Site revamp coming later this fall

I put in a fair amount of work to the original site design back when MAD US Weather started in September 2010, but five years is a good run time for one design, so it is time to come up with a new one.

The plan is to get a new design deployed before the start of the Mid-Atlantic snow season, which is when I make about 95% of my posts. At some point, I may get motivated enough to make more regular blog updates that aren’t just snow and seasonal forecasts.

That reminds me… I still have to finish the teleconnections page and update my Flickr account.



Maintaining a web site and making content consistently for free is hard.

The Jessica Game

Storm chasers! Road travelers in general! Here is a “fun” game to play while on the road to pass the time maybe. Game credit/co-credit goes to Jason Foster.

The goal of the game is simple: Listen to the entirety of Jessica by The Allman Brothers Band (the 7:28 full version… don’t give me none of that 4:00 crap) without passing any vehicles and without getting passed by any vehicle that is traveling in the same direction as you.

The rules:

– You must be on an interstate (assuming you’re in the United States).
– You must play the entire song to beat the game. The game starts when you start the song and ends when you end the song.
– You cannot adjust your speed up or down for the sole purpose of winning the game. Drive at your normal speed whenever possible.

Difficulty levels:

Normal – Play the full song without passing or getting passed by vehicles traveling in the same direction as you.
Hard – Play the full song without SEEING ANY VEHICLES that are traveling in the same direction as you.
God Mode – Play the full song without seeing ANY VEHICLES TRAVELING IN EITHER DIRECTION.

I personally have beaten the Normal level several times, and I have only beaten the Hard level once or twice. I have yet to beat God Mode.

Winter Storm Threat: March 4-5 (Only/Final Call)

Can this be the last one, please? Near normal highs are going to feel like heat waves this month.


Most uncertainty is going to come from the changeover from rain to sleet to snow. A slower cold push and/or prolonged sleet could cut down on totals. Regardless of the fact that there’s more downside than upside, it should be a fun storm. Once the changeover to snow does occur, the snow rates should be pretty good, so I’m not too worried about getting accumulations started in the more southern areas when the changeover isn’t until after sunrise. A layer of sleet to start should help the initial snow accumulations as well.

Winter Storm Threat: February 26-27 (Only/Final Call)

It’s time for the southern folks to finally cash in this season. Some spots in North Carolina and southeastern Virginia are expected to get as much snow as they typically get in a year, so this should be a fun storm for them. I battled a bit in the placement of the 1″ and 2″ contours on the north edge of things, as there is a wide range of solutions in that department still. The rain/snow line across North Carolina is another big hurdle, but it seems the warm nose will be around 850mb, which made sorting it out on the models easier.


I expect a couple of 12+” reports out of this in North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. The northern edge of the 1-2+” has equal risks of busting high/low.

Winter Storm Threat: February 21-22 (Only/Final Call)

Lots of uncertainty with this system. How much precip. falls as snow before the changeover, timing of the changeover, rates during the daytime hours, etc. The only thing that’s not really in question will be the surface temperatures at the start of the storm. Cold, cold, cold.


Models overall show a little more potential to get higher totals than lower totals east of the Appalachians.

My brain is done. k bye.

Winter Storm Threat: February 16-17 (Final Call)

Cut back on totals in central and eastern Pennsylvania a little bit, and tweaked 8-12″ contour ever so slightly. On the south end of things, I lowered the snow+sleet totals in North Carolina east of the Appalachians and into far southeastern Virginia. Still a solid 5-10″ event around the greater D.C. region.


Would have been interesting if people didn’t have Monday off… onset around D.C. is during the afternoon rush hour. At least we get to avoid that fiasco this time around. Should end near or slightly before daybreak for most. Enjoy your fresh pow pow.

Winter Storm Threat: February 16-17 (Initial Call)

Holy crap, a decent storm around D.C. where the rain/snow/mix line won’t be a concern! It’s a miracle.

So the biggest question at this point is QPF. There are some really juiced-up forecast models, and some not so much. Either way, snow ratios start getting good around D.C. and points north… talking 15:1 or better (20:1 along/north of the Mason-Dixon?).


Other questions include how far north the 1+” totals get, and how much snow/sleet occurs in North Carolina and southeastern Virginia before they change over to rain/freezing rain (yes, sleet is included in the snow totals in that region).

The 8-12″ band is a little ambitious, but I feel like the more aggressive play is the correct one at this point. I think a 50/50 blend between the wetter models and drier models results in something close to this, with ratios taken into consideration.

I’ll issue a quick final update tomorrow morning.