Friday, December 7, 2012

"I'll never be the same..."
- Timbaland


Photo credit:
Award results of Ocean City Dew Tour Skate Mega 2.0 
Center (1st) Tom Scharr, Left (2nd); Eliott Sloan; Right (3rd) Bob Burnquist

(Surf & Sail Team) The 2012 Pantech USA-sponsored Dew Tour held in Ocean City, Maryland had a classic start and a wildly successful finish under clearing skies and throngs of thrilled beach spectators. An article provides a full wrap-up of the Skate and BMX results. For our team, seeing youth athletes passionate about their sport was as inspirational as knowing the Dew Tour received the weather support necessary to make the right call, and finish strong.  

Photo credit: On-site Forecaster Connor Meehan of BMX Competitions in Ocean City, MD

Despite a rain delay Sunday afternoon, our team was pumped to see that the athletes enjoyed a dazzling finish to the 4-day event capped off by an energetic crowd right on the beach.  Foot's Forecast was on-site for the entire 4-day event with our interpretive weather forecast services, collaborating with the Dew Tour Event Staff, tweeting updates to the Ocean City Tourism Advisory Board and working in the mobile-command center of the Ocean City Department of Emergency Services

Read on for the backstory on how we helped the Tour make the right call for all.


The last, and most important day of the OC Dew Tour opened under warm sunshine and light northeast winds. Morning events were well underway when atmospheric indicators began brewing up a tricky afternoon. Ocean City prepped the Dew Tour for the possibility of afternoon rain. 

TURNING BAD NEWS INTO GOOD. Despite abundant sunshine, Dew Tour organizers deftly advanced their event schedule up by 30 minutes. Even with a rain delay during some of the 2:00 - 4:00 PM live NBC coverage, the event got back underway quickly. Sunday's Skate Bowl Final wrapped perfectly right at end of live TV coverage, capped with the announcers saying "the people that do our weather know what they're doing!"  But concerns were ahead...

ALL QUIET ON THE SET, OR NOT?  By 4:30 PM Sunday, skies went increasingly gray and dark. Yet another batch of rain was moving in. A rain delay was called just before 5:00 PM. Wet ramps meant the athletes might not be able to run out the final competition.  Would vendors and sponsors have to contend with a disappointing finish? Not on our watch.  

A HIDDEN SILVER LINING. Our high school and college forecasters, some the same age as the athletes, saw an improving window of opportunity. 
  • At 6:00 PM, OC Emergency Services, in consult with Foot's Forecast, relayed to the Dew Tour that light rain would end by 6:30 or sooner. 
  • At 6:10 PM, the radar above showed a clear back edge. Salisbury, MD, just 45 minutes, showed clearing skies. The winning piece of weather intelligence had arrived.
  • By 6:15 PM, Foot's team and the Command Center confirmed that drier conditions west and south was evidence enough the Dew Tour should try to hold the final competition. 
MAKING IT HAPPEN. A herculean effort was initiated by the event staff. They put down their clipboards and cameras, and dragged out hand-held hairdryers, squeegees and made the ramps safely dry and ready to receive athletes concerned about conditions. At 7:45 PM, a Tour coordinator climbed up to a loudspeaker, announcing to boardwalk crowds that the Skate 2.0 Mega was on. 

As Billy Joel might say, "Like the sea they came pouring in." In minutes, well over thousand spectators thronged back out to the beach. The cameras rolled, crowds were thrilled, and the next day headlines proved the importance of finishing strong.


Our Surf & Sail Team of Foot's Forecast thanks Alli Sports, PantechOcean City Emergency Services and the hardworking security staff for making this a huge success for all. As Forecaster Evan from Baltimore County noted: 
"The Dew Tour IS the ULTIMATE fusion forecasting event of our generation. It's students with passion for weather helping students with passion for skating and BMX. Plus, the forecast worked out!" 
A fist bump to the Dew Tour for making Ocean City MD your summer home 
We'll never be the same, and we look forward to working with you again.  

Photo credit: Forecaster Connor Meehan at the Friday 8/17 Skate Bowl Competition in Ocean City, MD

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