Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Amazing Forecast - Meteorology Does it Again

My mentor, Don Whitman, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, taught me the importance of getting the forecast of the first snow of the season correct. As Don used to say, "If you get the first one wrong, people remember it all winter."

The challenge is that temperatures are often marginal during the first snow of the season so it has always been especially difficult to get the first snow of the season right.  

So, it is amazing how good the forecasts were of the just-ended record snow storm in the East. 

AccuWeather started talking about it Thursday and I posted about the pending storm on this blog Friday at 8:57am -- about 22 hours before the heaviest snow began falling. 
Hat tip: AccuWeather's Jesse Ferrell; click to enlarge
Later Friday, I (along with others) posted: "widespread power failures are likely." I also posted, "Just in case, here is my Airline Survival Guide." Rule #1 in the Guide is to avoid the problem by not flying into major winter storms. 

Now, we learn more than 2 million people are without power and that flights were stranded on tarmacs for up to seven hours. AccuWeather's Facebook page has great coverage of the storm. Details on the power failures here.

The point of all of this is to point out the remarkable improvement in forecasts of all types of storms. Meteorology has advanced to the point that storm warnings should be taken seriously and acted upon. 




Addition: Here is a satellite image of snow cover this morning:

And, customers of Connecticut Power are told to prepare for a week without power. This will be worse than recent Hurricane Irene. 

2 comments:

  1. And yet the headline at this time on the Fox News front page is "Power May Be Out For Days After Surprise Snowstorm". And the Video is "Surprise Storm Slams Northeast".
    I knew that storm was coming. Henry M. said to prepare for possible days of power outages. I filled my car. I keep my power inverter in my car at all times. My NOAA radio kept me informed. Fortunately my power was out in central PA for only an hour and a half. How can this storm have been a 'surprise' after several days of "hype'??

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  2. Thanks for the comment. I did an additional posting (see above) about your comment.

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