As a snow enthusiast and someone who strives to make the most accurate forecast possible, this morning's lack of snow in the immediate metro area was a bitter disappointment. So what went wrong?
Another difficult to predict winter storm in 2010-11 has come and gone. So how would I evaluate our forecast effort? I actually think we did pretty well with this one. Yes- we missed some important details - mainly underestimating the extent and duration of cold air at the surface. But we identified the potential for a wintry mix of precipitation well in advance and correctly characterized the timing and evolution of the storm.
Jamie Yesnowitz, Capital Weather Gang's (CWG) "Weather Checker" referred to the uncertainty aspect of the CWG forecasts, but yet called the performance of CWG as "less than accurate". This suggests to me he might not understand the basic concepts of probability.
After the historic snow last season, it seemed too good to be true (for snow lovers, at least) that yet another significant snow event was going to hit the DC area yesterday. And ultimately it was, defying the predictions of most forecasters, including the Capital Weather Gang.
Nailed the first half. Took several tries on the second half. That basically sums up our forecast performance for Thursday's record rainfall. We correctly warned ahead of time of the likelihood for heavy rain and the potential for flooding. And, for the first wave, we got the timing of heaviest rain right (late Wed. night into midday Thurs.) and essentially the amount. But we did not initially expect the rainfall double whammy in the metro region.
It doesn't happen that often, but - once in a great while - we miss a forecast. Badly. CWG's predicted rain totals of 1-3", with isolated higher amounts didn't come close to verifying in many locations. The National Weather Service's forecast of 2-4" with isolated amounts over 5" fared even worse.