Sunday, July 31, 2011

Then came Emily



8:33 PM EDT 8/1/2011 | TROPICAL STORM EMILY, the 5th named storm of the 2011 season was confirmed at 7:30 PM EDT. Air Force reconnaissance confirmed a closed circulation center. Emily is currently located at 15.2N 62.0W with winds of 40mph and a central
pressure of 1006 mb, and is moving W at 17mph, as shown on this current NOAA satellite imagery loop. Tropical Storm Warnings have been posted for the Northern Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico, with Tropical Storm Watches for the Virgin Islands, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. If you are in or heading to any of these regions, you are welcome to send us photos or videos of your experience during the storm: footsforecast@gmail.com

Stay updated with the Foot's Forecast Tropical Zone for further updates as information on Emily's track and path become available. (Meteorologist/Tropical Forecaster Randall J.)


The Heat and humidity continue to bake the Mid-West and South. Temperatures are expected in the 100's with Heat Indices going to 115...or higher! Care should be taken in these extreme conditions.

For more details, go to Stormcast.

Enjoy the peace and quiet..for now

11:40 AM EDT 8/1/2011 | We ring in August heading into the traditional "dog days" period, featured by hot sunny days and warm breezy nights. The relative peace, heat and quiet of this vacation-heavy time frame has enabled many folks wracked by high impact weather this year a chance to get away. For others, believe it or not but August 1 marks the beginning of school for many folks in the Southeast. Meteorologist and Forecaster Daniel Ross of Georgia Tech has our metro Atlanta readers covered, if today marks that unavoidable end of summer: Check out and like our Foot's Forecast | Georgia page. Go the next step for us: Let your friends, family and colleagues in the Peach Tree State know they have a reliable local team covering the entire state, every day.


For those heading to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico or the Eastern Caribbean in the next week, we encourage you to like and monitor our Tropical Zone updates on facebook. This highly qualified, multi-state team of students and meteorologists alike is on constant monitoring of a growing system near the Windward Islands. The National Hurricane Center has pegged the tropical wave at a 90-100% probability of development for several days. However, recent investigation by NOAA and Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft had trouble locating a circulation center. Our team will continue posting regular updates on this and other systems that develop in the Atlantic Basin.
(CEO & Lead Advisor Mr. Foot)


12:30 PM EDT 7/31/11 | As we bid goodbye to one of the hottest months in recent memory, our Long Range Team has prepared an analysis of what is on the horizon for August. We offer this preview of a a recent report published by Long Range Coordinator Nic Robeson of High Point NC and Forecaster Mintong Nan of Montgomery County, MD. Additional details will be posted later today this week's update of the Long Range Zone. From Coordinator Nic:
"Looking ahead to mid-month in the European model projections, we are seeing an interesting feature by August 15. It looks like a ridge is still out over the Atlantic, but a strong mid- to upper-level low is forecast to track across the Great Lakes, Northeast and even bring some jet energy as far south as the Tennessee Valley. I think if this comes true then a much bigger pattern change could happen as the European model shows a positive "Pacific North American" configuration correlation showing up along the west coast. This would in turn translate into major troughing along the eastern US... possibly leading to cooler weather, severe outbreaks, or both in that time period."
Tropics getting tricky
11am EDT 7.31.11 Report by Meteorologist Randall J. (St. Petersburg, FL)

An Air Force Reserve aircraft is scheduled to fly into I91L at 2pm EDT this aftenoon. The National Hurricane Center is most likely waiting for this recon flight's data before it will officially designate this a Tropical Depression or Storm. It also looks like it has split off into two systems over night, it will be interesting to watch this development. If this system is upgraded to Depression or Trop. Storm status, watches and warnings will be up for the Lesser Antilles, all interests in this area should continue to keep a close eye. Keep a close watch on the "FF Tropical Zone" for further updates.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Don Wasn't as Wet as First Thought...

Don didn't bring the predicted amount of rain, but he did provide some much needed moisture to a drought-stricken area.


-source CoCoRaHS

The Heat Dome lingers over the Mid-West and into Texas as well as the Southeast. Poor Air Quality is affecting the Mid-Atlantic and North Carolina. Much of the Nation has Hazardous Weather Outlooks for pop-up thunderstorms today and tonight.

See Stormcast for more details.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Please rain on our parade

12:30 PM EDT Fri 7/29/2011  On this not-so-Happy Friday for some,  the heat wave from here to eternity rages on or has returned to the central and eastern states. The good news is that a confluence of atmospheric factors between the tropics, the Bermuda High ridge and a trough in the Pacific Northwest will allow Tropical Storm Don to help break the heat and deliver a welcome supply of rain first to southern Texas, with some remnants into the southern plains early next week. As shown in the Day 1-3 precipitation projection from NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (affectionately known as HPC), nearly 5 inches of rain is expected this weekend along the Rio Grande River Valley between Texas and northern Mexico. 

Our Long Range Team, led by Coordinator Nic Robeson of North Carolina and Forecaster Mintong Nan of Maryland, believes this infusion of tropical moisture will set in motion a pattern change leading to rejuvenating cool down for much of the country by mid-August. Their latest Long Range Zone report will be posted later today.  

But first, we have to contend with Tropical Storm Don making landfall this weekend. Tropical Storm Warnings are posted for the South Texas coastline, for sometime after midnight, Don will become the first tropical cyclone to make landfall this season. Our team's latest reports from the National Hurricane Center are posted in our Tropical Zone page on this site and in our facebook forecast page for rapid updates. Visit the NWS Brownsville Office website for  detailed local reports on the approaching system. (Image: NWS Radar Mosaic Loop for the South Central states)



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tropical Storm Don: 
Desperately seeking drought-stricken Texas


5:00 PM EDT Thu 7/28/11 Update: 
There many interesting weather stories around the country today, including our forecasts for the "Hydroplane Races" this weekend along the Columbia River in  southeast Washington, covered by Lead Forecaster Mark Ingalls and posted in his website: mizweather.blogspot.com. The boat races are just one of many venues that will need good weather this weekend to make the 46th annual event a success. 


No water follies in Texas though; it is the real deal this weekend. Mother Nature has found a way to fill the wells and fields of the Lone Star State with a dose of welcome rain from Tropical Storm DonOur latest reports on this system are posted in our Tropical Zone on facebook, with a followup on additional details  in the "Tropical Forecasts" tab above. However, residents will also have to content with wind. As you would expect, Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches are now in effect for virtually all of the Texas coastline. The NWS Brownsville Office has graphics to lay out the projected path of the storm, though concentrated, as you can see on the radar above. We also applaud the NWS Brownsville staff for excellent use of social media to inform the public of impending hazards: Take a look at their facebook page for comparison.

5:00 PM EDT Wed 7/27/2011 
The National Hurricane Center has issued the first advisory for newly-minted Tropical Storm DonWe hope this is just what the doctor ordered for the drought-stricken southern states, and Forecaster Daniel Ross has posted the latest details in our Tropical Zone facebook page

Compare the NHC's projected path of the storm  with the current U.S. Drought Monitor and you'll see why we sure do hope this time, drought relief can be spelled D-O-N. The best outcome would be a "Goldilocks" storm: Not too strong, rain not too heavy (so as to not induce flash flooding), but rather a gentle soaking rain deep into the heart of Texas. Many a Texan farmer may not be able to salvage this year's crop, but at least T.S. Don can help make a dent before the dog days of August arrive.  

"There is life...in the red letters."
-Lyrics from the Christian rock band DC Talk  

10:00 AM EDT Wed 7/27/2011 In some part of the Northeast and Pacific Northwest, today is the kind of smashing blue sky day that forces you to look up and say “Wow, THAT is a BLUE sky.” We wish there was better news for our sweltering colleagues in the Central Plains. Nearly two weeks of unrelenting heat, with temperatures in the low 100’s and little or no rain have devastated thousands of hectares of the crucial summer and fall harvests of corn, soybean and alfalfa in numerous states. 

It's great for some to see a blue sky like this, as observed in Northwest Pennsylvania, but others who depend gray (meaning rain clouds) would prefer to see more of the latter heading into August.

Across the central and southern Mississippi Valley, an on-going bullseye of the 2011 heat wave, we are saddened to see acres and acres of withered corn stalks. In this and many other hard hit areas, it must feel like one can’t win for losing. So far this year, portions of these states have gone from too much snow to too much rain, leading to widespread flooding this Spring. Many farmers in this region report that rapid arrival of extreme heat made soil and atmospheric conditions too dry for effective crop yields. 

Hope from the Tropics?  
Meteorologist Randall J. posted an overnight report on this system in our Tropical Zone on facebook and in the "Tropical Forecasts" section of this site. When the National Hurricane Center denotes a disturbed area in the high probability range for development, the band DC Talk might agree that “there is life in the red letters. That life for drought-parched area could  arrive  in the form of a slow-moving tropical system, which is designated with red letters and colors if the system reaches 70% or greater probability. To bring relief to heat-stricken areas, ideally the system would merge with a frontal boundary and deliver a multi-day soaking to the Southern U.S. Upper level steering currents indicate this system has the potential to move in a northerly direction into the Gulf of Mexico.

“Oh What A Beautiful Morning…”
- from the Rodgers & Hammerstein Musical, Oklahoma


4:00 PM EDT Tuesday 7/26/2011: Some folks in the Northeast and Upper Great Lakes Region finally received a taste of the gifts Canada can deliver this time of year (as reported by Michigan Weather Watcher.) This climate freebie came in the form of a cool, dry high pressure system which followed Monday’s passage of a cold front through the Mid-Atlantic. With pleasant overnight temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s from Michigan and Ohio to Pennsylvania and West Virginia, it sure was a beautiful morning for many after such an oppressive heat wave. Noticeably lower humidity today will be observed in many Eastern states which just about melted away under 100-110 F+ heat indices for up to a week.

Heat Wave Recap Lead Forecaster Jason Mitchell of the Capital Region wrote a final look back at the historically sweeping nature of this widespread heat event, in this special report titled "The Northeast U.S. Heat Wave of 2011." His and other exclusive articles produced by our forecasters over time will be posted in a new section to be titled “Special Reports.” This will contain prior submissions from our multi-state team, including Long Range analyses, Climate & Space Science reports and essays about the nature of weather’s impact on society and society’s impacts on climate.

Looking beyond the shore 
Our Tropical Team continues to monitor increasing probability of development within a few areas of disturbed weather. Though the 2011 Hurricane Season may have had an apparent slow start, we we recall many recent years where the action kicked in by late July to early August and never looked back for 40 or more days. This relatively quiet period in the tropics is a great opportunity to finalize preparations for those residing along coastal areas. As the National Weather Service might say, “Are you StormReady?” (Advisors Mr. Foot and Mr. Lear)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Collaboration yields partnerships
STORMCAST Heat continues but storms take a little break
FIND YOUR FORECAST Connect with our multi-state teams

12:30 PM EDT Monday 7/25/2011: As the Maryland Team was enjoying the final hours of their week-long forecasting project for the Dew Tour in Ocean City, MD, we received a stark reminder that collaboration on this team extends beyond county or state lines. It was reported to us by Lead Forecaster Mark Ingalls in Washington state, that the National Weather Service in Pendleton, OR has a widespread Fire Weather Warning, as explained on Mark’s Tri-Cities Affiliate Zone and in our Pacific Northwest Forecast Zone.

Welcoming Pittsburgh On this unofficial “Christmas in July” we are eager to announce the launch of our newest forecast zone in the Mid-Atlantic. The Three Rivers in facebook will cover metro Pittsburgh and Southwest PA, under the leadership of Lead Forecaster Greg Jackson, an incoming freshman at California University of Pennsylvania. His team is already in development, have recently gained Forecaster Brittany, a native of the region, and advised by Forecast Advisor Keith Krichinsky of the nearby Potomac Ridge & Valley Zone. A warm welcome to the Three Rivers Team!

Learn about our team If you are new to our multi-state consortium of students, professionals and universities, explore “what it means to be on the team.” For the strategic planner in you, we have detailed a long term view in our “Vision & Mission” statement. We seek to engage “students of the atmosphere” from all ages and walks of life in our quest to innovate the forecasting of weather & climate. Change your summer forever by sending one simple email to info@footsforecast.org to get in touch with our leadership and explore options for your future. (Director of Strategic Media Diandre Williams, center, at Santa Monica Beach in Nov. 2006)

Space for your voice As team members often say, “Weather is the cover story.” Among our goals is to engage the public in a balanced scientific discussion about factors that drive weather and the climate science behind those factors. We adhere to accepted methods of research and observation in building conversations with our readers to better understand the complexities of the atmosphere. If you are passionate about a topic in Earth or Environmental Systems, such as Climate Science, Ecology, Space Weather or other interdisciplinary topics, there is space for a balance of voices on our team.

We seek columnists and writers with experience telling the story of climate from a regional perspective, and who are comfortable supporting their statements with peer-reviewed research from accepted scientific sources. An example of the work we’ve done this year can be seen in our Climate & Space Science page, with a March 2011 story written by Lead Forecaster Patrick Ritsko from Penn State University (link pending.) If you have some down time this summer and want to take a bigger step in the world of scientific journalism, contact us: footsforecast@gmail.com.

Collaboration makes these multi-faceted approaches possible on our team, and the common result is mutually beneficial partnerships which ultimately benefit our shared readership the most over time. We believe collaboration is a professional skill and a life technique which would also benefit other aspects of our society. We hope you will be among the next to consider the idea.
(Lead Advisor Mr. Foot – Baltimore, MD)
SPECIAL REPORTS FROM OUR FORECASTERS
The Northeast U.S. Heat Wave of 2011
By Lead Forecaster Jason Mitchell of the Capital Region

July 25, 2011 (Huntingdon, MD) A historic heat wave gripped the Mid Atlantic and Northeast United States from Thursday July 21 through Sunday July 24. Although this portion of the country experienced several heat waves during the 2010 summer, no heat wave that year compared to the magnitude of this one. It was not just the heat, but the humidity that separated this heat wave from many others in recent years. Computer models began showing the potential for dangerous heat over a week in advance, and forecasters at the National Weather Service and other weather sources began mentioning the potential many days before the heat wave. Temperatures were just below record values Thursday, with many locations in the Mid Atlantic reaching the upper 90s for high temperatures.

The most intense portion of the heat wave peaked on Friday, with most airports from Washington, D.C to Portland, Maine breaking daily records. Newark, New Jersey and Washington Dulles International Airport reached all ALL-TIME record highs of 108° and 105°, respectively. Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport reached 106°, with a heat index (combining the heat and humidity) of 118°. Although Washington National Airport fell just shy of a daily record at 101°, the heat index reached a whopping 121°. Uncharacteristically, New England was no place to escape the heat.  Portland International Jetport reached 100°, and Concord, New Hampshire also reached 100°. Temperatures Friday night failed to drop to comfortable levels, with most of the Mid Atlantic remaining above 80° for most of the night. The farthest the temperature dropped to at Washington National Airport Saturday was 84°, which tied for the warmest low temperature ever recorded for Washington, D.C.  

After such a warm start to the day, Washington, D.C. went on to break a daily high temperature and reached 102°. Although not official, The Washington Post reported a possible heat related death Saturday in Northwest Washington, D.C. By Sunday, the extreme heat loosened its grip on the region. A meteorologist from the local National Weather Service covering the Washington, D.C. put the heat wave this way on Friday evening, “It is pretty amazing to see much of New England experienced temps almost the same as Washington National Airport [Friday]. But in my 17 years here I do not recall seeing widespread heat index values of 115-120 in the Mid Atlantic. Hopefully this is one for the record books that won’t be topped for many years.” Clearly, for much of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast a heat wave of this magnitude had not been seen in decades. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

“Surely you can’t be serious”
Robert Hayes to Lesley Nielsen in the 1980 comedy, Airplane
“Yes, I’m serious…and don’t call me Shirley.”
–Lesley Nielsen’s deadpanned response

9:35 PM EDT 7/24/2011 Despite the never-ending story of the 2011 heat wave, one of the coolest thing going on the East coast wrapped up this evening. The 2011 Dew Tour / Pantech Open, sponsored by AlliSports is among the most popular and widely viewed BMX and Skateboarding Competition of the summer and winter. The kickoff event of this summer was hosted in style by Ocean City, Maryland - the only Atlantic coast venue of the 4 city schedule. Although rain dampened the 4:00 PM coverage by NBC Sports, the weekend was an overall success in terms of limited weather interruptions and the inspiring spectacle of a giant half-pipe like reviewing stand right on the beach in Ocean City.

The Dew Tour  is classic “fusion forecasting” for our Maryland Team. Our high school and college student forecasters have been covering the event since early this week in our “Bayshore” zone for Eastern Maryland & Delaware, titled as such because it covers a land area that extends from the Bay…to the Shore.  If you are heading to the Maryland or Delaware beaches anytime soon, you can count on our team to provide locally relevant forecasts for popular destinations along the DelMarVa, the Eastern Maryland counties along the Chesapeake, and our friends and colleagues across Delaware. 


Shirley, we are serious. 

A glance at the long range temperature pattern shows a high probability that above normal temperatures will once again own the much of the U.S. in the July 29 to August 2 period. As Forecast Advisor Keith Krichinsky said in the Saturday 7/23 Carroll County Times of central Maryland, "Hot conditions, in the 90's, are expected to continue at least through the end of July."


From a short-term climate pattern perspective, one indicator our team tracks, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is currently in a "rising trend." This permits tropical air to surge much farther north than usual. After August 1, the NAO is projected to turn sharply negative, which may lead to cooler air masses being introduced to the U.S. from Canada by mid-month. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Tastes like the cow got
into an onion patch..."
- Napoleon Dynamite


11:00 PM EDT 7/22/2011: We know it's so hot that you don't even need to grill. Just take the steak out of the fridge, set on the plate and wait five minutes. While it's cooking, you can change your shirt for the third time since 2 PM and rinse out the salt forming along the brim of your hat. Even this morning, after I warmed up my wife's coffee in the microwave, I set her cup next to mine outside on the porch in the sun. Darned if it did not feel warmer than when I first brought it out. 

In heat like this, drinking water has become the new national pastime. For some, the body almost forgets what eating feels like. You don't want to prepare a meal, because that would expend energy, making you more hot. Cooking would heat up the kitchen, and the AC just loves that idea, huh? Then if you actually retained brainpower to complete meal prep, then you have to cut and chew the food, which is tiring... just so much effort it wears me out thinking of it. Then the person in charge of your kitchen says, "Clean up!" as if you have any desire to do dishes between now and next Thursday. Decisions, decisions. 

So the best solution to this whole summer meal issue when you don't want to cook in the heat is... man's second best friend: A bowl of cereal, piled real high with 3% milk. Now we're talkin'! So you set up all your fav reading links in a Google Chrome spread, take a big spoonful of the cereal...and blah. bleeh, pehh. You never shut the fridge all the way this morning. The milk tastes like the cow got into an onion patch. It's as sour as you can imagine. The the electricity goes down because you're in a rolling black out area. 

To at least get something out of this horrid day of heat, you step outside into the oven of the millenium to discover.. even the ice cream truck melted. Take heart, as of Monday.. Christmas will be just 5 months away. 

(Forecaster Foot: State College PA. Our traditional lead story will return on Saturday.)
"Yeah, it's hot..but it's also July"
-Central Pennsylvania Forecaster Dakota Smith, on a summer internship in 
coastal Louisiana. Daily relative humidity in Cocodrie, LA averages 80% 


10:30 AM EDT Thursday 7/21/2011 The best spin we can put on the smothering dome of heat gripping North America is to remind our Powderhound fans that help is on the way. The glory of all things snow will soon return to the Northern Hemisphere. Meanwhile, our South America readers get the spotlight and envy of snowlovers up north. CNN reported that a high impact winter storm has blanketed large portions of central Chile in the past 24 hours (photo above from CNN). Given that South America is in the dead middle of winter, this period of time on their calendar is to about February 1 in the United States. The article quotes local government officials stating that over 7 feet of snow has fallen in just a few days across a region that, like the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast in 2010, is unaccustomed to such high accumulations so quickly:
"In the city of Lonquimay, officials said snow had piled more than 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) high. Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter on Wednesday called the situation a "white earthquake."   CNN World, 7/21/2011
Hot for most, lucky for some 
In the U.S. the news is not much better save for traditional, and unusual, locations. Places such as the Pacific Northwest get to revel in temperatures under 75 F for most of the metro areas from Portland to Spokane to Seattle, as reported by our Lead Forecaster Mark Ingalls, a high school student in southeast Washington. He also serves as our Western U.S. Outreach Coordinator, so if you live west of the Rockies and are interested in joining the team, Mark is the one to contact: western@footsforecas.org

In a climatological "role-reversal," Forecaster Patrick Ritsko, a Meteorology student from Penn State University, is facing cooler conditions this summer on a Department of Interior internship working in the Florida Everglades. You might think the heat is just as oppressive there, but not so. He was quoted as saying yesterday, "It's much cooler here in South Florida, we don't have the extreme heat of the central and eastern U.S., and it pretty much rains every day, so that helps."   Patrick, along with Forecaster and Meteorologist Randall J., a graduate from Florida International University's Meteorology and Geosciences program, collaborate to post updates on our South Florida page, while keeping a close watch on the Atlantic and Gulf with our Tropical Team on facebook.

Foot's Forecast has Meteorologists? 
So about your forecasters... are they available for other services, such as work for my company or agency and provide forecasting products? Currently we are privileged to have four highly qualified Meteorology graduates on the Foot's Forecast Team. They hail from universities in Pennsylvania to North Carolina, and Georgia to Mississippi and Florida. There are more in the pipeline where they came from, all at various stages of completing their degree in Atmospheric Science, Climatology, Earth Science, Physics and beyond. 

Graduating with a degree in Meteorology was just the start. These enterprising young men and women have interned at the National Weather Service, performed outreach in local schools, work with high schoolers on our team, serve in student leadership within the American Meteorological Society, and forecast in their local zones. They are the only people on our team you'll ever see write "Meteorologist" next to their forecast (if they want to), because they are acting on the knowledge and experience gained in that degree.  It's not just hanging on the wall.

Need a forecast product? Our team of Meteorologists are available to produce a high quality, affordable and customizable product or service for your company or organization. Even better, they can tap into the collaborative resources of our 40+ student and professional team, to deliver a data-driven, scientifically-grounded analysis and forecast guided by the experience of those who have studied the Atmosphere for a long time, and have a degree in Meteorology to back it up. For more details, contact our team: info@footsforecast.org


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"When the heat's on you..."
-Lyrics from the The Heat Is On by Glenn Fry 

9:30 AM EDT Wednesday 7/20/2011 
Unlike Glenn Fry, we don't have to say "tell me can you feel it" as to whether the heat is on. It would be easier to discuss areas of the country which have temperatures less than 100 degrees today. 

In addition to a hundred million people already covered by Excessive Heat Warnings, the NWS has added large portions of the eastern megalopolis to areas under Excessive Heat Watches, as shown in brownish red on the Advisory map from the Eastern Regional Headquarters of the National Weather Service.

The culprit is an efficient alignment of climate norms and weather extremes. The Northern Hemisphere is approaching the dead middle of summer, known as the "dog days." A full month of high sun angle, compounded by an above-normal increase in summer melt-off of Arctic sea ice, reduces the "recharge capacity" of polar regions to produce a dome of cold high pressure this time of year. Add the widespread exceptional drought in the central and southern U.S. as a boundary layer factor, the lack of tropical moisture, and the El Nino/La Nina oceanic influence in a neutral state, and you have many of the ingredients to create a high heat bake for much of the country. 

How hot is it? As if we need to rub this in further, but since you asked we can give a few examples for perspective: In Enid, Oklahoma it was reported that portions of Highway 412 buckled under several days of 110 F temperatures. In northern Minnesota Monday night, midnight temperaturees were hovering just under 100 F in some locations.. no kidding! The St. Louis region has an  Excessive Heat Warning in effect through Saturday. That's right...3 more days on top of today. In a take off of the 1980's Wendy's commercials... "Where's the relief?" check in with Lead Forecaster Mark Ingalls in our Pacific Northwest page for some evidence of cooler weather in that region. you'll have to get on your favorite Southwest flight for a one-way trip to the Pacific Northwestyou would have to get on a plane and fly to the safety of the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA today should hold in the upper 60's. Now that feel awesome right about now, huh? 

What can you do? In a life-threatening  heat wave, the best actions to take are simply to tap the cooling power of water.  This MedicineNet.com article has some reasonable tips. If outside, our suggestion is to "tank up" before you start your day. While outside, regularly constantly sip water up to eight ounces  every few hours if possible, and reserve outdoor activities for the early morning or after sunset. 


For those in public safety or utility work charged with keeping our society humming and cooled, we know you may not have the option of avoiding the heat. Take frequent breaks, constantly sip water and double check with your supervisors to make sure safety of workers is forefront in their minds. NOAA Heat Safety Tips in the previous post.

Any help from the tropics? 
Our Tropical Team was wondering that too. Are there any indications that suggest relief will come by way of a moisture-laden tropical cyclone arriving in the U.S.?   

With Tropical Storm Bret having moved away from the coast, Meteorologist and Tropical Team Forecaster Randall J. from St. Petersburg, Florida took a different look at the pattern ahead, and filed this report to answer your question:

"Our team's tropical analysis for the month ahead shows that upper level wind shear over the Caribbean has become more favorable for development in the near term. Water temps in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Atlantic will continue to rise and reach their peaks moving into August. This pattern traditionally produces deep, warm pools which provides increased "fuel" for tropical storms. Looking toward end of July, there is a low chance for another storm to form in the Atlantic. Into August, activity historically increases, with September the most active month of the Hurricane season. Until a system can move from the Atlantic into a favorable shear environment over a warm waters, odds are low the tropical will deliver significant relief to the U.S. near term." 

Wish we had better news for those looking to see Mother Nature throw a "Tropical Hail Mary."

Local forecaster in Seattle Times 
Lead Forecaster Mark Ingalls of Kennewick, WA had an epic day yesterday, and we wanted to share the joy with you. After appearing in the Tri-City Herald front page on Sunday, he learned on Monday the Seattle Times had picked up the story, followed by the Tacoma News Tribune. Capping the media explosion was a radio interview with Seattle's KOMONews.com at 5:15 PM Eastern Monday afternoon. Our thanks to the news reporters and journalists for giving our developing Western U.S. team quality time with the public. Let your friends and colleagues know by visiting our Pacific Northwest page, in facebook, they can have equally reliable and accurate forecasting as is found throughout the East. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ring of Fire expanding east and south 

9:30 AM EDT Tuesday 7/19/2011 
With heat warnings and advisories in nearly half of the 50 states, millions of residents are yearning for relief anytime Mother Nature can muster a storm here or there. The high pressure ridge, having clamped down on two-thirds of the lower 48 states, currently dominates the weather pattern for much of the North American continent. Temperatures late last night in the upper 90's were reported as far north as Minnesota, and today's heat index values will surge over 110 F for at least a dozen states. For guaranteed cool weather, you would have to get on a plane and fly to the safety of the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA today should hold in the upper 60's. Now that feel awesome right about now, huh? (Image from NOAA/NWS Advisory Map for 7/19/2011. Dark pink are Excessive Heat Warnings, Light Orange are Heat Advisories.)


How to get through this In a life-threatening  heat wave, the best actions to take are simply to drink at least 8 ounces of water every few hours if possible, and reserve outdoor activities for the early morning or after sunset. For those in public safety or utility work charged with keeping our society humming and cooled, we know you may not have the option of avoiding the heat. Take frequent breaks, constantly sip water and double check with your supervisors to make sure safety of workers is forefront in their minds. NOAA Heat Safety Tips in the previous post.


Any help from the tropics? 
Our Tropical Team was wondering that too. Are there any indications that suggest relief will come by way of a moisture-laden tropical cyclone arriving in the U.S.?   


With Tropical Storm Bret moving away from the coast, Meteorologist and Tropical Team Forecaster Randall J. from St. Petersburg, Florida took a different look at the pattern ahead, and filed this report to answer your question:


"Our team's tropical analysis for the month ahead shows that upper level wind shear over the Caribbean has become more favorable for development in the near term. Water temps in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Atlantic will continue to rise and reach their peaks moving into August. This pattern traditionally produces deep, warm pools which provides increased "fuel" for tropical storms. Looking toward end of July, there is a low chance for another storm to form in the Atlantic. Into August, activity historically increases, with September the most active month of the Hurricane season. Until a system can move from the Atlantic into a favorable shear environment over a warm waters, odds are low the tropical will deliver significant relief to the U.S. near term." 


Wish we had better news for those looking to see Mother Nature throw a "Tropical Hail Mary."


Local forecaster in Seattle Times 
Lead Forecaster Mark Ingalls of Kennewick, WA had an epic day yesterday, and we wanted to share the joy with you. After appearing in the Tri-City Herald front page on Sunday, he learned on Monday the Seattle Times had picked up the story, followed by the Tacoma News Tribune. Capping the media explosion was a radio interview with Seattle's KOMONews.com at 5:15 PM Eastern Monday afternoon. Our thanks to the news reporters and journalists for giving our developing Western U.S. team quality time with the public. Let your friends and colleagues know by visiting our Pacific Northwest page, in facebook, they can have equally reliable and accurate forecasting as is found throughout the East. 


Down in the Ring of Fire
-Storm Chaser/Forecaster Kelton H. of Nashville, Tennessee 


4:25 PM EDT Monday 7/18/2011 While Tropical Storm Bret slowly churns off the coast of Florida, sadly moving away from the rain parched Southeast, a large swath of the country is faced with a smothering heat wave this week which may challenge records and tempers alike. If you want to get a guaranteed escape from the heat, check our Pacific Northwest page for details. 


Heat Wave Safety Summer is fun, but heat can be deadly if you don't prepare and stay hydrated. The Norman, Oklahoma National Weather Service has a helpful and straight-forward page on heat wave safety, risks and prevention. You can also visit this FEMA webpage for an efficient overview of heat hazards and prevention. Familiarize with NWS Heat-related advisories, watches, and warnings via this link to NOAA. 

Multi-state special reports
HEAT WAVE SECOND LOOK Storm Chaser/Forecaster Kelton Halbert, prepared this special analysis of the impending heat wave in his website: tempestchasing.com. Collaboration credit also goes to Advisor Greg Blumberg, a Meteorology graduate from the University of Oklahoma and NCAS Weather Camp Instructor. 

TROPICAL STORM BRET Storm Chaser/Tropical Forecaster Vincent Webb of Central Mississippi, in collaboration with the Tropical Team, has been posting =updates about Tropical Storm Bret off the Florida coast. Team reports are posted in our Tropical Zone on this site and our rapid update portal in facebook. 


LONG RANGE OUTLOOK Long Range Forecasters Nic Robeson of North Carolina and Mintong Nan of Montgomery County, MD collaborated late last week on a 1-week analysis and projection of the heat wave. View their report in our Long Range Zone.


MICHIGAN WEATHER Forecaster Ben Redmon of Michigan Weather Watchers provided this Severe Weather Outlook for Michigan as posted on our U.S. page and in the Ohio Valley Severe Weather Zone.


Our team in the news
We think you would agree that high school senior and Lead Forecaster Mark Ingalls of Southeast Washington has had a mountaintop experience in the past few days. Innovative and forward-thinking reporter Mr. Jacques Von Lunen of the Tri-City Herald in Southeast Washington State, who first wrote about Mark in their Sunday paper (below: front cover), was able to have the article also included in today's Seattle Times on page B11 and linked on the landing page of newspaper's online edition. 


The abridged backstory: Last Wednesday, 7/13/2011, Mark was interviewed by the Tri-City Herald. At 4:00 AM Thursday, he started a three-day hike with friends and colleagues to one of the taller mountains in Eastern Washington, to an elevation of 12,000 feet. While away, Advisor Keith covered for him in our Pacific Northwest page  on facebook.

On Saturday night 7/16, Mark returns home to crash and recover. This past Sunday morning, he awakens to find he is on the front page of the Sunday Tri-City Herald, the fourth largest newspaper in Washington State. By the open of business this morning, we learned that the article had been republished by the Seattle Times. For a high school student, that is a mountaintop experience. 

The team congratulates Mark for representing the team so well! The invitation to join Mark's team, or any of our regional teams,  is open to any high school, college or workforce weather enthusiast. Professional meteorologists and life long weather watchers alike collaborate every day on our team with high school and college students. For those who know how to embrace the meaning of team, there is a place for you too.  If interested, send a simple email to info@footsforecast.org We look forward to hearing from you.