Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Winters: Don't bet on this one

New York City had four consecutive 40+ inch snow seasons from 2002-2006 (02-03,03-04,etc.). We started in '02 with a near miss in November and were off and running with a 6 incher in the beginning of December. We capped it off in '06 with the greatest snowstorm in Central Park's recorded history.

New York City has not had great luck since then. For the most part, everything that could go wrong has. We haven't had much to work with. A positive NAO which in tandem with the lack of a 50/50 low have not allowed any sort of consistent cold air in these parts with a storm track to take advantage of the cold air.

In that four year stretch, almost everything that could go right did. I saw storms magically come north of their projected path within the final 48 hours. I saw storms that had 4 more inches in Manhattan than Queens due to a rain/snow line situated at the Williamsburg Bridge, which allowed for Central Park to march towards 40 inches.

In the past three years, most everything has gone down in flames of terror. Storms found a way to lose instead of win. They came north at the last minute. They managed to have a warm tongue of warm air at 750-800 mb to change snow over to sleet. It just hasn't worked.

It is in times like this that we must remember this isn't the early oozes (00's) anymore. If a model has snow, it should be met not with optimism but with "what can go wrong" attitude. I don't say this because I'm pessimistic, but in order to ensure that the most accurate forecasts are delivered.

Forecaster Enten over and out.

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