Why Snow Forecasts Are So Tough


I am a meteorologist. If push came to shove I could forecast by hand. But why? Computers are so much better… except when it comes to QPF, Quantitative Precipitation Forecast or “how much?”

I’ve attached (above) a graph from the major US weather models. They’re showing snow amounts in Norfolk, Nebraska on Friday. Forecasts range from under an inch to greater than four inches.

Spreads this wide aren’t unusual. Actually, they’re common. And they drive me nuts.

I have ways of closing in on a forecast, but I wish it was less experience and intuition and more objective math.

Science has come far, but gains in accuracy are more difficult now. The low hanging fruit has been picked.

The broadcast I’ll record in a few hours will have less snow forecast than one I recorded earlier tonight. The hope is closer means more accurate. Not always.

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