Friday, August 19, 2011

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"...a New York State of mind..."
-Youtube video of the timeless lyrics by Billy Joel  


5:45 PM EDT 8/20/2011 | What better way to enjoy the weekend than to be in a New York state of mind? We  celebrate the launch of two forecast zones for the Empire State. It is New York after all, so you have to go big, right? Our Metro New York  zone is now live on facebook, directed by Mid-Atlantic Lead Forecaster Mike Natoli and covering the five boroughs of the Big Apple for now.  Mike, a senior at C. Milton Wright High School in Harford County, MD has a wide range of family through the New York region and has been consistently forecasting in numerous zones on our team since January 2011.

Out in the quieter realm of the Finger Lakes you will find our Central New York State zone, spear-headed by Lead Forecaster Reginald Johnson from the Southeast Pennsylvania Zone. Reginald will be attending Cornell University to launch his four year scientific adventure in pursuit of a Meteorology degree.  Our Southeast Pennsylvania readers are transitioning from one NOAA Weather Camp trained graduate to another:  Recently minted Forecaster Mitch D. from Allentown, PA, who is a 2011 graduate of the NOAA-funded Weather Camp program at Howard University, and attended the Summer 2010 Penn State Weather Camp, will be serving the readers of Southeast PA. An inspiring twist to the story: Reginald was a 2009 graduate of Howard's program himself with several other forecasters who have joined the team since then. 

This school year also marks the official start of Foot's Forecast Team coverage in both major cities of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Our hard-working Three Rivers Team of Forecasters Greg Jackson, Ryan Lingo and Brittany Kusniar have been tearing up the forecast wires with their July 2011 launch of the Three Rivers Zone in facebook. If you are traveling to these regions this year, add these zones to your facebook app list for simple but sophisticated and locally relevant forecasts from a team you can trust across New York, Pennsylvania and 16 other states. 

Since it's Friday, if you need to get yourself in that New York State of Mind, then enjoy this Youtube montage... 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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We started this fire in 2004

6:00 AM EDT 8/17/2011  The Mid-Atlantic Team is thrilled to formally announce our newest forecast zone as part of an on-going "Day of Champions" rollout of 10 zones that began on August 10. We welcome the Northern Bayshore Zone, led by Forecaster Nick Strickland of Elkton, Maryland and a senior at North East High School. Nick is the latest fine example of the Facebook fire our team lit on December 20, 2009, five years after the initial spark started this website in January 2004.  During one of those "normal" Baltimore blizzards, while an article about our team was splashed across the front page of the Baltimore Sun, Lead Forecaster Greg Jackson, then a junior at North Carroll High School in Carroll County, MD  approached Advisor Mr. Foot and said the famous words, "I think we need a facebook page."  (see that page today.)

20 months later: Forecasting in Facebook today are high school and college student team members in 16... no.. 17 states stretching from Washington State to Colorado, next-in-line pages in Wisconsin and the Upper Great Lakes to North Carolina. Thanks to the diligent work and dedication of our unstoppable Outreach Staff of Nikki Byers, Aaron Salter, Daniel Ross, Diandre Williams and others, we are signing or training Affiliates and Forecasters in Michigan, Maryland, Florida, Kansas, the South central U.S., South Carolina, Ohio and... Puerto Rico.  

Why you should care  Because we can offer you,  your school, agency or business what no one else can: Ready access to hyper-local forecasts generated by an unlimited staff of real people with whom you can interact. Every county, every town, every school if necessary. Our team organizes the data and material produced by National Weather Service meteorologists, and communicates to you it in a simple but sophisticated and professional way.  What is the difference between us and Accu-Weather or the Weather Channel? We get that question a lot.

Our team can be everywhere simultaneously, at all hours of the day or night, because we are your neighbors, friends, high school or college friend, or long time teaching colleague. Our team, armored by iPads, Smartphones and outfitted in Storm Chasing vehicles, can tap the most powerful resource on Earth: Each other. Storm Chaser Vince Webb in Mississippi can pop us a Youtube video of a funnel cloud in Mississippi before CNN can even scoop the story. When everyone else is in bed, we're on the mark making sure there are no surprises. Our focus is town-by-town, down to the zip code or the street corner. At 12:30 AM on Christmas Day in 2010, six members of our team in three states saw NOAA data projections change for a storm some said the Delmarva would dodge altogether.  We called our contacts in the state of Maryland  at 1:30 AM on 12/25 to restate that the Eastern Shore was facing an all-out blizzard of 12 inches or more Ocean City with 40 mph winds and bitter temperatures. It happened.

It all started with a high school student. You know how many of them are out there with a Smartphone, looking to make a meaningful contribution to our society? Millions.  Where are they interacting? Facebook. We took a social media tool created by a college student and turned it into the go-to source for weather forecasts of nearly 60,000 people in all 50 states and 110 countries. Sorry Billy, we started this fire awhile ago. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

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It's warm now, but when cold comes...

8:15 AM EDT 8/15/2011: For all those snowbirds out there already planning their winter vacations, we want to make sure you know our team is on site in many warm places. Our Florida Team includes Lead Forecaster Matt Bolton in Brooksville, Meteorologist Randall Hergert in St. Petersburg and newly confirmed Forecaster Amanda Brioche, a student at the University of Miami studying... what else.. Meteorology! 

This winter if you are planning to escape the perils La Nina can bring to Northern States... head on down  to surf along the Space Coast, paddle in the Everglades or set sail on a cruise from Tampa. Before you go, visit and like the facebook forecast pages of our growing  team in the Sunshine State: South Florida and the Keys (shown left) and Central Florida, shown below.