We have intense snow falling right now with blizzard conditions in eastern CT, Mass and Maine. Snowfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour! You will see some imporessive snow amounts come out of those areas. Down to the southwest the intensity is only reduced. Long Island looks like they did pretty well with this storm. You will see accumulations of over over a foot there. NYC had a decent accumulation so far, but no where near what was expected. To the west of NYC some snow did accumulate overnight and you can see the snow is still underway but it is not intense.
Our storm right now is sitting just to the southeast of Cape Cod at 976 millibars and completely bombing out.
So lets get into what went wrong, because you can see the storm is very impressive on the satellite.
Two parts as to why my forecast busted along with other so badly this time- The meteorological reason and the mental reason.
The meteorological reason:
The low simply formed too far east compared to what the European model was saying.
Actual low position at 1am..
Europeans projection at the same time..
I know this doesn't look like much, but it had drastic implications on the forecast. This was a very complex storm that depended on the transfer of energy to the coast. That transfer of energy was extremely hard to model and pin point. As good as the European model is, this was a major failure.
But where there warning signs? Yes!
The GFS, Canadian, North American and British (UKMET) model threw many warning signs as their forecasts began to shift east Sunday. So why where they ignored? I think the reason to that is part two of why this forecast was a failure, physcology.
Everyone has learned to praise the European model over the last few years. After all it was for good reason. The other models, in particular the GFS, always seemed to be wrong and push storms too far east. Eventually, they always came back in line with what the European was saying.So when the European model showed an epic blizzard on its run Saturday night, Sunday and Sunday night the whole meteorological and amateur weather community jumped on board. All of a sudden a herd mentality developed and it seemed like no matter where you went the totals kept getting higher and higher from everyone. The National Weather Service came out with almost unprecedented snowfall protections and all other outlets followed. Meanwhile those other models lingered and suggested otherwise. There was no turning back now.
Now when I make a forecast I always favor the European. However, how many times have you heard me say " the European looks the best here but you need to blend in the GFS and adjust east a little. I would say take a blend of 65% Euro 35% GFS." Also how many times have you heard me praise the UKMET model as being very accurate. Why did I break form this time and go against what has worked so well in the past? Well, part of it might be what I just listed above but the other part was that I did not want to believe in this extreme case that the European model would be wrong. In other words, I let my snow bias effect the clarity of this forecast. I was waiting years for a storm this big to hit the area again. Well, it resulted in me getting burned. Hopefully as we move throughout the rest of the winter I learn from this failure and the accuracy of my forecasts are a beneficiary of that.
We have a great stretch of winter ahead of us over the next several weeks. The snow that has fallen will not melt quickly and temps will get very cold. There is the chance at light snow later in the week and the pattern is ripe for storm development. If we take a step back for a second, we just had two moderate snow events in a few days so no one can argue that winter is not here.
I will get back to work and try to keep everyone ahead of the weather as it unfolds. Let's hope next time I am faced with more success and I am confident I will be.
Thanks for all the new followers it makes this passion of mine worth it.