I Remember Nights Like This

I just traded quick tweets with Ryan Hanrahan at NBC30.

geofffox: @ryanhanrahan How’d you do on this one so far?

ryanhanrahan: @geofffox Not bad – all about where fgen sets up. Haves and have nots. Some towns will get hit hard others won’t.

I don’t know about Ryan, but these were the nights I dreaded! I was on-the-air 28 years in Connecticut. It didn’t take long to realize how unhappy people are when a snow forecast goes wrong.

Ouch. Some were brutal.

Even when right I’ve been blamed for the forecast on other stations and the Weather Channel and by people who just misheard!

Forecasts aren’t blown because you haven’t worked hard enough. Predictions go south when bad guidance (computer models) leads you astray. By and large computers are superior to humans in quantifiable solutions to tough atmospheric problems.. That makes it difficult to discard them in pressure situations.

Mid-storm I was like a caged animal. I’m sure that didn’t make me a dream co-worker.

Sadly, no matter what I did it was never 100% right. There was always an outlier. Frustrating.

Post-Sandy the federal government allocated significant resources to beef up our weather computing power. Implementation is excruciatingly slow. Forecasts will improve a little. The low hanging fruit has already been picked.

6 thoughts on “I Remember Nights Like This”

  1. A few days ago the predicted “snow showers” that were supposed to leave no more than “a coating” dumped 9 inches in isolated spots. Forecasters weren’t wrong – they just didn’t say how thick a coating…. oops.

  2. I still have a VIDEO TAPE of 6 hours of your non-stop broadcast of the blizzard of ’93.

    Since I work primarily outside-ish I pay closer attention to weather than my coworkers. One of my favorites is the hourly weather graph on the NWS website. I had everyone gathered around the bosses computer this afternoon going over the forecast with them. It kinda felt like I was doing my OWN broadcast.
    My boss called one of our offices in New Haven around 4 pm and they already had 5 inches of snow. They were begging to be allowed to close and go home but upper management said no. Figures.

  3. It is cold and for me to say that is something, we had 20’s the other week and I felt it was a heat wave!! The snow is pretty, it is sparkling. You can see the individual snowflakes and they are a wonder. This is what I like about the snow, when it sparkles like this.

  4. I think we lucked out here on the West side of Naugatuck. There might be 5″ out there, it is hard to tell. When my neighbor got home around 5PM-ish, he quickly shoveled his driveway, then mine including side and back yard area for my dog. But the snow is so light and fluffy, the dog loved running through it-he’s a cairn terr.I’m thinking we probably had 3-4″ then. Not bad, considering it started to coat the roads about noon.I went out again about 9:30 and again, partly shoveled walk,porch and drive–espec. where plow sprays it in. That was the only somewhat heavy area. It had stopped sometime before that–although there was another dusting by MN.I was waiting for the winds they were predicting, but there’s been nothing. This is great, as I get the drifts from the length of the street–no trees or bushes to stop it. I used to kid about putting up a snow fence.
    They prolonged NBC news til MN, so Jay Leno was on late–I checked New York and it was the same. It was basically re-hashing the weather report. I think the lower valley towns of Seymour,Derby,Shelton got a lot more—we are pretty close to the Litchfld Co border. Sure wish that I still x-country skiied–it is great snow for that.

  5. Proof of those models going astray was here in Portsmouth, NH, Geoff. The local weather folks, TWC etc. held to their 5-7″ inches for us. When I got up this morning, there was a slight dusting. But that is why it is called forecasting. I wasn’t mad – Mother nature can throw last minute curve balls at us and there’s not thing one anyone can do about it.

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