Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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"Same Ol' Love..." 
- Lyrics from a song of the same title by country singer Ricky Scaggs

11:45 AM 7/31/12 (Forecaster Mike) – Happy Last Day of July! July is ending just the way it has been going for the entire month so far. If you like persistent humid and stormy comditions, then like Ricky Scaggs might say, it's just the "Same Ol' Love" for you!

Some are ending the month with pleasant differences, for example, some drought relief is coming to the southeast, while much of the eastern fourth of the country is not significantly above average in terms of temperature. However, others are not so lucky, for example, the worsening drought conditions of the drought in the middle of the country combined with the ongoing extreme heat.

Image from SPC
SEVERE THREAT – In the southeast portions of the country, we do have a threat for severe weather as we head into our Tuesday. This includes the Southern Georgia zone and much of the coastal areas of the Southeast. Rain across this region is certainly needed badly, as the ongoing drought worsens. However, because of tropical moisture earlier in the season, there are areas that need the rain even more than these regions. With over 80% of the country in drought conditions, almost everyone needs a little bit of rain.

HEAT BUBBLE – The core of the heat will be across Central Oklahoma, including the Tulsa area, but this extends all the way over to the Central Mississippi region as well! Temperatures across Mississippi have another chance to surge into the upper 90s to above 100º, but that is even on the cool side compared to what portions of the central Plains are enduring. Both Tulsa, Oklahoma and Oklahoma City have a shot at highs in the upper 100s, approaching 110º. Some locales across the state may even surpass the 110º mark! Combined with the oppressive humidity, we could see heat index values above 115º and even nearing 120º. Stay cool across these regions! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

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11:00 PM 7/29/12 (Forecaster Mike) – A pretty stagnant weather pattern is setting in for the week ahead, and the weather will be very similar to Sunday across much of the country throughout the week. Even if the weather is boring, the summer Olympics have begun, so we can look to London! If you are interested in London’s weather for some of the outdoor events, check out this Weather Widget from the UK Met Office. 

This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office

UNSETTLED EAST – From the Great Lakes to the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic, while not so much in the Southeast, temperatures look to be near normal for this time of year, with numerous chances for showers and thunderstorms. No widespread lines of storms are expected, but the more isolated or scattered types of events are certainly likely.

HOT, HOTTER, AND HOTTEST – As if this is supposed to be “news”, it will be extremely hot through the central Plains once again. Kansas City will be frying eggs on the street again with scorching hot highs approaching or surpassing 100º. Throughout the week ahead, there is little hope for drought relief or relief from the constant and oppressive heat wave that has been relentless throughout the summer. Stay tuned for the latest and have a great week! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

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LET THE GAMES BEGIN! (The real ones!)

This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office

12:25 AM EDT 7/28/12 (Forecaster Mike) - All eyes are currently on London as the 2012 Summer Olympics get underway! What is your favorite event to watch? If you are looking at the weather in London for this important event, we have a Weather Widget from the Met Office in the UK. However, there is still some important stuff to keep an eye on for our side of the pond. 

STORMY EAST - It's a stretch to use the word "stormy", but widely scattered storms are possible across much of the east including the Central Pennsylvania zone. While there is a relatively low risk for Severe weather, we do need to keep an eye on those areas for storms developing. Also across Central PA we will see cooling temperatures to highs in the mid to upper 80s. Much of the Northeast and Great Lakes region of the country will be back to near normal high temperatures this Saturday, finally pushing back against the bubble of heat that fueled strong storms on Thursday and Friday. 

Central Plains heat from the NWS

HOT IN THE MIDDLE, AGAIN - Saturday will continue what has already been one of the hottest summers in recorded history across the middle of the country! Highs will sky-rocket well above 100º across a large portion of the Plains, including the Kansas City region. Forecaster Cissy of the Kansas City Metro zone is warning of another day with highs around 100 for the city and surrounding regions. The hot spot looks to be in central Oklahoma and Kansas once again with highs nearing dangerously close to 110º. 

Unprecedented Drought from the U.S. Drought Monitor

QUIET WEST - Not much is going on west of the Rockies. We do have some MUCH needed rain coming to western New Mexico and eastern Arizona, as well as another batch possible across portions of Colorado. This is most certainly needed for many people as the nationwide drought expands. Those who have been suffering through the heat have also been suffering the worst of the drought. The "High Plains" region, which includes the Dakotas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas currently has a whopping 97.68% of the region in a drought! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

All eyes are on London

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London 2012 Zone

This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office
Keep in mind that the days and dates may be a little off on this graphic, depending on your location. If on the east coast of the United States, it will be a day off from 8 PM to midnight, and on the west coast it will be a day off from 5 PM to midnight.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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7:00 PM 7/25/12 (Forecaster Mike) – What a beautiful Wednesday it was across much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast! From my location in Maryland, it was great to see perfectly blue skies overhead, without the haze that we often see too much of! With the moon approaching the first quarter phase, it may be a nice night to head out and look at the stars tonight. But if you are across portions of the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, head out quickly, because we will be deteriorating rapidly on Thursday.

CLEAR AND CALM WEDNESDAY NIGHT – The picture attached above was taken by our own Advisor Foot in NW Pennsylvania, not too far away from the Three Rivers Zone. If you are heading out to either enjoy a beautiful sunset in the next few hours, or maybe trying to get in some stargazing, you can look forward to mostly clear skies all across Western Pennsylvania, with lows dropping into the upper 60s to lower 70s. All across the northeast quarter of the country, enjoy the cool break while it lasts!

High-Resolution NAM Surface Temp Model for 8 PM Thursday

HOT, THEN STORMY – The Ohio Valley Severe center will have their hands full on Thursday as storms stretch across the region including the Northeast Ohio zone, all the way to the Metro New York zone. Thursday will be quite the wild one across the whole region from the Upper Midwest, through the Ohio Valley, and into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. As you can see in the map below, the Storm Prediction Center has warned of a relatively rare MODERATE RISK for severe storms. The risk is so high because we have warmth flooding into the region very quickly. For example, as a frontal boundary slides through late on Thursday, Erie, PA could be in the mid 70s, while mid to upper 90s still hold in portions of Southern PA!

Image from the SPC

A similarly drastic increase in humidity will also add to the volatility of the severe weather situation. A warm front passing through early Thursday will allow the warmth to enter the region, although it will be followed by a brutal cold front right on its heels. Make sure you are staying tuned to your local zones so that you know when storms are heading your way! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

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10:45 AM 7/24 (Forecaster Mike) – With the Olympic torch in London for the 2012 Olympics, the games are on a lot of people’s minds across the world! For our Tuesday, we have our own little game, which may get a little intense as the summer heat battles cooler air along the northern fringe of the country. There is plenty of heat across the country this Tuesday, which is providing no shortage of energy for storms to develop. A frontal boundary separates the hot weather from the cool weather, but the biggest concern is right in the middle where we have another threat for strong to severe storms!

Jackson, MS National Weather Service Outlook

THE HEAT – We’ve been focusing a lot on Kansas City lately, and rightfully so because that city is right in the middle of the heat epicenter! However, areas like Central Mississippi are also experiencing lots of heat, even if it isn’t as significant as the sweltering heat across the Midwest. Advisor Shundra Stewart has warned of highs across the region in the upper 90s with heat indices likely surpassing 100º! The worst of the heat is still concentrated across Iowa and Missouri and surrounding states where many cities could easily surpass 100º, adding to streaks of hot days for the cities!

THE COOL – On the other side of the arena, we have the cool weather, which is mainly concentrated over the Great Lakes. It is actually a stretch to call this cool weather, but perhaps comparatively cool is the better term. 80s will be the most common across the Great Lakes, but some areas may surpass 90º, while others heading into the Northeast may not even get out of the 70s.

THE BATTLEGROUND – This is where much of the focus is across the country now – right along the frontal boundary where the heat and the cool clash. The temperature contrast is quite significant across just a short area. For example, looking at the graphic above, you can see cities like Des Moines, Iowa expecting to hit 105º, while Milwaukee not too far to the east, is expecting a high of 80º! That’s quite a difference across a relatively short distance!

Today's SPC outlook

A few zones will be on the lookout today for the storms, but a lot is centered around the Tidewater zone of Virginia. Temperature contrast can’t really disturb someone’s day too much. However, severe storms can. We have an elongated area where severe storms are possible stretching from the upper Midwest all the way down to the Carolina coast. Strong winds are possible as storms already fire up across portions of Indiana and Ohio. New storms are expected to develop, and these will race to the southeast. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

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“Anyway You Want It” 
– 1980 single by Journey

6:30 AM 7/23/12 (Forecaster Mike) – There’s quite a bit of variety across the country as we head into our Monday so you can really have the weather “Anyway you want it”! However, many of you are probably living in a place where the weather is not cooperating with your wishes. Still, someone across the country is probably experiencing your desired weather day. The big exception here is for the powderhounds who are even looking for a bit of snow in the middle of July!

Sick of me yet?

HOT HOT HOT – If hot is the way you want your weather, there is certainly plenty of that across the country! The heat is again centered around the Kansas City metro region, although much of the Plains region is sweltering under 100º+ heat! On the other side of Missouri, St. Louis has had quite the share of heat! For the first 22 Days of July, only 1 single day (July 20th) had a below average high temperature. In addition, 6 different days in the month so far have set daily records for the location! If that isn’t enough, St. Louis has not seen temperatures drop below 70º once since June 27th!

St. Louis Temperature Data for July 2012 to date

SEVERE STORMS GALORE – It really isn’t “galore”, but there are some areas where we may have to be on the lookout for some severe weather this Monday! This might be for you if you are the type of person who loves to watch the storms roll through, although the most severe storms are not fun for anyone. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted areas across the Great Lakes region as potential spots for severe weather. This includes the Northeast Ohio zone under the “Slight” Risk category. While this region of the country isn’t close to the most desperate drought situation, we could even use the rain here!

Temperatures for the Pacific Northwest

WHERE’S THE COOL?  - While the cool weather is the toughest to find across the country today, we can find in in the corners of the country. Much of the Pacific Northwest, including the Seattle zone is experiencing some quite cool weather as clouds cover a portion, and cool air seeps down elsewhere. The other place to find the cold weather is in Maine, the only state in the country that is completely drought free!

Have a wonderful week! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

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New Week, Old Weather

11:00 AM 7/22/12 (Forecaster Mike) – Even though we are heading into a new week on the calendar, it will look very similar to the weather that has been dominant recently. The heat will be strengthinging again, and storms will be possible for many places, although some places will dry out who have been very wet lately.

CPC 6-10 Day Temperature Outlook

CENTRAL PLAINS – In this area of the country we have had no shortage of heat, and the upcoming week will provide no exception. Including the Kansas City area, temperatures will be climbing well above the 100º mark for much of the area in between the Mississippi River and the Rockies! For the Northern Plains, we will get a little cooler this week because of constant threats for storms extending there and into the Great Lakes region. However, those further south may have to wait until as late as Thursday, Friday, or the weekend just to see highs slightly below 100º, which is still extremely hot.

SOUTHEAST – It has been very wet and stormy lately in the southeast, which does provide some much needed relief to the drought. For example, the Altanta area has seen a bit of rain, but not nearly enough. Still, there is a significant deficit remaining, especially across portions of the coastal Carolinas. The heat will build into the upcoming week, with mid 90s being very common once again. While each day this week will bring chances for scattered thunderstorms across a large area, widespread rainfall chances are unlikely.

NORTHEAST – The break is over across this portion of the country. Baltimore had one of the coolest July days on Saturday, hitting a high of 69º! This certainly not typical of summer weather across the region! However, we will be heading back to the 90s by Monday. Some of the coolest weather for several weeks was across the region on Friday and Saturday, but through Sunday and especially Monday and Tuesday, the cool weather is departing, and the heat will be back. Much of the I-95 corridor through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will be seeing highs in the 90s all the way until next weekend! While we’ve certainly had hotter this summer already, this is still slightly above our average.

Current drought conditions across the country

WEST – Besides some highly isolated showers and thunderstorms possible from New Mexico up north along the Rockies, no major drought relief is expected in this region of the country either. And especially for the southwestern states, the drought here is getting quite significant as well. For an interesting fact, as of July 17th, only one state across the entire country is completely drought free – and that one state is Maine. Every single other state across the entire country has some degree of drought, with Moderate – Severe drought covering a larger area each day. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

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Who Remembers the “Summer of ’69?”

Image from NASA 
10:56 PM EDT 7/20/12 (Forecaster Mike) – Exactly 43 years ago, it was “One giant leap for mankind” as  As Advisor Keith noted earlier tonight, it was 10:56 PM on a (muggy) July 20 in 1969 when NASA Astronaut Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the moon. Who remembers the "Summer of '69"? No I don't mean the 1985 song by Bryan Adams, but rather the year of the first manned lunar landing! Less than a month later would bring one of the most infamous hurricanes of all time: Camille. We took a look back into the climate record and found some sharp differences, as well as interesting similarites between 2012 and 1969.

EL NINO SOUTHERN OSCILLATION – While 1969 was coming from a very different place compared to 2012, the projections look pretty similar! The winter of 1968-1969 was coming from a Moderate El Nino, which means above average temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. However, the winter of 2011-2012 was the direct opposite, with a Moderate La Nina weakening through the spring of 2012. El Nino conditions actually still persisted through the middle of the summer 1969, but the equatorial temperatures are currently climbing significantly through the neutral ranges of temperatures this year. In the winter of 1969-1970, we went right back to El Nino conditions, and the projections for the fall of 2012 and the winter 2012-13 are increasingly pointing to El Nino conditions developing.

Hurricane seasons to date from Wikipedia

HURRICANE SEASON – July 20th still lies at the very beginning of hurricane season, but the seasons of 2012 and 1969 to date are actually very similar. Both seasons saw four tropical systems develop before July 20th, but the 1969 storms were all tropical depressions with winds of under 39 MPH. However, the 2012 storms all developed into tropical storms or in the case of Chris, a minimal hurricane. Also, two storms developed in May of each respective year and June saw the other two. We can only hope that these similarities end very soon, because we certainly don’t want any repeats of the devastating impact that Camille dealt in August of 1969.

June Temperature Comparison

TEMPERATURE COMPARISON – As far as the temperatures of summer 1969 go compared to the summer of 2012, they could not be more different! Especially for the month of June, almost every state that was above average for June of 1969 was below average in 2012 and nearly every state that was below normal in 1969 was above normal in 2012! This could be attributed to the fact that the Pacific was cooling in spring and early summer of 1969, while it was warming significantly in 2012! As we head into July, the temperatures become less different, which may be expected because of the fact that the temperatures in the Pacific became closer together into the seventh month. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

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"Bright Lights, Big City"
- 1984 Novel by Author Jay McInerney

6:45 AM EDT 7/19/12 (Forecaster Mike) - Summertime is a perfect time to experience the cities across the country! Whenever you are outside though, you need a reliable team providing you with the forecast so you don't get caught outside in a thunderstorm! As part of this "Team Thursday", we are going to recognize the five big metro areas covered by a Foot's Forecast Team! 

The picture below is courtesy of "Carlo",
who posted this photo on Earthcam.

What better place to start than in the place where Jay McInerney set his novel - New York City! The METRO NEW YORK zone is currently introducing a new Apprentice Forecaster, Zachary Jacomowitz who will be providing the local expertise to the area. NYC could definitely ask for a nicer Thursday though, but on the bright side, we can finally leave 100º+ weather that we saw on Wednesday behind! Highs will likely hover in the low to mid 80s around the region with more clouds than sun overhead. While highly isolated showers are possible, most wet weather will hold away from the city this Thursday. 

The City of Brotherly Love may not be feeling that love from Mother Nature this Thursday. The PHILADELPHIA team, lead by Forecaster Robert Johnson with assistance from Meteorologist and Oceanographer Alex Davies, is expected scattered showers and thunderstorms across the metro region today with highs climbing into the upper 80s to lower 90s. The good news for Philly is the same as that in New York - the heat wave is over although we are still warm. 

Philadelphia Skyline
There may be some luck further south as the departure of the heat waves leaves near average temperatures for "Hotlanta". Forecasters Jason Isaacs and Daniel Ross are expecting another stormy day across the ATLANTA metro. Afternoon thunderstorms may flare up again under partly sunny skies, potentially bringing some much-needed rain tot he region. Highs will be right near the average high for the date, sitting around a warm but not oppressively hot 90º.

Now if highs are near normal for NYC, Philly, and Atlanta, the above-average heat has to be somewhere! Just head to KANSAS CITY and you will find no shortage of heat this Thursday. The Kansas City metro team is lead by Forecasters Kristen Metz and Cissy Orzulak who both work hard to make sure the city knows about impeding heat on the way, like there is now! Excessive Heat warnings are in effect for the city, with Heat Advisories stretching all around the metro region. Highs are expected in the balmy lower 100s, but heat index values could be as high as 110º! 

Jealous yet, central and eastern States?

Want to escape the summer heat? Then there's no better place to be than the SEATTLE AND THE SOUND area! This zone covers the metro Seattle area into Puget Sound, and is lead by a collaboration with Forecaster Mark Ingalls in Washington State and Josh Owens who has family in that region.With mostly cloudy to partly sunny skies expected around the region, highs will be right near the normal of a comfortable 76º! Those in Seattle may just be laughing about all of the Central and Eastern people and the heat in place! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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Looking for an end to the Drought? 
El Nino offers hope. 

10:30 PM 7/17/2012 (A special report by Southern Plains Forecaster/Affiliate Wesley H. of ConvectiveWeather.com)  After a 2 year hiatus, El Nino conditions are returning to the Pacific. This past spring, I mentioned that an El Nino could arrive as early as September or October, but it now appears that it could arrive by/in August. Since then, the latest models have become more aggressive, and the Climate Prediction Center now shows a 65% probability of an El Nino by November. This is a 10-15% increase since last month and a significant increase since last spring. 

CPC Outlook for the winter
For the rest of the article on El Nino's impacts to the drought, please visit ConvectiveWeather.

DROUGHT STATUS - There is no arguing that the country as a whole is in the midst of a very serious drought. While portions of the country had a drought in 2011, 2012 is much worse because of the widespread impact. For example, on July 12th, 2011 35.67% of the country was in any stage of a drought, while a whopping 11.96% was in the worst stage of an exceptional drought. As of July 10th, 2012, an astounding 79.98% of the country is in any stage of the drought, while only .74% is the in "exceptional drought" category. So essentially, 2012's drought is far more widespread, but 2011's hit local areas (mainly Texas) much harder. 

From the graphic above, you can see the Percent of Normal precipitation that has fallen across the country for the 180 Day period ending July 17th. Any shade of yellow or other warm color indicates below normal precipitation. The only areas that are not predominantly dry are in the Pacific Northwest and some local areas along the Gulf Coast. The Gulf Coast was spared because of repeated influxes of moisture onto land, as well as tropical impacts like that of Debby. The worst of this year's drought is concentrated in the southwest, but has gradually expanded 

Monday, July 16, 2012

From Weather Campers To Forecasters 

The Summer 2011 class of Weather Camp grads
from the Howard University program in Washington, DC.
7/16/2012 (Baltimore, MD) "Oh wow, you went to Weather Camp?" This is a common phrase heard around the 20-state team of Foot's Forecast. If you are a rising high school student in 9th grade or above, now is a great time to consider getting involved in our team before school starts again in the Fall. This will increase your eligibility for application to the Weather Camp program for next summer!

We know there are thousands of students around the country who simply love the weather. These are the ones who would watch The Weather Channel instead of Saturday cartoons, began record daily temperature changes at an early age, and have a passion for sharing their skills with others.  Funding from NOAA and the National Science Foundation provides an ideal outlet for guiding students who wish to explore Atmospheric and Climate Sciences as a career interest. Officially it is known as "Careers Camp" but our students simply call it "Weather Camp" and you should know why. 

Foot's Forecast is pleased to be a supporting partner for the NCAS Careers/Weather Camp program, lead by the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Science at Howard University in Washington, DC.

One student, many stories

Matt Bolton is a prime example of the impact that attending Weather Camp has had on our forecast team, and the meteorological community. High school student Matt Bolton from Central Florida attended several camps in the past 2 years, including the Jackson State University Camp and the Howard University Camp. In October 2010, Matt joined Foot's Forecast, leading our Central Florida page in Facebook. Since then, he has presented at AMS WeatherFests, has a leadership role in the local AMS chapter, has toured the National Hurricane Center, attended or collaborated in outreach events of local NWS forecast offices. In In October 2011, Matt with Advisor Mike Mogil presented extensive tropical cyclone research findings at the 36th annual National Weather Association conference in Birmingham, Alabama. Matt was a member of the 2011 Tropical Team and has collaborated on several forecasts for our main national website.

How many Weather Campers have joined our team? Read further for more information on our weather campers-turned-forecasters.