Sunday, February 28, 2016

20 comments:
Inside The Last Envelope...
COULD BE THE BIGGEST SURPRISE (OR DISAPPOINTMENT) OF ALL.



European ensemble means surface pressure for 7 AM Friday 3/4

The last time we saw an arrangement like this was on 
Saturday, February 14, 2003. Soon after, two things happened:

1) Some (but not all) forecasters said the storm would stay south of DC, because the High was too strong and would overpower the Low, sending it out to sea; and then...

2) None of that actually came true. BWI airport saw over 2 feet of snow in 3 days. 

2003 was a snowy winter with a moderate El Nino, but was not remembered for being intensely cold, until of course, early March.

They say history repeats, but do weather patterns? We will find out soon enough what is in that last envelope, won't we.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

3 comments:
The Sunrise Rainbow
A glimpse of nature's peace and beauty as captured by readers 
throughout MD, VA and WV after such as destructive day. 


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

5 comments:
Severe Weather Through 11 PM 
from Carolinas to Mid-Atlantic

  • PASSAGE OF WARM FRONT THIS AFTERNOON WILL BRING TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS INTO THE PM COMMUTE;
  • SHORT RANGE MODELS SHOW LINES OF STORMS MAY MOVE NORTH AND EAST ALONG I-95 CORRIDOR FROM 4 TO 7 PM;
  • AFTER WARM FRONT PASSES, SUPERCELLS MAY DEVELOP AHEAD OF COLD FRONT, PRODUCING FUNNEL CLOUDS / ISOLATED TORNADOES EAST OF 95 TO MD EASTERN SHORE, EASTERN VA & DELAWARE


STATEMENT FROM NOAA STORM PREDICTION CENTER


HAZARDS FOR PARTS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES INTO THE CAROLINAS THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING:
  • SCATTERED SEVERE STORMS WITH SEVERAL TORNADOES;
  • A FEW OF WHICH SHOULD BE STRONG, AND DAMAGING WINDS;
  • ISOLATED LARGE HAIL 
[LOCATIONS AFFECTED  BY ENHANCED RISK OF TORNADOES]: 
  • DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SOUTHERN MARYLAND
  • CENTRAL AND EASTERN VIRGINIA;
  • CENTRAL AND EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA;
  • NORTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA 
Future radar for 4 PM EST today
SOURCE: NAM MODEL, tropicaltidbits.com




NOAA Storm Prediction Center 
Public Severe Weather Outlook
REFER TO LOCAL NWS OFFICES FOR 
LATEST STATEMENTS FOR YOUR AREA






Monday, February 22, 2016

8 comments:
Unmasking Winter's Biggest Secret
COULD THE SEASON END COLDER & STORMIER THAN IT BEGAN?




10:00 AM EST 2/22 - We all enjoy good plot twists and seeing our favorite characters discover long hidden secrets, especially those hiding in plain sight. Weather patterns are no exception. What are your favorite storyline twists?

From the surprise unmaskings in 1996's Mission Impossible...to our favorite foreshadowing theme in National Treasure's "Secret Lies With Charlotte" ...to Kevin Spacey's coy and conniving end game in the Usual Suspects... it's the thrill of not knowing how it all ends, until it ends.

We think Winter 2016 is holding out a similar, surprising plot twist come March. It may go just like those unforgettable films, when you think the storyline has been revealed and it's time to roll credits. Then the !!BAM!! scene happens, leaving us saying, "Didn't see that coming." 

Or did we? ;-)  Below is the long range surface mean projection for 7 PM Friday March 4.








Wednesday, February 17, 2016

36 comments:
So you've heard...

RECAP OF THE PRESIDENTIAL POWDER STORM
AND PRELIMINARY DETAILS ON NEXT WEEK

Day 7 Surface Projection from the NOAA Weather Prediction Center

6:30 PM EST 2/17 - RECAP & LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE MONDAY 2/15 EVENT
By Southern Maryland / Capital Region Forecaster Jason Mitchell

SUMMARY This year's President's Day snow/ice storm for parts of the southern Mid-Atlantic exceeded the expectations of many forecasters, including some of us here at Foots. For our readers in Southern Maryland, the team presents this outline of factors that led to some areas receiving much higher totals than the 1-3 inches that was expected.

1. The snow started several hours ahead of schedule, with most locations seeing snow prior to midnight Sunday night. Due to the extremely dry airmass in place, the thinking was that it would take some time for the airmass to moisten. However, the moisture surge in the low and mid levels of the atmosphere was strong enough to overcome the dry surface air faster than expected.
2. During the overnight hours Sunday night, snowfall bands become heavily concentrated right over this area, while areas to the north over DC and to the south in Virginia saw less snow.  
While the initial expectation was for snow to begin by 3-4AM and continue through early afternoon, the combination of the earlier arrival and heavier bands overnight allowed snow to accumulate much faster.

3. Snow-to-liquid ratios in this storm were reported to be around 20:1, whereas the standard is usually 10:1. This means that had we seen the liquid equivalent of 1 inch of rain between Sunday night and late Monday morning, we would have had 20 inches of snow.  
Due to the dry airmass and well below freezing temperatures, high ratios were expected (closer to 15:1), but not quite this high.

CONCLUSION: All three of these factors accounted for an extra 3-5 inches of snow. What was also remarkable was Part 2 of the storm. 
  • Computer models indicated for days that we would see a significant dose of rain and much warmer temperatures following the initial round of snow and ice. 
  • Not since December 2009 have we seen a significant snow depth disappear that quickly. And to think this all happened after we had subfreezing temperatures for 120-130 consecutive hours is very noteworthy.
LOOKING AHEAD: Heading into the long range, computer models suggest that it may not be safe to say this was our last accumulating snowfall event of the winter. Whether there will be enough cold air in place remains to be seen, but it looks like El Nino is not done yet with bringing significant moisture-laden storms to the region. 


Day 6-7 NOAA Liquid Projections: The last time you saw a map like this? 
That's right... last month.


Indeed the period next Wednesday 2/24 to Friday 2/26 is looking more significant with time and may be taking on aspects of both recent and memorable storms of the past. 

To receive on-going reports by app, text and email on this next potential winter weather event, we invite you to consider joining the Powderhound Insiders. We hope to see you on board there soon!



Saturday, February 13, 2016

Feel Like "Groundhog Day" Yet?

34 comments:
Feel Like "Groundhog Day" Yet?

  • WINTER STORM WATCHES POSTED FOR UP TO 5" OF SNOW EXPECTED IN PORTIONS OF MID-ATLANTIC STARTING SUNDAY NIGHT;
  • UP TO 0.25" ICE POSSIBLE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUE MORNING;
  • MULTI-HAZARD WINTER WEATHER EVENT, HEED LATEST STATEMENTS FROM THE NWS AND CONSIDER ALTERNATE PLANS FOR MONDAY.

11:30 AM EST 2/13 Our weekend weather is certainly keeping everyone on their toes as we have multiple situations in progress. Other than wind chills near zero and single digit lows tonight, the next big concern is Monday-Tuesday. It'll sure feel like Bill's winter prediction then if not already.

NEXT SNOW - This map below provides a look at the general snowfall ideas for 7 AM Monday. Computer models have been bouncing around with varying scenarios. At this point we are confident that snow is to be expected by Monday morning continuing through the day.



HOW MUCH? A few inches of snow is possible in areas where precipitation remains constant through Monday. A changeover to sleet and freezing is expected Monday night. We translate "a few" to be more than covering the ground, so up to 3-4" is the early call.


MORE UPDATES? This is a "fluid" and evolving situation. In the event the game is a'foot and models make drastic changes, consider joining the Insiders for dedicated access to our team's most current analyses. The program includes:

  • App access for Android & iPhone Safari web version to our latest reports, computer model maps and more;
  • Advance text alerts so we can advise of changing situations;
  • Alerts from the app direct to your phone notifying of latest NWS watches, warnings and to inform app has new reports;
  • Insider Update briefings by email outlining long- and short-range assessment of winter weather hazard potential;
Details at the Insiders portal here or you can text the word INSIDERS to phone number #258-27 to get signup details. Thanks for working the storms with us!

-The FF Winter Stormcast Team
Image source: Current GFS model for 7 AM Monday from tropicaltidbits.com

Thursday, February 11, 2016

25 comments:
Snow Squall Friday

TONIGHT INTO SAT: 35 MPH+ and WIND CHILLS NEAR ZERO 
SNOW SQUALLS POSSIBLE THROUGH 11 PM 
PROBABILITY RISING FOR SNOW/ICE/RAIN MON PM - TUE



Super Cold Sat & Sun...
PROJECTED LOW TEMPERATURES FOR SUNDAY MORNING

...with Snow chances rising for Tue 
NOAA LONG RANGE EXPERIMENTAL PROBABILITY 
OF AT LEAST 0.25"  LIQUID AS SNOW OR ICE BY TUE AM 2/16

  • Probability is rising for a new round of wintry weather in the Mid-Atlantic is for Monday night into Tuesday. 
  • While it is too early for specifics on snow fall totals, we are confident some accumulating snow is to be expected throughout the region by Tuesday morning of next week.
  • Some computer models are depicting a Lakes-centered track of the eventual Low, which would bring Monday PM snow changing to Tue AM rain. Others have a more traditional coastal Low tapping cold air to the north and delivering several inches for the I-95 metro areas and higher amounts inland.
  • If snow is projected to occur in our region prior to 11:59 PM Monday 2/15, then you'll know our next move is to title the succeeding post "Presidential Powder?"



Monday, February 8, 2016

Snow Game Is On.

65 comments:
Snow Game Is On.


2:30 PM EST 2/8  Winter Storm Warnings in effect for 4-8" of snow, with Rain/Snow Mix starting 6-8 PM tonight for areas shaded in the Pink for the Watch, as well as areas noted in Bright Blue for Advisories and Dark Blue for Winter Storm Watches.
  • Areas outside the watch in MD, northern VA and SE PA are expected to see some accumulating snow of a few inches possible, but the bullseye will be in central, eastern MD and SE PA.
  • See the NWS office nearest you for official details. Go to this map and click over your county for a direct link: http://www.erh.nws.noaa.gov
  • For advance reports from us by email and text, consider joining the Insiders. It's a small investment for an efficient solution: Direct delivery of the weather intelligence you need from our team without social media distraction or waiting for the next update. 






Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lady Gaga Storm On Stage

38 comments:
Lady Gaga Storm Coming On Stage


8:30 AM EST 2/7 - SNOWFALL AND STORM TRACK UPDATE. Overnight computer models trended colder and snowier for Tuesday. We have high confidence in an all snow event starting by 6 PM Monday for the Mid-Atlantic, with at least 4" probable for the metro areas of I-95 from Washington to New York. 

WHAT DRIVES THE HIGHER CONFIDENCE? The track the Low shown south of DC, moving slowly across the southern Bay indicates there is ample distance and time for that system to tap Atlantic moisture and wrap it back into the inland cold air. 

NWS STATEMENTS: Most area NWS offices have been laying the groundwork in their Hazardous Weather Outlooks for some time nowWe surmise Winter Storm Watches could be posted for some areas later today if these indications continue in the next set of model runs. Remain alert for the latest official statements from your local NWS office. 

TIMING: Although Monday looks precip-free for most areas  east of I-81, we advise you have alternate plans in place for Tuesday as many areas are likely to be impacted by snowfall throughout the day.  Our earlier statements are posted below. 





Unusual and highly complex arrangement for early next week points to irregular and varying precipitation types for the eastern Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
  • Scenarios are all over the stage, ranging from a coastal surprise for New England to a 36-hour light snow event for the I-95 corridor starting Monday morning;
  • Hard-to-explain forecasts may confound the effort of emergency managers, schools districts and parents alike to adequately plan. We advise being ready to adjust to changing conditions and have alternate arrangements in place for surprises.



11:00 AM EST 2/6 - TEAM STATEMENT ON CURRENT & LONG RANGE PATTERN by Forecaster Jason Mitchell and the Winter Stormcast Team


PRESENT CONCERNS: We are aware many readers wish to have specifics on the upcoming winter weather event to affect the Mid-Atlantic Monday-Wednesday. 
  • The above referenced map depicts the start of a complex and multi-day precipitation event starting Monday midday and lasting into Wednesday. 
  • It is an evolving situation and we do not have a solid lock on exactly what will happen, but are evaluating scenarios we feel are appropriate for public review. 
  • We can say it is likely many areas will see some accumulating snow late Monday into Tuesday, although at this point it's not looking like it will be a blockbuster event.
LONG RANGE CONCERNS: Investigation of the current and projected pattern over the next 2-3 weeks suggests some historical comparison between present day and the weather events of February 2010. 
  • Many of the blockbuster Northeast/Mid Atlantic snowstorms that have occurred in February over the past 60 years have coincided with moderate or strong El Nino episodes. 
  • The strong El Nino episode ongoing in the Pacific Ocean this winter has certainly made its mark on the region since late fall. 
  • Rainstorms since the Fall have been more frequent than any other year in this timeframe since 2010. 
  • The amount of moisture that was pulled into the nor'easter which became the Blizzard of 2016 is directly related to the effects of the current strong El Nino.
The big question is what can this pattern produce over the next couple of weeks, It is the most interesting and potentially stormy setup we have had in some time, and will bear close monitoring.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

You Knew It Wouldn't Be Long...

29 comments:
You Knew It Wouldn't Be Long...

BUT FIRST, HOW ABOUT SOME SURPRISE SNOW FOR FRIDAY?




3:35 PM 2/4 - SURPRISE SNOW MESSAGE. Short range models have been working this line of precip more west in the overnight hours. 
  • With cold northwest surface flow and upper level temperatures below 32 F tonight, it is highly probable that any precip falling along the I-95 corridor from Washington to Philadelphia and New York will be observed as snow. 
  • Untreated surfaces will quickly become slippery, and in the wake of the recent storm, once cannot just snap a finger and expect an army of fully-functioning plows and salt trucks to appear.
  • We urge caution to all commuters who have to get to work regardless of road conditions. Friday morning may be an unexpectedly challenging time for many, even if it is just an inch or two.
NEXT WEEK'S STORM: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.
  • Long range models develop a classic western ridge/eastern trough by Tue;
  • Reinforcing shots of cold air into the East Sun-Tue will bring temps below normal;
  • The big blue blob? If you want more snow, blue on this map is your friend. Additional details below on our preliminary thoughts.


4:30 PM EST 2/3 - PRELIM MODEL MESSAGE: The U.S. Global Forecast System's Ensemble Model Means for next Tuesday night depicts the following general idea:
  • A classic and deep upper level trough parked over the eastern U.S. (the bowed lines on right side)
  • A large and powerful "cut-off" Low grinding it's way toward the coast (dark blue area)
  • Let's suppose there might be a robust little surface Low.. say along the coast around the same time. You don't suppose that could result in... (:::shh! might upset the media:::) snow. 
  • Certainly not, how could it snow again?  Especially when the rain/snow line is being shown in..  er... in Charleston, South Carolina. Poppycock, hogwash, astounding... 


But possible. Above is the latest run of the European operational for Tuesday morning. If you know what to look for on this, then you'll understand why it has forecasters nervous:

  • A retrograding Low toward the coast? 
  • A large deep trough, STILL being modeled after 5 days, with 5 days to go...
  • Extremely cold upper level air that would be -30 or -40 F at 17,000 feet, and 0 F at 10,000 feet. Any precip encountering this cold air will most certainly fall as snow.
If you need to know details about this more quickly and directly from us via advance text and specialized email, the most efficient way is to consider joining the Insiders. A fast way to do that from your phone is to text INSIDERS to 25827 and receive an auto-reply with a link to our registration page, and a sample graphic issued to Insiders the other day.
(Heard there was an App? Shhhh.. don't tell the iPhone Insiders, but there is an  app ready for Android users, and an iPhone solution for those folks coming this evening. Details about app access are issued upon confirmation of your enrollment in the system.)
Next Update? Our Winter Stormcast Team is preparing an initial round of scenarios to be presented later on Thursday that will outline general possibilities for this next event. 

If your organization needs precise, real-time 24/7 winter intelligence from an experienced team trusted by large educational, contractor and corporate institutions, consider our Winter Services. Our clients would be happy to relate examples of how we assisted them in the Blizzard and for many other storms in recent years.