Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The battle for winter begins
NOAA Projection from 1/31 for 11:00 PM EST Saturday shows
the freezing line at 2 meters right along the Mason-Dixon Line.
 

11:30 AM EST 1/31/12 | After a highly variable winter of storms that have been decidedly "out-of-season" the pattern may be shifting toward a more traditional cycle of cross-country events followed by Arctic outbreaks. Given that temperatures are heading into the 50 and 60s today for the East, we know many PowderhoundTM readers are beyond bewilderment as to how this winter can deliver at least one traditional Mid-Atlantic snowstorm. All we can say is, take heart friends, the battle for a Fabulous February is about to begin.

The breakdown on this storm. A fast and clean overview if you're short on time:
  • Snowcover in the Great Lakes and eastern Canada is finally building up;
  • Computer models place a high in the classic "upstate New York" spot by this weekend. This is crucial prior to a traditional I-95 snowstorm;
  • An ample fetch of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be available; 
  • If this scenario plays out, a snow/sleet/freezing rain mix could begin by daybreak Sunday in the I-95 corridor between Richmond and Baltimore. 
The "Long Range Cycle" rationale. If we examine the pattern starting with Hurricane Irene in August 2011, the 45-60 day cycle appears to have played out in a possible A vs. B pattern. A-events noted in this example occurred generally within a 60-day cycle, while B-events noted generally took place in the 30 days following the A-event. This  60-day Long Range Cycle concept, also known as Lezak's recurring cycle, was developed by Gary Lezak, the Chief Meteorologist for NBC's Action News in Kansas City, MO. We applied the basics of his forecasting technique to our projections for winter 2010-11 and this year. 

Nine inches of rain in one day inundate
Ellicott City, MD during Tropical Storm Lee
Is the pattern compressing? 
The hypothesis under consideration by our Winter Stormcast Team follows the observation that in recent years, as a traditional winter storm pattern gets underway, the cycle of storminess appears to compress into a higher frequency of events toward mid-winter. We hypothesis that the time compression is bookmarked by one or two major events, before "unraveling" to a lower frequency of occasional events on a regional scale. When events seems to align toward one cycle, as in a merger of the 30-45 pattern with the 60-day pattern, the identifier is an "AB" event as shown below.

Consider these observations of recent high-impact events:
  • (A) August 26-28 Irene traverses the East coast
  • (B) September 9-11 Tropical Storm Lee's flooding rains in the East
  • (A) October 29-30 Halloween Weekend snowstorm in the Northeast
  • (B) November 28-30 Surprise early snowstorm in the Mid-South
  • (A) December 19-21 Pre-Christmas Blizzard in the Central Plains
  • (B) January 18-19 Snow & ice storm in the Pacific Northwest
  • (AB) January 21-23 Southeast severe weather/Northeast snow event
  • (AB) February 5-8 Possible winter weather event in the East?


So the battle has begun? 
The cropped image above from NOAA's Global Forecast System model for February 5 shows three important features which suggest the winter pattern may be heading toward a major event on the East coast. The blue line is 0 degree celsius at 2 meters, (or 6 feet above the ground) at 11 PM Eastern Time on 2/4/2012, this Saturday. Any precipitation (shown in green) that is inside the blue 2 meter line generally falls as snow or ice.  The reason we suspect the beginning of a wintry period in the East centers on these factors:

  • This map arrangement places an Arctic High in southeast Ontario for the first time since the October snowstorm; current snowcover shows this region is also well-supplied, another pre-storm requirement.
  • Computer models show a "battlezone" forming in the Mid-Atlantic this weekend between the cold Arctic air nosing out in front of the approaching Ohio Valley Low.
  • Concurrently, the Arctic Oscillation is set to trend negative in this period, which suggests ample cold air may position East of the Appalachians prior to arrival of the eastward advancing Low. 


Tell me it's possible! While temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday may approach 60 at some eastern U.S. airports, all that glitters is not gold. Those yearning for snow should find comfort in the fact that just days before the March 1993 Superstorm, temperatures were in the mid-50s in Baltimore harbor. Three days later, fourteen inches lay on the ground from Atlanta to Maine. It's happened before, it will happen again...it's just a question of when.

(Forecaster Foot, Meteorologist Berk and the Winter Stormcast Team)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snow Squalls and Fusion Forecasting


9:30 PM EST 1/29/12 | Forecaster Dakota Smith at Penn State University recorded this video Sunday evening as a band of heavy snow was moving through Central Pennsylvania. About two hours prior, Forecasters Greg Jackson and Matt Balash of our Three Rivers Zone in metro Pittsburgh reveled in the thrill of a brief lake effect snow band moving through that region, as shown in their video as linked here.

These videos are an epic example of our rapid response "fusion forecasting" that any high school, college student, meteorologist or weather enthusiast can post when weather is on the move in their area. Forecasters simply record a 1-2 minute segment, send to our Strategic Media team, and it is posted right here in the lead story for our entire U.S. readership to enjoy. 

Fusion Forecasting

Reach a national audience in our forecast
SEATTLE | NEW ORLEANS | COSTA RICA | OCEAN CITY, MD
(Sample Youtube fusion forecasts during recent team tours )



Meteorologist Shundra Stewart of Central Mississippi welcomes you to the French Quarter of New Orleans at Saint Louis Cathedral. For more information about how we can help you harness our local or national readership to promote your event or destination, send us a note: clients@footsforecast.org


Lead Forecaster Mark Ingalls of our Pacific Northwest Team at the festive Pike Place Market in Seattle. Visit us on Youtube for more.  

Every day, our multi-state forecast teams provide daily, local weather to an engaged readership across all 50 U.S. states and 110 countries. Although we attract over 100 million hits annually to our main site and facebook pages, the focus is on local forecasting from a team in your community. Promoting your event, attraction or sporting activity in our forecast would provide innovative access to a loyal and diverse readership in the core demographic of viewers 25 to 54 years of age.

OUR RECENT WORK Example fusion forecasts in the past year have included special promotions for the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival in Annapolis, MD, the surf & skate Summer 2011 Dew Tour competition, Opening Day of Major League Baseball, or the USA Science & Engineering Festival. All forecasters on our team can leverage the FusionWeather technique to promote a local event, business or attraction or celebrate the unique history and culture within a forecast zone. It's the most fun you'll ever have with the weather.

A LOCAL EXAMPLE The sunshine and blue skies of the 2011 National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, MD provided the perfect backdrop for this shout-out to our team from the event organizers. The multi-state reach of our team allows us to be in numerous locations and promote many events simultaneously. This video below from Labor Day weekend in Ocean City is another example.  

We hope your event will be next in the spotlight of a "fusion forecast." 


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Eastern U.S. Team Forecasts
As of Friday, 23 November 2012

Click on LOCAL REGIONS FOR FACEBOOK POSTS
Click on WEATHER STATEMENTS FOR LOCAL NWS STATEMENTS

MID-ATLANTIC

MID-ATLANTIC ROADWAYS : MD |DE |VA |WVPA 

LOCAL CLOSINGS/DELAYS:


Maryland  

Northern Bayshore   

SMALL CRAFT/COASTAL FLOOD STATEMENTS

5:30AM 11/23/12 (Advisor Rob J.) Good Morning Northern Bayshore! Happy Black Friday! 

BLACK FRIDAY: Partly sunny highs in the mid to upper 50s south winds around 10 to 15 mph. Tonight a cold front will go through dropping our temperatures to the mid 30 with west winds 10 to 15 mph.

SATURDAY: Mostly sunny skies temperatures will only be in the mid 40s breezy northwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Saturday night temperatures will drop into the upper 20s. 

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny with highs only in the low 40s.


Enjoy your day and hope you get some good sales.

Weather Statements

                  Bayshore-


                  SMALL CRAFT/COASTAL FLOOD/GALE/FOG STATEMENTS

                  12:10 AM 11/23 (Forecaster Mike) - Heading out for Black Friday deals? It's a little on the chilly side across the region, but on the bright side, it could be a lot cooler. Lows are dropping to the mid 30s inland, and around 40ยบ for the beaches. 

                  FRIDAY - Skies will be mostly sunny, and it may be a little on the mild side with highs climbing into the upper 50s to lower 60s! The cold front will br

                  ing passing clouds Friday night, and a very slim chance for a stray shower.

                  SATURDAY - Behind the front, it will be cooler and windier with mostly sunny skies returning! Highs are only anticipated in the mid to upper 40s with winds in from the WNW at 15-25 mph.

                  SUNDAY - Clear, sunny skies will be back again on Sunday, but highs will remain back in the mid 40s with a W wind at 10-15 mph. Stay tuned!







                  SMALL CRAFT/COASTAL FLOOD/GALE/FOG STATEMENTS

                  Details at NWS Mount Holly  
                    Details at NWS Wakefield


                  The Capital Region


                  SMALL CRAFT STATEMENTS

                  Friday, we will have mostly sunny skies with a slight chance of rain showers in t
                  he afternoon highs in the lower 60s again and lows in the mid-30s. On Saturday we will have sunny skies and a breezy day with highs in the mid-40s and it will be cold at night with lows in the upper 20s. The winds will be from 15-25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Sunday will also be on the chillier side with highs in the mid-40s and sunny skies, and lows around 30. Monday will be mostly sunny with highs in the lower 50s and lows in the mid-30s. Enjoy the weather!





                  Southern Maryland


                  SMALL CRAFT/COASTAL FLOOD STATEMENTS

                  We will have continued sunshine on Friday with highs in the mid 50s. 



                  BLACK FRIDAY: Clear and chilly with lows in the mid 30s. W
                  inds will remain calm. Partly sunny with daytime highs reaching around 60 and a slight chance of an afternoon shower or two.

                  LOOKING AHEAD: Variably cloudy through the rest of the weekend with highs in the low 40s and overnight lows in the low 30s Friday night and mid 20s on Saturday night.

                  From all of us at Foot's Forecast, have a save and happy holiday.


                  Virginia  

                  This is Forecaster Megan-

                  FRIDAY: Mostly sunny yielding to mostly cloudy skies; highs in the low 60s. 

                  FRIDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy evening with clouds dissipating overnight; lows in the mid 30s.

                  SATURDAY: Mostly sunny; highs in the low 40s.



                  Weather Statements


                  Foot's Forecast Space Weather Caron Schroeter

                  Good afternoon, Maryland! I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! Tonight, November 23rd, is going to be clear and in the lower 30s.

                  11/24- To the left of the Moon on this night you will be able to see two or three of the brightest stars of Aries.
                  11/26- At dawn look to the southeast sky and you will be able to see Venus and Saturn less than 1 degree apart! As the sky becomes brighter look to the lower left and see Mercury.
                  11/27 & 11/28- Both of these nights will have full Moons, to the lower left of the Moon you will see orange Aldebaran, a Red Giant located in the constellation of Taurus, and Jupiter.
                  11/29- Jupiter’s Great Red Spot will be passing over its central meridian at 11:00 p.m. EST 8:00 p.m. PST.
                  Mark your calendars for December 13/14! On this night you will be able to witness a Geminid Meteor Shower! This night there will be a new Moon so it will be perfect conditions to see this wondrous sight! Find a nice, dark place to go out, lay out a blanket, and watch the stars! The best times will be from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m., but they will be visible all night long! As low as 50 and as high as 120 meteors will be able to be seen per hour if conditions are right! You will not want to miss it, I know I won’t!
                  Enjoy the last week of November and happy star gazing!
                  (Photo: Meteor Shower Photo Credit: Unknown)
                  Good afternoon, Maryland! I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! Tonight, November 23rd, is going to be clear and in the lower 30s.
11/24- To the left of the Moon on this night you will be able to see two or three of the brightest stars of Aries.
11/26- At dawn look to the southeast sky and you will be able to see Venus and Saturn less than 1 degree apart! As the sky becomes brighter look to the lower left and see Mercury.
11/27 & 11/28- Both of these nights will have full Moons, to the lower left of the Moon you will see orange Aldebaran, a Red Giant located in the constellation of Taurus, and Jupiter.
11/29- Jupiter’s Great Red Spot will be passing over its central meridian at 11:00 p.m. EST 8:00 p.m. PST. 
Mark your calendars for December 13/14! On this night you will be able to witness a Geminid Meteor Shower! This night there will be a new Moon so it will be perfect conditions to see this wondrous sight! Find a nice, dark place to go out, lay out a blanket, and watch the stars! The best times will be from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m., but they will be visible all night long! As low as 50 and as high as 120 meteors will be able to be seen per hour if conditions are right! You will not want to miss it, I know I won’t! 
Enjoy the last week of November and happy star gazing!
(Photo: Meteor Shower Photo Credit: Unknown)

                  Thursday, January 26, 2012

                  Severe weather to start your Friday?



                  7:20 AM EST 1/27/12 | Although no Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm Watches are in effect at present, our Severe Weather Team is closely watching upper level dynamic and surface conditions for signs of unexpected changes. For today, the Storm Prediction Center has outlooked a large portion of the Carolina and Mid-Atlantic coast under a slight risk of severe weather. 


                  A line of thunderstorms, heavy rain and lightning is currently moving east into the Mid-Atlantic. The primary hazards, according to SPC, would be strong damaging winds along this squall line as it crosses the region between 7 and 10 AM. 

                  We urge readers in this region to remain alert to changing conditions, and monitor watches and warnings from your local NWS forecast office. Just because we are approaching the "dead middle" of winter does not mean severe weather takes a break from the weather pattern, even in less-than-likely place such as the immediate coast. 


                  (Forecasters Foot, Jason M., and the Severe Weather Team) 


                  Alabama in the line of fire...again
                  Florida panhandle is next

                  NWS REGIONAL RADAR FOR THE SOUTHEAST

                  11:50 AM CST 1/26/11 | Tornado Watches and Warnings continue to plaster the map from Alabama to the Florida Panhandle as a line of strong to severe thunderstorms is plowing through some area already hard hit from Monday's outbreak in Alabama. The Florida panhandle is next in line for severe weather.

                  This graphicast from the Mobile/Pensacola National Weather Service shows the severe weather risk that is already underway due to the eastward moving front and cold air interacting with surface and upper level instability, as well as ample Gulf moisture surging ahead of the front. Our team is covering this event in the recently launched Florida Panhandle page on Facebook led by Forecaster Megan Hodge, a north Florida resident and senior in Meteorologst from the University of South Florida.   

                  For Monday's outbreak in the Mid-South, the Birmingham, AL National Weather Service confirmed at least 10 twisters ripped apart homes and lives in Central Alabama alone, in some cases, communities which had recently recovered from the catastrophic destruction of the April 27, 2011 outbreak were in fact, struck on Monday, January 24, 2012. 


                  This insightful report from ABC World News details some of the valuable safety lessons that Alabama residents have learned in the aftermath of such a frequently violent year of severe weather.  This news story features Meteorologist James Spann of ABC affiliate 33/40 in Birmingham, whom recently spoke at the student conference of the American Meteorological Society in New Orleans. Mr. Spann aptly points out that for smoke detectors to be  in a home, "it's the law" but that same rule does not apply for having a similar alerting protection to something more destructive and unpreventable: Tornadoes


                  The Foot's Forecast Team strongly agrees with Mr. Spann: A NOAA All-Hazards radio in every home would go a long way toward saving more lives and protecting more property in a storm-prone area such as the Southeast. Simply put, there's no good reason to go without one. Visit this link from Midland Radio, manufacturer on where you can purchase your Weather Radio today.


                  (Forecasters Foot, Daniel Ross and the Southeast Severe Weather Team)

                  Wednesday, January 25, 2012

                  "Listen to the Mandolin rain..."
                  -Lyrics from the1986 single by Bruce Hornsby & The Range

                  2:30 PM CST 1/25/12 | Affiliate Forecaster Wesley H. from Convective Weather in Wylie, Texas reports in his latest post that wet weather has finally returned to stone-dry Texas, and will be impacting much of the Mississippi Valley heading to the weekend.

                  "After a prolonged period of rain-free weather across much of the Lone Star State, Texas will see a return to wetter conditions. Our upper-level system responsible for the upcoming rain moved in from California. The models had been bouncing all over the place over the last several days in regards to the timing and track of this system." 

                  "Fortunately, they converged on a track into Southwest New Mexico/far West Texas by Wednesday evening. Once the system makes it into West Texas, it will slowly wind up, eventually becoming an upper-level low. As it strengthens, its eastern progression will slow. By Wednesday evening, it will have only made it into Southwest Texas." From here, rainfall will increase ahead of the system into the lower Mississippi Valley on Thursday, the Ohio Valley and the Northeast by Friday.

                  For more details on how this storm will evolve toward the weekend and affect the Southern Plains, and eventually the Mid-South, please visit his site at ConvectiveWeather.com

                  Monday, January 23, 2012

                  Get ready for round two

                  Current image of infrared satellite, surface pressure
                  and radar from the PSU e-wall
                  8:45 AM CST 1/23/12 | The low pressure system and cold front responsible for firing off Sunday's severe weather event in the Mid-South has produced a new round of Tornado Watches for portions of Alabama and Georgia until 5:00 PM local time. As the Pacific Northwest slowly climbs out of their ice-encrusted reality, the Northeast is also dealing with a similar winter weather threat. Low-level surface "cold air damming" from central Maryland to Massachusetts to Maine has prompted widespread Freezing Rain Advisories and Winter Weather Advisories across the region. The image below from the NWS Eastern Region headquarters shows the extent of current winter weather statements.

                  On this diverse day of hazardous weather, as always we urge readers to remain alert to changing conditions, allow extra commuting time, and stay close to your latest NWS forecast office for any watches or warnings. Our team continues to report on these events in our 30+ forecast zones in facebook. To locate the forecast zone nearest you, search for "Foot's Forecast" in facebook. 


                  If you recently met our Leadership Team at the American Meteorological Society conference in New Orleans, and are interested in joining our team, our online application is available by clicking the "Opening Doors For You" image at left.  

                  Collaborating to save lives 
                  and protect property

                  7:45 AM CST 1/23/12 | Following Sunday's severe weather event in the Mid-South  the loproduced at least 21 suspected tornadoes across 4 states, including 35 reports of hail, some up to 2" in diameter and 118 wind reports. 


                  The hardest hit was Arkansas, as noted in an update by Affiliate Forecaster Wesley H. ConvectiveWeather at 8:00 PM last night, stating "Strong to severe storms continue to race off toward the north and east across Arkansas this evening. Over the last 15-20 minutes, there have been signs of these storms becoming more linear in nature.several well-organized supercells are noted on radar and are capable of isolated tornadoes (some of which could be strong), damaging winds, and large hail." 

                  Forecaster Wesley from Texas was one of five college and high school Affiliates or Forecasters on our team who interacted with professionals and meterorologists in managing this outbreak while balancing homework with an eye on the playoff games. From early morning on Sunday to well after midnight this morning, our Severe Weather Team provided updates to our Southeast, Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic pages, reposted NWS watches and warnings for their local zones, and collaborated across multiple states in Facebook. 

                  Our thanks also goes to Southeast Region Director Daniel Ross, Central Mississippi Meteorologist Shundra Stewart, Metro Atlanta Forecaster and Gwinett County Schools science teacher Jason Isaacs, Mid-Atlantic Forecaster Josh Owens of Maryland Weather Center, Central Virginia Forecaster Nikki Byers, Severe Weather Coordinator Jason Mitchell of our Capital Region, and Forecaster Jason Warren of the Ohio Valley. 
                  *links are to forecast zones in Facebook.


                  Sunday, January 22, 2012

                  Does weather need a playoff too?

                  12:20 PM CST 1/22/12 | On this busy day of NFL playoffs, the weather threw in some wild card-esque fantasy fun, just to make things even more interesting. On the heels of the first notable snowfall event of actual winter  in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast comes a potentially significant outbreak of severe weather in the Ohio Valley, Mid-South and Southeast. 


                  To sweeten the weather playoff deal, add Freezing Rain Advisories for much of Central Pennsylvania , Central Maryland, Western Maryland into the Baltimore-Washington metro area and across Central Virginia. For students and teachers in that area...now you've got the "icing" on the Monday cake. 


                  Probability of tornadic weather today into Monday morning
                  The NOAA Storm Prediction Center notes that primary hazards expected in this severe weather event may include widespread damaging winds, large hail and possible supercell thunderstorms. We urged all readers to closely monitor changing conditions and remain alert to any NWS watches or warnings. Seek immediate shelter if a warning is issued for your area. 


                  Our Severe Weather Forecast Team in multiple states is covering the event in facebook by posting local observations, regional analyses and collaborative reports in the following zones:  Ohio Valley Severe, Southeast Severe, Central Mississippi, Metro Atlanta, East Tennessee. Our Affiliate Forecasters are also covering the event with helpful assistance from ConvectiveWeather in Texas, Storm Central in Illinois, Tempest Chasing in Nashville and Forecaster Josh O. of Maryland Weather Center.  

                  The Storm Prediction Center denoted a large portion of the Mid-Mississippi River Valley, the Tennessee Valley and the Mid-South under a slight to moderate risk of severe weather valid from 11:30 AM CST today to 7:00 AM CST Monday. A large area of instability associated with a warm frontal boundary draped from Kansas to central Alabama will interact with a strong cold front sweeping into that region. The SPC expects the environmental conditions to become conducive in the areas shown for a "potentially significant severe weather event" by late Sunday afternoon continuing overnight into Monday.  


                  (Foot's Forecast Severe Weather Team - Collaborators Josh O., Wesley H., Jason I., Jason M., and Advisors Foot and Lear)  

                  Friday, January 20, 2012

                  Wasn't a very Happy Friday


                  9:00 AM EST 1/21/12 | We would normally wish you a Happy Saturday on this weekend before another round of NFL playoffs, but folks in the Pacific Northwest, the Upper Plains, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and...Mid-Atlantic might feel otherwise. As Washington State reels under a state of emergency, Seattle-Tacoma airport has "officially returned to the Ice Age"  according to the Seattle Times. Not only is most deicing equipment "encased in snow" but the airport may be running low on deicing fluid period. 

                  Hundreds of schools remain closed and much of the region could double as a set for Day After Tomorrow 2 if Roland Emmerich wanted to script up a sequel.  Forecaster Mark Ingalls, a high school senior reported "It is 18 degrees and freezing rain" the East coast team promptly responded with: "Mark you don't ever want those two factors in the same sentence again (18 F / freezing rain)."  

                  Our Regional Roundups in Facebook: The latest on the weekend storm situation in our local facebook zones includes Southeast Wisconsin, Western Great Lakes, Northeast Ohio, the Ohio Valley, Three Rivers (metro Pittsburgh), Central PASoutheast PA and Central MD.  Click on the name of the zone to access.  Winter Stormcast, Mid-Atlantic can be found HERE.

                  From the Twin Cities to Taunton, Massachusetts, the NWS advisory map may look just as ominous, but the scenario is not likely to play out in such epic fashion as Seattle. Still, Winter Storm Warnings, Watches or Winter Weather Advisories stretch over 1,500 miles as the crow files. We urge our readers to stay close by their latest NWS forecast office for changes in this newly-resurgent Winter Storm pattern. 

                  If one were playing a card game of Hearts with Mother Nature this weekend, don't try to avoid getting the Queen of Spades thinking you can squeeze out a win. This time, the deck is probably stacked against us, and more places will probably end up with more snow or ice than they currently expect.

                  (Forecaster Foot and the Winter Stormcast Team)