Foot’s Forecast briefs Kamenetz on upcoming winter
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 12:34

Blog gets honor from Baltimore City Paper

by Bill Gates

    With September, through presidential decree, having been National Preparedness Month, Baltimore County officials held a briefing last week to remind residents of the Boy Scout motto.
    (“Be Prepared,” for those who don’t feel like searching for it.)
    Part of the briefing consisted of a look at what the upcoming winter might have in store for the area.
    So, naturally, the county went to the student forecasters of the Foot’s Forecast weather blog for the information.
    Foot’s Forecast is, after all, the best weather blog in Baltimore, so noted in the Baltimore City Paper’s annual awards issue published two weeks ago.

    Calling it “a forecasting phenomenon,” the City Paper noted how Foot’s Forecast’s accuracy in predicting the blizzards of 2009-10 have led to the blog getting over 150 million hits a year.
    The blog, started by former Dundalk High teacher and Jackson Road resident Richard Foot, has grown from being run by Foot and members of his Earth Science class to having forecasters (the majority of them high school and college students) in 27 states and London, England.
    Foot’s Forecast proves “there are still places where students are being taught the difference between ‘weather’ and ‘climate’,” the City Paper noted.
    For the briefing of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, the blog was represented by Foot and members of his Maryland Team: Towson High student Caron Schroeter, Kenwood High student Evan Schiesser, CCBC Dundalk student Joey Krastel and Meagan Buster, a Towson University senior and the director of Fusion Forecasting.
    The team provided an overview of Maryland weather for the past year, an assessment of current climate indicators and scenarios for the upcoming winter.
    “This winter, as you will sadly hear in a few minutes, is forecast to be quite the winter wonderland,” Kamenetz said to people attending the briefing.
    The county executive reminded residents every home must be prepared to get by without power for up to three days.
    “Too many people still neglect to think about what they will do if the power goes out — until the power goes out,” Kamenetz said. “Don’t wait until we’re in the midst of an emergency and there’s not a flashlight battery or gallon of water to be found on store shelves.”
    Residents need to have the right supplies on hand — flashlights, water, batteries and extra food — Kamenetz said.
    Generators need to be tested to ensure they’re in working order, and families must make plans for where they will relocate if conditions at their homes become unlivable during a crisis.
    For information, residents are encouraged to follow the county Twitter feed, @BACOemergency, or go online to www.baltimorecountymd.gov/emergency.