I called the Weather Service office in Taunton, MA tonight. I needed some info from October’s snow.
There’s a website at Iowa State’s Ag School which archives every text message issued by the Weather Service. That’s where I go for older data. What they have of Bradley’s observations from October 29-31 is full of holes and inconsistencies. Power and phone lines were down. The instruments were incommunicado.
After the storm Taunton was able to retrieve the missing data. It never made it to Iowa.
I called the “Media Line” and spoke to Bob, a meteorologist. I’ve been speaking to him once or twice a year for the last few decades. NWS offices are usually very helpful and Bob certainly was tonight.
In fact he offered up something important I hadn’t heard. Originally the storm was pegged at 20.3″ at Bradley. They reevaluated the data. Now it’s 12.3!”
I don’t ever remember a revision of that magnitude. It is the better number. It’s much more in line with nearby observations.
The meteorologists at the Weather Service have a tough job. They make many more specific forecasts than I do. They forecast for land, sea and air!
Operationally they are often hemmed in by an absolute adherence to rules. Sometimes common sense should trump rules.
When they are wrong they can remain anonymous.