Sunday, January 16, 2011

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As for "Stormy Weather" (Lena Horne, 1943)
the east is free of it, for one more day, until...
"The Iceman Cometh" (Eugene O'Neill, 1939)


6:30 PM Sunday 1/16/2011 Today's Lead Story: Freeze warnings have expired in the South for now, while a new storm system has begun rolling across the northern Gulf coast. Snow willl continue mountains of Washington, Idaho and Western Montana. The Northern Rockies should expect have a mix of precipitation type due to warm air advecting over the lower-level cold air. The plains of Eastern Montana, Northeastern Wyoming, and into the Western Dakotas will experience snow mixed with periods sleet and/or freezing rain as evidenced by the latest NWS advisory map.

THE ICEMAN COMETH While the Eastern U.S. is in a brief pattern of calm, we are watching the next system to affect the country, in the Monday to Tuesday period. It appears likely this system will produce wintry conditions from late on Martin Luther King Day until at least the early-morning hours of Tuesday. A condition known as "cold-air damming" will play an important role in the type, and especially duration, of precipitation many areas receive Monday. For the Mid-Atlantic, icy conditions could continue later than expected. Our Winter Stormcast Team is reviewing current data, and details will posted in the Winter Stormcast Zone as well as in facebook forecast centers and our new Twitter feeds.  (Forecast Advisors Lear and Foot)

SITE & TWITTER UPDATES New Twitter feeds are launched in all our facebook forecast centers, from the Mid-Atlantic to the Ohio Valley and Southeast. We will post a combined list of all Twitters, but the URL format is: twitter.com/ffwintermidatl. Our gratitude to Web Team Specialist/Forecaster Nick Scirico, senior in Meteorology at North Carolina State for this innovative new feature!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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Bringing innovation to the
forecasting of weather & climate

12:00 PM December 8, 2010 For those who came to rely on our detailed forecasts for the Baltimore-Washington area and Mid-Atlantic region, we invite you to join us at our expanding and fresh new website at the traditional address you've known for years:

In Fall 2010, a comprehensive strategic planning process was launched to re-organize our site so the local forecast teams which have grown to 11 states in the Eastern U.S. would have an equal voice to be "the face of the place" for weather in their region. The re-knowned Central Maryland Forecast team many of you came to know and follow, remains a core part of what we do. However, our team has been growing to the point that we realized the need to establish a site infrastructure that permits multiple student forecast teams operate independently under one roof.

In keeping with our mission to provide students with career-building professional skills, our new site was designed by a multi-state Web Team of college and high school students. Major props go to IT Director/Forecaster Hunter Outten in Roaring Spring, PA for creating the template, and Projects Administrator/Forecaster Andrew Fleck for creating much of the content. They have been regularly collaborating with other members of our Web Team which include students from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Maryland. I hope you'll recognize these important improvements as evidence of our mission to have student "bring innovation to the forecasting of weather & climate."



Please note these hard-working students are also continuing to implement the goals and objectives of our 2011 Website Strategic Plan, so improvements are being added daily. If there is a new feature or approach you'd like for us to try, drop a note in the comments section on the new site. You can also contact Hunter or Andrew directly by sending a message to webteam@footsforecast.org. Providing you, our loyal readership, with clean and efficient access to the weather content you've come to rely on is central to the mission outlined in the Strategic Plan. If you are concerned that we are losing touch with the local perspective, we understand but take a moment to click through the new site before you render judgment!

Thanks everyone for your patience as we build this website process forward in advance of what looks like a very challenging winter ahead. For those who would be understandably a bit irked that we didn't tell you sooner, please accept our apologies and hope the new site will account for your valid concerns. We look forward to seeing you all over there!

Best regards,
Mr. Foot and the 2010-2011 Eastern U.S. Forecast Team

Saturday, October 30, 2010

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Verification of 2010 Hurricane Forecast
Forecast issued May 28, 2010 - Baltimore, Maryland | TROPICAL ZONE | FACEBOOK
Tropical Team Contributors: Ryan Krimm, Aaron Salter, Daniel Ross, Rich Foot

5:45 pm 11.30.2010 Prior to start of the 2010 Hurricane Season, our Tropical Team predicted for the Atlantic Basin a total of 19 named tropical systems (NTS), 10 of which would become hurricanes, and 5 would be major hurricanes. As of November 30, 2010, observed results show exactly 19 named tropical systems, twelve of which have become hurricanes, and five systems reached to Category 3 major hurricane status with winds at or above 111 mph.


Our team also delineated the hurricane forecast month-by-month, with the original graphic in the section below. Note that the official Atlantic basin tropical cyclone season continues to November 30 each year. If additional systems develop, will revise our grading scheme with final results. Preliminary verification for the baseline predicted tropical cyclone events shows these results, in a % deviation/academic grading format as follows. The screen shown here was part of a TV news spot featuring the Maryland Forecast Team by CBS Channel 13 WJZ in Baltimore, MD on July 1, 2010.


Named Tropical Systems: Predicted/Observed- 19/19; 100% of predicted
Hurricanes: Predicted/Observed: 10/12; 120% of predicted
Major Hurricanes: Predicted/Observed: 5/5, 100% of predicted

1. Report published: May 28, 2010
Our original projections as shown below was developed by Lead Forecaster Ryan Krimm, Ryan is a Junior at Sparrows Point High School in Edgemere, Maryland. Contributing forecasters included Aaron Salter, a junior in Environmental Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Daniel Ross, a senior in Meteorology at Georgia Polytechnic Institute in Atlanta, GA; and Mr. Foot - Lead Advisor, Baltimore, MD

2. Public presentation of forecast: June 4, 2010
Four members of our team presented this forecast to the June 2010 Conference of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in Ocean City, Maryland. The presenters included Ryan Krimm, Aaron Salter, Evan Uebel and Mr. Foot. (see June 4 in registration packet). The invitation was extended by Ms. Teresa Chapman of the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management.

3. Public release of forecast via news media: July 1, 2010
The Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security invited our student "Tropical Team" to develop a realistic scenario of a slow-moving Category 1/2 hurricane making landfall in the southern Mid-Atlantic, similar to the path of Hurricane Isabel in September 2003. This presentation on "Hurricane Omega" was the centerpiece of a tabletop exercise conducted by the county's Emergency Operations Center in Towson, MD on July 1, 2010 and led by Lt. Mark Demski, Deputy Director and Emergency Specialist Jay Ringgold.


Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith held a press conference following the exercise, publicly praising the student team members for their valuable participation in the safety exercise in support of improved preparation for a hurricane emergency. CBS Channel 13 WJZ in Baltimore featured the students' accomplishments in a short segment, shown on the 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm local news. The article was developed by Reporter Mike Schuh and titled: "Amateur Forecasters Create Hurricane Exercise."

On July 6, 2010, The Carroll Community Times also featured the tabletop exercise and the students in an article by Reporter Susan Ingram, titled: "Be prepared for hurricane season...simulation designed by students."  It is interesting to note that on September 2, 2010 - Hurricane Earl followed an eerily similar intensity and track as simulated in the July "Omega" exercise. For that storm, County Executive Jim Smith (featured below) returned to the Emergency Operations Center for a briefing on the event. In comparing
the simulation to actual events, a second aspect of the July 1 tabletop exercise (a slow-moving tropical system delivering up to 12 inches of rain) also met with reality on September 30. In effect, the "simulations" of both a slow-moving and a heavy rain-producing tropical system ended up impacting Baltimore County in just 3 months following the exercise.

SYNOPSIS of 2010 HURRICANE FORECAST and OBSERVATIONS

1. Occurence Much above normal tropical cyclone formation in the Atlantic basin.
Observations:
The Atlantic basin seasonal average is 10-15 tropical cyclones*, thus the 2010 observed cyclone data is between 113 %- 170% of normal as of October 31, 2010.
Sources:
NOAA/NHC Tropical Cyclone Climatology
Pew Center on Global Climate Change
*The climatological average from 1850-1990 is 10 named tropical cyclones, the 1998-2007 average was 15 named tropical cyclones. Thus we presented a range of 10-15.


2. Intensity Five major hurricanes, two or more make a U.S. landfall.
Observations:
Five major hurricanes developed in 2010*, none made U.S. landfall.
*As of 10-31-2010

3. Risk regions Notable landfalls are projected for:
 Northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to western Florida coast;
 Carolinas and southern Mid-Atlantic at risk for a direct landfall or secondary effects.
Observations:
While Florida to Louisiana did not experience significant landfalling systems, the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic did observe considerable secondary effects from Hurricanes Danielle, Earl, Igor and historical rainfall from the remnants of Extra-Tropical Storm Nicole.

4. Frequency Periods of high activity in July, from mid-August through September
Observations: 
 June 2010: 1 named system which became a hurricane;
  July 2010: 1 named system which became a tropical storm; 0 hurricanes;
  August 2010: 4 named systems = 2 tropical storms, 2 major hurricanes;
  September 2010: 8 named systems = 3 tropical storms, 2 hurricanes, 3 major;
  October 2010: 4 named systems, all of which became hurricanes.