Friday, January 30, 2015

Strap Yourselves In, Wild Swings Coming...

The current weather pattern that is keeping most of California dry and much of the Great Lakes & NE snowbound shows no signs of changing.  In fact, the ridge over the west may sharpen as the trough over the east deepens.   What that means is the widespread Arctic air mass will start to invade the lower 48 with snow & Ice storms moving along the southern boundary.   Locally, we’ll enjoy a warming trend for Saturday & Sunday before the big chill arrives on Monday.  RIGHT NOW, it doesn’t look like any major freeze threat is coming next week, but that will depend on the strength of any storm that might form.    A big southern storm could drawn down some frigid air for next weekend, but a lot has to come together for that to happen.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How Sweet It Is !

Not sure about you, but I have been totally enjoying all of the snow video from the folks up north.   As you may know, I was born & raised in Hammond, Indiana where I thought getting cold & miserable for 4-5 months in the Winter was NORMAL.   But nooooooooo!   !st real job took me to Tampa where my first Christmas day had 82 degree warmth.   Didn’t like it then because I was use to a White Christmas.  As I have progressed from the Spring of my life thru the Summer of my life & now to the Late Fall, I really hate Winter.  Since the Winter of my life will mean I’m getting old, I really hate Winter more!   As I hit my last tee shot this morning under sunny skies and temps in the 70s, I thought about my friends up in the frozen tundra.   But not for long!   Come South Gang, if even for the 3 coldest months of the year.   How truly sweet it is!

 

In the short term, a front will bring back the sweaters and jackets for the next few days, but this is not an Arctic outbreak.  We’ll have a shower threat on Sunday and again next Wednesday.   My concern follows that system as 35-40 below zero readings are still up over Alaska waiting to come south.  The outlook for the next 12-14 days leading up to Mardi Gras looks cool to cold.  How cold  remains to be seen as the recent Blizzard forecast in the NE shows the folly of trying to predict that far in advance.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We Were 90% Correct...Huh?

That’s what my friend Jim Cantore proclaimed this morning on The Weather Channel regarding last week’s Blizzard of ’15.    Sure there were snowfall amounts of 2-3 feet as predicted, however, the Weather Channel sounded the alarm when they said 70 million people would be affected by this storm IMPLYING that most would get 2-3 feet.  That’s why all the public officials reacted in unison, which ( I agree with Jim) ,  was a good thing.     However 60+ million people were not buried with 2-3 feet.   Perception is 90% of reality and The Weather Channel’s management must have felt the public’s displeasure as they devoted the whole day to repeating over and over how they were mostly right.     The lesson learned from this storm?     We forecasters must be clearer regarding the uncertainty of the computer model outputs…whether it’s a blizzard or a summer hurricane…don’t place all your trust in the models.   They certainly have been vastly improved during the past 10-20 years and will continue to get better in the future.  However, that’s why FOX 8 always gives at least 2 scenarios regarding the impacts of a hurricane…depending on the track of the storm.   That way the public will understand why the forecast didn’t verify because the storm track changed at the last minute.   Let’s move on…

 

Wow, what a Thursday we have coming.   70s in January?  Sure looks like it as Dallas hit 80 on Wednesday.  Our next front arrives before dawn on Friday bringing back the need for coats & jackets.   This weekend should be seasonally cool & mostly dry with a few showers possible by Sunday PM.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bravo National Weather Service !

Last night’s blog talked about the media over-hype of the Blizzard of 2015.  Over 7 states were placed under Blizzard Warnings 2 days in advance.  In reality, it has been the Blizzard of 2015 in 4 states, but not in the 3 that have the most population (PA,NY, NJ.)  It takes a confident forecaster to issue Blizzard Warnings 2 days in advance of the storm.  It takes a courageous forecaster (Gary Szatkowski NWS Philadelphia) to admit he was wrong.  Szatkowski tweeted earlier Tuesday morning: "my deepest apologies to many key decision makers and so many members of the general public."

"You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn't," he said in another tweet. "Once again, I'm sorry."  Wow!   Do you hear anyone in the media saying they overhyped this system?   Nope…in fact The Weather Channel was begging viewers to send videos of the heavy snow since most of their reporters were in places that were mainly clear.  Cudos to the NWS.  They were wrong and they even apologized to the public.  Awesome!   You should know it was the same Gary Szatkowski who made the CORRECT forecast regarding Hurricane Sandy’s turn back towards land in 2012.   As I mentioned yesterday, hurricanes involve evacuations and need longer advance notice to prepare.   Snowstorms/ Blizzards?   2 days plus?   I think not.        Of course all of the politicians are hiding behind the old “better safe than sorry” theme.  My take?  You cry Wolf(Alarmists) too often and for future storms nobody listens.

 

Locally, what great weather!   74 for a high in late January?   I feel your pain Boston!  Better luck in the Super Bowl!