Snowquester? How about snowbuster?

These are the blog posts I dread writing. I’m not going to make excuses for such a busted snowfall forecast along the I-95 corridor in this one. Oddly enough, I did better forecasting the snow in central and northern VA. The Shenandoah Valley area got 15″-20″ of snow in spots. So wha happened (bonus points for getting the reference)?

12z NAM 850 mb (~5000 ft) wind, heights, and vorticity valid at 1 pm EDT on 03/06/2013.
12z NAM 850 mb (~5000 ft) wind, heights, and vorticity valid at 1 pm EST on 03/06/2013.

Plain and simple, the models were too cold in the end and we as meteorologists blew it. Now, before I go into details, let me just say that you were warned there would be a storm. . .and it’s a big one. Places got lots of snow, many got rain in areas that were supposed to see snow, and very strong winds are still battering the NJ coast down to the Delmarva (57 mph gust in Seaside Park, NJ and 70 mph gust in Lewes, DE). So where did the forecast go bad? I included a 850 mb or 5000 ft snapshot from the 12z NAM and highlighted the culprit. That red circle indicates an area of strong wind out of the east, which effectively produced a warm marine layer that extended to the surface. It was snowing very hard above this layer, but melted on the way down. End result, rain mixed with snowballs at times and very ornery people for missing out on yet another storm. March storms get me all the time!!!

Explanation aside, where do we go from here?

Mt. Holly, NJ NWS snowfall accumulation map valid on 03/06/2013.
Mt. Holly, NJ NWS snowfall accumulation map valid on 03/06/2013.

Well, it’s still possible NJ gets some snow, but I’m going to be pessimistic and say that accumulations will be tough. As of this moment, I think coastal areas in the map above get close to 1″, if that. The big story will continue to be wind tonight and another high tide to worry about at 3 am EST. There will be another disturbance dropping around the backside of this very large storm on Friday that could produce more rain and snow showers from NJ possibly as far west as Baltimore.

I will admit, I’m rather jaded, but I’ll get over it. I apologize for not seeing this sooner and will pay more attention to these things: wind direction, time of day, March, snow drought, and my perpetual bubble of stability.

Thanks for reading!

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