Saturday, November 29, 2014

How was my forecast on this past storm?

Title says it all. Did I forecast well? Am I even worth listening to, or just another social media hype, gloom, and doom attention seeker?

Let's find out! Here is my first initial map issued on Sunday when a lot of meteorologists were still saying the storm system would go out to sea. My significant snow area outlined was near 100% accuracy keeping the major cities just miles out of the storms reach. Go ahead, match up the lines with what fell, I'll wait.

Top Map: My outlook on Sunday
Bottom Map: What actually fell

This isn't a "Northeast US" blog so how did I do with the New Jersey higher resolution map. I pretty much nailed the forecast for south Jersey and for north and west. However I did go a little over board with the snowfall for Hudson, eastern Union, eastern Bergen, and Essex counties by 1"-2". In my final forecast I did note that urban areas would see the lower end of the contour values and the highest terrain would see the highest contour values. My highest amount forecast was for 12" TOPS in the state, and the highest total was in Wantage at 11.7". Accuracy was near 85%, not bad for predicting the future.

I do need to point out that I did say most areas N&W would be all snow yet for about an hour it started as rain. Only High Point started as all snow. I did over look the warmer air at the surface and I need to keep this in mind for future events.

Top Map: My forecast issued Tuesday
Bottom Map: What actually fell

I did learn a few things from this storm from my mistakes. It's not easy to get accumulating in the eastern sections this time of year and starting off with a lack of cold air in place. Also, when the precipitation get's lighter in intensity it allows the return of warmer air at the surface and cause a change over very quickly.

This blog wasn't intended to gloat or brag about how I did, but to point out my mistakes and what I did correct and try to improve the forecast for the next storm. I'm going to try to do this for every major event regardless of the result. 

Keep checking back for updates about what's in store for December!


Jack Ziegler said...

A great forecast! You hit the nail on the head. I'm in Montague Weather Underground said a trained spotter measured 2.5" here. It was hard to tell, the snow was wet and packed down quickly. This was probably one of the most beautiful snows we've had in a while. Coming north on 206 from Newton on Friday morning the sun highlighted the trees it was just drop dead beautiful.

Darren Milliron said...

Thank you! I saw the Montague report but I have a buddy who lives up there and he thinks it may have been over done by a couple inches. Still, a decent snowfall. It stuck on to the trees for days after! Rare for anytime of the year.