Thursday, November 8, 2012

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Foot's Forecast:
How We Do Weather Differently

Forecaster Jason worked closely with public safety officials from
Ocean City, Maryland during the Pantech Dew Tour in 2011 and 2012 

  • AccuWeather, Inc. is in State College, PA and states their headquarters is the largest concentration of forecast meteorologists in one place. We have over 75  local forecasters and meteorologists spread across the United States. Any hour of the day, we'll come to your office, work in your operations center, or send you a briefing document. We provide a level of on-site and online human interaction you cannot buy from Accuweather. Our difference? We can rapidly respond to your local needs.

    • The Weather Channel LLC is in Atlanta, GA. While hundreds of miles away from actual winter weather, TWC pulls automated content from the NOAA Global Forecast System to produce your "local on the 8's." We personally live through the storms we forecast to you, not report on-site to boost ratings when the weather is interesting. Our difference? We live the local weather with you, every day in your location.

      • The National Weather Service has 122 forecast offices across the nation. Their mission is to "provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the local economy." To do this for large populations such as the 9 million across the Baltimore/Washington area requires significant annual federal funding. But to efficiently understand the vast NOAA/NWS information suite, our clients rely on our interpretations of it and explanations of changing weather patterns.  Our difference? We collaborate across state lines to quickly connect you with consistent, actionable information.

      If locally-relevant weather decision support is a priority for your organization, and you'd like to talk to a forecaster now, contact us: or call 443.929.0721

      Local Decision Services From A Trusted Team

      Wednesday, November 7, 2012

      1 comment:
      White In The Pre-Winter Night


      Inland blue:Winter Weather Advisories
      Inland pink: Winter Storm Warnings
      Dark blue: Storm Wind Warning: (winds 55 mph+ )
      Light Red: Hurricane Wind Force Warning (winds 74 mph +)

      AS OF 8:43 AM EST 11/7/2012

      • 1-3" Northern and northeastern Maryland 
      • 3-5" Eastern Pennsylvania including metro Philadelphia, Southeast New York
      • 4-6" Northern Delaware, western & central New Jersey 
      • 6" or more for the I-87 corridor and southern New England 
      • Sustained north and northeast winds of 35+ mph along the Delmarva coast, in across New Jersey and southeast New York State. 
      • Those areas also will receive wind gusts up to 60 mph.
      • Rainfall of 2-3 inches in recently affected areas from Hurricane Sandy
      • The extreme eastern shore of MD and DE could also see brief periods of rain/snow mixed in the early morning hours on Thursday. 

      Foot's Forecast: The Bayshore (Eastern MD counties) 

      Mid-Atlantic Winter Stormcast Team:
      Connor, Jason M., Greg J., Zach F., Jason I., Mike N., Advisors Foot and Alex D. 

      Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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      Snow, Or No?

      4:05 PM EST 11/6 - Election Day Greetings To All! Yesterday, we were becoming concerned about the possibility of accumulating snowfall occurring more east of mountains than was originally expected. That possibility is still present, but we don't expect it to become a surprise high impact snow event as some computer models were originally hinting toward from yesterday. 

      SO WHO GETS THE SNOW?  We are not ruling out snow completely, but if any snow were to develop overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning, it would be confined to:
      • Coating to 2" for northeast Maryland into eastern Pennsylvania
      • Northeast New Jersey
      • The extreme eastern shore of MD and DE could also see brief periods of rain/snow mixed in the early morning hours on Thursday. 
      • Northeast NY and extreme SE New York, including NYC could see some accumulating snow if the storm track shifts more west. 
      Foot's Forecast: The Bayshore (Eastern MD counties) 

      WHY THE CHANGE? Projections from several latest computer model runs as well as large scale atmospheric observations such as the North Atlantic Oscillation* (NAO) point to the upcoming storm, while still expected to be a very potent coastal event, is likely to remain further offshore. This will unfortunately produce strong north and northeast winds of 35+ mph along the Delmarva coast, in across New Jersey and southeast New York State. Those areas have a High Wind Watch in effect for gusts up to 60+ mph.

      However west of the Chesapeake Bay, heavy precipitation is not likely to have a major impact at this time, although winds will still be strong and gusty at times Wednesday night into Thursday along and east of I-95 and along Delmarva. We will continue narrowing the possibilities for you today on this page and in our main site storm section (

      (Forecasters Connor, Jason M., Greg J., Zach F., Jason I., Mike N., Advisors Foot and Alex D. ) 

      Saturday, November 3, 2012

      **Current Storm Projection For The Week Ahead**

      Major Coastal Storm 
      To Affect Sandy Impact Areas



      5:00 PM EST 11/5 As has been projected for several days now, there is high confidence of a major coastal storm to develop along the Southeast coast by Wednesday, move north toward New England, and bring high winds, heavy rain and significant waves to the coast and immediate inland areas of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. 

      SNOW FACTORS UP. Additionally, there is now an increasing concern for potential accumulating snow in some of the major cities along the I-95 corridor and further inland. These possibilities will be outlined in further detail tonight and on our Mid-Atlantic Winter Stormcast page. We have narrowed the possibilities down to "Scenario A" as summarized below, and shown in this map projection and loop from the NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center 

      TIMELINE & GRAPHICS The storm would be the strongest at 984 mb by Thursday afternoon off the New Jersey coastline. The storm will be closest to land near Long Island, New York on early Friday morning. With this scenario LITTLE to NO snow accumulations would occur in the major metropolitan areas of the I-95 corridor from Richmond to New York.
      Our "4-panel graphic" by Meteorologist Alex Davies, Surf & Sail Team. 
      Possible effects to Sandy impact areas
      • Rainfall: 2-3" from the coast inland to the I-95 corridor   
       Coastal wind: Sustained 35-45 mph, gusts up to 55 mph 
      • Inland wind: (interior NJ/Delmarva to I-95)
      Sustained 20-30 mph, gusts 40 mph  
      • Snowfall: Starting early Thursday morning for inland areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast including central Appalachians of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and the White/Green Mountains of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. All snowfall would come to an end by Friday Evening. 
      • High temps: Coastal highs ~50 F, Inland highs upper 40s 
      • Low temps: Coastal lows in low 40s, inland lows mid 30s 

      NEED DIRECT SUPPORT? If your company, agency or organization would to assure you are receiving the best available information about this storm threat, we invite you to contact us about our Storm Services & Direct Support program. We're here to work the storm with you: or call us 443-929-0721 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            443-929-0721      end_of_the_skype_highlighting       

      STORM SCENARIOS: In the link below, our previous analyses and scenarios posted over the weekend.

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      Hurricane Sandy:
      How You Can Help
      Outreach & Resources From Our Storm Response Team

      Image credit: Red Cross Disaster Newsroom



      contains a wide range of recommended charities. 
      We will move that list to this page shortly.

      Friday, November 2, 2012

      Sandy Is The New Katrina


      Photo credit: ABC News. The foundation is all that remains of a man's home  in Staten Island, NY when a 20 foot wave on top of 10+ feet of storm surge wiped it away in the early morning hours of Monday, October 30. 

      7:00 PM EDT 11/2  (CEO Rich Foot) In the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina's impacts on New Orleans and the Gulf coast, Foot's Forecast published on this website a story titled  "A Beautiful City. A National Tragedy?" Now, 7 years later, it feels eerily familiar that we are watching another slow-moving catastrophe unfold before our eyes. I'll be blunt: My 75-member team and I have extreme concern our nation is facing the largest humanitarian crisis in it's history. If this is an outlandish claim, we invite a counter opinion as to why it's not. 

      School-aged children waiting in line in New Jersey for gas.
      Not unlike the scenes of desperation we saw 7 years ago.
      Seeing this tragedy unravel begs the question: "Sandy vs. Katrina: Is It Fair To Compare?" We think it is, because both tragedies affected the same group: Americans. It's time for America to step up and act now. We urge you to donate to the Red Cross, the Salvation ArmyCatholic Charitiesthe United Methodist  Church or your local faith-based organization's relief effort, immediately. Our readers in Maryland have a number of good suggestions for other organizations to consider, in the comments of this post on our Central Maryland forecast page.

      111 homes in Queens, burned to the ground.

      One cannot measure death toll alone as an accurate gauge of a storm's effects, because the post-storm challenges of cold weather after Sandy, much like hot weather after Katrina will exacerbate existing problems of those without power, adding to the fatality and injury list. Has anyone thought about those on dialysis, undergoing cancer treatments, those who work for correctional facilities, utility workers without power themselves? When insured and uninsured losses are finally counted, as well as the government's response cost, we believe Sandy will easily eclipse Katrina to become the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. 

      As far as disaster goes, Mid-Atlantic residents are far more familiar with paralyzing snowstorms and extreme cold - hazards that warm themselves up and eventually disappear, leaving the infrastructure generally unscathed. Residents affected by this storm are also accustomed to seeing terrible devastation wrought by hurricanes in the Southeast, along the central Gulf, not in Staten Island or Atlantic City.  Instead of dodging a bullet,, New York and New Jersey ended up in the line of fire. 

      Photo credit: NBC News. New Yorkers lining up for bus service
      Have the lessons of Katrina been applied and embraced? Whatever the country learned, and did not learn, is about to be revealed in cold fury by the citizens facing weeks without power as winter descends on them. In some communities, the entire infrastructure system is gone, hundreds of homes are either flooded, structurally unsound, unlivable or destroyed. And it's November. Temperatures are dropping, and frustration is boiling. For those who think "They're New Yorkers, they're used to the cold" - we invite you to spend ALL DAY, outside in 50 degree weather with no heat, limited food and no hope of power for weeks.  In Katrina, post-storm temperatures were in the 90's, not the 50's. That was a terrible situation to watch, but our citizens need help again, now.

      One of hundreds of NYC subway escalators that remain flooded.
      If this was your  only means of getting to work to make a living, what would you do?
      What will be your role in helping our citizens in their darkest hour? Will your community, city or church rally to direct resources to those in greatest need? New York and New Jersey cannot do it alone. Neither can the federal government. If we are going to get these states back on their feet, it will require a national effort. Whoever is the next President will have an extremely daunting task, and he'll need all the help we can give.

      We'd also like to see cries from those in media glass houses for "where's FEMA?" turn into "what can I do to help?" As John F Kennedy said, it's "Ask Not" time as in, "Ask not what your country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your country."  As for the  national media, when will we see efforts turn toward marshaling viewer awareness on how the public can help. When are we going to start seeing graphics with donation information for the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, local charities? When will anchors stop asking useless questions of FEMA, the answers for which are clearly the jurisdiction of local law enforcement. We'd like to see them instead ask, "how can we at (CNN, ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, NPR) help you get the word out?"

      Flood waters flooding Sandy's surge inundate coastal New Jersey
      To all our new and seasoned readers, if you've followed our team before in disaster, you know Foot's Forecast is not timid in the predictions, or the post-storm analysis. It is time to accept that the worse case scenario, until now only modeled in simulations and tabletop exercises, has become real. For some, the worse case arrived with such ferocity and fervor, it looked more like a scene from Day After Tomorrow than reality. 

      Actor Jake Gyllenhaal sloshing through a flooded
      Manhattan street near the New York Public Library  

      This is as real as it gets. We believe this storm has put America at a turning point, and we ask all our readers to do their part in to help this crisis as quickly as you possibly can. 

      Thursday, November 1, 2012

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      Hurricane Sandy & Foot's Forecast


      While Forecaster Aaron worked the Hurricane from Anne Arundel County, MD
      Forecaster Foot personally briefed Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake

      Ocean City, MD Before Hurricane Sandy had even reached the coast of Cuba, the Foot's Forecast Tropical Team had already contacted several local emergency managers across Maryland, including Ocean City. Then, by three days out, as the threat was looming much larger, Meteorologist Alex Davies and CEO Rich Foot alerted the town's Emergency Services staff on Friday to a storm surge potential of 4 feet or more by Monday. 

      Each day leading to the storm, from early morning to late at night, our forecasters kept town officials closely appraised of the latest National Hurricane Center projections and computer model scenarios. When the worst had passed, town officials reported back that the recorded water rise in Ocean City was 6.3 feet above mean sea level. Once the water subsided, Forecaster Joey went to assess the damage as shown in this album  titled "Battered But Not Beaten" posted on our Surf & Sail Team. 
      A bent light pole in North Ocean City,
      Photo by Forecaster Joey, 10/30/12
      • WEATHER INTELLIGENCE Our forecasters know that in a weather emergency, local officials need site-specific details to help streamline decision-making. Long before Hurricane Sandy's storm surge had begun, Ocean City's Department of Emergency Services could back their decision with real-time, on-demand actionable weather intelligence from our team, based on our tracking of NOAA buoy data, NHC aircraft reconnaissance, and cross referenced with several NWS forecast offices.
      Forecaster Connor working with state and local officials
      during the 2012 Dew Tour in Ocean City earlier this summer 

      Anne Arundel County, MD  When it became clear to county and state emergency managers in Maryland that Hurricane Sandy posed risk to the region, emergency operations centers (EOCs) were activated on Sunday across the state. Before Anne Arundel County even scaled up their center, they requested our team provide a FEMA-course trained forecaster to work the storm with them, inside the EOC. 

      • ON-SITE SUPPORT When our forecasters work a storm on-site, their mastery of social media provides added value to the client's experience. In addition to serving as a liaison between the EOC and the team, Forecaster Aaron Salter participated in live briefings on the county's Public Access TV channel, provided decision support to the county BGE representative, and kept busy county officials updated on changes in the storm track. It's a level of service county officials enjoyed having, knowing the forecaster FEMA-level training and background for the role. 
      Forecaster Aaron Salter (left) with Anne Arundel County Officials
      at the Emergency Operations Center in Glen Burnie, MD

      Before the next storm, isn't it time 
      you consider the Foot's Forecast Team?
      Photo of OC Fishing Pier by Forecaster Joey 

      to learn more about our Weather Intelligence Services, 
      contact us for a free phone or on-site consult: or call 443-929-0721 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            443-929-0721      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

      Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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      The UnSung Heroes Of Sandy

      7:15 PM EDT 10/30 (Mid-Atlantic Team) As some begin to assess the damage wreaked by Hurricane Sandy, still others remain in harm's way and are facing a long nights of continued danger. Before continuing with weather forecasting and analysis, the Foot's Forecast team would like to thank and recognize the countless unsung heroes of Sandy across the entire eastern U.S.

      While many of us sheltered in place, hundred of thousands of people had to be rescued, evacuated or relocated away from expected impacts of the storm. It is easy to overlook  those silent workers in public safety, but their efforts do not go unnoticed or without gratitude. We convey our deepest appreciation and salute the many first responders, emergency management personnel, police, fire, National Guard, utility and transportation workers who have to work the storm for you, regardless of the weather forecast. 

      We know the unsung heroes have lost many hours of sleep and there are many tiring days ahead, but we appreciate all you do for the entire community. We hope many of you can head home to get some rest very soon. For readers, we invite your stories of those who you know put in more than most of us will ever know in this storm.

      (CEO Rich Foot & Mid-Atlantic Director Greg Jackson)

      Monday, October 29, 2012



      A FAILED LESSON IN SCIENCE: Had the New York City government shown they fully understood the dangers of storm surge, evacuations would have started days in advance of Sandy's arrival, once it became clear the Mid-Atlantic faced no escape. Instead, an over-focus on minute changes in storm track lulled politicians into a false sense of security, delaying evacuations and costing lives that could have been saved by heeding the long-planned recommendations of engineers, and better short term weather intelligence. Now we face a potentially long term humanitarian crisis the likes of which we have not seen since Katrina.  



      • Technically speaking, Sandy is no longer a tropical cyclone, because it has transitioned to a more winter-time storm. 
      • However, the impacts will be identical as if it was still a Hurricane, because of the massive size, strong winds, and heavy downpours. 
      • Winds are still gusting to tropical storm force well away from the center. 
      WIND-FIELD: Even though the storm is no longer scientifically speaking, a hurricane, you can see based on the graphic below that there is still a large area tropical storm force winds with gust of 40 mph+ along the Atlantic Coast and in New England.

      RAINFALL: The storm center came ashore last night in New Jersey, but the rainfall is still going strong, especially in the SW quadrant of the storm. Many places have already seen a month's worth of rain, and more is on the way. Please visit this link for the latest radar image - Stay safe everyone. 

      Working The Storm With You

      influence Sandy is having on wind in the Eastern U.S.  

      As our team continues with analysis and preparation for the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, we want to streamline your access to our latest information on this resource page. Specific information on:

    • Connecting to all our Mid-Atlantic Zones in Facebook
    • Quick access to official NOAA & NHC storm information
    • Direct links to State Emergency Management
    • Safety and preparedness checklists / Twitter links
      NWS Radar: Southeast | Northeast Midwest


      Saturday, October 27, 2012

      "Say It Isn't So..."
      - Hall and Oates (lyrics + YouTube video)

      A generalized overview of Sandy's rainfall potential 
      from the NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center

      8:00 AM EDT 10/27/2012  TEAM STATEMENT  With computer model solutions starting to converge, we can start looking at more specific impacts. As of the latest NHC advisory, Sandy has regained hurricane strength at 75 mph as it moves north-northeast at 10 mph.

      • INITIAL TIMING  – For the coastal Mid-Atlantic, winds will start to increase through the day on Sunday as Sandy’s extreme outer influences arrives. Rainfall rates should become heavier Sunday night through the day on Monday from the VA, MD and DE coast and into NJ. Inland winds and rain will significantly increase by late Monday into Tuesday, when the greatest impacts are expected for the entire Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.  
      • TRACK & LANDFALL – Initially, Sandy is expected to be picked up by the westerlies and start a little NE. However, the blocking high in the north Atlantic will force Sandy to swing left back towards land. As far as landfall projections, we believe that the storm center will make landfall between the Delaware Bay and Long Island. With this storm though, the exact location of landfall is not as important because of the enormous size of the storm. 

      • WINDS – Because of how this storm is expected to interact with the trough and the windflow out of the NW, the winds in the southwest quadrant of the storm may actually be amplified. As a result, we believe sustained winds reaching tropical storm force (>39 mph) is possible by Monday afternoon for much of the Richmond to Washington and Baltimore metro areas, as shown in the graphic, with gusts possibly nearing or surpassing 50 mph well into Tuesday.

      • RAINFALL – With the slow movement and long duration of the storm, Sandy may be able to dump quite a bit of rain across the Mid-Atlantic. The best estimates now drop 6-12” of rainfall region-wide before the storm is completely finished. This may make for some significant flooding concerns in low lying areas, streams, and eventually the larger rivers. 

      • STORM SURGE – This is still the most uncertain area. Storm surge is often very difficult to predict, but our best estimate now is a surge of 2-3 feet on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay because of the full moon and the astronomical high tide, with surge estimates of 6 feet + for the Atlantic coastal areas. 

      • TEMPERATURES – With the strong rush of cold air on the back side of this system, temperatures are expected to plummet. Sunday’s highs look to be around the upper 50s to 60º. Monday’s temperatures may not get out of the 50s, and on Tuesday, we could struggle to hit 50º.