Sunday, September 4, 2011

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No rain on some parades...
but not so elsewhere

TROPICS: Visit the Tropical Zone for latest reports on Katia and Lee
SOUTHEAST: Forecasters in MississippiSouthern GeorgiaMetro Atlanta | Tennessee
SEVERE: Visit and like our Southeast Severe Weather page for fast updates, and our Affiliate/Regional forecasters at in Nashville, TN
MID-ATLANTIC: Team reports from Charlotte NC; Cape Fear NC, The Virginia Tidewater, West Virginia, Maryland's eastern shore, the Capital Region, Central Maryland and our Affiliate/Regional forecaster at the Maryland Weather Center.

8:00 AM EDT 9/4/2011 Our forecasters in Crisfield, Maryland reported wonderful blue skies and delightful southerly breezes (Youtube) for the 64th annual National Hard Crab Derby on Saturday. Despite a bungled up City Dock caused by Irene's unwelcome visit, and an earthquake shakin' to accompany crab cake bakin' last week, "the Derby" as locals call it bounced right back in fine Eastern shore style. Folks from this Bay-facing town on the Delmarva peninsula have many a story to tell about infamous storms of yesteryear. The raking from 1954's Hurricane Hazel and the inland flooding of 2003's Isabel "ranks up there" in the minds of many old-timers alongside the 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm and the Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane of 1933.

Folks in this rural but dynamic part of the Maryland Eastern shore, while pickin' crabs, can tell a story like a Ken Burns PBS documentary. Those I talked with in the shade at the Crab Derby parade sounded a familiar theme: "It used to be we had a bad gale in these parts about every 5-10 years or so. Seems like lately they just keep a-comin." Disclaimer: "Lately" may refer to a 30-year interval if the interviewee talks about Roosevelt as if he was the last President. Maybe it is just perception, or perhaps they are on to something. (Inset: The long time tradition of a crab-picking contest at the Derby)

The possible interaction of Tropical Storms Lee and Katia later this week lend evidence to what the crab-pickers of Crisfield perceive. Our Severe Weather and Tropical Teams alike have significant concerns about the increasing proximity of Lee and Katia in the Wednesday-Friday time period. Moisture propagating northeastward from Lee, and driven east by an approaching cold front could collide with western streaming energy and moisture from Katia. Neither system has an effective escape route at present, and the avenues seem to be closing. The least desirable scenario may be the most plausible one: Moisture from both systems converges to deliver 6-10" of rain Wednesday to Friday in places which are still reeling from the impacts of Irene.

OUR BEST ADVICE? If you lost power or had downed trees from Irene, we cannot rule out those problem recurring from the remnants of Lee. Weakened tree root systems from recent heavy rains will be compounded by another dose of torrential rainfall Wed through Fri. If your basement or property is prone to flooding in even a thunderstorm, we urge you to take necessary precautions or expedite your cleanup by Wednesday.

Friday, September 2, 2011


"Raining on the parade"
would be an understatement

5:45 PM EDT 9/2/11 | TORNADO & FLOOD THREAT THIS WEEKEND | In addition to the high rainfall amounts expected this weekend from Tropical Storm Lee, our Southeast Team believes there is an increasing risk of a tornado outbreak to the right of where Lee makes landfall. These areas would include southern Mississippi, central/southern Alabama and central/southern Georgia. The NOAA Storm Prediction Center has posted a slight risk of tornadoes. One factor which would spawn a tornado outbreak is a possible swift instruction of dry air in the left quadrants of the storm. That would drive a large area of energy rapidly northeast and the resulting shear and instability could spawn a "short notice" outbreak of tornadoes. For details on the resurgence of Hurricane Katia, please visit the Tropical Zone on facebook for our latest reporting.

LIVE VIDEO STREAMING Storm Chaser/Forecaster Vince Webb, in classic fashion, is already en route to intercept Lee's impacts on the Gulf coast. He will be posting video as time permits in the Tropical Zone. Here is his first short video from earlier today. You can also see his reports via live video streaming at or this direct link.

11:35 PM EDT 9/1/11 | FLOOD THREAT FOR THE GULF COAST | In a surprise manuver, when most concerns were focusing on the long term potential of Tropical Storm Katia, Tropical Depression # 13 pops along the central Gulf coast. For New Orleans, a slow moving tropical storm dropping 10-20 inches of rain is almost as high impact as a fast-moving major hurricane. Although the upgraded New Orleans pumping and levee system was designed to withstand a 100-year flood... can it handle thirteen inches of rain? That is beyond unlucky, and could even be catastrophic. The Times-Picayune and the NOLA National Weather Service are already on to this possibility, as shown above in the 72-hour rainfall projection.

Our multi-state team keeps constant watch over and posts on the latest developments and statements from the National Hurricane Center, computer model guidance and Air Force Reconnaissance. Our members have even flown IN a hurricane hunter aircraft mission**, so they know what they are talking about. Visit the Tropical Zone in facebook for round-the-clock coverage from a dedicated team of 10 forecasters who stayed on the task even as Irene took out their power and evacuated their counties.

No Rain On The 64th Annual Crisfield Hard Crab Derby Parade

*The team extents its gratitude to Media Advisor and Forecaster Nick Scirico of North Carolina State University for his excellent work in developing our branded logos for Hurricane Irene and the newest banner style featured on this page.
**Meteorologist Randall Hergert is a graduate of Florida International University and has flown in NOAA/Air Force Reconnaissance aircraft. He is also the Lead Forecaster of our South Florida & The Keys zone in facebook.

(Lead Advisor Mr. Foot and the Tropical Team)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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Where do we go from here?

8:25 AM EDT 8/31/2011 | Gotta love high pressure. We know many are dealing with flooding in the Northeast, power outages in the Mid-Atlantic or are tired of plain ole' "95 and sunny" in West Texas. For all of us, at least a high pressure system over the eastern and central U.S. allows everyone to sit on the porch in Midland, Texas or the front marble steps in Baltimore, Maryland and say to each other, "Where do we go from here?"  

THE GOOD NEWS: Labor Day Weekend looks generally calm and free of tropical cyclones, at least along the U.S. east coast. Even the central and western states look good weather-wise for part of the weekend coming up. Our Tropical Team is closely watching soon-to-be Hurricane Katia* in the central Atlantic for hints on her next move. The primary threat the next 5 days will be to shipping lanes, and eventually swells will affect the Eastern Caribbean. If you are heading out on a cruise from the east coast, it might get a bit woozy by end of the weekend.  *Katia was a 65-mph Tropical Storm as of the 5:00 AM AST advisory. 

THE "HMMM" NEWS: Our Long Range Team has concerns about potential tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico in the 10-day period ahead. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring an area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean. Given high sea surface temperatures in the northern Gulf of 88-92 F, interests along the Gulf coast need to check in every now and then with the NHC and our Tropical Zone on facebook for analyses on what these systems may do. The Long Range Team will soon be posting their look ahead to mid- and late-September.

Until then, our heart and prayers go out to all those dealing with power outages, flooded roads and all that which accompanied the unwelcome visitor in recent days known as Irene.   We hope the sunshine at least helps take the edge off your recovery.
(The Advisory Team of Foot's Forecast)