Winter Storm Bust!

With a very few exceptions, most of us are waking up this morning without nearly the amount of snow you were expecting. In a word, the forecast was a bust. This certainly does not surprise me, as I tried hard to convey my low confidence.This is all very good news though, as the weather today will not be very bad. Light snow showers will continue to occasionally pass through the region, but no heavy snow is expected. A few squalls will develop southeast of Lake Ontario, but it will not even be the same intensity lake effect that we saw this past weekend. All in all, watch out for some slippery spots, but otherwise, travel should be fine today.So what happened? I think the problem was the prediction of a two-part storm. Many models showed two separate areas of low pressure moving up the east coast: one last night and a second one today. However, it appears the first low became dominate and stole all the atmosphere’s energy for itself. In essence, it became too strong, too fast.As a result, I suspect that the stronger low was able to transport more warm air into our region. As an aside, the models also seem to have a consistent problem with how far into our area warm air comes in these types of storms. Because more warm air came in than expected, fewer areas stayed all snow, while more areas mixed with and changed to rain, cutting off the accumulating snow early. I also suspect that the heaviest precipitation stayed a bit further east than the models showed as well.The weather is inherently unpredictable and the science of meteorology still has a long ways to go in learning about the atmosphere. A busted forecast is a humbling reminder of this, but also an opportunity to learn and improve. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and have safe travels!

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