If Johannes Kepler, the renowned 17th century astronomer and discoverer of the planetary laws of motion, could speak from the heavenlies, he might have a few words of wisdom to share with the National Weather Service. Although Kepler's name is not normally associated with meteorology, he was quite the weather forecaster in his day. His first claim to fame, by the way, was not due to his discovery of those planetary laws, but because of his accurate long-range weather forecast of the severe winter that put Styermark, Germany on ice in 1593.
Kepler's genius and outside-the-box thinking led him to equate terrestrial weather patterns with the geometrical formations made between the earth and planets. Since these formations could be calculated in advance, he reasoned, their effect on the weather could be as well. Through the publishing of his almanacs, the Royal Astronomer helped make ends meet when at times the kings who employed him were delinquent in their payments.
Kepler's contribution to meteorology, along with his long-range forecast method, have all but been forgotten. And as would be expected, present day meteorology, ashamedly, has no real long-range weather forecast capability. Even armed with the most advanced weather computer, whose lightning fast calculations approach about 400 million per second, its three-day forecasts are speculative, and its six to seven day forecasts are worthless.
In this day and age when the flaws and limitations of many conventional procedures and methods have come to light, man is seeking and finding solutions in alternative methodologies. Just about every area of life boasts of some alternative option. So why not alternative weather forecasts based on natural, environmentally safe, and providentially-provided processes?
Wouldn't it be great to know the times and places of hurricane formation and landfall months in advance? How about the when and where of other weather anomalies such as deep freezes, severe storms systems, and high velocity winds? All this is possible with Kepler's method and would be a welcomed alternative for weather sensitive businesses like agriculture, the weather derivatives market, transportation etc. Although no forecast system, be it conventional or alternative, is 100 percent accurate, it is worth noting that based on this method my published long-range hurricane forecasts, prepared months in advance, were fulfilled in Hurricanes Isis (1998), Alberto (2000), Gilma (2000), and Tropical Storm Claudette (2003). Based on Kepler's method, some of the best and worst weather for June 2005 is as follows:
May 31-June 3, 2005:
A windy storm breeding pattern is slated to affect the Rockies, Great Basin, and West Coast States. Besides erratic gusty winds, this pattern is usually accompanied by sharp dips in temperature and scattered severe thunderstorms.
Meanwhile over the Texas and the Plains, warm moist air is drawn northward and will react with the colder, drier air over the Rockies. This combination should ignite severe storms over the Front Range, Texas, and the Plains. Tornado activity is a distinct possibility.
June 1-4, 2005:
The East Central States and Southeast will also see an invasion of colder air triggering storms throughout the region. Potentially dangerous atmospheric conditions are indicated over Florida, especially along the west coast.
The storms over the East Central States work their way over New England.
June 4-7, 2005:
In the main, fair weather is indicated over the western States and the Rockies at this time. The exception seems to be the Pacific Northwest where the chance of some unsettled weather exists.
The Mississippi Valley and East Central area should have fine weather, although the storms in the Plains may begin to move eastward.
June 7-11, 2005:
A major weather pattern develops over the Front Range and Texas. Tropical heat and moisture flow northward from the Gulf increasing temperatures and unleashing severe storms with tornado potential. Storms push eastward through the Mississippi Valley.
Two areas slated for severe weather may actually indicate tropical storm or hurricane formation since June begins hurricane season. The first is the area around Brownsville, Texas and the other lies in the southeastern Gulf at around 86 West longitude and 24 North latitude.
June 12, 2005:
Around this time the storms shown over the Front Range and Texas should arrive over the Mississippi Valley and continue eastward.
June 13-15, 2005:
Cold, dry air invades the Rockies with the strong possibility of triggering storms and/or windy conditions over the Front Range. Windy weather is likely through the West Coast States as well.
June 14-16, 2005
Incoming moisture from the Gulf sets off thunderstorms from the Mississippi Valley eastward across the Southeast, Ohio Valley, and Mid-Atlantic States. Certain weather models indicate storms along the length of the East Coast from Florida to Maine.
Tropical Storm formation may be possible in the Gulf around 86 West longitude and 26 North latitude, as well as in the area between the Florida Keys and Cuba.
June 17-19, 2005:
A weather pattern bringing strong winds is indicated for the eastern US. This may take the form of a tropical storm or hurricane if formation took place in the Gulf or over the Florida Keys. In such a case, it could now make landfall along the Florida Panhandle or peninsula. If not an actual tropical system, then storms triggering tornadoes or other windy conditions are possible throughout the Southeast and Ohio Valley.
June 20-22, 2005:
A storm system is indicated over the Northeast and New England at this time. This is most likely the continuation of the weather system referred to in the June 17-19 forecast.
June 18-20, 2005:
More moisture and heat are indicated from southern Texas northward through the Plains. This could cause storms to erupt since ample Gulf moisture will most likely be available.
June 22-23, 2005:
The potential for storms producing damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes etc. are shown over the Mississippi Valley area.
A warm and moist air mass is drawn up over the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic States creating unsettled conditions over the region.
June 24-27, 2005:
A lower range of temperatures and atmospheric disturbances affect the western US through the Great Basin area then continue eastward over the Rockies. A La Ni?a event may become apparent around this time.
A major storm system affects the Northeast and New England. Most likely a good amount of moisture is drawn northward triggering storms and rain. A tropical system cannot be ruled out. In some cases, the initial reaction appears in the form of a strong high pressure system bringing high heat that then erupts in storms.
June 25-27, 2005:
High heat and storms containing dangerous winds, hail, and/or tornadoes focus on eastern Texas, the ArkLaTex region, and northward.
June 27-July 1, 2005:
Another bout of severe weather is indicated for the Mississippi Valley region as storms producing winds and severe weather conditions traverse the area.
June 29, 2005:
A cold front across New England triggers precipitation.
Ken Paone has been working with Kepler's long-range weather forecasting method for about 14 years. His published forecasts have appeared internationally. You can email Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org. The results of his latest long-range forecasts are available on his blog at http://www.theweatheralternative.blogspot.com