Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our Mid-Atlantic Local Zones
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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"There's A Storm Front Coming..."
- Billy Joel


Strong to severe storms, heavy downpours, damaging winds 50 mph or greater
  • Southern I-40 Corridor: (Texas to Tennessee) Impacts in progress until late this afternoon. Damaging winds, tornadoes, lightning and heavy rain with any storms.
  • I-81 Corridor: (Virginia & Blue Ridge Mountains) Late afternoon to early evening.
  • I-95 Corridor (Richmond to Philadelphia) After sundown to midnight from late West of I-81: Expect strong to severe storms anytime after 9 PM.
  • I-95 Corridor (North Carolina to Florida) Late tonight into early Thursday. Isolated tornadoes are possible, damaging winds in excess of 50 mph and heavy rain.


8:00 AM EST 1/30/13 (Severe Weather Update - Forecaster Isaacs)

The severe weather is currently in the Mid-Mississippi Valley and slowly moving towards the Atlanta Metro Area. Our graphic below shows our thoughts about all the hazards that will be accompanied by the cold front that will pass through the area today.

HAZARDS: Damaging Winds, Heavy Rainfall, Frequent Lightning, and Isolated Tornadoes.

TIMING: The thunderstorms should approach the Northwest corner of the state right around morning rush hour. The storms will continue to push through the state throughout the morning and afternoon hours. Timing on the Metro Atlanta area between lunch and the evening commute. This will cause some major issues on area roadways...and additional time should be considered on all trips.

  • The Northeast Georgia Mountains will be under a HIGH WIND WARNING
  • Remainder of the area under a WIND ADVISORY from 5 AM to 7 PM tomorrow. 
  • Areas under the WARNING will have sustained winds between 30 - 40 MPH with gusts to 50 MPH. 
  • Area under the ADVISORY will have sustained winds between 15 - 25 MPH with gusts to 35 MPH.

FLOOD WATCHES: Most of North Georgia (not including the Metro Atlanta Area) will be under a FLOOD WATCH from 5 AM to 7 PM tomorrow. Area under the WATCH should expect rainfall amounts around 2 inches. Area to the south of the WATCH will experience at least 1 inch...possibly more depending of the nature of the thunderstorm development.

TONIGHT AND TOMORROW NIGHT? Tonight expect increasing clouds with lows in the lower 50s. Tomorrow night, expect decreasing clouds with the departure of the cold front with lows near the freezing mark.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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Sunday, January 27, 2013


"When Will 'Then' Be 'Now' ??  "Soon..."
- Rick Moranis in a 1987 science fiction comedy.


Readers in our Forecast Zones experiencing winter weather impacts: 

11:30 PM EST 1/27 | Is It Coming Early? Forecaster Andrew Barney, Foot's Forecast | Central Pennsylvania & Winter Stormcast Team.

OVERVIEW: Our current winter storm, associated with a charging warm front pushing up through the Mid-Atlantic, could potentially arrive an hour or two early. Current radar images suggest the precipitation moving more quickly than anticipated, with ground observations still not depicting a clear picture of what is happening at the surface. 

TEMPS: Temperatures across the region should stay cold enough to have the potential impacts of a quicker moving storm affect our region. With colder air still locked in place overnight, there is the chance for a bit more frozen precipitation to fall before the anticipated changeover on Monday morning. 

TIMING: Check the attached image, courtesy of Penn State's "E-Wall" - it shows radar current as of 11:15pm EST. It clearly shows a rapidly advancing system, a few hours ahead of its forecast - most regions that are now under radar-indicated precipitation were not forecasted to receive anything before midnight! 

It is likely that the leading edges of this storm will have its precipitation evaporate before reaching the surface - a phenomenon called "virga". Due to this, we are looking for local reports from our readers - please post them in the comments section below as always! 

(Forecaster & PA State Team Leader Andrew B.)

A February 2007 ice storm crippled the Mid-Atlantic for several days.
It is hoped this situation will not be as significant.

1:30 PM EST 1/27/13 | Mid-Atlantic Team: Will it get THIS bad? Those who have fond memories of the Feb 2007 Ice Storm know that event crept up on us like a thief in the night. Are we heading into a repeat of those nerve-wracking days? The current NWS watches and warnings as shown below can be viewed via this link to the NWS Eastern Regional Headquarters. Our Southeast Team, led by the Metro Atlanta page on Facebook, is preparing for a similarly disruptive winter weather AND severe weather situation for the week ahead. Additional updates for the Mid-Atlantic situation will be posted on our Winter Stormcast page.

In February 2007, computer models began showing in the long range a heavy snow event for the metro areas, and lesser impacts north and west. Then as the event unfolded -- the I-95 corridor was smacked with a multi-day ice storm, while PA and the Blue Ridge region was inundated by unexpected heavy snow. You can check our forecasts from the week of 2/12/2007 for comparison to this event.

Our Long Range Team has been suspecting for some time we would be heading into an icy pattern come February, as noted on this page. This looks to become a reality as we approach this upcoming situation. The next possibility for this will present by Monday morning in portions of the Mid-Atlantic, followed by a brief warm-up going into the next few days.

Check back late this afternoon for additional updates on this increasing potential for both the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast.

(Forecasters Foot, Isaacs, Jackson, Fasnacht, Mitchell, Meehan) 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mid-Atlantic Snow & Southeast Ice: Checkmate?

3:00 PM EST 1/25/13 (Winter Stormcast Team) Light snow has begun across portions of Maryland and southern PA, with moderate snow in portions of the Hereford zone in Baltimore County and York County, PA. Accumulations of an inch have been reported in western Maryland, with a dusting thus far further east. 

Forecaster Greg Jackson of our Three Rivers team in Pittsburgh reported snow arrived earlier than expected and coated the ground quickly. As noted by Forecaster Joey Krastel in the Maryland Team, dry air across the I-95 corridor into Southeast PA was a formidable barrier to the snow getting underway until recently.

In the Southeast, earlier expectations of a significant ice event across North Georgia and Metro Atlanta have subsided, the region reporting light rain and sleet mixed, according to Forecaster Jason Isaacs of the Georgia Team.

Latest  intellicast radar shows that while snow may be falling at upper levels
very low surface humidity will negate much of this initial precipitation, known as "Virga"* 

Follow this link for more on the importance of accurate forecasting and detecting of Virga.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

No comments:
The Southeast Ice Storm Cometh

5:30 PM EST 1/24/13 (Forecaster Jason Isaacs & North Georgia TeamWe are still monitoring the potential for ice accumulations throughout the entire region including the Atlanta metro area. Our earlier report on the Mid-Atlantic situation for Friday night is posted at this link.

For Georgia, we have slightly adjusted our map further north due to recent trends by most models. This will likely be adjusted again with our early evening update in progress, and will be a NOW-CAST type of storm the next 24 hours. You can also follow our on-going updates in Facebook for our North Georgia / Metro Atlanta Team.  


Temperatures and the Amount of Precipitation Available. 

TEMPERATURES: Temperatures over the past 12 hours have trended cooler. If you compare our map from last night to this morning...the temperatures are almost the same. However, the time on last night's map was 7 AM and on this morning's map is 12 PM. This means the length of colder air in the area will be longer. 

AMOUNT OF PRECIPITATION: The amount of available moisture has been on a decrease over the past 12 hours. This is the largest reason for our moving the blue line further north...taking out Metro Atlanta from the 1/10 to 2/10 accumulation area. Less moisture = Less Freezing Rain or Ice Potential.

CAN THIS CHANGE? This depends on the trends of the two topics discussed above. Colder Temperatures + Higher Moisture = More Ice Accumulations. Colder Temperatures + Lower Moisture = Less Ice Accumulations. Warmer Temperatures + Any Moisture = Less Ice Accumulations. 

We will keep monitoring the situation and a revised statement will be posted around 9 PM tonight.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

White Friday For Eastern U.S.? Here we go again

10:15 AM EST 1/24/13 | By Winter Stormcast Director Zachary Fasnacht, in collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Teams. Authentic local updates for areas to be affected by the next event in the Eastern U.S. can be found at these lead pages for their regions:

OVERVIEW: A cold Arctic air mass has frozen over the mid-Atlantic over the past few days and now rounds o' snow are arriving with this cold air. Overall, we expect the next event to be relatively low impact, with the Friday evening commute being most affected. That said, a light snow will cover a large area and affect millions of people from Friday night into Saturday. Our latest team map for this next snow event as follows:

TIMING: Expect snow to begin across West Virginia and western Pennsylvania during the early afternoon hours on Friday. 
  • The snow will push east through the afternoon, arriving to the rest of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia by mid-afternoon. 
  • The snow will finally arrive by late-afternoon in New York City, New Jersey, and Delaware. Snow should end early Saturday morning across the mid-Atlantic as a few snow showers. 

PRECIPITATION TYPE: Models are showing the cold air hanging around the mid-Atlantic for a few more days so precipitation is expected to fall in the form of snow for all areas. The mountain areas of West Virginia could see some heavy snowfall rates of 1” per hour at times. 

IMPACTS: This system should be a low impact even with the worst being Friday afternoon and evening. Models show a general 1-3” snowfall across the mid-Atlantic at the moment. 
  • Some western areas of the mid-Atlantic such as western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the Maryland Panhandle could see 2-4”, with the mountains of West Virginia possibly seeing 5-6”. 
  • Coastal areas could also see some higher accumulations if the storm redevelops close enough to the coast. 
  • It also possible the a dry slot may form over some areas of central Maryland in which case only a coating to an inch of snow would fall over central Maryland. 
Many areas will see temperatures well below 32 during the storm, so back roads to become snow covered and main roads to melt and possibly refreeze when the sun goes down. The snow will be very fluffy so it will be easy to shovel up, for this reason we expect this to be an easy storm to clean up after. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013


"Here Comes The Sun..."-  George Harrison, The Beatles 

read more about this image from NASA's Astronomy Pic of the Day

7:00 AM EST 1/5/12 (Forecaster Mike N. and Mr. Foot) With many weeks of winter in front of us, many of you are no doubt wondering what lies ahead for the Mid-Atlantic region.  The overall trend has been more snow in place where it is less needed, and less of it in places needed most. The real questions on the minds of many we investigated in our previous report... 

For those who have difficulty with the decrease of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere winter, we have some DELIGHTFUL NEWS for you. Help is on the way, courtesy of your neighborhood sunrise table.

Each year Between January 9 and 11, depending on your location, BOTH sunrise and sunset start moving toward the spring-summer pattern. For example, while the date of the EARLIEST sunset in Baltimore was actually December 7, it is not until until early January for SUNRISE to start moving earlier. Need proof? Take a look on the US Navy's daylight tables

INTRODUCING THE ANALEMMAWe know, it is a bizarre name and not easily explained, but the unique looking figure 8 image above is a capture of the actual daily travel pattern of the sun in our sky-- across the whole year. called the Analemma. For teachers, here is a great kick off lesson topic for any day this week: 

WHY does the earliest sunset occur BEFORE the winter solstice and HOW CAN the latest sunrise occur AFTER the winter solstice

Squirming to know the answer? 
Some resources to help explain it:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

“I’m not angry. I’m disappointed…”
Jack Hall, Day After Tomorrow
  • By Zachary Fasnacht, Winter Stormcast Director | Jason Isaacs, Southeast Education Coordinator

    6:50 PM EST 1/01/13 A lot of questions have come up the past few weeks asking us…“What happened to the snow?” Well, the truth is just like in the Day After Tomorrow, “we are not angry, we are disappointed” with the outcome of the recent events. The purpose of this article is to explain the past projections, the current trends, and what the future holds for the Mid-Atlantic region. 

    But, wait? As Sam Hall tried to explain the truth to his father, his father asks an important question. “Sam, how can there be two sides?” Well, in meteorology we know that everything cannot be perfect and revisions are a necessary part in any winter forecast. So, we are going to go against Jack Hall and explain the other side of the story.

Winter Weather Consulting 
with the Foot's Forecast Winter Stormcast Team

A HIGH-IMPACT PATTERN has established over North America. Our team expects a
challenging round of winter weather to affect the Eastern U.S. the next few weeks.

  •  Relying on a 99-cent Smartphone app that can't answer questions
  •  Staring at a radar loop when you have more important work
  •  Basing tough decisions on a 15-second Weather Channel graphic

GET PREPARED, BEFORE YOU HAVE TO. Our team has immediate answers, interpretative services and integrated support. We can provide you: