Bolaris' Weather Watch: Grading the blizzard forecast - Metro US

Bolaris’ Weather Watch: Grading the blizzard forecast

The well-advertised stormactually turned out to be more than advertised!

These intense storms always seem to ultimately create there own identity and defy computer models in one way or another, but as forecasters, we should realize computer models are guidance and never should be used as the sole bible.

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The models were very consistent in planting the bull’s-eyeof extreme snow across the Northern Mid-Atlantic states, in particular the D.C.-Baltimore region.

The Philadelphia area was fairly consistent as well with at least a foot of snow event.

The computers handled terriblythe extent and fierceness of just how far the extreme snow would penetrate. A sharp cutoff of snow to the north and west of the storm was strongly indicated by all of the most reliable of computer models, with the northern edge of the heavy snow line just brushing NYCand anything north and west would see nothing more than light accumulations.

That, my friends, was a complete bust, as the raging blizzard plowed (pun intended) well into Pennsylvania, New Yorkand southern New England.Even Boston was clipped with 8.2 inches of snow.

This caught all your local meteorologists by surprise as we all scrambled to ramp up snow amounts in areas where blizzard warnings were not posted. Thestorm was piling up at the rate of 1 to 3inches an hour without prior warnings, and that is maddening to us and to you.

Forecasting is a science, but one that will lead to blown forecasts from time to time even with the most highly advanced computer models as our biggest forecasting tool.

As far as any storms ahead, we are watching a storm that will take shape off the southeast coast on Thursday and as it stands now it should move well of the East Coast.

RELATED:NYC begins to dig out of second largest snowstorm in city’s history

The next storm timeframe would be Feb. 2-8as the arctic oscillation should go negative (raising the potential for cold air) at the same time the North Atlantic oscillation goes a tad toward negative (negative phases in AO and NAO increase storm and snow chances). However this phase will not nearly be as super negative than what we just experienced with this past storm.


After this weekend’s blockbuster of a storm —22.4 inches a winters worth of snow in 36 hours (what we normally receive for the entire winter season) —this week will be much more tranquil. A storm that is due to form off the Southeast coast on Thursdayshould remain well off the coast. A clipper will dive in on Friday with possible flurries along with temperatures in the upper-20s tomid-30s.

Temperatures over the weekend will moderate into the 40s.

New York City:

The all-time record for snow is 26.9 inches set back on Feb.11-12,2006.

This past weekend’s storm was 26.8…so since we never can be that accurate measuring snow and in some cases forecasting it, I’m calling it a tie.

So New York, you picked up a winter’s worth of snow in 36 hours.

This week will be much more tranquil as we are watching two mini-weather events, well, as of today anyway. The first one is a storm system that will form along the Southeast coast, but this storm should slide well off the Mid-Atlantic coast. The second is a clipper on Friday that could lead to snow flurries or perhaps a little light snow.


As you know, you just missed the blizzard, although the Vineyard and Nantucket got slammed with blizzard conditions along with a foot of snow and, of course, plenty of tidal flooding. Boston officially picked up 8.2 inches of snow.

Looking at a quiet week, a storm to form off the Southeast coast should remain well off the coast, but we will keep an eye on it. The other is a clipper that could brush us with flurries or a little light snow on Friday.

It was indeed a tough forecast as the 8.2 inches you received was well above the predicted amounts.

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