No Excuses, Just An Explanation For Sunday-Monday Snow Totals – CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — A very wise news director once told me, “You’re only as good as your last forecast.” I can’t remember the exact storm that preceded that Belichick-like comment, but we had nailed down a very difficult forecast. This was his way of saying, don’t get carried away, things don’t always go as planned. And boy was he right. The environment will humiliate you very quickly. It can happen at any time, during any storm. Even the all-time greats will tell you there are nightmarish storms that still keep them up at night. WBZ legend Barry Burbank has some harrowing stories of disaster among his many triumphs.

This winter has been very strange. Before this weekend, almost all of the snow for the season had fallen in about 15 hours on January 7 and 29. We’ve had several powerful coastal storms, most missed our region, obviously the big one, the blizzard, was a direct hit and very well forecast several days in advance. Compliments from coworkers and viewers poured in and all I could think was “you’re as good as your last pick.” Twenty years later, but it’s still so true.

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That brings us to the seemingly never-ending snow story that began early on Sunday and lasted for more than 24 hours, causing more than 100 schools to delay their start times on Monday morning. You may remember the forecasts from late last week calling for a one inch layer near the Boston area and 1 to 3″ over SE MA. Honestly, we even debated in the weather office if those numbers were too high. We hesitate to call it a storm and issue a weather alert given what the models were showing. Speaking of the models… obviously, we can’t blame the computers for our poor forecast, but… All guidance from our most reliable model showed something between a minor event and no event at all. The actual storm center was going to pass too far east of New England to make a major impact, so all we were worried about was a cold front and maybe some ocean-effect snow showers. I keep thinking about an argument Eric Fisher and I had late last week. We were looking at a somewhat unreliable model known as NAM (I dubbed it SCAM years ago, that should give you an idea of ​​how we feel about it) and it was showing an area of ​​uplift in the atmosphere, aka “front-o-genesis” around 10,000 feet high (700 millibars) Normally we would see something like this and it would be a red flag for a more significant snow event than we forecast… but it was the scam, not to be trusted… well, like they say, something about the sun shining on a dog’s butt, or a blind squirrel getting a nut…it happened.

Frontogenesis map… those wavy purple lines on MA was what we were debating about…

(WBZ-TV chart)

The storm tracked well to our east, BUT that uplift area hundreds of miles away from the storm settled in southern New England and sat and sat… and as Eric said on Twitter, we got “death by thousand paper cuts”. . The snow went on and on, and though during the day it didn’t pile up much, under cover of darkness it did. And it was fluffy enough to stack up to 4-8″ over a large portion of our area. Dave Epstein updated our snowfall forecast to 3-6″ on Saturday, but even that wasn’t enough for some areas.

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(WBZ-TV chart)

In the end, Boston finished with 5.9″, our third biggest snow event of the season. Many cities to the west and south ended up closer to 8 inches. One of the local “award” measurements was done at our local National Weather Service office in Norton (how appropriate), they recorded just over 9 inches.

There is not much more to say other than “It happens”. No matter how far our models and technology have advanced, they are still far from perfect. The atmosphere is wild, complex and, to some extent, still somewhat unpredictable.

With that being said, I will now give you a prediction for the rest of this week!

(WBZ-TV chart)

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No more snow! We can say that with some certainty. Temperatures remain frigid until early Wednesday morning and then a massive change. We hit 40 on Wednesday and maybe even 60 on Thursday. Thursday’s current record is 61 degrees in Boston. Wouldn’t it be great if we set two high temperature records in less than a week in the city with a blizzard in between! Not to mention, we’re also expecting heavy rain on Thursday night and maybe even some thunder. It’s safe to say that all that fresh snow will once again be wiped off the map by the end of the week.

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