Tuesday, May 4, 2004

No comments:
2004 HURRICANE SEASON PRELIMINARY FORECAST

This forecast is based in part on the research of Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, who has been issuing annual hurricane intensity forecasts for the past 21 years.

Dr. Gray's initial forecast for this season:
- Number of Hurricanes 8
- Hurricane Days: 35 (days that all tropical systems will be classified as at least Category 1)
- Intense Hurricanes: 3 (tropical systems which will meet or Exceed Category 3 with winds 111 mph +
- Intense Hurricane Days: 8 (days that hurricanes will be classified as Category 3)

Overall U.S. coast hurricane landfall probabilities

1) Entire U.S. coastline - 71% (average for last century is 52%)

2) U.S. East Coast Including the Florida Peninsula - 52% (average for last century is 31%)

3) Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville - 40% (average for last century is 30%)

4) Expected above-average major hurricane landfall risk in the Caribbean

Factors contributing to the expected above-average hurricane risk this season:
(as taken from Dr. Gray's website)

A. February 2004 Sea-surface temperatres off the Northwestern European Coast

Warm sea surface temperatures off the northwest coast of Europe correlate quite strongly with warm sea surface temperatures across the entire North Atlantic Ocean. A warm North Atlantic Ocean indicates that the temperature-salinity circulation is likely stronger than normal, the subtropical high near the eastern Atlantic is weaker than normal and consequently trade wind strength across the Atlantic is also reduced. Weaker trade winds induce less upwelling which keeps the tropical Atlantic warmer than normal. This pattern tends to persist throughout the spring and summer implying a warmer tropical Atlantic during the hurricane season which is an enhancing factor for developing tropical waves.

B. February 2004 Sea Level Pressure in the Southeast Pacific

High sea level pressure in the eastern Pacific south of the equator indicates a positive Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and stronger-than-normal trade winds across the Pacific. Increased trades drive enhanced upwelling off the west coast of South American that are typical of La Niña and hurricane-enhancing conditions. Cool sea surface temperatures are associated with these higher surface pressures that tend to persist throughout the spring and summer thereby reducing vertical wind shear over the tropical Atlantic and providing more favorable conditions for tropical cyclone development

WHAT IT ALL MEANS?

1. Warmer than average temperatures and lower than normal air pressure will persist in the Atlantic.
2. Weak high pressure in the Atlantic creates weak trade winds, which allow strong storms to migrate to the coast.
3. Lack of warm water off South America coast reduces upper air wind flow, which is necessary to "blow" storms out to sea once they approach the U.S. East Coast.

WHAT IS THE PREDICTION FOR THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST?

Here's how I will break it down:

Texas to Louisiana: I think there is a high risk of a landfalling hurricane by August due to weak steering winds up above.

Louisiana to Miami: Lesser chance of hurricanes striking this area for the same reason... most storms are going to have a westward track, thus sparing the west coast of Florida to New Orleans.

Miami to Charleston, SC: I believe there is an equally high risk of a major hurricane landfall (Category 3) in this region by late September, when conditions are most favorable due to warm water.

Charleston, SC to Cape May, NJ: Persistent warm water in the western Atlantic and lack of a cold spring will enable a near-major hurricane (Category 2) to make landfall in this region between late August and mid-September.

Cape May, NJ to Maine: This region may experience one or two landfalling tropical storms late in the season, by October, if steering currents in the Atlantic remain weak.

WILL THERE BE ANOTHER ISABEL?

Based on these indications, I believe there is an equal chance that the Mid-Atlantic will experience the direct or side effects of a major hurricane before September 10. The situation this year may be similar to what happened in North Carolina in 1996, when 3 hurricanes followed similar paths on or along the coast.
With weak steering currents, it is more likely that tropical systems this year will approach the coast from a diagonal path as Isabel or Hugo (in 1989) did, instead of "curving" up the coast.

If you live in a low-lying area that was affected by Isabel, you should spend time this spring and summer thinking about what changes you should make to your property to prevent damage from occuring again were there to be flooding, high winds or heavy rain.

Remember that Isabel, though very destructive, missed traveling directly up the Chesapeake Bay by a mere 50 miles. Were that to occur, a strong Category 2 storm (winds 110 mph) reaching the mouth of the Bay, and maintaining access to the Bay's warm waters... it is not inconceivable that major cities such as Richmond, DC and Baltimore would experience sustained winds at hurricane force (74 mph+) as well as a storm surge in excess of 5 feet. Damage would be, on our terms, catastrophic. With hundreds of thousands of trees down, disruption to schools would last two weeks. The cleanup would take months, if not years in some areas. And this is not an exaggeration, this is what we lucked out at missing due to Isabel's altered path.

Be scared? No. Be Prepared? Yes. You have 4 months to get ready. If this forecast turns out wrong, I will be pleased. Let's hope it does.
No comments:
5/4 EVENING COMMENT: "Looks like we've made it...."
- Barry Manilow

Yes, that takes some of you back a few years I'm sure.

What I'm referring to is the weather for the week ahead and into the weekend. (Hmm.. big surprise there, since this is a weather forecast site.)

The front has passed, the High pressure has arrived, and this is why I love this time of year:
- Each day is getting a little warmer (theoretically)
- Each day there is a little more light (later sunset, earlier sunrise)
- Each day features a little more green, flowers, etc.
- Each day is one more closer to summer vacation!

SO we are in for another nice stretch of good days... I think all the way through the weekend. Yes, some scattered showers and thunderstorms may interrupt some on Saturday, but the warmth will counteract any rain that falls.

Wednesday to Friday: Warmer, less wind, more sun. Highs near 80 by Friday in Baltimore, in the 70's in PA. No rain in sight.

Saturday to Monday: Still warm Sat and Sun until the next front passes. As you would expect the heat will build a little each day, as will the humidity. So I think we will see low 80's all the way through to and including Monday. However, I don't think we'll see a return to the sticking, wring-out-your-shirt humidity we say last week. This is a cooler, drier pattern, so it will take longer for the high to "moderate" and start pumping that Gulf/Atlantic moisture in.

Things will deteroriate by Wednesday, and possibly another vigorous cold front will smash on through. But you know what is waiting on the other side of it... Another round of sunny weather!

So enjoy this time of year, cause it looks like so far we made it without the occurance of any long-drawn out wet, rainy weather produced by stationary fronts.

Next post will be early next week as we see if this pattern will hold on or be replaced by something else.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

No comments:

4/25 AFTERNOON COMMENT:
"Everybody's working for the weekend."

- Unknown artist

It's getting to be that time of year... beware STATIONARY FRONT MONTH.

THE FORECAST FOR THIS COMING WEEK (valid for PA and MD)

Monday - Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Cool, highs below 70.

Tuesday - Scattered showers and storms continue. Cooler, highs in mid 60's. Even cooler at night. Isolated frost in northern areas.

Wednesday - Clearing but windy. Highs mid 60's.

Thursday begins another nice stretch of SUPERDUPER weather. Clear and getting warmer each day. Highs around 75 to start, then touching 80 or more by the weekend.

ANALYSIS OF THE WEATHER PATTERN WE HOPE TO AVOID

Although I personally enjoy May as one of my favorite months, ranking high with July, October and February, it can also be a wickedly brutal month when it comes to rain.

This is the time period when the atmosphere is making final adjustments out of the winter mode and into summer mode. So May is often a preview of the summer ahead. If we get into a situation like what is coming this week... with persistent cool and rain for several days, there will be a backlash of hot weather in June and July. Hence a hot summer.

Examples of "backlash" weather:

May 1988 - Mid Atlantic grumbled under 3 weeks of continual rain and dampness.
Result - Hottest summer on record followed. 25 days in a row of 90 F plus in Philadelphia.

Jan-May 1989 - abnormally warm winter and spring limited snowfall in Pennsylvania.
Result - Long period of rainy, unseasonably cool weather dominated the summer. On June 21 in Baltimore, the temp did not top 60 F!

May 1993 - Cool but sunny weather prevailed most of the month.
Result - Extreme early summer heat on east coast. Early July temps reached 100 in DC-PHL corridor.

So let's home that everything stays nice and balanced... no big wild swings in temperature. No huge heat spells, no radical cold snaps. Everybody just stay calm, breath deeply, relax. Let's just stay around 70 degrees, a few days of rain here, a few days of sun here. If we can accomplish that, we'll have a nice easy slide into summer without the weather pattern being careened into a see-saw effect, with one month counter-acting for discrepancies in a previous month.

It's all about the quota system. There is a certain amount of cold that must run it's course this time of year. Then the warmth takes over. Problems begin when the cold weather stays longer than it is supposed to, which creates delays in the onset of warm weather, which will either intensify the warmth when it arrives, or extend it out longer than necessary. This in turn affects the onset of cold weather in the fall...
you get the idea.

SCIENCE LOVERS PROGRAMMING NOTE:

This Sunday, May 2 and Monday, May 3 will be the showing of an NBC special: "10.5"
Time is 9-11PM Eastern Time both nights. This is the media's depiction of what a catastrophic earthquake would do to the West Coast. It promises to be a visually stunning, emotionally depressing event. As a scientist however, I am eagerly anticipating this show to see how accurately NBC portrays FEMA, USGS and Earthquake science.

Interestingly enough, some Earthquake researchers have predicted a high probabililty of "The Big One" to hit southern California between now and September 5 of this year.

So I hope you can see this show, and learn yet another reason why I prefer the East Coast over the West Coast. Here, we only have destructive hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards.


No comments:

4/25 AFTERNOON COMMENT:
"Everybody's working for the weekend."

- Unknown artist

It's getting to be that time of year... beware STATIONARY FRONT MONTH.

THE FORECAST FOR THIS COMING WEEK (valid for PA and MD)

Monday - Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Cool, highs below 70.

Tuesday - Scattered showers and storms continue. Cooler, highs in mid 60's. Even cooler at night. Isolated frost in northern areas.

Wednesday - Clearing but windy. Highs mid 60's.

Thursday begins another nice stretch of SUPERDUPER weather. Clear and getting warmer each day. Highs around 75 to start, then touching 80 or more by the weekend.

ANALYSIS OF THE WEATHER PATTERN WE HOPE TO AVOID

Although I personally enjoy May as one of my favorite months, ranking high with July, October and February, it can also be a wickedly brutal month when it comes to rain.

This is the time period when the atmosphere is making final adjustments out of the winter mode and into summer mode. So May is often a preview of the summer ahead. If we get into a situation like what is coming this week... with persistent cool and rain for several days, there will be a backlash of hot weather in June and July. Hence a hot summer.

Examples of "backlash" weather:

May 1988 - Mid Atlantic grumbled under 3 weeks of continual rain and dampness.
Result - Hottest summer on record followed. 25 days in a row of 90 F plus in Philadelphia.

Jan-May 1989 - abnormally warm winter and spring limited snowfall in Pennsylvania.
Result - Long period of rainy, unseasonably cool weather dominated the summer. On June 21 in Baltimore, the temp did not top 60 F!

May 1993 - Cool but sunny weather prevailed most of the month.
Result - Extreme early summer heat on east coast. Early July temps reached 100 in DC-PHL corridor.

So let's home that everything stays nice and balanced... no big wild swings in temperature. No huge heat spells, no radical cold snaps. Everybody just stay calm, breath deeply, relax. Let's just stay around 70 degrees, a few days of rain here, a few days of sun here. If we can accomplish that, we'll have a nice easy slide into summer without the weather pattern being careened into a see-saw effect, with one month counter-acting for discrepancies in a previous month.

It's all about the quota system. There is a certain amount of cold that must run it's course this time of year. Then the warmth takes over. Problems begin when the cold weather stays longer than it is supposed to, which creates delays in the onset of warm weather, which will either intensify the warmth when it arrives, or extend it out longer than necessary. This in turn affects the onset of cold weather in the fall...
you get the idea.

Science lovers programming note:

This Sunday, May 2 and Monday, May 3 will be the showing of an NBC special: "10.5"
Time is 9-11PM Eastern Time both nights. This is the media's depiction of what a catastrophic earthquake would do to the West Coast. It promises to be a visually stunning, emotionally depressing event. As a scientist however, I am eagerly anticipating this show to see how accurately NBC portrays FEMA, USGS and Earthquake science.

Interestingly enough, some Earthquake researchers have predicted a high probabililty of "The Big One" to hit southern California between now and September 5 of this year.

So I hope you can see this show, and learn yet another reason why I prefer the East Coast over the West Coast. Here, we only have destructive hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards.


Monday, April 19, 2004

No comments:
4/19 EVENING COMMENT:
The heat is on... the heat is on--hon. The heat is on, tell me can you feel it, tell me can you feel it..
the heat is..... ON."

- Glenn Fry, thanks to alert reader Lee S. from Altoona

That's an understatement for today. You knew that after last week, summer would do this instant appearance anyway. But the string of nice sunny days will temporarily come to an end. There is a weak cold fron moving through the Northeast tonight. It will deliver a few isolated thunderstorms in northern Baltimore County, the Lancaster-Harrisburg area, and a few might get as far as Chester County, PA.

In it's wake, Tuesday-Wednesday will be cooler, but still in the 70's. As we approach the weekend, a large area of rain and damp weather is moving toward the northeast from the southern plains. It will be difficult to dislodge this area of moisture unless it gets the chance to move east and rain itself out by the weekend. No tornadoes, no severe thunderstorms, just rain.

However, we have definitely moved into a summer like pattern. The long cold grey days of that upper level low from earlier this month are gone, for now. It seems we will be visited by a "couple days war, then a thunderstorm, then a couple days cool" pattern. The only concern is that I've seen this before... way too warm in April, followed by stationary fronts and cold rainy days in May. We shall see.

In the meantime, enjoy the refreshingly gentle warmth of these spring evenings. I think it is fun to go outside at night and pretend that it IS summer, and then remind myself that summer is still YET to come!
Here in Baltimore, it sure is wonderful... still about 80 F even at 8:45 PM with a nice breeze.

Guess that means you can call me a 'summer lover.' Yep, that's the third installment in our seasonal aficinado titles. From powderhounds to spring-a-lings to summer lovers.

THE OVERALL WEATHER SUMMARY IS...

Tuesday - Cooler in all areas, a little breezy. Highs mid 70's.

Wednesday - Cloudy, perhaps some rain late in the day. Cooler, highs around 70.

Thursday - Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 70.

Friday - Risk of thunderstorms continues. Highs in the upper 60's.







Thursday, April 15, 2004

No comments:

4/15 MORNING UPDATE:
"When I think of a day that's gray, and lonely, I just pick up my chin, and grin, and say....
The sun will come out tomorrow, clear away the cobwebs and the sorrow, come what may."

- Tomorrow, from the musical 'Annie'

Maybe that's your song today if you're still doing taxes. At least the rain has stopped.

I am pleased to report that my group returned safely from Whistler, British Columbia and what an incredible time it was. For a glimpse at the stories and pictures... please visit the special blog site for the trip:

http://whistler2004.blogspot.com And the rumors are true, plans are underway to propose a return trip in 2005. There were 12 adults and 8 kids. Although everyone had a blast, I think the adults had a better time than the kids, sight-seeing, skiing, snowmobiling, hiking and more. If you have a lust for adventure, Whistler is the place any time of year.

A special request goes out to my friends in "the Zone." Maybe someone can put a little bug in Mr. Bereska's ear (the principal of Hereford High School). I hear he is a big time skier. Perhaps he would be interesting in having members of the Hereford High Ski Club join Dundalk in next year's Whistler adventure?

NOW BACK TO THE WEATHER

Girl you know it's true... the long awaited warm-up is coming and will arrive in force by Saturday. Expect 70 by then, mid 70's by Sunday and close to 80 by Monday. This should help dry out fields nicely for practices and games. By next week we will get back to a more normal Spring-like pattern instead of constant rain and clouds.

Another update Friday on what to expect for next week.

No comments:
4/15 MORNING UPDATE:
"When I think of a day that's gray, and lonely, I just pick up my chin, and grin, and say....
The sun will come out tomorrow, clear away the cobwebs and the sorrow, come what may."

- Tomorrow, from the musical 'Annie'

Maybe that's your song today if you're still doing taxes. At least the rain has stopped.

I am pleased to report that my group returned safely from Whistler, British Columbia and what an incredible time it was. For a glimpse at the stories and pictures... please visit the special blog site for the trip:

http://whistler2004.blogspot.com And the rumors are true, plans are underway to propose a return trip in 2005. There were 12 adults and 8 kids. Although everyone had a blast, I think the adults had a better time than the kids, sight-seeing, skiing, snowmobiling, hiking and more. If you have a lust for adventure, Whistler is the place any time of year.

A special request goes out to my friends in "the Zone." Maybe someone can put a little bug in Mr. Bereska's ear (the principal of Hereford High School). I hear he is a big time skier. Perhaps he would be interesting in having members of the Hereford High Ski Club join Dundalk in next year's Whistler adventure?

NOW BACK TO THE WEATHER

Girl you know it's true... the long awaited warm-up is coming and will arrive in force by Saturday. Expect 70 by then, mid 70's by Sunday and close to 80 by Monday. This should help dry out fields nicely for practices and games. By next week we will get back to a more normal Spring-like pattern instead of constant rain and clouds.

Another update Friday on what to expect for next week.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

No comments:

3/29 MORNING UPDATE:
"I see skies of blue, clouds of white. Bright blessed days, dark sacred nights. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world."

- Louie Armstrong

I'll bet the spring-a-lings were humming that song throughout the land today, as it was a wonderful day to be outside.

But starting tomorrow, you will change your tune some, and by mid week you'll probably be singing a dirge and wondering where the wonderful world of spring went.

This may be the only post this week, because here at the Foot compound we are heavy into final preparations for our trip. The other reason this will be the only post is the reality of what the weather will deliver the next 5-6 days.

BEWARE THE UPPER LEVEL LOW MONSTER

There are two things I despise the most in spring time, and March is my least favorite month of all 12.
(1) Upper level cutoff lows with a polar vortex combo
(2) Stationary fronts that drag on and on bringing endless rain

For those who like sunny days, they are over for now as March will be going out like a lion. The atmosphere is set to deliver a deep upper level trough, and sliding into this valley will be a piece of the polar vortex. When this happens around the spring equinox, it means deteroriating weather with each passing day. The upper level becomes a whirling dervish above us, circulating the same clouds and rain around and around for several days, sometimes a week.

If we are fortunate, some monster high will charge in from Canada end of the week, throw this bad boy outta here, and the return flow on the high means improving conditons for the week of spring break. Sunday will have been the best day of the entire week. From here to next Sunday, everything will get worse each day... I mean lowering temps, increased rain and wind.

Just when it looks like things are clearing, another batch of grayness will appear on the horizon and return the doom and gloom. I am telling you this now so you can at least know and understand why the weather will be so unpleasant this week.

The silver lining is that the pattern looks to do a "spring break" in that it will crack by Sunday.

In closing, to cement in your mind just how bizarre the weather has been, a rare hurricane made landfall in Brazil today. This has only happened 3 times in the past 100 years. Tropical systems generally do not form in the southern hemisphere Atlantic, as the upper level wind systems are not favorable most of the time. Does it portend anything for our hurricane season? We shall see...

My British Columbia crew will be departing early Saturday morning 4/3, and returning Friday night 4/9. During that period, daily posts will be made on the trip website: http://whistler2004.blogspot.com to update our friends back home on the trip's progress.

Enjoy your holiday, sleep in and get ready for tornado and hurricane season!



Thursday, March 25, 2004

No comments:

3/25 MORNING COMMENT:
"I know nothing stays the same, but if you are willing to play the game,
it will will be coming around again."

- Carly Simon

Brief comment this morning to say that the rain has arrived, but on the heels of it will be a brief warmup where areas in Philly and Baltimore will touch 70 F.

Then things cool down again until next week.

But if you're willing to play this warmup-cooldown game, it will be coming around again next week also. And for Spring breakers and spring-a-lings alike, we should see some real nice weather come the first week of April.

Oh yeah, now that's what I'm talkin' about.... time off and nice weather go so well together.

Monday, March 22, 2004

No comments:

3/22 EVENING COMMENT:
"I'm leavin' on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again..."

- originally sung by John Denver

Thanks to loyal reader Chip for his identification of the artist for today's title.

I recall back in early March when it was nice and warm that I commented on the likelihood of a retaliation later in the month. Maybe someone can check the archives and see when that was.

Whether I commented on it or not, the retaliation is here. Bitter cold tonight in northern MD and PA... lows in a few spots up in the Zone may touch 15 F, with low 20's in Baltimore. Though it is spring, the chill is going to linger one more day. By Wednesday we should be rebounding toward 50, and 60 on Thursday.

However, what goes down must come up. You see how it is this on-going see-saw business? It was too warm in February, so March over-corrected to the cold side, which means that April will fire back with over-warming, which means May will be cooler. So for all you spring breakers who are staying stateside, you may be in for a nice toasty week here at home.

Which leads me to the final comment for the night...and the reason for today's title. On Saturday, April 3, I along with 19 other friends and family members will be heading to British Columbia for Spring Break. We are making a 3,000 mile journey to the largest ski and snowboard resort in North America... Whistler-Blackcomb.

(Oooo, I can just hear the powderhounds drooling.)

Yeah, if you didn't already guess, Mr. Foot and his brother Jeff are big time skiers. We're taking our wives, baby Jayla, our aunt, 4 kids from my homeroom, 4 kids from the Boy Scouts in PA, and a few other motivated snow-hungry hounds out to a place where there is 90 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND RIGHT NOW.

And you're saying.... "just rub it in, make me feel better already."

The kids will experience 5 days on 2 mountains that soar over a mile into the sky, totaling 7,000 acres of terrain.

The adults will conquer a village that boasts 200 shops and restaurants, and more adventure activities that there are days in a month.

The trip is sponsored by the Dundalk Adventure Booster Club, a parent-student travel group that formed out of the Dundalk High Ski and Snowboard Club.

SO WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME ALL THIS?

Because one of the advantages of being a loyal reader is that you will receive the exclusive inside details on the NEXT BIG TRIP in case you'd like to join us in the future. Plus you get to follow the daily adventures of this hardy crew as they trek across the nation. Below are website details on this trip and plans for the next several ones.

Because we are now into major trip preparation mode, I will only be able to post to the forecast site every other day. And expect no posts from Friday 4/3 until Saturday 4/10.

If you have wanderlust in your blood, the Dundalk Adventure Booster Club is dreaming up some incredible trips to great destinations all around the world. There are plans for a Six Flags trip for the kids, a possible journey to Cedar Point in Ohio one of these days, and also a Windjammer Cruise in the Caribbean. If you have the motivation, we'll take you there, wherever there ends up being. All you need is a heartbeat and money.

April 2006: Zermatt, Switzerland (or Whistler again)
June-July 2008: Portillo, Chile
February 2010: Whistler/Vancouver 2010 Olympics

Check out our websites for great pics and details:
http://community.webshots.com/user/dundalkadventure
http://whistler2004.blogspot.com

We will be posting hundreds of pictures daily on these sites during the trip.

Feel free to ask questions on the comment feature... it is never too early to start planning for the NEXT BIG TRIP!





Saturday, March 20, 2004

No comments:
3/20 MORNING UPDATE:
"We'll drink and dance with one hand free, and have the world so easily, though we'll be a sight to see, back in the high life again."

- Steve Winwood, The High Life

Now this is not a song about getting drunk and dancing like a maniac, it is a nice, energetic upbeat song about the happiness and peace that can come from just accepting your life and being happy with the way it is.

And I'm sure the Spring-a-lings are livin' life today. Bright sunshine, feeling warmer, you can just hear them dancing out there with one hand free. Because by the time you read this.... SPRING WILL HAVE FINALLY ARRIVED!

Congratulations to all for surviving through one of the longest stretches of snow in recent memory. Throughout the coverage area of this site (I-95, Central PA), our snowfalls began December 5, and lasted until March 18. In Central PA last year, the stretch of snow began October 30 and did not end until April 6. That's snow in 7 of the 12 months of the year!

The final word on the March 18-19 snowfall is located here for Central PA:
http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/ctp/features/snowmaps.shtml

After a brief period of showers tonight and early tomorrow morning, next week looks to fabulous, with warming conditions each day and abundant sunshine. Yeeeehaw!



Friday, March 19, 2004

No comments:

3/19 MORNING UPDATE:
"In the middle of the night, I go walkin' in my sleep."

- River of Dreams, Billy Joel

Thanks to the baby, we were walking in our sleep last night as she decided to wake up at 2, feed. At 3:30 she was wide awake and ready to conquer the world. Daddy finally just gave up and put her back down at 4:30. Then I decided to face the truth...

That watching the weather channel for an extended period does not result in a storm magically turning around and delivering snow to an area it missed.

THE UNOFFICIAL STORM ROUNDUP


The winners...
I have not heard definitive accumulations from Central PA, but rumors are the amounts were less than the 6" NWS forecasted.

Phila, PA: This site called for 4-6" from Chester County on west. Totals were around 4", not the 5-8" NWS forecasted.

The losers...
No delays in Maryland as predicted. Haven't heard from our Zone observers, but it is clear there was no accumulating snow in the areas outlined yesterday.
A delay sure would have been nice for those stll dealing with the water main break. And for all the Mommies & Daddies out there who are worn out from being on teething duty for many nights in a row.

But at least it is Friday... and spring is arriving TOMORROW!


Thursday, March 18, 2004

No comments:
3/18 MORNING UPDATE: "We all live in a yellow submarine."
- The Beatles

That's the song this morning for our friends in PA... where NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch (which is traditionally a yellow color coding) for all of eastern and southeastern PA.

PHL NWS is calling for up to 6 inches in SE PA, I don't think you will get that high.

BAL NWS thinks the heavy snow will stay to the northern areas of Harford, Balto and Carroll County. A mix farther south, with rain below Baltimore.

The major issue this time is that roadways have had a couple days to cool down, and with temperatures hovering at or below 40 for today, it will not take much for precip that falls to begin creating widespread icy conditions by Friday morning.

And yes, I had to up the ante for this storm because the Canadian High near the Great Lakes is hanging tough and delivering more cold air into the system than the computer models originally anticipated.

HERE'S THE OVERALL CALL FOR THE AREA:

Central PA: Unfortunately the southern mountains from Blair County will see an enhanced effect known as "lifting" which will create heavy snow fall rates of over an inch an hour around midnight. So again, you'll go to bed with scattered snow showers, and wake up to another winter wonderland. Total accumulations of 4-8" are likely from Blair County east.

Eastern/Southeastern PA: Oh the powderhounds are stomping their feet this morning, as a rain/snow mix will arrive later this evening, and change to all snow overnight. You will see 1" and hour or greater in the early morning hours, leaving at least 3-4" throughout the area. And the snow will continue into the morning rush hours. Total accumulations of 4-6" from Chester County on west.

Baltimore Metro:
From Bel Air-Towson-Owings Mills-Ellicott City on north and west:

You have the best shot of accumulating snow, 2" or more (a few spots with 3") in the Zone and along the PA border. 1-2" closer to the beltway, and less than 1" inside the beltway on south to Annapolis.

WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL ON FRIDAY?


Central PA: Heh, easy call there. No school for Blair County Schools on east. Areas in the NWS Winter Weather Advisory will have a 2-hour delay.

Eastern PA: Heh, easy call there. No school for most of Chester County Schools on west. Philly schools on a 2-hour delay.

Baltimore Metro: Believe it or not, Baltimore County Schools could see a 2-hour delay only 3 days before spring. It all depends on if at least half the county experiences accumulation on the roadways.

Harford, Carroll, Frederick, Howard - Also a 2-hour delay
Anne Arundel, Cecil - No delay
Eastern shore - No delay

And hey, there's always a chance the storm moves a little farther south, and the heavy snow band shifts with it, putting the northern MD areas in the 3" plus area. If that happens, counties I listed as a delay will be closed.

Another update tonight as the situation begins to play out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

No comments:

3/17 MORNING UPDATE: "Oh for the luck o' the Irish."


Some folks in Baltimore County, MD don't feel very lucky this morning as a water main break has left nearly 150,000 people without the wet stuff. Sorry gang. Now that's the kind of day that you need a delay.

However, we did luck out with parts of the forecast. Check out this site to compare my call of 3-6 inches in central PA and 5-8 inches in eastern PA against the results.

Maryland snowfall amounts ranged from less than an inch in the Baltimore metro area, 2" near the PA line, and 6" at Frostburg University in western Maryland. Also thanks to our trusty observer in the Hereford Zone, Ms. Williams. Fascinating how such a slight change in elevation can make the differentce between ice or no ice. However, a number of commuters to Dundalk High School reported a heavy burst of wet snow between 5:30 and 6:00 am, which was originally predicted.

New England and New England got slammed as expected.

IS THE SNOW DONE OR WHAT?

Maryland: Rain coming Thursday night will mix with some snow before ending but nothing to be concerned about.

Pennsylvania: You are under the gun again as it will be primarily snow for you Thursday into Friday morning. Could see 1-3" in the Phila metro area. Isolated areas in Central PA could see 2-3" but this is not going to be a major storm.

But hey, at least the grass will be greener once the sun comes back out. And spring is only 3 DAYS AWAY. HOORAY!


Tuesday, March 16, 2004

No comments:

3/16 MORNING UPDATE:
"You ain't nothin' but a hound-dog, cryin' all the time..."

- The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis

I'll be a lot of people south of the Mason-Dixon Line are cryin' this morning and will be doing so well into the morning hours. Especially all y'all in the Zone, where students may be sitting in class while it is snowing outside. However, our PA friends are rejoicing in their new-found winter splendor, or cryin' at the return of OMW (Old Man Winter).

The forecast is verifying for this morning in the Baltimore area, but alas, the fruit cup was right again. It does not appear any delay will occur for any Balto metro schools. Looking at the "Mid-Atlantic Radar", the rain/snow line is edging into the Hereford area at 5:45 AM, and will move south for a couple hours before retreating north. It is presently a snow/sleet/rain mix in Dundalk.

It does appear that the area districts are hedging their bets that enough warm air will hang on into the commuting hours. Either way, it will be a slippery ride in this morning. Wonder what happened to the 3-6" Marty Bass was calling for yesterday? Hmmmm.

And believe it or not....there is another round of this same situation heading our way for Thursday night and Friday. So spring is out there somewhere my love.

Monday, March 15, 2004

No comments:

3/15 LATE EVENING UPDATE:
"She'll be comin' around the mountain when she comes."

- Old Folk Tune, I forget the title

Two low pressure systems are teaming up as they move northeast from Tennessee to northern Virginia while a Canadian High is parking itself in just the right place...upstate New York and the Great Lakes... to deliver fresh cold air as the precip arrives. So yes, unbelieveable as it may be, but your snow will be coming around the mountain tomorrow morning.

A situation like this has not happened since March 1958, when spring had sprung in force for 5 days, and then a 3-4 foot snowstorm crushed barns and left some readers of this site to walk home in snowdrifts up to their knees.

We are not going to see 3-4 feet, more like 3-4 inches in Frederick County. This is not your father's snowstorm. But it is still unbelieveably bizarre to even me that the temperature is going to drop, oh, another 20 DEGREES between now (8:45 PM) and daybreak tomorrow. I mean it was like MAY late today, and I was just about ready to dance in the streets like a dyed-in-the-wool spring-a-ling. I'm out in the school parking lot thinking....

WHAT STORM? I DON'T EVEN SEE CLOUDS!

But if we turn to that old Vulcan, Mr. Spock, he would say: "The universe will unfold as it should." And so it will starting at daybreak Tuesday. Are you dreaming of a white St. Patrick's Day?

HOURLY ESTIMATE OF PRECIP IN BALTIMORE AREA

12 am - Clouds increase.
2 am - Wind picks up from the northeast.
4 am - Temperature has dropped to near 40. Sprinkles and flurries in the city.
5 am - Sprinkles and flurries continue, changing to light snow and rain.
6 am - A mix of heavy wet snow and rain arrives in force throughout the area. Areas north of Baltimore will see a burst of heavy snow sometime after 6 am, as the atmosphere rapidly cools with the onset of snow.

8 am - A mix of snow and rain from the city on south. Snow hangs on longer north of the city, accumulating 1-2 inches on grassy areas, sidewalks, etc.

10 am - South and east of Owings Mills, Towson, Perry Hall will see a changeover to all rain. North of that area, the snow may hang tough until after lunch.

12 pm - Storm begins exiting, pulls precip east of the area. Lots of leftover clouds and just a raw, miserable afternoon. Better to just go home after work and curl up with some peppermint tea and relive the good old days on the archives of Foot's Forecast.

HOURLY PRECIP ESTIMATES FOR CENTRAL PA

2 am - Light snow moves in from southwest to northeast.
4 am - Snow continues and becomes heavier as daybreak approaches.
6 am - You awaken to a winter wonderland. At least 2" on the ground.
8 am through noon - snow continues, mixing with rain for a brief time in southern areas (near Pittsburgh). Total accumulations 3-6 inches.

HOURLY PRECIP ESTIMATES FOR PHILADELPHIA AREA

6 am - Light snow and rain mixed starts the morning.
8 am - A burst of heavy wet snow for perhaps an hour will leave an inch or two on grassy areas. Chester County could see up to 3 inches by noon.

3 pm - Storm exits east, but lots of wrap-around precip means leftover snow showers and cloudiness the rest of the day. It will be like the beauty of Monday never happened.

6 pm - Might be another burst of snow towards the end of the day as the storm redevelops off the coast before slamming New England.

WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL?

MD:
Frederick, Carroll - Start with a delay, then re-evaluate.
Baltimore, Harford - Despite the fruit cup, if snow is falling over much of Baltimore County by 6:00 AM, they will start with a delay, possibly 2 hours.
Howard - Delay is doubtful given you are farther south

If you see any of the metro area counties call for a delay by 5:00 AM, then it will be a domino effect.

PA:

Chester County - This will be a tough call... as the precip will start later in the rush hour and it will be mostly snow. I will predict schools actually try to start on time and get students in before it gets bad.

Altoona/State College - 2 hour delay is a good bet, possibly closed depending on the intensity of the snowfall.

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS, WE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT SNOW?. And I was ready to issue the Hurricane Forecast. Pshaw.

Baby Jayla has started to teethe in force. You can always tell with babies that there could be something wrong when they are arching their back, stiffening their legs, screaming at the top of their lungs, and have turned a pretty shade of bright pink, refusing all food, drink, etc. So anyway, I'm sure Jayla and I will be checking on the progress of the storms tonight (the one in her mouth, and the one outside).

Hopefully if I'm not too wiped out, I can do a follow-up post tomorrow morning before heading off to school at 7 AM (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

No comments:

3/15 EARLY EVENING UPDATE: AND THE FRUIT CUP SAYS...


Since Mr. Peiser of the Dundalk Science department has decided to retire the fruit cup for the season, we had to resort to a plan B. Mrs. Foot and Jayla were witness to the un-peeling of a Del Monte Mixed Fruit Cup at 5:55 PM today.

The results?
BALTIMORE COUNTY SCHOOLS ARE ON TIME TOMORROW. The cup did not "splurt" out any juice, which is an grossly un-scientific indication that the ambient air pressure is high. Thus the storm will hold out for a later onset, in which case it will be primarily rain when it arrives in the Baltimore Metro area. I know the NWS has a winter weather advisory for northern Baltimore County, but I still think the onset will be too late to make a difference.

I also heard from the Marty Bass patrol that the codger called for 3-6 inches. And I thought I was marginally insane.

But then again, he and I have both been wrong before.... :)

To our friends above the Mason-Dixon Line...you will get socked with 3-6" of heavy wet snow. Check back after baby's bedtime (around 9 PM) for another update.
No comments:

3/15 MORNING UPDATE: "Beware the ides of March."


Quick overview of the accumulation forecast for tonight through Wednesday.

1. Central PA: 3 to 6 inches by Wed afternoon.

2. Eastern PA: (north of Chester County) 5 to 7 inches by Wed evening.

3. Philly area: (Chester County on west) 1-3 inches by Wed evening, mainly on grassy areas.

4. Baltimore: 2-3 inches north of a line from Towson,
Owings Mills, Bel Air. Coating to an inch south of that line.

5. UNBelievability factor: On a scale of 1-10, this is a 27. Because it feels like late spring this morning here in Baltimore, and we may approach 60. So snow on the heels of that seems ridiculous.

WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL?

Central PA has the best chance of missing school. I think Baltimore area districts will start with a delay, and then re-evaluate. I really don't think Bay area Maryland schools will call off, but there could be some delays, especially if there is a burst of heavy wet snow right around 5:00 to 6:00 AM.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GET READY FOR SPRING.

Results of the fruit cup forecast posted later today.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

1 comment:
3/14 EVENING UPDATE:
"What we got here is a FAILURE to communicate."

- Cool Hand Luke

That's a special quote I've been saving for my stepfather for just an occasion like this. CHL is one of his favorite movies and that is a great line I was hoping I could use this season when the forecast went totally bonkers.

Before we get into everything.. this weekend is the 11th anniversary of the March 11-14, 1993 Storm of the Century. Check out your accuweather.com forecast site for a couple neat graphics and relive the memories with your family at dinner tonight.

Also... we need to activate the Marty Bass Patrol for Monday morning. Post a comment if you can and tell us in Baltimore what the bass-meister is saying about this storm.

In summary, beware the ides of March, because what we have got here is a failure to communicate about the forecast.


FIRST, LET ME ADDRESS SOME QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE


1. What happened to the forecast for this week? You mean the one from earlier posts? The one that said 60 and rainy for Monday? Well, throw that out. It will be sunny and 55 on Monday, but the weather for the rest of the week has to be totally redone.

2. How in the WORLD can it snow now? I'll explain that in a minute.

3. I thought you said the snow was OVER for the winter! I'll explain that one too, in a minute.

4. Got your tail between your legs there, little doggy? Yup. (Whimper).

BEFORE THE FORECAST, SOME CLIMATOLOGY

- By March, the Gulf Stream is really heating up off the Carolina and Virginia coast. This provides any "warm core" storm the equivalent of enriched uranium for a nuclear power plant. If a low pressure system which is warm at it's center, like most spring storms are, gets near the Gulf Stream AT THE SAME TIME A COLD HIGH IS LURKING NEARBY... lookout. That's how late season storms can deliver snow when it was sunny and warm the day before.
It's the same setup as a standard December-February winter storm, except that it has set itself up in March.

- Sun angle this time of year is equivalent to mid October. So roadways stay warmer longer. But you all know that in October, once the sun goes down, it gets mighty cool quick. A neat little stunt called radiational cooling allows heat from the day to escape into space. If clouds and precip move in after most of the heat has escaped, BINGO.. you can have snow falling out of the sky when only 12 hours earlier it was sunny and 55 F.

- But then again... higher sun angle and other factors also point to snow having a very difficult time falling for an extended period (as we saw last week) and is usually not stickable to roadways, etc. Yes, stickable is a technical meteorological term. So it may be pretty but it will not last.

ENOUGH WITH THE WEATHER-SPEAK, GIMME THE FORECAST

Monday: Abundant sunshine but you will notice a light northwest wind, switching to northeast as the day progresses. That switch will also begin to usher in clouds late in the day. High 50 F in Philly, near 55 F in Baltimore.

Monday overnight: Clouds thicken all night long, light winds. As with previous storms, it'll take a while for the precip to moisten the atmosphere above. Temps will be cool enough aloft for precip to begin as snow. In areas north and west of Baltimore (Owings Mills, Towson, Bel Air on north) you'll see flurries and light snow by daybreak. Areas south of that line, it will be light snow/rain mixed. If it holds off, expect only rain, and wet snow in the Zone.


Tuesday morning:
Right now, this does not appear to be a big surprise storm. But a lot of dynamics could change the outcome, such as a brief period of heavy wet snow that quickly covers roadways. That would cool the ground surface and the lower layers of the atmosphere, delaying a changeover to rain. But overall, it is a safe bet that the warming sun will change any snow over to rain by late morning. Accumulations? On cars, sidewalks, lawns, tops of the buses. Etc.

SO WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL?

Philly suburbs north and west of the city have a greater chance of a delay Tuesday morning than Baltimore or Washington area schools. It will all come down to what is the weather exactly at 5:00 AM. If heavy wet snow is falling in your area, expect a delay. If there is light rain and snow mixed .... NO DELAY. The longer the precip holds off, the better chance it has of falling as rain and not snow.

ANY CHANCE THIS WILL BLOW UP UNEXPECTEDLY?

Well, the powderhounds think so. But they're always looking for snow, even in July. Actually there's more of a chance that the storm slows down and arrives during daylight hours, delivering only rain.

BOTTOM LINE... DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP ABOUT THIS STORM. It's just a late season fluke.

The rest of the week:

Wednesday - Mix of sun, clouds, flurries and leftover sprinkes. Cold and windy. High 45. Fields will be dry for practice.

Thursday - No big change, still cold, windy but no precip.

Friday - Finally some milder weather returns. High nosing above 50 F.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

No comments:

3/11 EVENING UPDATE:
"All quiet on the western front."

- Title of a reknowned novel about the trench warfare of WWI

A peaceful weekend setting in for most of you. A clipper system heading northeast on Friday will bring scattered snow in upstate PA, NY and New England. The city folk from Philly on south will not any of that. Behind the storm will be breezy conditions for everyone on the East coast. Those wind will slack on Saturday, leaving a wonderfully sunny day. Sunday will be warmer and less windy. Rain returns Monday for all of the 95 corridor.

NEXT WEEK'S OUTLOOK

Monday - Rain but mild. Highs around 60 south to low 50's north.

Tuesday - Clearing, cooler, mid 50's PA and MD.

Wednesday - Warmer, southwest winds kick in. Low 60's.

Thursday - Spring-a-lings rejoice as we approach 70 south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Friday - the warmth may hang on yet another day, but storm clouds are gathering.

For those of you reading this Friday... Happy Friday. Only 10 days left until Spring!