Monday, April 21, 2014

No comments:
Snapback Into Summer?


8:15 PM EST 4/21 - If you've never heard of the "Rubber Band Theory" of long range forecasting, our short version is below. The concept was first attributed to Dr. Joel Myers, founder of AccuWeather. (Note: This is the geek side of the rubber band theory, there is a well-developed body of work on this idea in how men & women behave in relationships... something way more complicated than weather.)

The Rubber Band Theory (in weather) goes as follows: The longer duration of an abnormal weather pattern (such as below or above normal temps), the more likely that when that pattern eventually breaks, it does so violently and in a short period of time. Much like a rubber band will snap back more rapidly the longer it is stretched apart. 

This year, if the theory is correct, the seemingly endless parade of blue colored long range maps will come to an abrupt end. What we believe will follow by Mother's Day is a "snapback" to much hotter conditions - and temperatures in this scenario go WAY above normal for much of the country. 

How viable is this idea? Only time will tell. If life experience is to be counted as worthy of inclusion in the climate record, this writer remembers like yesterday a searing hot April day in 1985-- the 24th to be exact, when temperatures during a Spring track meet soared to 94 F in suburban Philadelphia. 

The very next year, on the same day, it snowed 2 inches-- April 24, 1986. Let's hope this time the snapback goes in the hot, not cold, direction!

Forecaster Foot, Long Range Coordinator Nic Roberson and the Long Range Team

Saturday, April 19, 2014

No comments:
"Every rider dreams of coming here... 

...then dreams of coming back."

Envision the fun of skiing a trail that starts on a snow-covered glacier, and finishes near the patio of world-class, yet affordable restaurants. 

Experience a day that begins with a sunrise ski on fresh powder, then takes on a thousand foot zip line over an alpine valley, followed by a mid-afternoon lakeside horseback ride, and ends with night snowmobiling.

Explore the opportunity to bring your friends and family with us to North America's premier all-season resort that hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 2010, and our team in 2004. What and where is this place?

Photo credit: The Whistler Vacation Club
It's the one and only Whistler-Blackcomb,
 we're going back April 3, 2015
and you're invited.

Additional details this weekend on registering your email to receive 
the trip "FootNote" and an infopacket on dates, costs and options.

To get inspired now and start thinking ahead, 
view this inside look at the Whistler experience from the perspective of a resident, 
who's also a parent of two young budding skiers, sharing an infectious love for the sport.

Video by Warren Miller Entertainment

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Two words for the wise: El Nino


6:30 AM 4/12 - "So you are predicting a rough winter coming up, but aren't sure about MONDAY? Meteorologists just crack me up." 

Many of our long time readers will notice if they examine our reports on this site, and in our local Facebook forecast pages, that the our team hardly ever delves into the "climate change" arena. Is this because we don't have a stance on the subject, are afraid of it, (or maybe we are part of the global cover-up, and just don't realize it...?)

No, in reality we elect to maintain a "forecast local, think global" approach. We choose to focus on relatively short term, observable and verifiable data in climate science, while keeping an eye on the underlying long term trends. For our readers and clients, we believe that your immediate need are more likely to be "what's the deal with next week?" or "give me a sense of next winter" than "how much time left before I have to put the house up on stilts?

We closely examine climate data and known trends to identify what types of long range patterns are most probable in the near future. We believe if you have a general idea of what's coming the next 3 to 6 months, you can more effectively plan your life or business needs going forward. When rough times do hit, such as a repeat of winter 2013-14, or an Isabel-like event, we hope the foreknowledge of what's possible aids in your resiliency and recovery. 

Here's a look at the indications we see from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, with a brief explanation below the summary. True long range watchers, oceanographers and climate scientists already know why this graph gets us going, and should be a message to purchasing agents who want to be ahead of the game by next winter.

It is month-by-month measure of changes in sea surface temperature (in degrees Celsius) across different regions of the Tropical Pacific. The most important of the 4 regions shown below is "3.4"  as noted in the center of the chart. 

  • Region 3.4 is the universally identified "indicator" chart that NOAA and the Climate Science community hang their hat on when gauging status of Pacific warming (El Nino) or cooling (La Nina). 

  • Red indicates sea temperatures are above normal, blue is below normal -- relative to the time of year. It is plain to see that 3 of the 4 measured regions in the Pacific are showing a fairly rapid warming that commenced in February 2014 and has continued well into April.

  • Long term historical climate records of El Nino events going back 50+ years show that moderate episodes of warming in Region 3.4 -- (influential factors in recent winters such as 2009-10 and 2002-03) -- got underway in April, and never looked back. 

    • Once warming in the crucial El Nino Region 3.4 starts, it usaully becomes a major  driving factor in weather patterns for the 6-12 months ahead.
    • Influence on the southern jet stream and Atlantic wind patterns can disrupt hurricane formation, hence the recent outlooks for a less active tropical cyclone season.
    • Reduced tropical cyclone activity in the Gulf and East coast allows sea surface temperatures to be less disturbed, and in turn can enter the winter season WARMER than normal. THIS becomes a key fuel source for major winter storms that develop along the coast, and was a strong factor in the Winter 2009-2010 blizzards.

    The important take-away for emergency managers, municipal operators and school district officials is that El Nino has signaled it's intent to return this winter. We suggest you begin planning ahead now so you are ready, if 50 years of known climate trends are of value in your long term risk management planning. 

    If your company or organization is interesting in making our weather intelligence services a part of your planning process for the seasons to come, we welcome your inquiry: 

    By Rich Foot, CEO & Senior Advisor - Foot's Forecast LLC

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    1 comment:
    Collaboration is the New Chivalry
    Part II of our 10th anniversary series

    After the town of Joplin, Missouri was utterly leveled by an EF-5 tornado in May 2011, many distant families and friends could not reach their loved ones amidst the total destruction.

    With the local power grid devastated, and cell service jammed, communication for some was difficult to impossible. One Maryland resident had been trying desperately to learn the whereabouts of her family, and left a comment on our central Maryland Facebook page about her plight.  

    Then Forecaster Greg Jackson, a soon-to-graduate high school senior from Carroll County, Maryland, noticed her plea and reached out. Within just 30 minutes, after quick collaboration across members of the team, Greg connected the reader to a Red Cross resource working in the vicinity of her family. Shortly thereafter, the reader's family had been found - alive. Here's a link to our Facebook transcript from May 23, 2011.

    Greg was 18. He was busy preparing for graduation to unfold in just a few days. He didn't have to make that connection, nor did he boast about it afterwards. But he did selflessly demonstrate a set of values inherent across our team to this day. It could be considered a mission of honor not unlike early Medieval codes of chivalry as originally developed in the 12th century. Later, English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, branded into society's mind the image of the knight in his famed 1387-1400 collection of stories known as The Canterbury Tales. Yet, many knights never lived up to the ideals opined by Chaucer, and history was forever changed. This begs the question: 

    What relevance do thousand-year-old ideals have in a technology-charged, app-driven culture? 

    Our team has learned the past decade these seemingly forgotten virtues of true chivalry remain as important now as when early monastic knights took a solemn vow to protect pilgrims on simple journeys to the Holy Land. Today, we seek to embody the practical truths of this knightly mission: Maintain a foundation of ethical conduct in our service to civil society, by living a life that puts others' needs ahead of one's own. For our team, it is the course of using sound, collaborative science to inform and educate the public, and doing our part to help save lives and protect property. 

    Forecaster Greg and that concerned reader searching for family will probably never meet. Yet, their lives, and ours, are forever changed, because a Squire put down his sword, and extended his hand to someone in need.

    If you, your family, company or organization would like to learn about what our forecasters could do to help in the dark hours, and the bright ones, our Advisors welcome your inquiry:

    Authentic Weather for a Civil Society