Saturday, March 9, 2013

What Went Wrong With the Storm?

I, like 99 % of meteorologists officially under did the snowfall totals.  I thought I and other smaller meteorological enterprises (ie other blogs, some premium forecasters) did much better than the Day Shift of the NWS, WPC, and yes the hard working TV meteorologists in Boston.  It wasn't a lack of skill; here is the NAM from Tuesday Night out 48 valid Thursday night at 7 PM
00 3/6/13 Hires NAM snowfall totals thru Thursday (image wxbell)
Two points about this....1) Swing and a Miss in DC, but captured the heavy snow in VA very well.  2) It has the amounts, missed the timing.

Zoomed in NWS Boston snowfall totals
SO what happened?  The main storm center moved way out to sea.  The snow on Thursday was from the ocean storm.  The snow Friday was as complex a situation I have come across in my brief time forecasting full time.  Judging by our more experience meteorologists they haven't either!  An upper level low pressure system was also moving east from Southern Ontario and that dove down into Western PA.  The interaction between the two storms was enhanced by a 1036 mb High Pressure system to the north.  That squeezed the isobars that you see on a weather map and allowed for snow rates to climb to 1-2" per hour.  

I'm not all that disapointed in my forecast except I wish I updated my snow map Thursday night.  I knew it was going to over perform by then everything was in place.  I missed the dry slot- I thought the Pioneer Valley saw it when it was more the Hope Valley region of RI.

IN MY OPINION...the bust in DC made forecasters up here nervous.  The storm track was so far out to sea us meteorologists thought "Well there is no way...".  The models have not been much of a help since the blizzard with wild swings from forecast to forecast.  So all of this snowballed in a 4-8, 6-10 type storm into a 1-2 feet.

Current Weather
The sun is shining nice and bright.  A fresh foot of snow lays in the yard (I measured 16- not sure who sends in there reports to NWS from town).  Temperatures
Regional 2 m temps 5 am (image weatherbell)
Today we improve, but due to the deep snowpack South Central and Eastern New England will not get into the 50's today.
10z RAP 2 m temps 3 PM (image weatherbell)
Western New England warms into the 40's and 50's.  Central/ Eastern will struggle to break 40.  Providence or Fall River could do it, no one else.  Good news is we are dry.  Still a bit windy in SE MA and the Cape
06z NAM 10 m Winds valid Sat 1 PM (image weatherbell)
Tonight the major headline is we lose an hour of sleep.  Will update tomorrow's forecast later but pretty much a repeat of today just slightly warmer and less wind.

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