Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ah, La Nina...there you go again.

8:30 AM EST 12/3/11 | On this first Saturday in December, we see a wide-ranging winter storm plowing through the Midwest sandwiched by a third day of sunshine in the East, and brazenly strong winds up to 150 mph in canyons of California. These fast-moving high- intensity type events are a continuation of the La Nina driven pattern which we expect will dominate the winter ahead. 

MIDWEST STORM: For our readers in this region, we have forecasters reporting from  Central Colorado and Kansas to Southeast Wisconsin. The Colorado Team of Forecasters Tifona and Nikki, with Advisor Keith are covering the "digging out weather" in that area. Our Affiliate Forecaster CirrusWeather in Kansas is covering the event from that region on their website and facebook page

REGIONAL ROUNDUP: For access to an overview of forecasts posted by our team in their respective states, the latest is always posted in the banner tabs by region: EasternCentral and Western. Many thanks to Senior Advisor Brad Lear for his daily diligence in editing and seeing that forecaster content always renders properly on this page.

The section below details a portion of our Final Official Winter Forecast for 2011-12 for the Mid-Atlantic. Forecasts provided by our other regions on the team will be linked in a followup statement to this section. The discussion starts with near-term weather pattern, and ends with how December into January look from a long range perspective regarding storm potential. The full report is in the Mid-Atlantic Winter Stormcast Zone on facebook.

Although over the last several years portions of the Mid-Atlantic have become notorious for receiving snow around December 5, a mild airmass and warm ground temperatures will prevent this from becoming a snow event for much of this region. 

1. DECEMBER 5 TO 20: A storm system is expected to track east of the Appalachian Mountains Tuesday. Instead, heavy rain may be a concern Tuesday into early Wednesday. As the system begins to pull away from the region Wednesday, rain may mix and possibly changeover to snow for the mountainous areas in the Mid Atlantic. However, at this time we do not expect a significant chance for any snow east of the mountains.

2. DECEMBER 21 TO 31:  In looking ahead, we know many of you are yearning for snow as we head toward the holidays. A major factor reducing our chances for snow is the lack of it in areas to our north. As noted in these two links from the National Snow & Ice Data Center, there is a startling contrast between current U.S. snowcover from Dec 1 2011 of  as compared to December 1 2010.

CONCLUSION: It is possible that the period from Dec 21-31 may produce accumulating snow, but we believe the best chances for that will be after Dec 31. By then ample snowcover should have developed in SE Canada by then to aid in a reserve of cold air that is needed for a traditional coastal snowstorm.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

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Archives: Central Maryland Team
December 2011

3:45 PM 12/16/11 Happy Friday Central Maryland! Temperatures across the region are dropping now and will be continue to be accompanied by at 10-20mph wind with gusts to 30mph. Dress warm! Lows tonight will drop just below freezing and places in extreme southern Maryland may see some snow flakes tonight as a storm slides well to our south. The weekend will be dry with average temperatures. 

Have a GREAT rest of the day and weekend ahead!

9:30 AM 12/15/11 | Quiet for Winter Concerts Forecaster Connor: Good morning! Unlike earlier in the week, temperatures are in the 40's as we leave for school and work. Temperatures will make it all the way into the upper 50's this afternoon. 

Unfortunately, light rain should  move in after 2pm this afternoon. Rain should not last more than a few hours and should stay light. As rain ends tonight, lows will dip into the lower 40's under cloudy skies with a 10-15mph breeze. For Friday, sunny skies and upper 40's return!

The best news is that none of this weather should interfere with long-planned and well-rehearsed winter concerts being performed in many schools across the area. Best wishes to all the student performers! Have a great day everyone.

5:00 AM 12/7/11 Now that is what we call Fast and Furious | The coastal bomb, currently at 989 millibars, has raced northeast to the Massachusetts coast and will leave behind clear skies and windy conditions today. School delays are available at this link: If you have experienced snow, flooding or wind damages this rapid fire event, please report yourobservations and location below.

A full update on what to expect heading into the weekend will be posted in the next hour. Here is a science tidbit for Meteorology fans and science teachers, who, like sports fans, love statistics: This storm will more than qualify as the classic "atmospheric bomb." 

As Forecaster Jason first noted, the pressure fall from this storm over an 18-hour period from noon Wednesday to 7 AM Thursday will end up near 40 millibars! HPC projects the storm to reach 961 mb within a few hours:

NWS Sterling latest spotter reports

1:55 PM 12/7/11   Forecaster Jason's analysis of the latest short range computer models shows that the projected back edge of precip, at 1AM tonight, may be from northern VA to about Hagerstown. Given the progressive and potentially explosive nature of the storm, energy may be draw in more quickly along the coast. This would pull the majority of precip out of MD by 4 AM. The faster timing of this scenario would also lead to limiting how much time there is for snow to fall, and allow road crews time to catch up to the event prior to traffic building Thursday morning. 

Bottom line: Students and teachers along and east of 95, we encourage you to do your homework or lesson plans accordingly. Despite some dynamical cooling tonight, the lack of available cold air at low and mid levels will be the reason why you'll have to "wait until next time" if you want a solid snowday in the Baltimore region.

12:00 PM 12/7/11  We are examining the latest computer model data to identify when we believe the target period for change over of rain to snow will occur, and when the heaviest snow is likely. Present information shows that rain should begin changing to snow by late evening from west to east. Areas in Frederick and Carroll Counties should see snow first by midnight, with Baltimore, Howard and Harford Counties by 2 AM. 

Current NWS Sterling Advisory Map
The period of heaviest snow, though lasting only a few hours, may occur in the critical pre-dawn hours. While heavy accumulations over 1" are not expected, low visibility will be the primary hazard in the I-95 corridor and suburban areas north and west until precip begins to clear the area by 7 AM in Frederick and Carroll and by 8 AM in Howard, Baltimore and Harford.

We do not expect Anne Arundel County to see much in the way of snow or accumulation.  

8:50 AM 12/7/11 
Current Sterling NWS Advisories | Interactive Snow Map | The Sterling NWS has a helpful ‎map that shows both current snowfall projections and an interactive "live-link" to advisory information specific by location on the map. 

6:30 AM 12/7/11
A STORMY NIGHT AHEAD | Forecaster Connor: Good morning! As expected, a steady rain has developed over the region making for what should be a nightmare of a morning commute. Rain will continue to fall for most of the day and will be heavy at times. Currently, temperatures are close to 60° but will be falling all day, reaching the upper 40's by 5pm. 

TONIGHT: As a strong piece of energy rides the coast and moves towards the ocean, the storm will rapidly intensify which will help to bring in more cold air. By 12-1am, rain will mix with or transition to all snow and could fall at a good rate for a few hours. If snowfall rates are heavy enough, snow may be able to stick to roads. 

ADVISORIES: Winter Weather Advisories are posted for much of the region, except for Anne Arundel County, as shown in the latest NWS Sterling Map:
 According to the NWS, up to 2-4" of snow are expected for areas about 700 ft, with 1-2" possible lower areas. 

ACCUMULATIONS: Our team expects 1-2" on the ground by Thursday morning between Frederick/Westminster and I-95 and a coating-1" for areas south and east of I-95. 

As we keep a very close eye on the movement of this storm, we will be sure to let you know of any changes in our forecast. Have a nice day, drive safely! 

(Forecasters Connor and Mike, Advisor Mr. Foot)
Re-defining December Fifth

2:00 PM EST 12/1/11  With sunshine in the east as a winter storm rolls over the Rockies, our team is looking toward a key date in the minds of many readers: The fifth of December. For at least 5 of the past 10 years in the Mid-Atlantic, measureable snow has occurred on or been associated with this date in some way (such as Dec 4-5, 2002). The Capital Weather Gang of the Washington Post notes in a December 2010 article that since the 1880's, climate records show 11 events delivered measureable snow to our Nation's capital on December 5.

This year, we will mark 12/5 not just with news of possible snow, but with the first public glimpse of ground-breaking redesign of the entire Foot's Forecast experience. It is our team's way of extending appreciation to the many loyal readers in our midst. We know many thousands of you have relied on us as your go-to source for weather since the founding of this organization on January 26, 2004. As 2011 begins to sunset, we open a new chapter...or rather...a new book in the history of Foot's Forecast.

THE PLAN By December 5th, we plan to provide our readers with the first look at our new local forecast zone to be housed with the globally scalable website. The site is designed to be "web filter, Mac and PC friendly" for students, educators, schools and offices. The best part is that all our forecast reports posted on the site will be instantly republished to facebook and twitter, presented in a clean interface and structured by a top-flight content management system.

Our team is grateful to the tireless work of the Web Development Team at DSoft Technology, Inc. in Colorado Springs for leading this effort.  We are proud to count them as a partner and highly recommend DSoft to our readers as an excellent resource for Web Design, Custom IT Support and even Education Training and Management Systems. 

Phase One will focus on just one zone, in Central Maryland. Other zones for all our readers will be in development and roll out in stages over the winter. All our facebook content will continue unaffected. All other content and updates on this page will continue, but under the original URL of Tabs like the Winter Stormcast Zone and other tabs for Eastern, Central, Western will continue. A link will be posted on the landing page of the new for easy access back to this site. 

FOR NETWORK SERVICE MANAGERS Our team has been closely collaborating with the DSoft Staff to assure a smooth transition and little or no surprises for you. The URL will not change much at all, so all those visiting will simply encounter a new landing page.  On Friday 12/2/11, an FAQ sheet will be available for issuance directly to Network Technicians upon request via email: send a request to

We look forward to sharing with you in the excitement of a new meaning for December 5. Whether there will be snow or not in your neighborhood, we now we can all share in the fun of marking this special day. For us, December 5 will be the day when the spirit of collaboration  took on new direction, led by the passion of engaged students and professionals driven to innovate new opportunities that advance America's competitiveness in math and science.  

From all of us at Foot's Forecast, thanks for your support and Happy December!

The U.S. Officer and Advisory Team
Rich Foot, Chairman and CEO
Keith Krichinsky, Chief Operating Officer
Brad Lear, Chief Financial Officer
Forrest Palmer, Student Outreach Advisor
Dr. Nathaniel Winstead, Research Meteorologist
H. Michael Mogil, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Randall Hergert, Staff Meteorologist
Kevin Selle, Website Project Manager

The U.S. Leadership Team
Aaron Salter, Director of Team Operations
Nick Sirico, Southeast Systems Administrator
Diandre Williams, Director of Strategic Media
Dakota Smith, Mid-Atlantic Team Director
Daniel Ross, Southeast Team Director
Nikki Byers, Director of Forecaster Outreach
Greg Jackson, Pennsylvania Team Leader