March 13-15th Storm Recap/ Forecast vs Actual

Below you will find our three issued forecast maps for this storm
The first image was our final forecast- this was issued 10 hours before the first snow began across the region.
The second image 24 hours before the storm.
The third image was our forecast 48 hours before the storm.
Finally is the OBSERVED AND VERIFIED Storm Totals from the NWS Offices
You’ll notice that despite the complicated nature of the storm, our forecast did not change often, and when it did there were not massive fluctuations in the forecast for the majority of our region. In fact the changes from 48 hours, to the final map were +/- 4” for most.
The largest change to the final forecast was our reaction to the idea of a large area of reduced snowfall due to downslopes off the Catskill Mountains and Shawangunk Ridge, this was noted by the red circle and noted in the final forecast as 2-6” possibly occurring in this region.
In reality, there was a much larger area impacted by downslope, including areas further NE towards Saugerties and further SW into Orange and Rockland Counties. The only change that would have made the forecast closer would have been to extend the red circled area in both of those directions. In reality there is no mapping technology that could have perfectly outlined the localized impacts of this storm. In reality 5 miles or less made difference if 6” or more between towns. Never the less, we dissect every opportunity to be better and more accurate. I’ve spend hours looking at local topography maps and comparing them to observed snowfall amounts. Currently brainstorming ideas on how to better communicate impacts such as elevation, upslope and downslope for our unique microclimates. We are working on a new zone map, would love to hear from some fans that might be willing to assist us in some map making and images to use in the future.
Overall, given the conflicting data and complicated nature of this storm, it was a sound forecast that remained leveled and steady throughout.
Draw your attention to the 0.1” report next to the 36” report. So yes critics… only forecast right for that area was……..0”-30”.
Appreciate you all!

5 thoughts on “March 13-15th Storm Recap/ Forecast vs Actual”

  1. Thanks for the recap. I don’t know of any other weather service that would go into such detail on ‘This is what I said and this is what we got’. That is integrity. One request, when supplying graphs from the NWS (or any other web site), could you also supply the link to them so that we could play in the sandbox also? As long as it’s in the public domain. I know some things are by subscription, but if it’s public (especially with NWS, MY TAX DOLLARS!!!), having the link would be nice…

    AND, THANKS for all of your services..
    Salt Point…

  2. The header on the NWS map says “Values estimated at locations.” The footer says “Values at interpolated locations may not represent actual reports at that location.” Were the 0.1″ and 36″ over a short distance in northern Ulster actual measurements, or were they estimates?

  3. due to your forecasts, i was disappointed but not surprised by a handful of wet snowflakes & zero inches in my gardiner microclimate. in past winters, tho not this storm, there have been differences of 6 inches more snow between where we sit & quarter mile in either direction. i’m thinking of putting in palm trees. ??? ??

  4. Excellent recap, the difference between you and the NWS in Albany you are dedicated to the one area of the map Albany wants to ignore as much as possible. Our area of their coverage is their main potential bust to focus on. They love telling us how much snow they will receive north of I-90 or on the top of some 5,000 foot mountain. After this storm they provided their usual two sentence explanation of why the results were not as they planned.

    Congrats, explaining your fears even before it started when models were pushing it out to sea at the last minute. This area of coverage demands more people like you considering the population base affected. The NWS refuses to surrender its coverage but provided as little as possible detailing its difficulty.


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