Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thinking globally, forecasting locally

NOAA Infrared Full Disk of Pacific
Note new Pineapple Express with
moisture transport from Hawaii 
6:10 PM EST 11/30/11 | On this last official day of the 2011 "Hurricane Season" our team is shifting into winter weather operations, and preparing for the eventual launch of our new globally scalable website in December. The "Regional Roundup" is an example of how our locally relevant forecasting connects readers and clients right with their local  team in one or two clicks. This wide-angle view is an excerpt of today's weather from selected forecast zones  across the U.S. To get your state, county or city, maybe it's time to send in that team application or advance that client prospect...before the weather turns again! 


Forecaster Mark Ingalls from our Pacific Northwest Zone wrote morning that "Washington, Oregon and southwest British Columbia may see some leftover showers this morning, followed by clearing skies this afternoon. Idaho has a chance of precipitation, with rain mostly expected to be confined to the Snake River Valley. W Montana will see snow today with up to 5 inches (12 cm) expected in Great Falls."


NOAA Water Vapor Image for 11/30
Forecaster Robert from our Southeast Wisconsin Zone projects that: "On this last day of November, and we will be transitioning in to December tomorrow. Our forecast is starting to look like December with two snow chances in the forecast. The first comes Thursday night, with a weak low pressure system. This system should not be a big deal, with only maybe 1/2 inch accumulation. A much stronger system will impact our area this Saturday and Sunday. 

Forecaster Jason Isaacs in North Georgia posted in our Metro Atlanta Zone that "after a cold and dreary day with temperatures in the upper 30s area wide, expect the temperatures to drop further tonight. Some drizzle in the metro area and flurries in the mountains tonight. This may lead to some travel issues for the mountains as temperatures under 32 degrees seem to be a possibility for elevations over 1500 feet."

Heading over to the Three Rivers Zone of Metro Pittsburgh, Lead Forecaster Greg Jackson posted this forecast-in-context to what's ahead: "On this last day before meteorological winter begins we are getting a small taste of winter today. Currently we have  rain showers around the area, although a wet snowflake or two is also mixing in. We do not expect any snow accumulation. These showers will diminish by noon, and will just leave us with cloudy skies before some clearing begins tomorrow."

From the White Mountains of northern Vermont, we welcome Regional Forecaster Derek Maroot, who joined our team as an Affiliate over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Outside his busy schedule as a pilot, Derek posted this update in our new Winter Stormcast Zone for Northern New England: "An incredibly mild night across the North Country with temperatures actually rising to early morning highs in the upper 50s for most areas across our region. Gusty south winds will continue throughout the morning, colder temperatures are expected to arrive later in the day as a strong surface low lifts from the Adirondack mountains northward into southern Quebec." 

So what is next? Big changes are coming, both in the weather and in the forecasting of it on this site. With tomorrow being the first day of Meteorological Winter, we will begin to share news of a special event starting next week that will impact all of us in many positive ways. We call it "Redefining December 5th." For our first readers in Maryland, if you know how and where this website got started, have been a part from the start, and are a powderhound year-round...by this time next week, we think you will be very happy with what we have cooking.


Regional Roundup by Aaron Salter, Director of Team Operations
(Forecaster Foot and the U.S. Team)


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Walking in Memphis, Part II


2:30 PM EST 11/29/11 Snow across northern Mississippi and Alabama last night moved into western Tennessee and Kentucky this morning, and is now breaking out along the southern Tri-State area of Illinois, Indiana, and northwestern Kentucky. We last used the headline "Walking in Memphis" after the 1991 song by March Cohn, because on January 28, 2010 the context was a southern winter storm INSIDE the winter season. With several inches of snow on the ground in Memphis earlier today, and schools closed IN NOVEMBER, any walking was probably in bewilderment as to what could be next after this wild year of weather. 

To answer that question more thoroughly, our Winter Stormcast Team has completed a multi-state collaboration. We plan to release the final projections for expected seasonal precipitation amounts of rain, snow and ice in selected locations, as well as periods when we anticipate stormy vs. quiet weather. Check our Winter Stormcast Zone on December 1 for the full report.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Strategic Media Application


At Foot's Forecast, we often say "weather is the cover story." The needs on our team extend from daily weather updates to maintaining a high level of youth involvement. "Fusion media" is for those who can stay fresh with latest trends in fashion, social multi-media and sports. Our Strategic Media Team is just that: Their talents enable our company to sustain and engage in all things media. The contributions of each member have wide-ranging impact on the company, from CMS and database maintenance to design of customized ads, logos and videos.  

Current positions for which we seek applicants are listed below. The application text follows.

Fusion Photographer 
Do you love to snag that different angle on a shot? Enjoy capturing the finer moments of nature, or maybe you are a fast action shutterfly. The Fusion Photographer plays a crucial role when weather is breaking, or when it is calm. Photos from the local area are "fused" with the forecast to create a collaborate feel in both art and science. Other examples include a sunset picture in Maryland by Fusion Photocaster Emily, which became the standard image on all the business cards in our team, across the nation. Take a look at Emily's work since 2010 in our Central Maryland page on facebook.


Fusion Design & Videography
If you have that knack for taking a basic idea and tricking it out in graphics for a simple but sophisticated feel, then Fusion Design may be your role. Take a look at what Forecaster Andy Smith of the Virginia Tidewater on facebook has produced for our Three Rivers Team in Pittsburgh. In Fusion Graphics, you collaborate with other team members, using on-line tools and software to create innovative, locally relevant graphics that capature the weather story of the day or week ahead. Your designs for a high impact event would be viewed by thousands a day across the country and the world. 


Strategic Media Coordinator
Have already proved your mettle in Fusion Photograhy or Graphic Design? If you are ready for an advanced role, serving as a Strategic Media Coordinator provides you with valuable career-building leadership skills while making an impact on readers across an entire region of the U.S. 

An example are the fresh Facebook profiles & logos developed by Director of Strategic Media Diandre Williams. 


Our regional coordinators work daily on exploring improved uses to leveraging Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social multi-media portals. Coordinators conduct research on user demographics; recommend networking media to support student and site projects and promote apps useful for the readership in staying connected during significant events.  

Ready to get it started? The section below outlines your application process. When finished, email to diandre.williams@footsforecast.org in Strategic Media.

WHEN YOUR APPLICATION IS READY
• Save in a Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010 format and include a recent resume or a biosketch if available. If not available, you can send in the resume with the reference letters.
• Title the document “First Name Last Name – State – Application"
• Length is no more than 3 pages. Recommendation letters are not counted in the 3 pages.

1. INTRODUCTION
First, tell us how you developed a passion for science, the outdoors, photography or media. 

Next, describe in 1-2 paragraphs a weather event which impacted your life.
Last, discuss in 1 paragraph how you collaborate with others

2. BACKGROUND A bullet list of 2-3 items for each
• What geographic region would you like to work in or have photo samples from;
• A brief list of skills, talents and innovative background you can offer our readership (abilities in media, videos, music, website, photography, sports, etc.)
 An overview of your academic background, core courses and/or training if applicable.
• A brief list of activities you do outside of weather, and your favorite travel spots.

3. REFERENCES  Have two individuals submit to us via email within two weeks of your applicationa two-paragraph letter of reference on your behalf. The writer is to include a contact number.
  • If between grades 9-12: Options include a parent or guardian AND a current/former science teacher of yours OR an Assistant Principal. Context of the letter is to know a professional with your school system is aware of your application and can vouch for your eligibility for our team.
  • If in college: A Professor, Academic Advisor, or fellow student in the same field of study at the same college;
  • If at home or in the workforceA member of your family or a colleague who is aware and can vouch for your background in media.

4. WHAT THE WRITER SHOULD SAY You can submit your application before your recommendation letters. While the Outreach Team initiates your training process, you can contact your letter writer.

The writer of your 2-3 paragraph reference letter should include:
  • An example of your passion for weather & science or media & technology 
  • A statement on your professionalism and ability to collaborate in a team 
  • Contact email and phone number for our team if we have questions.

QUESTIONS? Before you apply, email any questions to Nikki Byers, our Director of Outreach (nikki.byers AT footsforecast.org). If interested in further details, we can arrange for a conference call to speak with an Advisor and a member of the Media Team.


The Strategic Media Team of Foot's Forecast


Diandre Williams, Director of Strategic Media
Meagan Buster, Director of Fusion Forecasting
Rich Foot, Chairman and CEO
Keith Krichinsky, Chief Operating Officer

Go figure: Rain north, snow south


9:15 PM EST 11/28/2011 | MISSISSIPPI SNOWING | Storm Chaser Vince Webb from Central MS is reporting heavy wet snow falling in the northern part of the state. Check out his live video streaming at his website Mississippi Storm Chasing, while the feed is still available.


4:45 PM EST 11/28/2011 | SOUTHERN SNOW REPORT | An excerpt from our North Georgia Forecast Team on the pre-winter weather situation developing tonight in northern Mississippi, Alabama, and west Tennessee. 
"As of 3:39 PM, moderate to heavy snowfall is being reported in Haleyville, AL. We will continue to monitor this system and update if/when it impacts the Metro Atlanta area."
Additional reports on this system will be posted from our forecasters in the Southeast as the evening progresses. Until then, view the rarity of seeing a NWS Winter Storm Watch for Memphis, Tennessee...in November.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving Thanks... and Traveling Home

NOAA Water Vapor Imagery Loop
11:00 AM EST 11/25/11 | On this relatively quiet Happy Friday, we are thankful the weather has taken a break in most parts of the country, but not for long. A strong cold front is beginning to sweep east as evidenced by High Wind Watches in the Central Plains. For those in West, Great Lakes and East Coast, the trip home by Sunday should be free of weather concerns thanks to two high pressure systems sandwiching the front in the countrys mid-section. Travelers in the Southern Plains will be the first to deal with the impact of this cold front as it moves east. The 5-day Precip Forecast from NOAA (right corner), suggest that in the Monday-Wednesday period, copious moisture transport from the Gulf may spawn potentially flooding rains across a large part of the Eastern U.S. Heavy rain and possible thunderstorms are expected by Monday in the Mid-South, which by Tuesday-Wednesday  extends into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. 


Forecasters Amanda B.
and Randall J. of the Florida Team
While the weather granting a short respite, the U.S. Leadership Team of Foot's Forecast wishes to give thanks to our many loyal readers and team forecasters.. across the country. We appreciate every day that you take time to check in here or on Facebook, trusting us with your local weather from over 25 states. We are thankful for the dedication of our 50+ forecasters that provide a quality service day every day, such as  Forecasters Amanda Brioche and Forecaster Randall Hergert from our South Florida Team, as shown above. Amanda is a sophomore in Meteorology at the University of Miami, and Randall is a Meteorologist and 2010 graduate from Florida International University, from St. Petersburg. You can see daily evidence of their passion in our South Florida & The Keys page on Facebook.  


We wish all our readers and their families a peaceful Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and high hopes your trip home will be uneventful. Thank you for choosing Foot's Forecast to be your go-to place for local weather from a team we trust every day.


(CEO and Lead Advisor Mr. Foot; Advisors Keith Krichinsky, Brad Lear and Dr. Pete Winstead)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tricky and Windy getting to the Turkey

1:50 PM EST 11/23/2011 | THANKSGIVING WEATHER REPORT | Below are excerpts of an article posted on Examiner.com by Meteorologist and Team Advisor H. Michael Mogil.  followed by an overview by Forecaster Mark Ingalls on the Pineapple Express, now reaching the Pacific Northwest. We would also like to share the exciting news that two of our high school forecasters are performing or supporting the 85th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday in New York City. The full story in our Foot's Forecast | United States public information page in Facebook. 


"For the past two weeks, computer forecast models have been indicating an East Coast storm on or just before Thanksgiving Day 2011.  The models have oscillated on the placement and strength of the expected storm. The models have also indicated a very stormy period for the Pacific Northwest."
Now, as the Thanksgiving Day weekend arrives, "both significant weather events are taking shape."  For the millions in motion on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, plan ahead now for what will be a tricky time just getting TO the turkey. Leave as early as you can, pack extra patience.  
FOR A LOCAL VIEW IN YOUR AREA, you can quickly locate our local team forecasters in facebook by clicking the "Find Your Forecast" tab above or via this link
SYNOPSIS: (Derived from Mr. Mogil's article) Thanksgiving Day travel will be impacted by two storms reaching different parts of the country. 


Storm # 1 arrived on the southern California coast Monday, is heading through the Southern Plains today on a path to New York City by Wednesday. This storm will deliver copious precipitation up to 2 inches over a large area of the Mid-South to the Mid-Atlantic as it intensifies heading northeast.  South of the low pressure center, the severe weather threat could include tornadoes in the Carolinas. In New England, as shown in the NWS Forecast Map above,  heavy snow is likely from Vermont to Maine. 


Storm # 2, now reaching the Pacific Northwest, is riding along an oceanic & atmospheric phenomena known as the Pineapple Express. Forecaster Mark Ingalls from southwest Washington State has posted an overview of the "PinEX"  in his local-focally zone at Tri-Cities Weather. This storm will spread strong winds, heavy coastal rain up to 4 inches and inland mountain snows of several feet along a huge swath of the Coast Ranges from central California northward into British Columbia.  THE FULL ARTICLE is available on Examiner.com (Lead Advisor Mr. Foot)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe...

derived from SPC Storm Reports
9:40 AM EST 11/17/11 
SEVERE OUTBREAK & NEXT STORM The surprisingly strong and widespread severe weather outbreak in the Southeast from 11/16-17 yielded the following preliminary reports from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center: 25 tornadoes, 87 reports of winds of 65 knots or higher and 9 reports of hail of 2" in diameter or larger. 

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? As reported in our Winter Stormcast Zone, the Forecast Team is continuing to target the period from November 25 to December 5 as the next time frame for a significant winter storm in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. This storm may be preceded by an equally widespread snow event for the Upper Great Lakes by early to middle of next week. In full disclosure, we have been targeting that time period now since late September and established the specific data ranges on October 22. 

OUR RATIONALE? Based on an evolution of the overall long range pattern, we have been tracking and analyzing what appears to be a general 30-45 day cycle of major events in the Eastern U.S. An influencing factor in this trend has been changes in atmospheric teleconnections such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation, among others. In September and October, we projected a mid-November warmup would occur along the East coast, followed by a cold front that would bisect from west to east, with a sharply colder air mass behind it. 

SO THE NEXT STORM IS... Now long range computer models are beginning to hint at one or more coastal storms along the Mid-Atlantic starting by next Wednesday, and repeating into early December, in addition to a possible major storm in the Western Great Lakes. While it is too early to tell if these storms will turn out as rain or snow, if you are looking for a front-row seat to a continuation of the wild weather pattern...you got it. As Bill Paxton from the 1996 film Twister said, "Tighten your seat belt."

(Forecaster Foot and the Long Range Team)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Destructive severe weather 
in the Southeast




4:15 PM EST 11/16/11 | Severe Weather outbreak continues in the Southeast. Our team's latest reports are posted in the Southeast Severe Page  and Metro AtlantaEarlier this afternoon, Meteorologist and Storm Chaser Reed Timmer, in pursuit of the storms, was quoted as saying: 
"Structural damage reported in Auburn, AL, and spotters observed damaging tornado as it moved through Opelika. Power poles snapped and major structural damage. Likely tornado heading for Hamilton, GA now."
The image above is of one long-track supercell is believed to have traversed all of Alabama and suspected to be the cause of several strong tornadoes. This image is from Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich of WCNC 36 in Charlotte, NC.  (Forecaster Foot- Baltimore MD and Forecaster Daniel- Atlanta GA)


Where the Wild Things Are
- 1964 Caldecott Medal winner by Maurice Sendak


12:40 PM EST 11/16/11 An overview of today's wild weather as posted in our Stormcast Zone: An early-season Winter Storm in the Pacific Northwest, Tornadoes in the Southeast; and rising risk of severe weather in the Mid-Atlantic.  If you experience significant weather today in your region, feel welcome to post your observations or pictures in our comment section or in the local zone for your area. As always, remain alert to changing conditions and monitor official NWS advisories, watches and warnings. 

SOUTHEAST Recap of Severe Weather Risks for today | .Tornado Watches and Warnings continue across Alabama and into Northern Georgia until 6:45 PM CST today. For the latest Public Advisory on this Severe Weather event,  please visit the NOAA Storm Prediction Center or the current Tornado Watch in effect for the region.


Multiple Tornado Warnings are in motion across Alabama and are expected to continue into the afternoon. Latest watches and warnings posted in our Southeast Severe Weather page.



PACIFIC NORTHWEST 
Forecaster Mark Ingalls has the latest on Winter Storm warnings and advisories in the Cascades and surrounding areas as posted our Pacific Northwest Page. A large portion of central and northern Washington state is expecting 6-12"  today into tonight, with hazardous driving conditions east into Idaho.

NWS: Pendleton, Oregon and Spokane, Washington latest statements and imagery on the early season storm.


MID-ATLANTIC The primary threats in our area will be occasional strong to severe storms, with possible rotation in an isolated cell or two. Some small hail may be embedded within stronger storms developing along the front. 


Timing of these storms is expected in the mid-afternoon hours, with the eastern Mid-Atlantic across to the Delmarva and Southern Virginia likely to see impacts in the early evening. 


Regional statements will be posted in our Foot's Forecast | Mid-Atlantic: Severe Weather page as conditions warrant. View he latest regional NWS radar loop. 



CAROLINAS For a look at what our in-state teams are calling for in the Carolinas, you can visit our local forecast pages in facebook*, including the Charlotte & Metrolina Zone by Forecaster Christy, our Cape Fear & The Coast Zone by Forecaster Ross, or our newly launching Research Triangle Zone by Forecaster Scirico.


* Note to those in public & private schools: A professional web developer company is closing in on completion of our new website which will soon eliminate the issue of having forecasts posted to ONLY facebook. Content will be equally published on this site and in facebook simultaneously.


(Forecasters Foot, Jason M., and Josh O.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

At least November is nice, for now...

11;00 AM EST 11/15/11 | Updated Team Statement | With much of the Mid-Atlantic experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures yesterday and today, our Severe Weather Team collaborated Monday night on potential stormy weather for portions of this region. Severe Weather occured last night in portions of Ohio, as recorded by Forecaster Jason Warren of our Northeast Ohio Zone, who observed small hail in a thunderstorm from this Youtube video in that zone.  

CURRENT SITUATION: A cold front draped from the Ohio Valley to the Southeast will slowly track east along the Appalachians today into Wednesday. Low pressure will develop along over the Appalachians during this time. A warm front should extend eastward from the low over Virginia. Along and south of this front is where we expect the chance for a few strong to severe storms from late this afternoon into Wednesday afternoon hours. 
NOAA Storm Prediction Center Outlook: Tue and Wed


A VIEW FROM THE SOUTHERN PLAINS: Please visit our Affiliate Forecast Team ConvectiveWeather for a local view on the situation affecting the Southern States.


HAZARD OVERVIEW
  • Threat area: From southern Virginia southward into central and eastern North Carolina.
  • Impacts: High winds, small hail and possibly an isolated tornado will be the main threats from any strong to severe storms that develop. 
  • Timing: Wednesday 11/16 from the mid-morning hours into the evening.
NON-SEVERE RISKS
  • Risks: Non-severe thunderstorms will be possible north of this area from central Virginia to Southern Maryland to the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. 
  • Timing: Wednesday morning to the early evening hours. 
  • Impacts: Moderate to heavy rainfall can also be expected over much of the Mid Atlantic, and rainfall amounts should reach one inch for most areas. 
  • Severe weather  is not expected in these areas, however strong winds aloft may be able to mix down wind gusts of 35-45 mph in any thunderstorms that roll through these areas.
(Author: Forecaster Jason M. Collaborators: Forecasters Greg J., Josh O. Daniel Ross, Mr. Foot)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stormy in the valleys, 
calm on the coasts
Foot's Forecast: Severe Weather Team Pages

10:30 PM EST 11/13/11 | As we head into the last full workweek before the unofficial "Holiday kickoff" that is Thanksgiving Week, severe weather concerns are rising in  the Ohio Valley and portions of Texas, Our multi-state Severe Weather Team collaborated Sunday evening on the storm potential, and filed this report by Lead Forecaster Greg Jackson of the Three Rivers Team in Pittsburgh.

RISK AREA # 1: SOUTHERN TEXAS: The NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has denoted this area with a slight risk for severe storms late Monday-early Tuesday. Our team believes the main threat is damaging winds and strong-severe storms. There is a possibility of some small hail in the severe storms, and the chance of an isolated tornado. This concerns our team because of the timing. We urge all citizens to stay alert through the night, but not lose sleep. Have a flashlight ready and if you wake up hearing a storm rolling through get out of bed to check your local news station for any severe weather alert. 

For a local view on storm possibilities in the Southern Plains, please visit our Affiliate  ConvectiveWeather. 


RISK AREA # 2: OHIO VALLEY The SPC has also given the Ohio Valley a slight risk for storms. The timing looks to be Monday afternoon into the early evening hours. Strong advection looks to create a destabilized boundary and create the potential for strong to severe storms. Damaging winds will be the main threat along with the storms, but isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out. There is also a slight chance for small hail. We expect the unsettled weather to be out of the area by 9pm, but until then stay tuned to your local NWS forecasts for any official statements, watches or warnings.

For a local view on storm development in this area, please visit our Ohio Valley Severe Weather page in Facebook.

Lead Author: Greg Jackson (PA)
Collaborators:  
Nic Roberson (NC)Jason Mitchell (MD), Josh Owens (MD)Connor Meehan (MD)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Welcome to the Winter Stormcast Zone
MID-ATLANTIC | NORTHEAST | OHIO VALLEY | WESTERN GREAT LAKES


4:00 PM EST 11/12/11 | As we approach end of the 2011 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Season, and begin a transition to Winter Operations, the Winter Stormcast Team wishes to recognize the contributions and leadership of the multi-state Tropical Zone Team


During this season, our Tropical Forecasters have managed 18 named storms, which has become the third most active season behind 2005 and 1995. We salute the dedication of Tropical Team Director Daniel Ross, Tropical Team Coordinator Jason Mitchell, Forecast Advisor Forrest Palmer and their 6-member team for unfailing service to the readers in a challenging tropical season. We recognize Meteorologist Randall Hergert, Forecasters Ross Harris in NC, Kurt Hansen in VA, Nikki Byers in MD, Matt Bolton  in FL and Meteorologist Advisor Dr. Pete Winstead in MD for over one hundred forecasts this year in our Tropical Zone on Facebook. We hope the winter will afford you all time to rest up!  


As cold weather approaches, we know the Powderhounds out there are excited to see a relaunch of this winter weather forecast page which received millions of hits the past two winters. The Winter Stormcast Zone began in 2009, and by the February 2010 "Snowmageddon" readers poured into by the hundreds of thousands for a inside scoop on what our team predicted. With the Northeast having been clocked by the Shocktober Storm, and a potentially major storm to impact the Northern U.S. next week...we figured it was time to get it started in here.  


RECENT TEAM REPORTS: Read "About that Alaska storm" for a potential timeline of events for the winter kickoff and into January 2012. 


WE'RE NOT JUST IN THE MID-ATLANTIC: This page is the school-side version of what we post in facebook. For our other Winter zones, search for "Winter Stormcast" in facebook, to discover what our team has in the Northeast, Ohio Valley, Great Lakes and more on the way... it's a big planet, we got a lot of snow to cover.


Winter 2011-12 Forecast: Overview  

3:00 PM EST 11/11/11 | PART 1: INTRODUCTION | After extensive collaboration over three months and across 5 states, the Winter Stormcast Team has prepared this overview of the Winter Forecast, We are also assembing a data-focused technical version that details the projected seasonal precipitation amounts for selected locations  similar to our "Storm Grade Amounts" approach. Part 2 is identifed as "Projections" to be released on or before December 1. This quantifiable method will establish specific amounts we project to occur, and then we can track the accuracy of that projection throughout the season as compared to climatology for that location. (Lead Forecasters Jason M., Connor M. and Lead Advisor Mr. Foot)

La Nina Projections for 2011-12
THE MAJOR PLAYER: La Nina. In a typical La Nina winter, the East Coast normally experiences below average snowfall and precipitation along with above average temperatures. The Climate Prediction Center currently expects a moderate La Nina this winter continuing into Spring, as stated in this recent report published 11/10/2011 and in the Weekly ENSO Diagnostic Report posted each Monday by the CPC.  

A La Nina Backgrounder on NOAA's page about the oceanic temperature phenomenon. 



INFLUENCING FACTORS: THE NAO & AO
We expect atmospheric teleconnections such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Arctic Oscillation to be in phases that are conducive for below average temperatures at times this winter. This should mainly be the case for the first half of the winter. Thus, we expect below average temperatures with several chances for accumulating snow in December, with moderating temperatures later in the winter.



MID-ATLANTIC PRECIP & TEMPS
Overall for the Mid Atlantic, we expect slightly above average snowfall with near average precipitation and average temperatures. For northern portions of the Mid Atlantic, we expect the next significant snowfall event by December 5, with the remainder of the region receiving significant snow by the middle of December. 


A LOOK AT OTHER REGIONS
Areas in the Southeast U.S. should experience below average precipitation and above average temperatures. Our team is predicting below average temperatures and above average snowfall for the Pacific Northwest. Statements on the winter in different regions are in progress from our other Winter Stormcast Teams, and will be posted when complete.  


Prepared 11/7/2011, Updated 11/11/11
by the Mid-Atlantic Winter Stormcast Team. 

Lead Forecaster Jason M. 

Collaborating Forecasters: 

Connor M. (MD); Ross H. (NC); Mitch D. (PA); Mike N. (MD); Daniel R.(GA); Mark I. (WA)


LINKS TO RESOURCES:


Current status

2. La Nina/El Nino


Review and Results:
October 29-30, 2011 Storm




The historic winter-like storm that brought unprecedented October snowfall amounts to the Northeast will be remembered by many for decades to come.  NOAA ranked the event on the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) as having a Category 1 level impact as compared to a "Category 5-level" impact for the March 1993 Superstorm. 


STORM GRADE VERIFICATION: A preliminary review of our Storm Grade Amounts as as verified by NWS Local Storm reports shows a 60% average accuracy for the 6 selected major cities in our forecast. Many thanks to Storm Chaser/Forecaster Kelton Halbert of TempestChasing.com in Nashville, Tennessee for conducting the independent verification of our forecast results. Kelton, a high school junior, was selected for this role because he was outside the forecast area of the storm and not involved in the prediction process. Additional storm data is available upon request via: footsforecast AT gmail.com
  


Several key factors were in place that contributed to this historic event. Following a strong cold frontal passage on Thursday, an anomalously cold area of high pressure set up over New England and southern Quebec. This allowed for early winter-like temperatures to descend over the Mid Atlantic and Northeast. 


DEVELOPMENT: A storm system began to develop Friday over the Tennessee Valley. A strong area of high pressure was also anchored over Greenland, and this “Greenland Block” helped to keep the storm on a southerly track through the Southeast. By early Saturday, the storm system reemerged off the Carolina coast. With favorable upper level dynamics in place, the storm rapidly intensified off the Mid Atlantic coast by the early afternoon hours. 


EVOLUTION: The high pressure to the north of the storm kept cold air in place over inland areas, and precipitation over portions of the Northeast quickly changed from rain to snow. The coastal storm continued to bomb (rapidly deepen over a 24 hour period) during the evening hours, and this allowed tremendous snowfall rates to persist over portions of New Jersey and Connecticut. 



IMPACTSTemperatures in the lower to middle 30s allowed for low snow-to-liquid ratios, and the snow was very heavy. As a result of the heavy snowfall consistency, considerable tree damage occurred in many areas, and millions of people were without power. 


COMPUTER MODELSAs with nearly all nor’easters, there was plenty of computer model disagreement in advance of the storm. However, our review of model verification showed that the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) model consistently projected this major coastal storm for several days. (Forecaster Jason M.)



October Snowstorm 
Latest team analysis


11:30 PM EDT 10/28/11 | STORM SYNOPSIS | Reposted from the Mid-Atlantic Winter Stormcast Zone in facebook by Forecaster Jason and the WSC Team: We are just hours away from a potentially record-breaking October snowstorm for interior portions of the Mid Atlantic. Although the main focus is on snow, wind and coastal flooding will also be hazards for other portions of the region. As the coastal storm deepens in classic fashion, winds will increase throughout the day over the Mid Atlantic. 


For the Atlantic beaches in Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey, there will likely be a several hour period with sustained winds of 25-35 mph and gusts to 45 mph. Areas near the Chesapeake Bay should experience winds of 15-25 mph with gusts of 30-35 mph. 


Fortunately, winds will be a bit weaker in areas that will receive heavy snow. However, 10-20 mp may still be enough to help knock down leaf-covered tree limbs that are snow covered. Our Storm Grade Amounts for selected cities are listed below, many thanks to Forecasters Jason and Dakota for organizing the data for this chart. 






(Author: Forecaster Jason M. Collaborators: Forecasters Dakota S., Connor M., Mitchell D., Advisors Foot, Krichinsky)


BACKGROUND ON THIS PAGE
What started as a simple experiment that received just 200 hits a day in December 2009 grew by exponential rate to February 24, 2010 when nearly 150,000 individuals visited the Winter Stormcast Zone. By the winter of 2010-11, this page had become the go-to source for thousands on winter storm events. The Christmas Weekend Blizzard of 2010, the Southeast Ice Storm of January 8-10 and the January 26, 2011 "snow monsoon"  in the Mid-Atlantic among other events further cemented our "Winter Stormcast Team" as a reliable source for winter weather forecasting.