blizzard observations

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Re: blizzard observations

#21 Postby wxman57 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:42 am

ronjon wrote:Well Wxman, Chad Myers the MET from CNN has been bragging all day that the GFS with its million dollar improvements was the only model that predicted lower snowfall for NYC. He went as far to say he'll follow that model exclusively in the future. BTW, he also bragged he was one of the few METs that predicted lower snowfall for NYC, lol.

For many years, the GFS has had a big problem with East Coast storms like this. It consistently developed/moved the low center too far offshore. This easterly bias led to many blown forecasts. This time, too, it had an easterly bias with the low center, but this time the low actually did move farther offshore. In another thread, I compared this "hit" to the Canadian model predicting every tropical disturbance or upper low will become a hurricane. Eventually, something that other models aren't developing will become a hurricane. That doesn't mean the Canadian is a superior hurricane model, though.

I'd be very careful about putting all my eggs in the GFS basket, so to speak, until it becomes clear that the old GFS easterly bias is now gone. I suspect that in this case, the GFS just got "lucky".

What I think may have been learned with this storm is that saying a particular city WILL get "x" inches of snow is not possible. It was pretty clear that this storm had the potential for dropping 20-30" of snow, but we really can't tell exactly where the heavier snow will fall because we're not 100% sure where the low will track. When a hurricane is a day or so from landfall, we don't say that a particular area absolutely will receive hurricane force winds and other areas are "safe" within 100 miles of the track. We identify a threat area and say that hurricane force winds are possible over a large area. People away from the immediate track should prepare in case the storm changes course. Perhaps that sort of message needs to be used for storms like this. We can identify a warning area where blizzard conditions are possible, with snow up to "x" inches, but don't say that NHC absolutely will receive 2 ft of snow or more.

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