Sunday, April 17, 2011

Informal Review of Friday Night/Saturday Storm

Before thoughts quickly move to the next possible slushstorm possibly coming through the Twin Cities, here are a few passing thoughts on forecaster performance for the recent storm.

For the most part, it seems that snow at this time of year is essentially white rain. So a missed forecast really isn't as important as when accumulating snow tends to wreak havoc on traffic, etc. Another thing that's interesting about forecasting this time of the year, is that forecasters seem to "poo poo" models that suggest snow. Some of the television forecasters really seem to have a "let's not talk about it for now" attitude, partly because talking about snow at this point of the season seems to distasteful and partly because climatology suggests that serious snow this late in the year is so unlikely. Still, it feels as if we're in a period -- including the upcoming week -- where forecasters are underestimating the possibilities of snow.

In the final analysis, most forecasts on Friday evening were for 1 to 2 inches of slushy snow, which ultimately came to fruition (with several exceptions in the far south metro). However, it seems that virtually all forecasters expected a considerable period of rain at the onset and an overnight change to snow, neither of which happened.

KSTP and KARE were off on this forecast from Wednesday night, both predicting all or the bulk of the precip to be rain. The Strib, on the other hand, seemed to be the most persistent in predicting accumulations. Other general observations on overall forecaster performance: 1) Saturday was forecast to be sunny after the morning; never happened. 2) Saturday was colder than anyone predicted and the snow that accumulated seemed slower to leave than most forecast.


1 comment:

  1. The 12z GFS is playing a joke right? Perfect storm track for Twin Cities. I know its the GFS but thats only 72 hours out.