Monday, March 26, 2012

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"Ch...ch...changes."

9:15 AM EDT 3/26/12 (Forecaster Mike N. and While the changes we have been talking about for the eastern U.S. are here, much of the nation will be dealing with the same type of weather, a stark change from recent patterns.


The southwest will start to dry out as the storm in the west moves off to the northeast. This will bring showers and snow showers into areas like Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming. This storm system may also kick up some thunderstorms in the Northern Plains as a strong southerly wind brings moisture from east of the mountains. 

East of the Rockies, this wind will create a significant fire concern across the region. The Storm Prediction Center has given an extreme fire risk to portions of eastern Colorado for Monday. Dry air, sun, and windy conditions make for a dangerous time for fires. Red Flag warnings and High Wind Warnings are currently all over the western plains region along the front range of the Rockies. 

In the east, a deep trough is starting to dig southward behind a passing cold front. As a result, Freeze Watches and Warnings have been issued for much of the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and Mid-Atlantic for Monday night/Tuesday morning as cool air returns to a region that has been enjoying extreme warmth! 

Our featured zone today in Facebook: Central Colorado due to the significant fire risk over the region. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

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A wild week... what's next?

This water vapor imagery loop shows the "cutoff low" currently stuck 
in the Mid-South, fueling widespread showers and storms

1:45 PM EDT 3/24/12 (Forecaster Mike Natoli) We had a wild week around the country, but as we head into the weekend, widespread changes are breaking the entrenched weather pattern. 


Calmer in the West  The most recent storm system will fizzle out over Montana on Saturday, just bringing in some light precipitation before pulling out into Canada. However, the next storm will be right on its tail, sliding into northern California Saturday as well. Still, winds are calmer and the storms are weaker than with the last few systems! 

Dry and warm in the middle  As the cutoff low pulls out of the region to the east, the center of the nation will start to dry out, but warm conditions will remain in place! After the ridge off the east coast breaks down, the new ridge over the country looks to be aligned along an axis above west Texas. This will push unseasonably warm but dry conditions back into the Great Plains! 

Wet as it gets in the East This weekend, that low we have been talking about all week with finally reach the east coast, bringing rainfall to much of the east coast. Our featured zone tonight will be the Foot's Forecast | Charlotte & The Metrolina zone because of scattered showers and storms for our Saturday. With clouds overhead, the east will not be as warm as what we have been used to for nearly two weeks of warmth and dry weather. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

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Heavy cloud, no rain?
- Sting in Ten Summoners Tales

1:10 PM EDT 3/23/12 (Forecaster Jason M.) Earlier this week, a deep upper level trough over the Southwest separated from the main jetstream into a cutoff upper level low. Over the past couple of days, the low has tracked into the southern Plains. A surface reflection of this low is also present over the Southern Plains, making this system a “vertically stacked low” as shown below in the 8:00 AM upper level conditions output from NOAA's Global Forecast System (GFS). 


What is a "cutoff low"? Cutoff lows are notorious for moving unusually slow, and this one is no exception. With the slow and erratic movement of cutoff lows, there is often a relatively high degree of uncertainty in regards to their track and axis of heaviest rainfall. However, most model guidance suggests a large portion of the Southeast will be affected Thursday and Friday, with the system moving into the Mid Atlantic Saturday.

What's expected to happen? A deep feed of moisture in all levels of the atmosphere allowed for torrential rain over portions of Texas and Louisiana Wednesday. This low will weaken over the next couple days as it slowly moves towards the north and east, and as a result the threat for heavy rain may diminish. Nevertheless, localized flooding will be a concern for portions of the Deep South and Mid Atlantic. Thus, this "heavy cloud" is likely to produce a lot of rain, regardless of how it first looks on the radar and satellite loops.
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Hope Springs Eternal

9:30 AM EDT 3/22/12 (Forecaster Mike N.) Wednesday was the first "full day" of Spring, so what is the status of the season around the country? It is definitely an earlier than normal season because of the nationwide warmth this past winter (with the exception of the Pacific Northwest). So what does spring look like in your state? 

Spring in the Pacific Northwest - What? What Spring? Sorry, I couldn't see it over the 10 ft. snowbanks in these higher elevations. For our Thursday, another storm is barreling into the region, bringing rain to the lower elevations and more snow into the mountains. 

Spring in the Mississippi River Valley - This storm system is taking its grand old time getting across the country because it has now cutoff from the quick jet stream in the upper atmosphere that would normally shuttle any storm system straight out of the country. Thursday will bring more severe weather threats and potential flooding as it inches further eastward. Because of the threat for flooding and severe weather, the featured zone tonight is the Foot's Forecast | Central Mississippi zone. 

Spring in the Northeast - Fog, Fog, go away-and on second thought, don't come back another day either. Patchy fog will develop along the I-95 corridor once again to start our Thursday, and we will be heading to another warm day. As that cutoff low moves into the region this weekend, expect major changes in temperatures, so enjoy the warmth while it lasts! Have a wonderful Thursday! (Forecaster Mike)



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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Showers for the Flowers?

Photo credit: Meteorologist Justin Berk

7:50 AM EDT 3/21/12  (Forecaster Mike N.) With the official start of Spring welcomed early Tuesday morning, we can see the evidence in full bloom across much of the country! Severe weather typical of a southern Spring is already kicking up while "fever-like" weather may be infecting residents of the East seeing temperatures consistently 10-20º above average. 


Locked in Winter's grip Despite widespread warmth, the Pacific Northwest remain firmly in the grasp of Winter. That region and Alaska have really been the only ones to feel any strength from Old Man Winter this past season. For Wednesday, another storm system will be bringing some wet weather and snowfall to the higher elevations. 

Getting severe in the South Those in the southern U.S. know the formula well: Low Pressure + Gulf Moisture + Warmth = Severe Thunderstorms. We had flooding and severe issues on Tuesday and the risk continues on Wednesday near the Gulf Coast as this slow moving cutoff low pressure inches its way eastward. Areas especially in Louisiana and Arkansas should be on the lookout for potential severe updates if they become necessary. Because of the thunderstorm threat, today's featured page in Facebook is  the Foot's Forecast | Southeast Severe Weather zone. 

Hot time, summer in the city? Much of the East is now almost halfway through the second week in a row of well above average temperatures. This week however, dewpoints are much higher, which makes for foggy mornings across many areas as well as humid afternoons possible. Those with allergies know the real difficulties of this early Spring have only just begun. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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Spring begins for most, but
Winter stays strong out West

1:10 PM EDT 3/20/12 (Advisor/Meteorologist Justin Berk) While 2011-12 may have been "a winter without winter" for much of the East, a deep trough of cold air has recently produced heavy snow in the West from Washington state to northern Arizona. The enclosed graphic shows the extent of a heavy snowpack out west which has led to an extended ski season for some resorts in that region, including Lake Tahoe. 


Mt. Rainier, WA has been showing off it's heavy snowfall, as indicated by the  images comparing last summer to this week. That's incredibly deep snow! Look closely at the car height and smaller trees on the left and compare to the snow wall on the left. I estimate that is 10-15 feet in snow depth. Wow!


Even Flagstaff, AZ's recent "snowbowl" had a 7-day new snow total of 57". The colder than normal air made it all the way to Phoenix where Monday's high temperature of 58 F was 20 degrees BELOW normal. Contrast that with Baltimore's high of 75 F which was 20 degrees ABOVE normal and you have the extremes more or less balance out.

A warm Winter means 
a hot Spring or Summer?

The quick answer is, no! Back in the east, the end of a long regime of above-normal temperatures has been dangled out like a carrot all winter. It does look more likely that just as Spring begins, a temporary end of the warmth will become a reality. The current upper level pocket of cold air that brought Arizona snow and chill, is currently spawning severe weather in Texas and the deep South, is slowly moving east. That unstable weather should reach Maryland and the mid-Atlantic this weekend. Temperatures in that region should get closer to normal, in the mid 50s, with rain. This may be the first sign of a pattern change for April.

Looking at past years, the first comparison that jumps out is 1990. That year, Baltimore set record highs between March 12-15 with four days in a row in the 80s. The end of the following week, record snow fell on March 24th. Another comparison was the year 1946. The average high temperature was 10 degrees above normal (this current March is +7F). That year was followed by a return to a cooler spring and the pattern did flip in the summer. The three month period of June-August ended up 0.5F below normal. Not much, but a distinct swing from the end of winter. 

While pattern of each year varies, there is good indication that many regions under a drier than normal pattern may not swelter as like last summer. Keep in mind the past two winters were followed by more 100F+ days than many states have ever experienced in a two-year period. Not surprisingly, this extreme heat was followed by below-normal winters in terms of snowfall for those same regions.  

A reversal of fortunes this year? After all in 2011-12, many places accustomed to cold winters saved money on their heating bill, while others in the mid-South saw above-normal snowfall such as the early December 2011 event. Perhaps if this trend continues, the pattern can finally balance out with the majority of places having suffered under extreme conditions can equal out. A cooler and wetter summer might just do the trick, reducing need for air conditioning just as gas prices are beginning a record climb. 

At least we can dream, and hope it will turn out that way. 
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Welcoming Spring


7:30 AM EDT 3/20/12 (Forecasters Mike N. and Mr. Foot) For some, we have formally bid goodbye to the winter that wasn’t, and can now look back at the season to compare.. which would we have preferred? The frequent breaks of mild air that marked 2011-12, or the storminess and relative cold of 2009-2010? The graphic above from the National Climate Data Center shows in stark contrast how two "winters in extreme" compared.  


A COMPARISON It is interesting to note the third least snowy winter on record (2011-12) followed the snowiest season on record (2009-2010) by only two years. This could be the sharpest two-year difference in snowfall iin the history of climate records. 

A LOCAL REPORT Our Maryland Team reports that Spring was welcomed by thunderstorms and gusty winds across portions of Central Maryland. Quite a number of readers reported observations to the Facebook page of Meteorologist Justin Berk early this morning. 

For that region and across the Mid-Atlantic, the first few hours of spring are opening with milder temperatures what has been seen recentlu. Dewpoints are still fairly high around the region, so we may have more areas of fog as we head out for our Tuesday morning commute. Scattered "Spring showers" moving through those area are kicking off the season right on cue. 

Only problem is... the flowers already showed up before the showers did!  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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Winter in the West
Stormy in the middle
 Summer in the East? 








Left:  5 feet of snow over 5 days in Tahoe; Right: High of 75 F in the northern Chesapeake Bay on St. Patrick's Day.

6:45 AM EDT 3/19/12  As we move into the second half of March, the weather has kicked into high gear in the central U.S. once again. Energy from the storm which dumped 5 feet of snow in Tahoe has begun tapping warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. This interaction is likely to spin up severe weather noted in the NOAA Storm Prediction Center's Moderate Risk graphic noted below. 


INCREASING TORNADO RISK IN MUCH OF TEXAS 

Meanwhile, many Eastern states will remain quite warm for much of the week ahead with highs of 10 to 20 degree above average. As far as wet weather in this region, showers and storms are possible over the Ohio Valley. For official watches and warnings the affected regions, please consult the National Weather Service. Forecast and Affiliate zones to be impacted by today's weather include our Severe Weather Zone for the Ohio Valley and ConvectiveWeather for the Southern Plains.



(Forecaster Mike Natoli, sunset & snow photo by two members of the Foot family on two  coasts during St. Patrick's Day) 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

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Sláinte  to your parade day
IRISH-LIKE STORMINESS IN THE WEST
WARM AND SHOWERY IN THE MIDDLE
FOG THEN SUN IN THE MID-ATLANTIC 


Image credit: Detroit Free Press
8:30 AM EDT 3/16/12  On this commemoration of Ireland's Patron Saint, we hope you and your family will show your Irish colors and be granted good weather for your local parade. Scroll below for our roundup of featured events & forecasts around the country. 


For the U.S. weather outlook, the image above is a composite precipitation forecast map showing areas expected to receive rain or snow in the 24 hour period from 8 AM today to 8 AM Sunday. Are green or blue areas where levels of luck are highest? Not exactly.  These are regions which expect light to moderate rain or heavy inter-mountain snow, but not where needed in those states under Red Flag Warnings.


 Our Parade Forecast Roundup

Much of the Eastern U.S. will escape rain on their parades thanks to persistent High Pressure along the coast, producing some AM fog before events get underway. Featured festivities include:
The Southeast  may see scattered showers or an isolated thunderstorm by mid-day, but not enough to washout celebrations. Featured events:   
The Western States will face the toughest time weather-wise for parades, managing impacts of the coastal system working into the northern Rockies, with heavy rain and snow trailing back to central California. In Salt Lake City, this year's theme of "St. Patrick, Bless The American Worker" will fight back against rainy skies and flood the downtown with a wearing of the green like you've never seen!

    Thanks to our St. Patrick's Day Forecasters: Meteorologists Randy Thompson, Brandon McKenzie, Shundra Stewart, Daniel Ross and Forecaster Greg Jackson. Forecaster Foot - Editor

    Fusion Forecasting

    No comments:
    Sláinte  for your parade
    IRISH-LIKE STORMINESS IN THE WEST
    WARM AND SHOWERY IN THE MIDDLE
    FOG THEN SUN IN THE MID-ATLANTIC 


    Image credit: Detroit Free Press
    8:30 AM EDT 3/16/12  On this commemoration of Ireland's Patron Saint, we hope you and your family will show your Irish colors and be granted good weather for your local parade. Scroll below for our roundup of featured events & forecasts around the country. For the U.S. weather outlook, the image below is a NOAA computer model projection for Noon EDT today. Green areas shown are where luck will deliver light to moderate rain, but not where it's needed in the states under Red Flag Warnings. 
    Much of the Eastern U.S. will escape rain on their parades thanks to persistent High Pressure along the coast, producing some AM fog before events get underway. Featured festivities include:
    The Southeast  may see scattered showers or an isolated thunderstorm by mid-day, but not enough to washout celebrations. Featured events:   
    • Mal's St. Paddy's Parade in downtown Jackson covered by Meteorologist  Shundra in our Central Mississippi zone
    • Savannah, GA festivities today are forecasted by our Southern Georgia zone led by Meteorologist Brandon McKenzie.
    The Western States will face the toughest time weather-wise for parades, managing impacts of the coastal system working into the northern Rockies, with heavy rain and snow trailing back to central California. In Salt Lake City, this year's theme of "St. Patrick, Bless The American Worker" will fight back against rainy skies and flood the downtown with a wearing of the green like you've never seen!

    St. Patrick's Day Forecasters: Meteorologists Randy Thompson, Brandon McKenzie, Shundra Stewart, Daniel Ross and Forecaster Greg Jackson. Forecaster Foot - Editor

    Friday, March 16, 2012

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    Reality check time. 
    Has our luck run out?

    The Washington DC Cherry Blossoms nearing full bloom 
    Photo by the Thompson family on a recent visit to DC

    11:55 AM EDT 3/16/12 
    (Meteorologist Mogil, Forecasters Natoli and Foot) Sunshine, blue skies, warm temperatures... but not for everyone. While the western U.S. coast receives a strong storm system today, and severe weather broke wide open in the Great Lakes last night, folks in the East get to rest on their laurels and will avoid the perils afflicting other part of the country, right? Not so fast.

    Upper level wind flow map in Mike Mogil's Examiner.com article

    READY FOR THE TRUTH? The Washington Cherry Blossom Festival may actually be the next target for some significant weather heading that way at the tail end of next week's pre-Spring lull. For the eyebrow-raising details on what fate may befall the lovely DC blossoms, you'd better take a look at this special article in Examiner.com by Meteorologist / Advisor Mike Mogil. 

    IN THE WEST The main story in the western U.S. continues to be in the Foot's Forecast | Pacific Northwest as a slow moving storm dumps in more precipitation in that region. Heavy wet snow in the Cascades and the Sierra Nevadas will accumulate several feet as coastal areas receive a strong lashing of wind-swept rain to start festivities for St. Patrick's Day.

    ALONG THE CENTER The tornado outbreak in the Great Lakes and Michigan overnight Thursday into Friday was a reminder that this fluctuating pattern continues to deliver high impact weather with little advance notice. Today, an increased risk of thunderstorms is observed in the southern Plains and the Southeast, which may become severe over Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. In the northern Plains, a large portion of counties have Red Flag Warnings in place because of dry and windy conditions increasing the chances for fire. 



    IN THE EAST While folks in eastern states have been enjoying the unusual warmth the past week, repercussions are coming for this area sooner than later. The remnants of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley storm system have moved to the East, bringing some scattered thunderstorms.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

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    A summer-like preview, 
    before winter has ended!


    7:35 AM EDT 3/15/12 (Forecaster Mike N.) Did you know yesterday was "PI Day" ? Whether you celebrated with a slice of pie, or a very long number, much of the country with the exception of the west coast experienced quite a hot slice themselves. Temperatures in the 70s and 80s will be common once again around the nation today, as we continue in this summer-like preview before winter has even ended! 

    Today's prime areas for significant weather: Our Pacific Northwest zone -http://www.facebook.com/FFPacificNorthwest 

    A few showers and thunderstorms will be possible near the Ohio Valley, but with the Jet Stream so far north, the primary areas of storminess have shifted into Canada. The U.S. west coast is the only area not seeing the warm conditions as elsewhere, with a major winter storm impacting the coastline today. This storm has brought high winds and wintry weather to the higher elevations of California and the Cascades. 

    In the east, a sprawling high pressure just off the coast will hold the western storm system back for the next few days. Showers and some thunderstorms will slowly build along the Deep South as moisture transport from the Gulf increases, but no significant severe weather is expected. 

    We hope you enjoy this wonderful day along the East and Midwest, and hold on to your hats if you're in Cali!





    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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    "Second star to the right, 
    and straight on 'til morning."
    - Peter Pan

    Photo by Forecaster Jason Warren of our Northeast Ohio page
    taken March 14, 2012

    9:15 PM EDT 3/14/12 (Forecaster Foot) Star-gazers and sky watchers alike have been enjoying quite an astronomically pleasant show the past few weeks. Jupiter and Venus are slowly reaching "conjunction" in an early evening dance found within your Northwestern sky. For the sake of brevity and celestial enjoyment, we shall defer to this informative and well-done article on the event by Meteorologist and Advisor Mike Mogil in the National Education Examiner. It's a great piece on many aspects of this event.

    If you have a moment, please go take a look at the stunning alignment, and see if you can spot the moons of Jupiter to be found around the "left" star. Many thanks to Forecaster Jason in Newton Falls, Ohio for capturing this image on behalf of our team. You can see the original photo on his forecast page in Facebook for that region.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

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    2012: Sunshine and Blue Skies
    1993: Superstorm of the Century


     What do you remember about March 1993? 




    9:00 PM EDT 3/11/12 Nineteen years ago this week, if you were anywhere between central Alabama and northern Maine, you would soon be digging out from the most ferocious winter storm to strike the Eastern US in over a century. Heck, if you were anywhere East of the Mississippi, this storm impacted your life. For a scientific retrospective, view this 15-year report published in 2008 by Risk Management Solutions on the storm that changed how we view storms. 


    In the city of Pittsburgh, PA the event became know as the "St. Patrick's Day Blizzard Parade" as discussed in a special Fusion Forecast story and featured on our Three Rivers Zone in southwest Pennsylvania.




    The unofficial title, 'Storm of the Century' seems perfectly fitting for a blizzard that was at times more tropical in nature even though it began as a snowstorm. As an example of it's study in contrasts for just one state: Florida. 
    While northern Florida experienced sustained wind gusts equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane (111 mph), the Panhandle received 4" of snow while storm surges of 9-12 feet pounded the western shore.

    SERIOUS MARCH MADNESS
    • From March 12 to 15, nearly 12 inches of snow fell in every major city from Atlanta, GA to Augusta, ME shutting every airport down between them for over a day. 
    • A central pressure of 960 mb was recorded in White Plains, NY, on par with a Category 1 hurricane. 47" of snow was reported in Grantsville, MD
    • Temperatures in Birmingham, Alabama dropped to 2 deg F...in March! 
    Every adult resident of the East coast today has a "storm story" about this one, and though many of us enjoy big storms, we can count ourselves as lucky that this history did not repeat itself. Powderhounds, we yield the floor to share your tales of this lifetime event.

    References:
    "Superstorm 1993: A Case Study" Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois.
    No comments:
    Join our voyage to Titanic 100 
     "Elaborate preparations had been for the maiden voyage. Crowds of eager watchers gathered to witness the departure, all the more interested because of the notable people  who were to travel aboard her. Majestic and beautiful the ship rested on the water, a marvel of shipbuilding, worth of any sea."  - Author L.T. Myers, May 1912 
    Image credit: The unforgettable Grand Staircase, from the original 
    1912 printing of The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters

    6:00 PM EDT 3/11/12 For all those whose hearts still go on for the triumph and tragedy of this story, our team is commemorating the 100th anniversary with a series of weekly lead stories building toward the April events marking the original journey. This specialized Facebook page will chronicle our research and provide interested readers a "crow's nest" look at the Titanic story from the perspective of our writers.


    On April 8, 2012 in Southampton, England one of several historical voyages will commence, followed by an April 10 departure at 12:00 PM from New York Harbor. For these trans-Atlantic journeys, and for their passengers and crew, our team will publishing an exclusive ocean-going forecast for their pathway. If you're a historian, climatologist or Titanic enthusiast of any age,  we would welcome you aboard this quest to honor the people and the science behind this story. Send a simple message to titanic100@footsforecast.org and learn more about joining our literary voyage with history.


    What do you know about the real Jack?


    Even now, one hundred years later, there are stories yet untold about this timeless tragedy, some of which historians have only recently uncovered. continue to uncover. Our multi-state "Titanic 100 Team" of researchers, enthusiasts and students across the distance are joining forces to unveil the next month a five-part series, once each week, detailing new findings, and old lessons. 


    The series will kick off in April 2012 with a little-known story of how a 17-year old high school student revealed truths of the dramatic sinking, and why the story remained buried two miles down until Robert Ballard's deep sea discoveries


    Was there really a person named "Jack Dawson" on the ship in 1912? Is there any historical basis to the characters of Jack and Rose? Learn more in the lead story to be posted April 10 on the main site. tomorrow and on other topics including:  
    • Climate: Forecaster Jason M. and his colleagues will be reporting on research into climate patterns from the winter of 1911-12. Are there similarities in how the atmosphere behaved that year?
    • Oceanography: New findings reveal something tragically coincidental about about tides and moon phases, showing that winter and spring of 1912 was a unique moment in time.
    • Commerce: Our media team are exploring how this single tragedy forever changed new wireless communication technology and ocean commerce rules.
    • Leadership: A closing essay how the "Class system" and a failure leadership are the true life lessons of 1912 that still resonate today.   
    New York is our lead: The Metro New York City zone in Facebook, directed by Lead Forecaster Mike Natoli, will be the headquarters of our month-long voyage to the 100th anniversary, and the home of our forecast project for the Memorial Cruise.  An exclusive Facebook page will be revealed on March 14 as the outreach portal for our weekly stories. We look forward to sharing in the history with you.


      Thursday, March 8, 2012

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      What a "Solar Storm" means to you 
      (Example story our team prepared in March 2012 on the largest solar flare in six years)

      "Could jolt everything from GPS to airline travel and power grids"
      -London's UK Daily Mail



      10:20 AM EST 03/08/12 (Meteorologist Alex Davies / Forecaster Foot) Have you noticed any interruptions or problems with your GPS or satellite TV signal today? If so, it was affected by a significant Solar Storm, the largest in six years, which ejected from the Sun on Tuesday and begin arriving at Earth late Wednesday. The video above from the NOAA Visualization Laboratory shows how a Coronal Mass Ejection, known as a "Solar Flare" or "Solar Storm" departs the sun and impacts the Earth. Read more in this TIME.com article.

      See the storm yourself Monitor current data output and even see the Solar energy reaching Earth in this link.

      Is this going to be a problem? "Space Weather" events such as this can have serious impacts on a wide aspects of society. This NOAA video describes how the Space Weather Prediction Center monitors these potentially disruptive events, which include: Space Weather Forecasters to monitor the data and impacts of these events, which include: 
      • Interrupting satellite communications, GPS devices, ground relay stations and cell phone service;
      • Disrupting or terminating power transmission across older inter-state electrical grid systems;
      • Diverting intercontinental air travel away from polar crossings  

      This moderate-to-strong Solar Storm, the arrival of which was is evidenced in this data graph of a "Corona mass cloud" observed by the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, CO.  A storm of this type is not uncommon in the Earth's history as it is associated with normal solar cycles. NOAA's report on this event stated:
      "Geomagnetic storms from these kinds of space weather events can affect the power grid, navigation systems and other technologies. NOAA provides space weather forecasting for the nation, and forecasters at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center are issuing updates regularly. The impressive flare from Tuesday evening and a corresponding radiation storm are already triggering high-frequency radio outages at Earth's poles, which could last a day or more, and possible temporary outages on parts of the day-lit Earth."
      You may not have heard of this phenomena before because over the past decade, the Sun's solar activity has been minimal in accordance with an 11 year solar cycle. However over roughly the next decade, the Sun is forecasted to be more active, as we approach a period of increase solar storms and increased electromagnetic discharge associated with the same 11 year cycle.

      For more information about Climate and Space Weather, and what NOAA Scientists do to monitor these potentially disruptive events, please visit this overview page by the Space Weather Prediction Center. 


      Monday, March 5, 2012

      1 comment:
      Action in Pacific points to next pattern

      Water vapor loop of the Northeast Pacific. What patterns  do you see?

      7:00 AM EST 3/7/12 Anxiously looking ahead into the weather pattern for March, we are mindful of the tragedies inflicted on many of our colleagues and communities in the Ohio Valley and Southeast. Heavy wet snow blanketed parts of the Midwest and Mid-South recently ravaged by Friday's tornado outbreak.  Residents trying to recover from 100 twisters in just 24 hours struggled through sub-freezing temperatures and snow earlier this week. We encourage all readers to lend a hand to the recovery effort. Visit the Red Cross website on how you can help affected communities and volunteers. 

      Thankfully, high pressure has settled across these areas for remainder of the week, while the next weather makers will arrive along the Pacific Northwest.  The image above is from the current water vapor loop of the Northeast Pacific. The onshore flow of moist sub-tropical air into Mexico and the Southern Plains is fueling a new upper level wind flow pattern across the U.S. 


      This could be a contributing factor behind the Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 day temperature outlook projecting high probability of above average temperatures across a large portion of the U.S. in the week ahead. The unfortunate long range reality is that unseasonable warmth early in March more often than not gets shot back down again with another barreling cold front. With that front would come more tornadoes. And it's only March.


      Check back later today for additional analyses from our  team of meteorologists and forecasters on the long range potential of a possible pre-Spring "heat wave," and the dangers which may lurk in a persisnently warm and out-of-season pattern. (Forecaster Foot and Meteorologist Randy Thompson)


      Did you see it?
      Photo credit: Earlier image by NASA during a Perseid meteor shower

      8:25 AM EST 3/6/12 (By Advisor/Meteorologist Justin Berk) After Monday's snow showers and clouds dispersed along the East coast, a clear evening sky revealed the perfect venue for a falling meteor! Yes, dozens of reports from Maryland to New England came in around 8 pm with a blue/green streak low in the sky moving from east to west. Now that work and school has started, perhaps you spoke with someone who saw it. If so, please let us know in the comments. More can be found at this website for worldwide meteor sightings.