Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tough Grades for a Tough Storm

If it wasn't a busted forecast, it sure came close. The "piling on" snow event that's concluding never really started for many. To be sure, virtually all weathercasters warned that there would be a sharp cutoff from accumulating snow to nary a flake. And they also correctly predicted that snow would be heavier to the south and west. Note: We realize that there was some accumulating snow in the Twin Cities' southern and western suburbs, but even those amounts were considerably less than forecast.

There's no grade inflation at TMF. Here are the glum grades:

MPR/Paul Huttner: C. Although he largely missed the forecast like everyone else, PH at least warned of "high bust potential"on Wednesday morning. And more importantly, he was the first weather source to significantly downgrade metro area snow accumulations at 3:40 p.m.
 
FOX9: D+. Fox deserves at least a bit credit for staying the course for their forecast. While others flip flopped, Fox maintained its initial prediction of 2 to 4 inches (from Sunday night) through to the evening news. Too bad it was wrong.

WCCO, KARE, KSTP: D. If misery loves company, these local affiliates can share a beer with each other.

Star Tribune/Paul Douglas: D- It's holiday season and in the holiday spirit, we didn't have the heart to pass out an F. The Strib fell the hardest for the fickle storm, forecasting 3 to 6 inches Wednesday morning. Most importantly, they were MIA in ever coming to grips with the storm's fleeting potential. If you read the Strib weather blog on Thursday morning, you'd have thought it was snowing, albeit lightly, in the central urban core.

National Weather Service: D- Last but not least ... the NWS actually issued a formal snow advisory for places that never saw a single flake. That's embarrassing!

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