Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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"S(he's) Got The Look."
- 1988 single by Roxette from the album Look Sharp!

2:00 PM 10/1/15  - TROPICAL TEAM UPDATE
  • LATEST HURRICANE CENTER ADVISORY KEEPS TRACK OFFSHORE AT APPROX. 150 MILES EAST OF OCEAN CITY, MD., IN CONTRAST TO YESTERDAY'S BAY SCENARIO.
  • SUSTAINED WINDS INCREASED TO CATEGORY 4 AT 130 MPH - COMPUTER MODEL GUIDANCE REMAINS SPLIT WITH A THIRD OF MEMBER HOLDING WEST, TWO-THIRDS HAVE TRENDED EAST.
  • SIGNIFICANT SECONDARY EFFECTS WILL BE FELT ACROSS MID-ATLANTIC COASTAL AREAS AND IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY STARTING SATURDAY NIGHT AND EXTENDING INTO MONDAY. 
  • Although the Chesapeake Bay "Hurricane X" projection has reduced sharply in probability, our concern is that some will interpret an east-ward shifting storm track as license to dismiss and ignore. 
  • Hurricane Sandy never made landfall in Maryland, but while 200 miles off shore, the storm produced a 6.8 foot surge in downtown Ocean City, MD. The impacts in New Jersey from a 90 mph hurricane at landfall were no less than catastrophic.
  • This storm will be stronger than Sandy ever was, but will be moving much slower and in turn, will push water for 48 hours up the Chesapeake Bay and other sensitive coastal environments. This may create a major to historically significant flood even if there is no landfall. 
10:50 AM 10/1/15 TROPICAL TEAM UPDATE: PROJECTED PATH SHIFTING EAST, JOAQUIN REMAINS AN UNPREDICTABLE AND DANGEROUS MAJOR HURRICANE WITH WAVE HEIGHTS OF 36 FEET UNDER THE CENTRAL CORE.
As we await the 11 AM NHC update on Joaquin's strength and future path, this is a heads up message that we anticipate a significant shift back to a more Eastward track. This shift would be similar to tracks shown early Wednesday before the "Hurricane X" scenario of straight up the bay was presented at 5 PM at the NHC update.

  • We are also preparing a storm timeline and a wind field analysis graphic to aid those with interests or property along the water - who are seeking information on timing of surge and wind.
  • For example, the NOAA Ocean Prediction Center satellite of Wind & Wave Analysis shows that wave heights are 12-15 feet surrounding the storm, peaking at 36 foot heights under the central core! That is not surge but waves, and those are likely to go higher as the storm intensifies today. 



This storm will remain a complex and changing setup until it departs the region. We caution that regardless of track shift west or east, the slow movement of Joaquin in the next 72 hours will create widespread wind, rain and wave impacts from the Carolinas to southern New England. 

3:00 AM 10/1 - TROPICAL TEAM UPDATE
  • Joaquin reached Major Hurricane status at the 11 PM NHC Advisory with winds of 115 mph, three days earlier than models and forecasters expected. Intensity forecasts now point to winds reaching 140 mph (Category 4) before Saturday.
  • Changes in the official track are anticipated today, as the storm's more southwestern movement may result in edging the eventual path closer to a coastline "grazing" along the Delmarva versus straight up the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Latest computer model projections as compiled into a map presented by the National Centers for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) remain clustered around a mid-Atlantic landfall as early as Saturday night, with the storm slowing once onshore.
  • Our Tropical Team reminds mid-Atlantic readers not overlook 6" or more of wind-swept rain is en route for the region Thursday-Friday, prior to Joaquin's arrival.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

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The Return of Isabel ?


11:00 AM 9/30 - As of the latest NHC advisory, Joaquin's projected path continues to shift west, and the cone of uncertainty / potential areas affected would encompass the entire Northeast megalopolis from Norfolk-Richmond to southern New England. 

Our team is preparing decision graphics for posting this afternoon, that we hope readers will find useful as we recommend taking advantage of today's relatively low rain environment to initiate prudent preparatory actions for your family and property.
  • WE REMAIN ON RECORD TO SAY UNLESS DRASTIC CHANGES OCCUR IN TODAY'S COMPUTER MODELS, THE MARYLAND AND THE ENTIRE MID-ATLANTIC REGION COULD EXPERIENCE IMPACTS THAT EXCEED ISABEL IN 2003, IRENE IN 2011, SANDY AND HAZEL IN 1954


NOAA 7-day Rainfall Projections 
Additional 8-10" is likely for areas shown in orange along the East coast.



9:00 PM 9/29 - As our team continues monitoring the progress of Tropical Storm Joaquin, today's run of computer models is getting more extreme with each passing hour. Some projections we've seen internally for this storm are beyond insane and would, quite literally, be a disaster that by some interpretations could exceed Isabel (2003, shown left) Irene and Sandy were these to come true. 

Those who know us well and have been on this page a while understand we do not not hang our hat on just one model map and say, "there's our forecast, done!"  We prefer to be honest and upfront about forecast uncertainty, especially when accounting for erratic tracks of tropical systems 1,000+ miles away. So, herein lies the challenges we all face with this storm:

1) The rain falling now will be a MINIMUM of 3-6" now to Thursday, with another 3-4" on top of that this weekend, even if Joaquin never touches land. These rainfall forecasts may exceed what Sandy did in 2012. Areas of southwestern Virginia are already seeing major flooding and washed out bridges, before a tropical system arrives. Consider this rainfall forecast from NOAA for the next 7 days. That orange is 8-9" of rain. Have you ever seen a map with that much rain forecasted from North Carolina to Maine?

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Ready For Real Rain?

4:00 PM 9/29 TROPICAL TEAM UPDATE
  • Additional ocean moisture may confound rainfall forecasts due to an easterly fetch ahead of Joaquin. This would produce another 4-5" of rain if the system tracks closer to, or makes landfall on, the coast. Significant flooding will become a hazard to travelers during the AM and PM commute Wednesday through Friday. 
  • If you have critical outdoor priorities, we strongly advise rushing those to completion, as rainfall will be extremely heavy at times overnight once it begins in your area.  
11:00 AM 9/29 UPDATE BY THE TROPICAL TEAM

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

2 comments:
Last Days of Summer and Legendary Winters?


"Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it!"

You have probably heard that quote before, and suspect it comes from one of our more irreverent figures in history (such as Samuel Clemens or Benjamin Franklin). Alert historians out there know that in the spirit of Paul Harvey, we should share the "rest of the story" in these footnotes: (photo credit: PBS.org)



  • The quote, often attributed to Mr. Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), was actually a statement by his co-author and writing partner Charles Dudley Warner. Thus, as the tattered pages of history sometimes become, this little line over the years morphed into a Twainism. Here's source material you can check, and you don't even have to wait 5 minutes for it either ;-).  
Sloane, Eric. (2013) Weather Almanac, pp. 195. Dover Publications 
  • In honor of Mr. Clemens and his borrowed quote, we ARE doing something about the weather! We track and assess summer-into-fall climate indicators and compare past data to previous winter outcomes in order to explore early clues on how the upcoming season may kick off. We also scale the potential severity against standard probabilities of outcome or another, and let the climate "look fors" guide whether we reinforce or dissuade a seasonal hypothesis. Ready for all that? Here it comes:
The Foot's Forecast pre-winter question for 2015-16:

In years during which a weak-to-strong El Nino was in place from summer into fall, and significantly above normal temperatures were observed in the week just prior to the Autumn Equinox, did the following winter experience higher-than-normal snowfall and frequent periods of storminess?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

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Innovate Your Future
Become a Forecaster With Us 

Greetings from the Foot's Forecast Team! We appreciate your interest in joining our vibrant and motivated multi-state organization of dedicated forecasters.

To make your application efficient, follow the 5-step procedure outlined below. We suggest pasting our questions into a separate word document, and insert your responses below each.

When your application is ready, email to nikki.byers@footsforecast.org our Director of Forecaster Outreach. 

WHEN YOUR APPLICATION IS READY
  • Notify 2 references you will need a written statement from them sent to us anytime after your application has been submitted. Reference statements by email are permitted, and sent to nikki.byers@footsforecast.org
  • Title your application document “(First Name Last Name) – (Your State) – Application"
  • Length: Two pages is ideal, not more than 3 pages.
1. INTRODUCTION
  • First, tell us how you developed a passion for science, the outdoors, weather & forecasting.
  • Next, describe in 1-2 paragraphs a weather event which impacted your life.
  • Last, discuss in 1 paragraph how you collaborate with others

2. BACKGROUND 
A bullet list of 2-3 items for each section
  • The geographic region you wish to cover and why;
  • A brief, specific list of skills, talents and innovative background you can offer our readership (abilities in media, videos, music, website, photography, sports, etc.
  • An overview of your academic background, core courses and/or professional training if applicable.
  • A brief list of activities you do outside of weather, and your favorite travel spots.

3. FORECASTS 
Provide a 3-day forecast for your multi-county area and mention 3 towns or cities
  • Components: Today, Tonight, Tomorrow, Looking Ahead.  2-3 sentences each.
  • Data points: Projected high and low temperatures, wind speed and direction      
  • NWS advisories: If there is a significant weather event in progress in your area, please include a short note about the latest NWS advisory, a link to the text, and a link to the relevant NWS forecast office.
Examples: In the Facebook search feature, enter "Foot's Forecast" and a variety of  zones will appear. Select any zone in your region and follow the format shown. 
Review process: Your application will be reviewed by college students, high school lead forecasters and professional meteorologists. Our team wants to evaluate how you communicate actionable information to the general public during a a complex weather situation with everyday language. 

Please note: We are not impressed when forecasts contain lots of acronyms and technical terms, unless the writer includes an explanation and the use of complicated language is unavoidable.

4. REFERENCES
Have two references submit via email within one week of your application.
References can be a two-paragraph letter and include a contact number 
  • If between grades 9-12: Options include a parent or guardian AND a current/former science teacher of yours, another teacher in your school or a coach/administrator. Context of the letter is to know a professional with your school system is aware of your application and can vouch for your eligibility for our team.
  • If in college: A Professor, Academic Advisor, or fellow student your same field of study at the same college;
  • If working from home or in the workforceA member of your immediate family or a colleague who can speak to your passion for weather and forecasting.
5. WHAT THE WRITER SHOULD SAY 

You can submit your application before your recommendation letters. 

The writer of your 2-3 paragraph reference letter should include:
  • An example of your passion for weather & science or media & technology 
  • A statement on your professionalism and ability to collaborate in a team 
  • Contact email and phone number for our team if we have questions.

QUESTIONS? Before you apply, email any questions to Nikki Byers, our Director of Forecaster Outreach. If interested in further details, we can arrange for a conference call to speak with a Team Advisor and a Lead Forecaster.

The Leadership & Advisory Team of Foot's Forecast

Nikki Byers, Director of Forecaster Outreach

Daniel Ross, Southeast Team / Tropical Team Director
Diandre Williams, Director of Strategic Media

Rich Foot, Chairman and CEO
Keith Krichinsky, Chief Operating Officer
Forrest Palmer, Student Outreach Advisor


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Last updated 9/1/2015

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*Winter intelligence through 12/31/16*



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