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March madness forecast competition

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:30 PM GMT on March 12, 2007

March madness is upon us, and a just-for-fun weather forecasting contest--the annual Weatherdance competition--is now open for registration. The contest, sponsored by the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Science at the University of Michigan, challenges you to choose which of the competing campuses in the first round of the NCAA Men's and/or Women's Basketball Tournament will be warmer on game day. After the first round, the teams still in the Weatherdance will not be the same as those who continue on in basketball. Thus, the Final Four in the basketball tourney will be different than the "Fahrenheit Four" in the Weatherdance. Your picks for each round must be made by midnight on the night before the game.

If you'd like to play along this year for the prizes (and glory), please register by 11:59pm EDT Wednesday night at http://www.weatherdance.org/. This year's prizes include our rainbow-colored Weather Underground umbrellas (not available to the public except through this contest) and copies of the book, Extreme Weather. If you're a K-12 teacher, you have the chance to win a the grand prize--a free storm-chasing trip in May with the University of Michigan/Texas Tech storm chasing team!

Southern California wild fires
Hot, dry Santa Ana winds have been blowing over Southern Califonia the past few days, bringing record high temperatures in the 90s and dangerous fire conditions. This weather pattern should continue to bring record warmth today, then subside by Tuesday.

There were 11 daily record highs set or tied in Southern California on Sunday March 11th:

Camarillo Airport (94 degrees)....old record 88/2004
Oxnard NWS (94 degrees)....old record 87/2004
Long Beach Airport (94 degrees)....old record 87/1959
Santa Maria Airport (91 degrees)....old record 85/1934
Santa Barbara (89 degrees)....old record 82/2004
Sandberg (72 degrees)....old record 67/2005
U.C.L.A. (87 degrees)....old record 86/1959
Pasadena (93 degrees)....old record 89/1997
Lancaster (82 degrees)....old record 80/1997
Paso Robles (83 degrees)....old record 82/2005
Cal Poly (86 degrees)....old record 86/1997 tied

I'll be back Tuesday with a look at the lessons learned from the great May 3, 1999 tornado.

Jeff Masters

60ft Flames in Anaheim Hills
60ft Flames in Anaheim Hills
Red Flag conditions and hot dry Santa Ana winds drive flames towards these upscale homes.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

wow! nice photo!
get down doc......great idea////almost makes me want to go get my teaching certificate to go storm chasing..but then..after a year filled with kids in school....a storm might seem tame compared to that :-)
If I were to play such a game, I'd put my money on Arizona..
Nice blog & photo Dr.M
ALas..I have no team..But love the 1 on 1..
My parents went to see a friend in Orange yesterday. They where 2 minutes away from the flames. Took them 3 hours just to get from the hills to the freeway.

Anyways here in So Cal another day of record heat. The local weather station recorded 102 and it felt like it. I dont think it was that hot but in the mid 90's.
When the western firefighters arrived to help with the 1998 brush fires in Florida, they said No Problem! The terrain is flat & everything is green. Green doesn't burn. Right? LOL Still, their assistance was greatly appreciated. In Glades County in South Florida the KBDI is now over 700.
10. Inyo
It got into the 90s all over the place in so-cal this weekend. today will be worse. No rain in sight in the next 7 days.. the long range forecasts offer some hope but they haven't been accurate this year so...
Was quite remarkable to see mid 90's projected for southern California areas today when mid 60's are the norm.
Patrap...what happened to your basketballer? Swear I had nothing to do with his disappearance. I dunno nuttin!..
Hey Doc, nice of U of M to have this contest. However, I did notice that the Wolverines Basketball Teams, once again, are NOT playing in the BIG SHOW!
and moose tosses a low blow....guaranteeing him cancelation in the weather pool...LOL
The mountain took it..LOL
Or the Deity on top of it.
17. N3EG
Check out this Pacific thingamabobber here... scroll down to Water Vapor Western US 16 or 28 km animation.
in the
East Pacific where mx is that 90E in the makeing? and look at the BANDING Featured on the low and wind shear is low where that is about 5 to 20kt i think it may be are 1st 90E may be are 1st TD 1E dont you all think this is a little soon for this for them?

Taz-that's too close to the equator.
And there aren't that many banding features anyway.
well there more then there was on sat and sunday may be not march more but there is some
Either way-it's right at the equator.It cannot physically form.
No uncertainty about it.
24. Inyo
if only it would form, maybe it would bring some much needed rain to southern California.. but it isnt going to happen.

more interesting in the central pacific water vapor loop is the cold-core system with an 'eye' type area of dry air.
Eyes aren't only restricted to hurricanes...nature 'wants' eyes to form,but usually systems can't develop enough convection around a center for a clear eye to develop.Just one of those things.
Make the heat go away :(

Pretty hot and pretty dry.
Here's that storm:

cold core storm
Funny last year around this time we in So Cal where talking about a weak storm system that brought snow levels to 1,500 feet with a few inches of snow and a sleet hail mix in the valleys and some uppper elevations.

Today record heat with temps in the upper 80's to upper 90's.
Weather Underground umbrella modeled by Dr. Jeff Masters

hey dr m did you make that umbrella? if you did vary nic job i like it
The Sunset begins here..Link
It IS possible for storms to form close to the equator, if something other than the coriolis effect gives them spin. There have been 3 stoms forming within 2.2 degrees of the equator, as outlined here.

That being said, I don't expect anything to happen here, and neither should anyone else.
Indlada seems to be on the same track as Gamede, meaning that IMO it will not reach its projected intensity because of the upwelling and cooling of the waters caused by Gamede. It could be a big rain producer for Madagascar however.
Taz, you never relent on your hopes of early formation do u
: Ldog74 nop

No this is what I want, I want that blob or whatever it is to get all the rain from the caribbean and then perch directly on top of South Florida. We need the rain desperately.
Indeed plywoodstatenative i expect the drought conditions across south florida to get worse as the weeks go by with no significant rain chances anytime soon.Pretty typical with La Nina being around.
Posted By: Caffinehog at 11:41 PM GMT on March 12, 2007.

It IS possible for storms to form close to the equator, if something other than the coriolis effect gives them spin. There have been 3 stoms forming within 2.2 degrees of the equator, as outlined here.

That being said, I don't expect anything to happen here, and neither should anyone else.

I know things can occur near the equator,but Taz's blob was right on the equator.I agree,nothin's gonna happen.
no i want the rain we need it more then FL
no i want the rain we need it more then FL

LOL Taz!
Taz's blob is 150-300 miles from the equator
and was i talking about that? nop

i was talking about rain

thanks : Ldog74 i no
i was referring to weatherboykris about him saying that the blob u were previously speaking of is right on the equator, i know u were talkin bout rain on your last post
Ldog74 oh sorry
46. Inyo
Believe it or not, the latest GFS is actually showing some significant rain in parts of so-cal next week. Granted, it's only half an inch at the most but we'll take it.

last year it rained several inches in april. since the 'bizarro el-nino' that encouraged this drought is over, perhaps we will get another wet april.
I will have to look at that GFS model Inyo. Thanks for the heads up. The past few weeks I have gave up hope and I only cheak the GFS once a week. Durning earlyer in winter (and a lot in fall) I would cheak it evey new run.
48. Inyo
yeah i wouldnt be surprised if the next run went back to totally dry
sry...didn't mean to yell
yo pat......
eewwww i was first
hhhmmm....off season sucks
Map of fires out west
Posted By: JUSTRICK at 9:55 PM PDT on March 12, 2007.

hhhmmm....off season sucks

hey taz... and sky
cool link sky...thanks
hello : JUSTRICK and sky have a good night
Indlala has a nice pinwheel eye.
64. Inyo

in 8 days.

I'll believe it when i SEE it!

rain for southern CA AND southern Florida.

Yo!,,ric Lives..Im here.