NOAA-funded Weather Camp program at Howard University.)