Winter Forecast on Track?

Clients were a little shook last October when our Meteorologists projected the winters of 1959-60 and 2018-19 as analog (similar pattern) years for this season.  Both analogs had an active, snowy February through March.  So how’s it going?  Here are the details comparing actuals thus far and likely patterns forthcoming to our winter prediction last October.  Spoiler alert: don’t be thinking shorts anytime soon.

When looking into the 2019-2020 Winter Season, several analog seasons were found, with two really fitting the bill in our eyes: 1959-1960 and 2018-19. Based on what we saw from the sea surface temperatures, the overall output pattern made sense. How has the analog package been performing?

Here is how October stacked up temperature and precipitation wise:

November:

December:


All has been going well on our top analogs fitting the overall temperature and precipitation pattern to this point. Model data has been back and forth on where we go from here through January, which does not increase confidence in our ideas. Latest model data, for what it is worth, is showing a similar setup to the analog package. It’s just one run, so consistency is not there yet, but from looking at our overall analogs, here is what we could expect for

January:

Temperature (left image) would be mild across the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and into the Ohio River valley with the cooler air being locked up in the west. Locally, for the KS and MO region, this puts us on the battleground line with exact track determining rain or wintry weather. This set-up also favors southwest flow events, which tend to be our best shot at larger events, AKA potential for significant snowfall. Should we verify and not have to change our analog package, where does Winter go for February and March?


With cold releasing into much of the U.S. and the active precipitation pattern continuing, February and March could be quite active, keeping public works and snow removal companies quite busy.


How a weather balloon in Alaska can impact Midwest forecasting!

Your forecast is started by meteorologists analyzing data that consists of temperatures, dew-points, pressure, and winds collected by weather balloons twice a day over the North American Continent. This weather snapshot of the constantly moving atmosphere is critical to creating model guidance that displays various weather outcomes for your daily life and business operations.

Recently, the National Weather Service has halted the launching of around 24 balloons a week in the state of Alaska. They are saying this is due to staff shortages. Regardless of the reason, the result will affect everyone in the lower 48. Holes where data used to be will result in a larger error in track, strength, and timing for future weather systems especially past day 3. Systems moving in from Canada will not be as accurately measured until they move into northern portions of the contiguous United States (where a better coverage of data is available).

So how does this affect you and your business? Well, missing data will lower the level of confidence after day 3 in model guidance. For example, dry and favorable weather could be expected due to one model run, but in another, because we have the normal amount of data input, it was able to pick up a slight disturbance that could bring damp or slick conditions. This could potentially impact construction projects, outdoor activities, or daily procedures at an airport. If looking at model data alone lead times could be 24 hours or less. Again this would impact any business plans that may have been in place a week out, but now quickly have to change. Here at Weather or Not our meteorologists use their experience along with some guidance to relay the uncertainties in the data, and inform when confidence in a situation increases. Businesses then can take the best and safest action to obtain the best profit possible.


Work in the Fast Lane

November 6, 2017

Johnson County Kansas Gateway Project

More lanes, more ease for the 140,000 motorists on I-435 and a construction project that’s on-time – that’s how we spell s-u-c-c-e-s-s! While some contractors are frustrated rushing to beat the on-set of winter, those on the 2 year I-435 project in Overland Park, KS are wrapping up on schedule for this season!

Despite starting the season with only 12 dry days out of 39 and getting swamped mid-summer with 3 major flooding events totaling 12 – 23 inches of rain, many construction crews were able to squeeze out every dry hour of workable time. This isn’t done by guessing with apps. Smart, seasoned construction professionals use meteorologists like a sub-contractor. If it’s not in their wheelhouse, they contract with the experts.

Owners and managers know that they can’t change the weather but they can change the way weather impacts their business:
-Stealing hours on a day that’s half rainy
-Scheduling concrete only for the dry overnight hours
-Opening a road before rush hour

Strategic operational weather decisions start with project planning several weeks out with Mid-Range Forecasts then gets down to the daily coordination with superintendents every morning before the sun rises and continue up-to-the-minute they shut down. They work in concert with their meteorologists who have their back and do not let their job get caught.

As we have since 1986, Weather or Not’s team of meteorologists will be on the job 24/7 with construction crews on the highway, on the roof or wherever Mother Nature tries to rob them of their profits. When winter sets in, we’ll be performing our annual Weather Operations Audit working with their management to assess this past season to plan even better ways to help crews meet schedules and beat profit projections next season.

What’s your plan? Call us now. We can help!


Operational Meteorologist, Programming Background Preferred

Do you want your weather forecasts to make a difference every day? Highway contractors decide if they should close roads to pour concrete. MLB decides if they should cancel a game or delay a game in progress. Airports decide if they can keep runways open with their in house crew on, or if they need to call in their snow contractor with the really big equipment.  Utilities need to decide if they have to keep crews on depending upon the type of ice storm expected and when it will hit.

All of the business decisions involve accurate, pro-active, timely weather forecasts. This is weather consulting at weather or not. We’ve been doing this for over 30 years.

If this is how you want to share your talents in an exciting work environment, apply to become a part of our team.

Qualifications

  • B.S. in Meteorology or military equivalent experience is required
  • Sharp analytical skills with a strong understanding of Midwest weather patterns and forecasting
  • Superb written and verbal communication skills: must be able to simply explain the impact of complex weather systems on client’s projects while meeting strict deadlines
  • Ability to multi-task under pressure while maintaining a calm demeanor
  • Strong skills using GEMPAK, GRAnalyst, GREarth, Bufkit, MS Office, Linux required, experience with ArcGIS is a plus
  • Experience with programming and database management (i.e. C++, C#, Java, PEARL, PHP, Python, MATLAB, SQL, R, etc.) is a plus
  • Innovative thinking with developing digital solutions to weather impacts is preferred
  • Pro-active customer service experience a plus
  • Demonstrated work ethic and professionalism

To apply, please send cover letter, resume (including references) and salary requirements to:

E-mail: sully@weatherornot.com

Mail:   Mr. Sullivan Brown, Weather or Not, 6100 Neiman Road, Suite 200, Shawnee, KS  66203

Weather or Not, Inc. is a non-smoking environment. Salary will be commensurate with education, knowledge, skills and abilities.  A comprehensive benefits package is available.  Please do not call or apply in person.  Weather or Not, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Does the Groundhog Speak For Everyone?

February 2, 2017

The Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and Intermountain West stand the best chance as wintry conditions through March. With those locations active, the Central U.S. will see limited chances for wintry precipitation, and will also be warmer.

The biggest question mark in the forecast will be February 24th-March 10th, where the pattern could fluctuate every few days, allowing for possibly cool (30s/20s) and wintry systems to traverse the United States. From a Kansas and Missouri Prospective, this will be our best chance as seeing some plowable snow events.  As it stands, 1-3 will be possible, with one possibly producing 4”+ of snow.

By mid-March the pattern will calm down, with the West and Northeast seeing winter continue. The Central U.S. will return to mild conditions (60s/40s), and drier more than not.

2016-2017 Winter Outlook PRECIP 2016-2017 Winter Outlook SNOW AND ICE 2016-2017 Winter Outlook TEMP 2016-2017 Winter Outlook PATTERN SWAP



Show Us What You’ve Got

w-logo paintingInternships are a great opportunity to discover ways in which you might fit into your chosen field.  Many careers have gotten off to a faster start because students put themselves in a professional situation that showed off their skills and talents to a potential employer while that company introduced them to various segments of their industry.

Weather or Not is searching for our next group of interns.  We currently have opportunities for bright, energetic students in many areas of meteorology, IT, software development and marketing. Our 30 year history includes consulting to the Kansas City Royals, Sporting KC, airports, utilities, facility managers, public works and snow businesses to name a few.  Some of our past interns have even gone on to full-time employment with us!

If you think you’ve got what it takes to intern at Weather or Not, contact us today at hr@weatherornot.com.  We’d love to hear what you’ve got to contribute to our company as we create an exciting start to your professional future.


2016 Summer Outlook

  • High confidence temperatures warm-up late May, but more frequently trend above normal July-September.
  • A few brief heatwaves expected July-August.
  • Typically active rain pattern will be most active May-June; drier July-September.
  • Wet begets wet and dry begets dry, while drought conditions are still possible in late summer,
  • Recent rains have delayed onset of drought.

Probably Warmest Summer Since 2012

http://weatherornot.net/userfiles/image/Seasonal_Outlooks/Spring_Summer_2016/Summer_Temp.jpg

Main Pattern Drivers

  • Strong El Niño
  • Warm Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)
  • A combination of 1 and 2 creates warmer temperatures over Pacific Northwest/Rockies and
  • Great Lakes, which supports a dome of high pressure building over the Midwest.
  • Recent rains

Analog* Year Graphs

http://weatherornot.net/userfiles/image/Seasonal_Outlooks/Spring_Summer_2016/Daysabove_90_100_KMKC.jpg

http://weatherornot.net/userfiles/image/Seasonal_Outlooks/Spring_Summer_2016/Precip_Departure_KMKC.jpg

Expert Analysis

     The ongoing El Niño will weaken considerably over the next several months. This trend will likely be the strongest long-term forecast signal of the 2016 summer.  Abnormally warm water still exists in the eastern Pacific Ocean and along the West Coast. This combination creates the heat in the Central  Plains.
     There is high confidence this summer will be warmer than normal and probably the warmest since 2012.  The sea surface temperature setup favors a persistent upper level ridge centered over the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. This setup will block Canadian cold air from making its way into the United States. 90s and 100s should be much more common this summer than the past two summers! Near to below normal temperatures should be limited to areas from the Southwest U.S. to Texas.
     The greatest uncertainty comes with the precipitation forecast. Systems during the warm season like to travel along the edge of the high pressure ridge, not through it. So where the ridge lives most of the summer is key. If the ridge centers more often over Illinois, then we will be drier as systems are forced to stay west of the area. If the ridge is centered near Lower Michigan, systems will have a better chance to make it into our area. There are signs this ridge may begin the summer further east/northeast, then retrograde westward into Iowa for the end of the summer. This means May-June should be wetter than July-August.
     Drought conditions and soil moisture are also key for summer precipitation patterns. Those that start dry tend to stay dry through summer while those that start wet tend to stay wet (comparatively) and cool. While drought conditions were beginning to develop across portions of the Plains in March and early April, recent rains have reversed that trend. The forecast pattern over the next 2-3 week is supportive of additional rains, but likely not excessive on a widespread basis.  The potential for an excessively dry summer (like 2012 and 1988) appears to be decreasing because of  the recent rain. The relatively saturated soils should aid in keeping drought conditions at bay through at least June. Thereafter, the high pressure ridge should gradually become more dominant during July, causing rains to become less frequent and possibly a return to drought conditions by August or September.
     The primary factors we looked at when searching for similar years (analogs), were those that featured a strong El Niño during the winter weakening to a La Niña by fall. This search yielded the following analogs correlating respectively: 1998, 1988, 1983, 2007, 2010.

 


Leavenworth County Wind Storm May 11, 2016

Weather or Not meteorologists review of the Leavenworth County wind storm on May 11, 2016.