The 4.7 official inches of snow reported at MSP airport were right in line with what the majority of forecasters predicted. The generally high grades on this performance reflect the well-behaved storm. Our only quibble is that several forecasters did not see any snow coming on Thursday night, approximately 72 hours prior to the storm (which tends to undermine the credibility of a five-day extended forecast). Unfortunately, TMF was not able to gather all Thursday predictions (that likely didn't mention snow), so these grades are a little tenuous given some incomplete information. A detailing of the progressive forecast can be found here.
Here are the ever-subject-but-always-truth-intending grades for the storm of Jan. 31:
WCCO: A- Depending on one's definition of a "few inches," they latched on to the proper snowfall range beginning Friday night.
KSTP: B+ They brought up the possibility of snow as early as Wednesday night but felt the chances had decreased substantially by Thursday night. Still, they were ahead of most in recognizing the possibility of the snowstorm. However, they got a little too excited about snowfall prospects and the 4.7" was slightly below their range.
FOX: B No mention of snow until Friday evening. They nailed the ultimate snow range on Saturday p.m. but went a bit higher on Sunday night.
KARE: C+ Our recollection (so don't quote us on this) is that they did not forecast the possibility of snow before Friday. As is their custom, they didn't begin to assign numbers to the nebulous "light snow accumulations" until Sunday morning, which we feel is a little late in the game, particularly if you were to rely on them for planning activities, commutes, etc. Once they developed specifics, they were in the range.
Strib: B- The good news: they got the snow range right beginning Friday evening. The bad news: as recently as Thursday, they not only didn't predict any snow for Monday but even went so far as to declare, "No headline-grabbing storms are in sight the next 2 weeks, just a couple of clippers capable of a coating in the metro, maybe a few inches near Duluth." We find it irksome that there is no appropriate follow-up to that comment when the forecast clearly did a 180.
NWS: B+ Was a bit slow to identify the magnitude of the storm, calling for 2-3 inches on Saturday a.m. But in the end, they nailed the range.