Pre-Snow Agita

What do you do after the forecast is made? You revisit it and revisit it and revisit it. There’s a constant stream of data. More importantly, there’s a constant stream of guidance. And, of course, much of the guidance is contradictory.

brooklyn.jpgI’ve got a really bad case of pre-snow agita at the moment. My forecast calls for a significantly large storm. Not Earth shattering, but certainly big enough to quiet the state for a day.

It’s snowing in New York City already. That’s Midwood, Brooklyn, as captured by a random webcam, on the left.

Ever wonder what I do after the forecast is made? Revisit it and revisit it and revisit it again.

There’s a constant stream of data. There’s almost always something new to see. More importantly, there’s a constant stream of guidance. And, of course, much of the guidance is contradictory.

It’s tough not to depend on the computer solutions. They’re so much better than what mere mortals can accomplish.

Some of my colleagues fool themselves, thinking they can outguess these high resolution programs, infused with the power of physics! Usually, you can’t.

Sometimes, though, your hand is forced. You’ve got to shift into manual when multiple models point in different directions, or the same model changes direction as the storm draws closer?

It shouldn’t do that. The laws of physics say the solution should remain the same. No one told it.

Where’s the Pepto?

All of a sudden, tonight’s 00Z GFS (It’s my most trusted model, run at 00:00 UTC or 7:00 PM EST) has brought in some warmer air. I couldn’t slice it thin enough to make that conclusion by my on-the-air time at 11:00 PM. It became visible only after I got home and had a chance to view a specially re-analyzed version.

At the same time, the less trusted 00Z NAM stays mainly snow.

“Geoff, you must love the snow. All the attention. You drive the newscast on those nights.” I get that all the time.

If it were only that simple. If working harder was the only thing standing between me and the correct call, I’d say, “Bring it.”. Right.

It’s still an inexact science. I don’t want to disappoint. I don’t want the grief.

Blogger’s addendum – It’s nearly 10:00 PM. The storm is nearly over. This was as close to a bullseye as it gets.

I will still go into agita mode the next time snow is in the forecast. I can’t help it.

2 thoughts on “Pre-Snow Agita”

  1. I don’t understand why it’s so important to be exact – you said it would snow, and it’s snowing. Whether we get 1 inch or 1 foot, everything closes down and we all stay home.

  2. Geoff,

    There is no chance for you to be accurate if Stratford ends up with 11″ of snow, more than anywhere else in CT! That’s nearly impossible! Stratford is where snow storms come to die.

    Of course, Friday morning we were on our way to the Poconos for the weekend. Driving 150 miles in the snow was interesting. The Merritt Parkway/Hutch was awful. I 287/87 was total blacktop, wet, but devoid of any snow. I 80 was tough going but we were able to go 40 most of the way…30 once we hit the Delaware Water Gap.

    Going from the Hutch to 287 was like going from a third world country to first world. It was an amazing transformation.

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