Thursday, February 23, 2023

Snowstorm Debrief

The much-anticipated snowstorm is ending. With all the twists and turns, how do you think forecasters did? And what other thoughts do you have about the storm?

It’s a weird feeling to be a former Minnesotan/snow lover closely watching a storm take place in such a familiar place that’s 1,574 miles away (as the southwestern jetstream flies) from where I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico (where the storm created winds gusting to 63 mph, visibility down to one mile in dust and snow squalls that just make for a pretty picture).

Here are some random thoughts and observations:

  • Except for actually shoveling snow and constantly dabbing at a runny nose, it’s amazing how much you can experience a snowstorm virtually — thanks to news stories, pictures from friends, traffic cameras, etc.
  • As one commenter suggested, it seems to make more sense to see this storm as two separate storms given the amount of time between. If one views it that way, it seems that there was a middling storm (4”) followed by clean-up, followed by a legitimately heavy, but not blockbuster, snow.
  • Taken literally, the forecasts seemed generally quite accurate — except for the “heavy at times wording.” From my review of MSP observations, there was never an official report of “heavy snow.” However, I sensed that the net impact didn’t quite measure up to the message that was communicated by the NWS.
  • Reports from rural areas notwithstanding, the storm didn’t seem to be as paralyzing as one might expect for the total accumulation (again why it seems more appropriate to see this as two storms) nor truly historical.
  • As one who lived through the Halloween blizzard, I was secretly hoping that this didn’t end up as a record setter. (I want to keep the glory.)
  • Patience is always a virtue, but especially so when waiting to see if a snowstorm fully flowers.
  • Model data should be consumed with a pound of Morton salt.

But all in all, it was a good show!

Friday, February 17, 2023

All Eyes on Next Week

Model consensus is amazingly high for large winter system that could strike midweek. Will it materialize as forecast?

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Rain and Snow later this week

NWS forecasts a couple of systems moving through beginning Valentine’s day and bringing some mixture of snow and rain, with the chance for some accumulations.

Should be one to keep us guessing!