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Winter '17 / '18 - Snowfall Forecast Contests
19th Annual 'Regular Season'
Season starts when the first flakes start a'flyin'

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Winter '16 / '17 - Snowfall Forecast Contests
18th Annual 'Regular Season'
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16th Annual 'Season-total'
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Winter '16 / '17 - Today's Unworthy Snow Storm

Alfred Stieglitz (1870s)

UPDATE (11-MAR-17 @ 11:30 EST)
Yesterday's system turned out to be more of a nuisance than anything else and certainly not contest-worthy.

Plowable snowfall (inches):
HYA - ~7
ABE - 4.5
PVD - 4.4
BDR, ISP - 4

Yesterday afternoon, NWP models and operational weather forecasters finally caught on to today/s marginally contest-worthy snow storm over the northern M-A and coastal SNE.  This coming after several days and multiple runs suggesting skimpy snowfall totals i.e., less than plowable ... and unwelcome liquid precipitation over the forecast stations.

Not the first time this has happened this season nor seasons in the past; however ... it does point to a significant lack of consistent ability to forecast snow storms where the storm-total may or not be plowable and whether the event is contest-worthy.

Some have suggested issuing a 'Call for Forecasts' whenever it appears there's a chance for a contest-worthy snow storm.  If were only that simple!

A fair amount of work comes with issuing a 'Call for Forecasts'.

Hundreds of email invitations have to been sent (50 at a time ... 30' apart so as not to be flagged as spam by your ISP or blocked by my ISP).
The contest/s web site has to be updated.
The contest/s web log has to be updated.
The contest/s Facebook page has to be updated.

Then it becomes a judgment call deciding whether the storm was contest-worthy (six to eight stations with more than nuisance storm-total snowfall i.e., >= 4").

Collecting surface ... upper air ... and remote sensing data used in the final analysis and storm summary reporting takes time while the event is unfolding. All for naught if the storm fizzles.

Believe you me ... no one is more disappointed when a snow storm slips through the cracks.

Bottom line: a contest-worthy storm has to be reasonably well predicted by the numerical models and WPC 24-to-36 hours before the first flakes fall for a 'Call for Forecasts' to be issued.

Final thought:
The number of forecast stations affected with more than nuisance snow totals is one of several criterion for deciding whether a snow storm is contest-worthy.  The number ranges between six and eight.

In this case ... the number of stations would have been eight instead of six.
The reason:  EWR ... BDR ... JFK .. and ISP are relatively close together as are PVD and HYA and there'd likely be relatively small variations in the storm-total snowfalls between stations.


Peter O'Donnell said...

Monday-Tuesday ... the mid-sized kahuna.

I just noticed, the letters K U are in kahuna.

Let's get ready to rumble. Slant sticks at the ready.

-- Roger Smith

TQ said...

KahUna FTW!

Of course ... recall the run-up runs gave KORF +18" before settling on partly cloudy.