Valentine's Day Snow Storm?

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By Quincy Vagell on February 1, 2013, 12:25pm Last modified: February 2, 2013, 10:01am

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There's been some buzz about a "possible" snow storm around Valentine's day.

It's time for me to give my $0.02...

There's very little science behind predicting any storm two weeks in advance. In fact, most of the time, it's next to impossible to forecast something so far out. Sometimes you can see patterns and trends. Yes, forecasts for Hurricane Sandy were reasonable, even 7 or 8 days out, but that was a unique case. 

There's a fine line between hyping a storm and actually forecasting one.

As we move into the next several days, we will have seen a return to winter-like temperatures. At the same time, we do have a few minor snow events to track on the weather maps. Snow is expected on Sunday and we could have some more snow on Tuesday into Wednesday.
Neither storm looks significant.

Beyond that, we may see a return to at or above normal temperatures by the end of next week. This is where things get tricky, because
forecasts past seven days are usually highly speculative and subject to drastic changes.

Could we see a storm system around Valentine's Day? Sure, it's possible. If current models are correct, perhaps a pattern change from average/mild back to cold might possibly be accompanied by a storm system. For this to happen, we must assume that the current computer models runs are correct. We do know that on a daily basis, the forecast for 7 to 10 days out is always changing. 

If a 7 day forecast only has, let's say, maybe a 50% probability of being right, just imagine how accurate (or inaccurate) a 13 day forecast might be.

Don't get caught up in the hype. We have enough trouble forecasting snow three days in advance, let alone almost two weeks out!

Stay tuned...I'll have a detailed look into the challenge of forecasting snow later today.

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Quincy Vagell

Town: Marlborough, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

Articles: 965

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