There is snow on the way to Connecticut this weekend. It has been in my forecast since Monday. Since the computer guidance picked it up, it has looked like a big one.
I don’t like to talk about the size of a storm when it’s 3-4-5 days out. Predicting the storm is hard enough. Predicting its intensity over any one spot on the Earth, with that much time between you and the storm, is virtually impossible.
This storm is different… or at least it seems different today. It has been consistently forecast by a variety of computer models. They haven’t always agreed on the intensity, but they have the same basic track and timing.
As of tonight, they agree on intensity.
I have talked about this storm and, though I don’t really watch any other forecasters, I can’t imagine they’re not talking about it as well. The public has been ‘sensitized’ to what’s coming and they want information.
I picked up my car from being serviced – they asked about the storm. When I later had it inspected – I was asked about the storm. Tonight at dinner – I was asked again.
In fact, at dinner, a woman came to my table to say, “I hope you’re wrong.”
NO! She doesn’t understand.
I dislike snow just as much as she does… maybe more. But, when I say snow, it had better snow.
I don’t want to inconvenience anyone unnecessarily or sell out all the bread and milk in the state. I certainly don’t want to be in a position where I have to apologize later (and I will apologize if a forecast of this significance is wrong). I understand people will change their lives based on what I say. That’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly.
From a forecasting standpoint, here’s what I see. The storm arrives early on Saturday afternoon. It’s all snow from the very beginning. With temperatures only in the teens and twenties at the surface, and colder in the clouds, it will fall as fluffy, powdery, sparkly snow.
The computer guidance leads me to believe there will be around an inch of moisture falling from the sky. With a 15:1 ratio, that’s 15″ of snow falling in about 20 hours.
I say 15″, but I’d be satisfied with 8-9″ or 2 feet. The truth is, once you go above 6″ or so, it’s all the same. Commerce grinds to a halt. People stay in. The state shuts down.
From now until Sunday afternoon, I’ll be glued to the computer guidance. There will be few moments of ease or relaxation.
As much as I hate snow, I want my forecast to come true. It needs to be right. Though I’m using all that science can offer, I’d be satisfied to get it right because I was lucky.