Details on Expected Strong Storm Nearby Next Week: Monday Night Through Tuesday
Steady But Gradual Melting Sets Into Most of New England

Why Have Some Storms This Winter Proven to Be Well Forecast for Some, Worse for Others?

LKS_MATTS_MEMO (56)As Posted on my Facebook Page:  I always use my Morning Memo on the NBC10 Boston and early NECN morning show from 4-7 AM to boil down the message of the day and there's no question: this recent storm was epic and historic for some, and a dud for others. The feedback from you has been commensurate with that: from snow removal crews, to parents of kids whose routines are impacted, to business owners whose livelihoods depend on planning around the weather: rave reviews in some spots to incredible frustration in others. LKS_BOARD_SNOW_TOTALS_NEWENG (3)
I've heard from some of you asking, understandably, HOW weather forecasts can still be so wrong for some areas, yet so right in others, in modern times. As a regular guy, and as a meteorologist, I not only understand that but I echo it. When we stop and think about the industry-wide broad swing and miss for some areas on more than one storm this season, versus excellent forecasts for others, we realize there must be some systemic issue. Here's the insight:
Some harken back to a day, decades ago, when forecasts were better without the technology. That is waxing nostalgic, anecdotal and provable as factually incorrect...we have simply, as a community, raised our expectations accordingly to improvements over the decades. However...this winter *absolutely* has demonstrated on more than one occasion that the science of meteorology has much work to be done - research, technology and application - on understanding the delicate and critically important interaction of near-surface temperatures, solar radiation, ground temperatures and precipitation intensity on snowfall accumulation. When looking at the incredible difference in amounts over small areas with some of these storms...and the incredible lack of snow for some vs. prediction...we just haven't reached that level of accuracy in these particular, marginal temperature cases yet. It's been my personal mission to develop our NBC10 Boston and NECN Forecast System to be more accurate than anything else...but in a case like yesterday's storm, forecasts fell victim to the issues experienced across the board with the tremendous variance in amounts for some and drop in amounts to the south and east. So...the work goes on - these events will be studied in-depth over the months and years ahead in an attempt to correct and make better predictions...but it often does take years.
LKS_BOARD_SNOW_TOTALS_BOSDMA2If you find yourself frustrated (as I certainly am at times), the best I can say is continue supporting STEM education of our kids and scientific research at the private, University and Government level, as the real meteorology that goes into prediction and enhancing predictive tools is very much math and science based, and will be the key to continued advancement in the decades ahead.
In the meantime, I continue to be committed to delivering the best forecast possible, day in and day out and look forward to the next challenge.



Fantastic insight Matt. I’m always amazed by the complexity of the weather. I’m very much looking forward to how our young people in STEM are going to help us learn more and advance our capabilities!

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