For a storm that had been first eyeballed ten days ago and talked about with breathtaking detail almost every day since, this was an underperformer of underperformers for the Twin Cities metro. Thursday’s rain was minimal and I counted 26 sleet pellets on my back deck from today’s much-touted “Round 2.” (OK, so I really didn’t count the sleet pellets.) Effective with this storm, I’ve created a progressive forecast by weather outlet that details the full prediction history for the storm. The summary can be viewed here.
Without further ado, here are the grades for the most recent snow event (grading criteria can found here). In the coming days, an overall average grade-at-a-glance will be provided to reflect how the various weather outlets are performing on a cumulative basis
WCCO: C- Four words: Quit while you’re ahead. If WCCO had stopped forecasting the storm on Monday night, nearly 96 hours before the storm, they’d have been close to dead on (calling for rain and then “just flurries”). Their forecast actually got progressively worse as they moved from “flurries” to “about an inch” to “an inch or two” and finally to 3-4 inches (thru Sat.) on Friday morning. WCCO can’t be accused of over hyping the storm in the days leading up to Friday.
KSTP: D From the beginning, they never forecast less than an inch and predicted 3-5 inches 24 hours before onset of the “storm.”
FOX: B Through Tuesday, Fox was calling for potentially heavy snow. However, by Wednesday p.m., they came the closest to getting it right, using words like “dusting” and “less than inch.” Outside of the early (and wrong) hype, not a bad effort.
KARE: C- Maintained a relatively conservative approach throughout. However, by Friday morning, they were caught in the 1-3-inch fever.
Star Tribune: F One of the first to note the possibility of a New Year’s storm, Paul Douglas in c/o Star Tribune was the most consistent predictor of significant snow, initial tossing out “3 to 6 inches” when the storm was nearly four days away. He mentioned “plowable” throughout and predicted 2-4 inches on Friday morning. Poor performance.
MPR: D+ They were the last to incorporate snowfall accumulations into the forecast, which seemed judicious given the great uncertainty with this storm. However, they predicted 1-4 inches for the metro on Thursday night, lowering it to 1-2 inches on Friday morning.
NWS: C This was the third time in the last four storms that the National Weather Service either inappropriately issued weather advisories or issued one way too late in the game. This is not good. On the plus side, the NWS held tightly to the same forecast of up to one inch since Thursday morning; they were therefore just one inch off the actual trace that fell.