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 April 2005 is as follows:
April 1-3: A southerly airflow kicks in over the western Gulf of Mexico bringing warmer temperatures for the Deep South and on into the East Central States. Due to this increase in temperatures and humidity storms erupt over the area.
The western U.S. is also slated for a warm up.
April 5-7: The Southeast, East Central and western U.S. continue warm and fair.
April 8-10: A storm system affecting the Ohio Valley and Southeast spreads inclement weather in the Northeast U.S. Low pressure brings thunderstorms to the Rockies and Plains. Special intensity is shown over New Mexico and Minnesota.
April 11-14: Cool and fair conditions are shown for the Plains, the Ohio Valley and Southeast. The Pacific Northwest is in store for an influx of very moist warm air around the 13th giving way to thunderstorm activity, which then continues westward over the Rockies.
April 15: The Middle Atlantic States turn stormy generating a low pressure system that heads across New England toward Nova Scotia.
April 18: The Pacific Northwest continues with higher than normal temperatures and humidity. With enough moisture in place, storms will fire up throughout the West Coast States. Temperatures are on the upswing over the Rockies and Front Range as well.
April 19: A front cutting through the Middle Atlantic States triggers storms, which continue through New England.
April 22-24: Fair conditions embrace the Plains and Intermountain West. Cool and clear weather finds its way over the Rockies and from the Southeast into New England.
April 26-27: Storms are triggered over the Southwest U.S. and Rockies.
April 27-28: Moisture is drawn up from the central Gulf of Mexico over Louisiana increasing temperatures and leading to storm activity throughout the Mississippi Valley, Deep South, and East Central States.
April 29-30: Most of New England sees fair weather except for Maine. The Pacific Northwest succumbs to storms while the Rockies are cool and clear. Moisture continues northward from the Gulf toward the Great Lakes setting off storms over Indiana and the surrounding area.
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 or visit his blog at http://www.theweatheralternative.blogspot.com