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Friday, March 8, 2013


It wasn’t even close.

4”-24” of snow fell on Friday.

Apparently when I called for “locally higher amounts”, I was talking about the entire state of Connecticut. This is definitely the biggest forecast bust for me in a long time and I apologize.

So what happened? Firstly, the storm’s center was about 500 MILES away from Connecticut.  Storms can pass 100 miles out to sea without bringing CT single flake or drop. But the key this time was the difference between the ocean storm and a big area of high pressure to the north.  The difference in pressure created a strong easterly wind, pulling in loads of moisture off the ocean (perhaps some subtropical moisture too) and catapulting it toward New England.

Even the craziest computer model projections over the last few days couldn’t predict just how much snow would fall.  (Including my precious European model.)  I knew we would get banding and an uneven distribution of snow totals. But instead of a few locations getting higher amounts in heavy bands, a large chunk of the state got hammered. 6”-12” of snow was common statewide with locally higher amounts in the northeast hills (Staffordvile at 23”).  The lowest amounts could be found in the Granbys and Farmington River Valley (Avon: 4.2”).  I could never have predicted that!

Bridgeport set a new daily snowfall record on Friday with 9.0” of snow. The previous record was 3.5” set in 2005.  This makes the 2012-2013 season the 5th snowiest on record.  Windsor Locks the other official climate site in the state only reported 4.5”(the lowest snow total in the state)!
When I woke up with an anxiety attack, my friend and fellow meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan sent me this message (he knows how I get)

“You can't work yourself up over it because it will mess you up for the next storm. You can't think about it and just have to move on. Forecasts aren't perfect... it's not like with this one you missed something that was glaring and obvious. At the end of the day it was a snowstorm and by now roads are fine and life has moved on.”

But in this job you’re only as good as your last forecast.  So even though I accurately predicted many forecasts (including the days leading up to the storm) all people can remember is the last one.  Oh well, I guess that’s the business I signed up for.

Looking forward:

After the snow moved out, temps jumped into the 40s helping snow covered roads thaw.  But tonight temps will drop below the freezing point. So watch for icy spots late tonight and early tomorrow. This weekend’s weather will jumpstart the melting process with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s.  I was predicting a high near 50 on Sunday.  But a snow covered ground will help cool the air and keep temps from reaching their true potential. Still, I think 50s are possible early next week with a period of rain during the day on Tuesday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chalk it up and back to the drawing board..


John W