Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Pattern For The Powderhound In You?

PART ONE: WEATHER SUMMARY NEXT 7 DAYS
As of 2:00 PM EST THU 1/28
  • No significant winter precipitation expected in the Mid-Atlantic or Southeast through Wednesday 2/3.  A passing frontal boundary on Friday may bring occasional snow showers from central Virginia northward to central Pennsylvania;
  • A vigorous Low off the Pacific coast will move to the Four Corners on Saturday, toward the central Plains by Monday and into the Great Lakes Tuesday. See map below for 7 PM EST Sunday 1/31. View short range loop here.
  • 5 day NOAA liquid forecasts show the potential for 0.50" to 1.25" of rain is possible throughout the eastern third of the U.S. next Tue to Wed. If in areas where snow has blocked storm drains, if safely possible, it would be wise to clear the drains.



PART TWO: GHOSTS OF WINTERS PAST?

Long range indications show the next 30 days may be the 
most interesting many of us have seen in a long, long time.


Now let's compare to snowcover on January 24, 2010 as shown below.
What differences do you see? How might this affect the pattern going forward?




2:45 PM EST 1/26 - On This 12th anniversary of the Foot's Forecast team founding in 2004, we are launching a preliminary assessment of the winter pattern going forward. We will place further details here as the analysis comes forward in stages. 

FIRST, we wish to read your stories: What does it mean to be a "Powderhound" if you consider yourself one. What there a major snow event in the past that sealed the deal for you? 

SECOND, for those who prefer to data or hunting a nugget of detail to unlock storm secrets which lay ahead, we invite you to our "winter storm trivia" while you are snowed in.  

We look forward to the robust discussion in the comments about the following:
  • 1) Recall big January storms of the past. What happened after the storm? Did it warm up, stay cold, snow more? Now cross reference that with El Nino years. This article by Ian Livingston of the Capital Weather Gang provides a great look into the science behind double-digit storms in Washington, DC history. 
  • 2) In your view, how is the recent Blizzard similar or different to the Snowmageddons of 2010? After all, many of you shoveled both, you know better than any of us forecasters! 
  • 3) When was the last time a large part of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast entered the "Kahuna Zone" on the calendar (January 25 - February 15) with so much snow on the ground? What happened in those years after that? In fact, is there even a year to which this compares? 
  • 4) Finally...what season could be the closest match to 2016 thus far, during which there was a strong El Nino, a slow start to wintry weather, followed by an active second half in the Mid-Atlantic, with great big snowstorms?  (Note for seasoned Powderhounds and Insiders: If you know which one, don't give it away! Let the Junior PHers figure it out this time, for fun.) 
What are we saying?

HAPPY POWDERHOUND DAY!
and
Be Careful What For What You Wish 

Photo from the Cecil Times, upper Eastern shore of Maryland.
The year? Well now, that's a secret.
What we said & when: Our 4-part winter assessment




  • If you followed our reports through this storm and need real-time winter management intel to get through rest of the season, we can help.
  • Take us for a test drive! Consider joining the Insiders and receive direct updates by text and email from our team well before winter weather is on the move.





35 comments:

NeedaSnowday said...

HoCo - closed Wed

NeedaSnowday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DMoney said...

Still waiting for Frederick...maybe they actually think we can go back? They always do this....stuff

Julee said...

BCPS closed tomorrow.
My son actually got to work today in Towson. A 20 minute drive took over 45 minutes, with most roads only one lane. That makes for sloooooooooooow going!

Mr. Foot said...

Hi Ms. Julee! Happy Powderhound Day. May I surmise your inner snow angel is brimming with joy now. We finally got our ULTRA Kahuna after all these years.

Regards,
Mr. Foot

Julee said...

Snow Master Foot,

If I weren't practically crippled by a pinched sciatic nerve, I'd be out making snow replicas of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
However, even if I can't frolic in it, I can CERTAINLY appreciate it's beauty! Though I KNOW the summer people don't get it, watching all of that snow tumble down and pile up on Saturday was a true delight. After the snow ended that night, my porch light lit up various individual snowflakes like a blanket of tiny diamonds. Winter's eye candy.
Thank you, as always, for the up-to-the-minute ACCURATE blizzard reports, AND for the opportunity you provide the Powderhound family to congregate for some good-natured anticipatory badinage.

MF said...

If you give a mouse a cookie.....

If you give Powderhounds snow.....

BioPat said...

So today is "Powderhound Day" so happy to be here and finally relaxing from the hunt of the perfect storm and the aftermath of shoveling its delivery. I have enjoyed working with Foot's Forecast almost since its inception. I have come to look forward to the opportunity to blog with all our regulars and meet the new people who discover our banter about "manwich" and the "Big Kahuna" each year.

Personally I would like to extend my thanks to Rich Foot for an idea that emerged in a high school science class and he carried the ball to the goal line. Rich well done, and I look forward to many more years of working with the Foot's team and all the folks who assemble here as the excitement builds searching for the next big storm.

Carrie said...

I've always been a powderhound since first watching my older sister have to jump out the window of our split-level house to uncover the front door in 1978! But, true powderhound status was achieved in Jan. 1996 when those two big storms gave me a little extra time at home with my newborn daughter. :) This storm gave me a little extra time with that same daughter before taking her back to college - what could be better? I love reading the discussions and comments on Foot's heading into big storms and have followed almost from the beginning. Keep up the great work, Foot's team - can't wait to see what comes next!

DMoney said...

Hi all! How can we find out if the snow emergency plan is in effect?

Snowplease said...

Harford county threw in the towel closed the rest of the week.

MF said...

I'm surprised. I didn't think it was that bad. I would think they could've brushed up the shoulders a little. Hmmm

NeedaSnowday said...

Howard County is closed tomorrow?!?? I am stunned.....

BioPat said...

Schools still have not been plowed in Baltimore County I am sure it is the same in Howard County. I just heard there are still 4200 unplowed streets in Howard County

MF said...

Cecil County is open tomorrow on time.

Pat Abrahms said...

I just heard Baltimore and Carroll County schools are closed Thursday and Friday!
(BioPat)

Kolo Jezdec said...

Baltimore County closed rest of the week.

Mary Hunt said...

I think that the biggest difference between 2010 and this storm is the timing. in 2010 at least we had a storm, time to dig out, then another. This time we got record breaking snow all at once. Honestly not sure which I prefer.

BioPat said...

Just got back from school to pick up some material. The roads are still unbelievable any place that has not been plowed. There are many roads that remain unplowed particularly once you cross the City line. In spite of the sun and above freezing temperatures, any are not getting direct sunlight remains frozen. I saw 2 people slip and fall, one on a sidewalk, the other in the street because the walks were still snow covered.
I read Dan Rodericks "Sun" paper article with interest yesterday as he discussed Maryland's continued poor response to snow storms. A 30" snowfall is certainly crippling, but by now we should be in much better shape. City and Counties must purchase adequate snow removal equipment to treat these storms much better then we have seen the past few storms. Maryland continues to play the odds with minimal equipment to battle these storms and that simply has to change. The private contractors are more of a problem than a help and should be used for private work only. I wonder what ever happened to those snow blades that were missing in AA County??
OK I've ranted enough. We already have 2 makeup dates scheduled at school and hope that when this winter is behind us there will be some forgiveness for the many snow dates we will face in 2016.

Mr. Foot said...

Greetings all, Mr. Foot reporting in for the team. We all just want to say how inspired and delighted we are to see such effervescent and thoughtful discussion throughout the comments. You all are testimony that decorum and chivalry are still alive in some corners of our internet-heavy society.

Thank you for setting such a great example for the undoubtedly many students and teachers who reading the comments here. We were just remarking the other day how "stodgy" our HQ site comment community must seem: No photo or HTML embeds.

Then we realized: Wait a moment, this is a reminder to the junior Powderhounds of life before Facebook and Twitter. It was a delightful and vibrant time when one had to actually express concrete thought in actual writing with actual words. Thus, you may notice the maximum extent of emoticons (or that other word...) we use, even in FB is limited to ;-) and :-) On occasion we will push the envelope with :-O

If you interchange between this page and FB, we hope that you enjoy the advantages and resources of both outlets. If you are looking for a more sophisticated resource before the next storm, we can say:

1. The Insider's App is being readied for publishing;
2. To get it done, we are taking double doses of adrenaline coffee, because...
3. The Long Range from Feb 6 to Mar 2 may Reawaken the Force in ways not even 1958 veterans could fathom.

So enjoy this relative calm for now and get reorganized, restocked and such, in case the Big Kahuna was a preview of things to come.

Thank you for your readership!

NeedaSnowday said...

Stick a fork in Howard County they're done for the week...

Snowplease said...

We just need one more good snow before February 20 that's is when the sun angle gets iffy for road coverage and accumulation period.

Julee said...

Uh ohhhhh. My school Spelling Bee is set for Feb. 16th. We DO have a snow date of Feb 23rd, but by THEN we need the results to send to the Baltimore Bee in a timely manner (ASAP).
Mr. Foot, might you be suggesting that we could have MORE large storms???
I'm a '58 storm alumni, soooooo WHAT are you intimating, exactly?

ravensbbr said...

So the date is actually closer to March 15 in terms of stickage here in MD, Snowplease, but, yes, the sooner the better for maximum impact. :)

Flurries in NE Carroll this AM, lake effect coming in from the NW, starting to lay, hopefully won't be a repeat of the sneaky clipper from the other week in terms of traffic impact...

randy said...

Holy cow, it just started snowing here (Savage/Columbia), huge flakes, coming down harder than it did over the weekend! Where was this in the forecast?! The path I shoveled on my deck is almost covered already, and it's only been snowing for about 10 minutes.

kristia35 said...

I'll be ready for another HECS in about a week

Snowplease said...

Your probably right Ravens I'd just rather get the snow now than have to fight the sun angle. We have had some good storms in March before though so anything is possible

BioPat said...

I'm ready; give everyone a bit of a break, then bring it on! Snow blower repaired and ready to go for any upcoming storm, even bought more "SeaFoam" to stabilize the fuel.

These next few days will lull some into a false sense of security being certain that winter has passed. Winter 2016, Part 2 promises to be equally exciting. Maybe not another record breaker but it will have its fun with us.

Jessica Angelini said...

I don't see what the "real nugget" is in the 12/11/15 article called, 'Two Questions You Might Have,' is. The reference to 1982-1983? If that's the hint or "nugget," then what's that mean for a Powderhound like me? That was a string El Niño, similar to 2015-16, started the winter season off similarly with no snow action until that February 1983 snowstorm.
So, if that's the hint, then perhaps 1/23/16 will be Baltimore's ONLY snow fall, (MAJOR or even mediocre snow fall) this season.
But I feel as though FF is hinting to readers that historic pattern analysis & long range predictions for this winter are indicating more probability of snow... Or am I wrong?
I've read through all the FF posts, the embedded links in each, there's plenty of science & terminology over my head, & all I can comprehend is that past weather patterns, under similar atmospheric circumstances are being used in conjunction with current forecast tools to attempt to determine any probability of any future weather patterns, but no one concludes anything.
It could mean more snow, unless it doesn't.
Sooooo?
Just sum it up for me. Are current indications that there's a set up in the atmosphere of energy & cold air & pressure & moisture & lows & highs & cycles & patterns that point to SOMETHING HAPPENING?? ANYTHING HAPPENING?? To the Mid-Atlantic/ Baltimore region at some point in February???
Or not?

BioPat said...

Jessica,
As scientists one uses patterns, both past and present, to predict future probability. Not only is the Foot's team seeing this but most other weather services as well. The strong El NIno has definitely set up a very different pattern of weather. I believe using the past events to help understand and predict future weather patterns is just good science.
It is true we have had El Nino winters with just one major storm. But this year we are seeing a continued pattern of storms occurring. We are currently entering a welcome brief break from winter. I concur with the Foot's team and others that winter will return full force and we will see other significant events over the next few weeks through March. Enjoy the ride it could be interesting!

Jessica Angelini said...

Ok. Wheew. That's all I wanted to hear.
I get the WHY of the historical pattern analysis.
I was missing the WHAT. I wasn't following what FF was hypothecating. But, as you surmised, those in the know are seeing the science indicating more snow. And, so again, that's all I wanted to hear. 😁

Jessica Angelini said...

Cuz I really really really looooove snow

ilv2fly said...

I'm with you, Jessica! I really, really, really love snow!!!!

Darrin Watts said...

Back to school

ravensbbr said...

NE Carroll NWS Tuesday 2/9 Snow likely. High 34F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70%. Snow accumulating 4 to 8 inches.

Granted, six days out, but still... :-D