Blizzard 2016 Post Mortem
One of my favorite pictures from the storm was actually inside! Thanks to Jeramy Daniel who flew all the way up from Texas to experience the Blizzard 2016
There are a few things that I want to say regarding the last week which of course culminated in yesterday’s storm.
From a forecasting standpoint Blizzard 2016 was incredibly challenging on so many levels. Particulary challenging was trying to figure out the northern extent of the snow. Based on the measurements in the lower Hudson Valley, snowfall went from 0 to 10 inches over a matter of 20 miles. That is an incredibly tight gradient and impossible to exactly forecast. But I think the message must have gotten out even to the most isolated because I have not seen i complaint yet. This was like the half Blizzard of last year (01262015) but in that storm the tight gradient materialized over New York City in a north south line. This one was east west.
BLIZZARD 2016 THE NAM MODEL!
Once we were in the short range the NAM absolutely KILLED it!!! To young forecasters out there still cutting their teeth. This is why you look at lots of models. If you are lucky you discover the ones that work the best for you. Let the model work for you, not the other way around. Learn to see beyond what is in front of you. What struck me in this event was how many people were looking at models, and looking at reality and concluding that reality was wrong! LEARN TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW!!!!!
It became very clear Friday morning that the NAM was seriously on its game. While the other three models were still going back and forth on the northern fringe, the NAM was running away with the football. It correctly nailed the precipitation racing northeastward like a rocket ship some 8 hours ahead of schedule over New York City. It correctly brought the 10 inch snow line to about Route 84. It utterly nailed the 2.90 inches of liquid at LaGuardia where they got 27 inches of wet snow. The NAM began flashing warning signals 3 days before that something was wrong with the global model perception of how this storm was going to play out. It got my attention when it did it for 3 runs in a row which i addressed in my videos on You Tube a few days before. When that streak ran to 5 then it was screaming as loud as it could PAY ATTENTION!!!!
Now I took heat for this from a few people on twitter and a few other places. Let me just say this. That you criticize me by calling me a model hugger or anything else you come up with, after 36 years of doing this, I really could care less. One person once told me last year that using the NAM gives me absolutely no credibility!!!!
This storm if anything was an incredible learning experience and you young forecasters out there need to take a step back from living from run to run and getting a grasp of the broader picture. Keep all options open. DON’T READ ANYONE ELSE INCLUDING ME before making your forecast. After you made your forecast you can read anyone you want (just read me first!) and stick to your guns. Your first instincts are usually good and many times you will find your first call map is the one you should have stuck with. Don’t change every model cycle. Remember most important of all to be objective and clear your self of any bias when making your forecast. Tough thing to do but it can be done.
This has been a remarkable winter. Think about the following:
ALL TIME RECORD WARM NOVEMBER
ALL TIME RECORD WARM DECEMBER BY A MILE
A RAGING EL NINO IN THE PACIFIC
RECORD WARM AUTUMN
THE FIRST HURRICANE IN JANUARY SINCE 1951
I kept seeing post after post from people about the non winter we will have. Well that was completely undone by 1 storm which has us at normal snowfall for the winter and we have seen more snow now than Buffalo has for the whole season!
I’m so exhausted mentally and physically right now and I know that the models are pointing to the end of this week. The European is very bullish like the Canadian was yesterday. Honestly my brain is so fried that I still can’t bring myself to writing about it. Thats why I’m doing this piece. Its making me feel better.
THANK YOU TO ALL for posting your pictures, observations, and videos. They are a great help and some managed to find their way on to FiOS1 News yesterday. I’m just sorry I cannot get to every comment or question. Its just impossible especially when I’m posting here and doing FiOS1 News or WPIX at the same time. I did hold that open thread earlier this week and when we have a quiet few days I will do it again.
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THANK YOU TO THOSE OF YOU WHO HIT THE TIP JAR ON THE WEBSITE. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH. I’m going to get a beer and a cigar or two and just enjoy myself and relax a bit. 28 inches here in Central Long Island and great neighbors who plowed my out before I got home and my wife who shoveled herself a path on the walkway! Now on to the next one!
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