Tracking the Blizzard of 2015


National Weather Service forecasters have been tracking a low pressure area that moved from the Midwest into the Atlantic Ocean today, and is expected to become a strong nor’easter that will bring blizzard conditions to the northeastern U.S. The path of the system was captured in a NASA movie of NOAA’s GOES-East satellite imagery.

An animation of visible and infrared imagery from NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental or GOES satellite captured over the period of January 24 through 26 showed the progression of the developing nor’easter.

The satellite animation began on Jan. 24 when clouds associated with a cold front preceding the low, pushed off the U.S. East coast. The front was followed by a low pressure area that moved from the Midwest to the southeast. That low moved over the Carolinas and exited into the Atlantic Ocean on Jan. 26. NOAA’s National Weather Service forecast calls for the low to intensify along the Eastern Seaboard and bring blizzard conditions to the northeastern U.S. on Monday night, January 26 and Tuesday, January 27.

On Monday, January 26, 2015, the National Weather Service noted: A storm system off the East Coast will continue to strengthen as it develops into a major nor’easter on Monday. As the storm moves up the coast, it is expected to bring snowfall of 1-3 feet or more to many parts of the Northeast through Tuesday evening, including New York City and Boston. Strong, gusty winds will combine with the snow to create blizzard conditions along and near the coast.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for the panhandles of West Virginia and Maryland, much of interior New England down to the northern Mid-Atlantic as well as for Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Winter weather advisories are in effect for portions of the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic and the southern Appalachians as well as a narrow area across interior New England.

To create the video and imagery, NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland overlays the cloud data from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite on a true-color image of land and ocean created by data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites. Together, these data create the entire animation of the storm and show its movement.

GOES satellites provide the kind of continuous monitoring necessary for intensive data analysis. Geostationary describes an orbit in which a satellite is always in the same position with respect to the rotating Earth. This allows GOES to hover continuously over one position on Earth’s surface, appearing stationary. As a result, GOES provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric “triggers” for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
January 26, 2015 8:15 pm

Looking at the radar, I don’t think it’s as bad as predicted…(at least for PA/NJ)

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
January 27, 2015 1:25 am

It cannot beat the one 20 years ago because it was trumpeted as the “worst of the century”.

Reply to  Brute
January 27, 2015 1:43 am

Different century

Reply to  Brute
January 27, 2015 4:37 am

@Rienk – Very true, but very witty as well!

Alan McIntire
Reply to  Brute
January 27, 2015 5:28 am

Rienk: Your reply reminded me of my high school days. The local paper was publishing stories about
new school records in various track and field events being constantly broken.- were our athletes that good?- the answer was , our high school was only four years old. In the first year, every high mark was a new school record. You could expect about half the records to be broken the second year, a third the third year, etc. So this year, about 1/15 of all events will be the event of the century.

Reply to  Brute
January 27, 2015 9:46 am

Can’t possibly be the worst of the century. Storms will get steadily worse as we continue to pour carbon pollution into the air. /sarc

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
January 27, 2015 12:06 pm

It doesn’t have to be as bad as predicted. Once the snowmageddon alarmism has been paraded loudly enough, the mental image of “climate change” and “climate weirding” lingers. The few locales that got over a foot of snow will be prominently featured in MSM, I predict.

Jim G
January 26, 2015 8:24 pm

One thing is certain, the systems theory of requisite variety will apply here for the government systems as they will lack the requisite variety to deal with the problems of the 30 million or so folks involved. The system population is too large and the problems too complex.

January 26, 2015 8:39 pm

Thanks for the view, Anthony.

Joel O’Bryan
January 26, 2015 9:32 pm

Listened to Joe B on FoxNews today give his update via XMSirius radio. Nice interview Joe.
Joe kept telling the common folks how this is like storms of 77/78 and 50’s. The AGW nutjobs hate that.

Joel O’Bryan
January 26, 2015 9:41 pm

3 years ago I would have been shoveling and blowing that with my 10hp blower just outside Boston. In 2011 I had sveral storms put snow 3 feet up on garage door. This one will be worse, probably 4-5′ by moorning.
Glad I am in Tucson Arizona now where it was 70f today. Loving it.
Global warming is so underappreciated. Or maybe not… considering how low it ranks on public opinion polls.

January 26, 2015 10:06 pm

Pet peeve: When a time lapse is called an “animation.”
If it is a time lapse of real photos or real sensor data, then why not call it a time-lapse video or a time-lapse reconstruction? In contrast, if it is a computer-generated, non-real set of images, then great, an ‘animation’ it is. Makes things clearer to keep the terms distinct. Otherwise an “animation” means, what? Real data? Partial data? Real data mixed with other stuff? A fully-computer-generated simulation? A synonym for the word “video”? A superfluous descriptor?
The short weather video above is probably not the most egregious example, and is maybe on the line, as it might be a mix of real data and computer generated simulation. But in recent years I’ve seen so many examples of real time-lapse, visible-light, photography/videos, billed as “animations” that it has started to stick in my craw. Calling all of these things “animations” is not a helpful use of terminology.
I know, I know. We can’t fight the changing use of words. Just getting old and cantankerous, I guess. 🙂

Reply to  climatereflections
January 27, 2015 4:20 am

“Otherwise an “animation” means, what? Real data? Partial data? Real data mixed with other stuff? A fully-computer-generated simulation? A synonym for the word “video”? A superfluous descriptor?”
It’s a carry over term, misapplied here NOAA/NASA. Probably from working with too much data “corrections”, homogenization, GCMs, etc.

masInt branch 4 C3I in is
January 26, 2015 10:08 pm

Been watching since yesterday.
Even now at 06:03 UTC (01:03 ECT) the USA and East Coast are still of bee’s hive of activity.
Got suspicious when New York Daily ran stories of Thousands of Flight Cancelations (meaning Billions of flights canceled).
Typical Main Stream Media rags will print anything as long as they think no one can check the facts.

January 26, 2015 10:20 pm

BTW, NOAA’s NWS said this winter would be warmer than average. They were wrong.
NWS said the same thing about last winter, and were wrong then too.
At least they are consistent.
I posted this in October 2014:
I wrote this twelve years ago in an article published Sept 1, 2002 in the Calgary Herald:
“There is even strong evidence that human activity is not causing serious global warming.”
“If solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2 [as I believe], we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”
In 2002, SC24 was projected to be robust and we now know it is a dud. If anything, global cooling will happen sooner and perhaps has already started.
Bundle up this winter – looks like another cold one like last year, especially in Central and Eastern North America.
Regards to all, stay safe and warm, Allan

January 26, 2015 10:39 pm

Climate change is the blame says Bill Nye

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Roy Denio
January 26, 2015 10:44 pm

Pls dont put MSNBC lies here. Dishonesty to them is akin to breathing.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 27, 2015 11:27 am

Did I just hear Bill Nye say the ONLY way to change the pressure inside a football is with a needle and a pump? Or was I hallucinating?

Reply to  Roy Denio
January 26, 2015 11:50 pm

Isn’t ALL bad weather, whether cold, hot,wet or dry caused by climate change? We never used to get extremes of weather when I was little!
Speaking of which on this side of the Atlantic we are about to experience “a rare and exciting event” for the fourth or fifth time this winter!

Gentle Tramp
Reply to  andrewmharding
January 27, 2015 3:03 am

The majority of conformists, and careerist “zeitgeist” followers like Nye, are not a bit wiser than the superstitious humans of the 16th century who believed every bad weather was produced by the devil and his witches.
Today, only the name of the devil has changed into “CO2” and the whole insane CAGW crusade is nothing else but a embarrassing and increasingly stupid witch-hunt…

Reply to  andrewmharding
January 27, 2015 4:25 am

“…are not a bit wiser than the superstitious humans of the 16th century who believed every bad weather was produced by the devil and his witches.”
The only difference now is; they want US to burn, not the devil and his witches.

Reply to  andrewmharding
January 27, 2015 9:58 am

…correction, we are the devil and his witches. Eliminate the devil and his witches in the name of Gaia.

Reply to  Roy Denio
January 27, 2015 12:07 am

Bill Nye the pseudo science guy.
A squealing propagandist telling the world that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability.

Reply to  Roy Denio
January 27, 2015 2:28 am

The man is a flying F…wit.

Miguel Sanchez
Reply to  Roy Denio
January 27, 2015 2:44 am

That just means they couldn’t find a real climatologist or meteorologist who was willing to ruin his credibility with such a claim.
In case that popular- or pseudoscientist have had an epiphany and decided to refuse this kind of self-humiliation, the progressive elites at MSNBC would have presented a weather lore like “A blizzard in the northeast proves Global Warming’s Pause has ceased” to their even more progressive and more elitist viewers.

Reply to  Roy Denio
January 27, 2015 5:39 am
tom s
Reply to  Roy Denio
January 27, 2015 6:55 am

Sick, hyperventilating idiot! He gets play in school for the kiddies….I’ve informed my kids of the ruse.

Reply to  Roy Denio
January 27, 2015 10:32 am

Bill Nye has been repeating the same mantra ad nauseam for years. They already know what Bill Nye is going to say, but somehow the media never get tired of hearing him say it I guess. Eventually, they’ll figure out that the messenger is actually killing the message through meaningless repetition.
“Blah, blah, blah… warming…blah,blah…climate change….blah, blah,,blah…danger! danger Will Robinson!….blah, blah carbon pollution, blah, blah, burp!”
What’d he say?

Reply to  Roy Denio
January 27, 2015 12:33 pm

Bill Nye is a mechanical engineer who also occasionally teaches introductory-level astronomy at Cornell.

Reply to  Roy Denio
January 27, 2015 1:04 pm

Hey Bill yeah if idiots cancel thing because of computer models then that is really bad. So maybe we can learn not to follow computer models so darn blindly.There was 2 inches of snow on the ground in central park.

Joel O’Bryan
January 26, 2015 10:41 pm

Thanks Allan.
Love You guys up north. A hardy lot. Sorry that you have to endure the moronics of our Commie Pres re: Keystone XL. You deserve better.

January 26, 2015 11:17 pm

But, globull warming/change/stagnation/pause, it’s never going to snow again, snow will be a thing of the past. this is just a conspiracy of the deniers, it’s not snowing. Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?

Reply to  Neil
January 27, 2015 4:32 am

” it’s never going to snow again, snow will be a thing of the past. this is just a conspiracy of the deniers”
Nope, you d#&!ers gotta keep up with the rant. Latest “news” is that AGW causes MORE snow. It falls under the category of “extreme weather”. BTW, it’s also scheduled to cause significant increase in severe La Nina events too.
Who knew CO2 was so life changing…

Reply to  Paul
January 27, 2015 8:19 am

Actually global warming causes both more snow and less snow, if this happens simultaneously you get typical snow, so even an ordinary year can be considered proof of global warming – clever eh.

January 26, 2015 11:20 pm

NASA and NOAA….yup. I’m convinced it’s all true ( do I need a /s tag?)

January 26, 2015 11:31 pm

Would it devalue the pi**taking currency too much to invoke again the Viner proclamation at this point?

January 26, 2015 11:31 pm

Thanks joel, I simply cannot believe the objections to pipe lines, I know without pipelines of ANY sort (other than lead), we’d still be carrying water in buckets on the backs of donkeys.

Reply to  asybot
January 27, 2015 12:33 am

Well, uh, on the Yellowstone River there was an oil spill in July, 2011 that was 60 times as large as the spill a week ago. Think how far the Yellowstone is from a refinery. Job creating portable refineries can be set up where the oil is, without having to pipe the oil long distances to some massive refinery. Then truck the portable refineries to another location after the oil is gone. Probably save a lot of natural resources required to build out pipelines and pumping stations.

Keith Willshaw
Reply to  uıʇɹɐɯ pɹɐʍpE
January 27, 2015 5:34 am

You seem to be confused about the difference between modular construction and portability. The reality is that so called portable refineries are less efficient than large installations and are by no means truly portable.
A typical Ventech installation requires in the order of 20 large modules that need to have access to local utilities on a prepared site. They are usually custom designed to handle the local crude. This makes sense if you are dealing with a localized demand that has to be met. Countries like Russia, Iraq and Nigeria make use of them to meet domestic requirements while exporting the majority of their oil. It may make sense to use such technologies in the USA as unconventional oil reserves are exploited in locations such as North Dakota but in general terms by far the most efficient and safe method is to ship the oil out by pipeline.

stewart pid
Reply to  uıʇɹɐɯ pɹɐʍpE
January 27, 2015 9:03 am

And how do the products of these refineries get to market without accidents??

Reply to  uıʇɹɐɯ pɹɐʍpE
January 27, 2015 10:05 am

Well how do the fuels produced get to the market now??? Just do it, bet they’ll have a lot less disasters than moving bitumen & dilbit.

Richards in Vancouver
Reply to  asybot
January 27, 2015 10:20 am

Asybot said: “…without pipelines of ANY sort (other than lead), we’d still be carrying water in buckets on the backs of donkeys.”
Nah! Democrat policies don’t hold water.

January 26, 2015 11:58 pm

6. Conclusions
The data presented above show that the stratospheric polar vortex plays an important part in solar-climatic links. The vortex location is favorable for different physical mechanisms of solar activity influence on the lower atmosphere involving variations of cosmic rays, UV fluxes, and atmospheric electricity. The detected long-term variations of SA/GCR effects on troposphere pressure at middle and high latitudes, i.e., on the development of baric systems in these regions, were found to be strongly related to the evolution of the polar vortex. The sign reversals of SA/GCR effects coincide well with the transitions between the different states of the vortex. A pronounced intensification of both extratropical cyclones and Arctic anticyclones associated with GCR increases at minima of the 11-year solar cycle is observed only under the strong vortex conditions. During the epochs of a weak polar vortex the SA/GCR effects change the sign. A possible reason for these sign reversals may be changes in the dynamical coupling between the troposphere and stratosphere depending on the vortex state. The vortex strength was found to reveal a roughly 60-year periodicity which is likely to explain the detected ∼60-year oscillations of the amplitude and sign of SA/GCR effects on the lower atmosphere circulation.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  ren
January 27, 2015 3:31 pm

“The vortex strength was found to reveal a roughly 60-year periodicity which is likely to explain the detected ∼60-year oscillations of the amplitude and sign of SA/GCR effects on the lower atmosphere circulation”
Yes, the last time we were in this part of the cycle/pattern was the 1970’s. This is why I thought 1976/77 was a good analog to our Winter of 2013/14.
I have been seeing similarities with 1977/78 and this Winter (2014/15). 77/78 had an extremely cold and snowy 2nd half of Winter. However, the Pacific origin jet stream this Winter has had enough influence at times to overpower and/or deflect the northern stream.
The northern stream flows in tandem with and at times helps carve out a Polar Vortex very far south ala last Winter.
The weather models had trouble all of last Winter in recognizing the tenacity of the northern stream……..constantly under forecasting its strength and longevity.
The last few days, some weather models on some runs have been trying to really warm things up during week 2 of the forecast, sort of like last Winter. This is with regards to the Midwest and Eastern US.
It’s hard to go against this guidance(models) using pattern recognition from previous experience, analog years or whatever because weather models usually do a decent job, even during the week 2 part of the forecast when it comes to recognizing general patterns/circulation.
With a +AO and +NAO predicted in week 2, it also makes it less likely to stay very cold. Of course the predicted sign of the AO/NAO is also coming from the same models so if they are wrong, they will be wrong about that and the weather pattern. If they are right about the pattern, they will likely be right about the AO/NAO as well.

Another Ian
January 27, 2015 12:05 am

The animal libers would have us carrying it in two buckets on a shoulder pole these days

January 27, 2015 12:09 am

Precipitation will end to in the afternoon 28. Frost does not goes away.

Tom in South Jersey
January 27, 2015 1:28 am

It’s 0400 Tuesday here in Gloucester County, NJ and we have about an inch of snow. Plenty of bare spots, but the snow is still coming down lightly. It took a long time for the forecasters to climb down for the huge projections for our area. I’m sure eastern New England is getting hammered, but it’s a non event in the Delaware Valley.

john from Tassie...
January 27, 2015 1:35 am

I worry for the little kiddies who may never see snow in their lifetimes….

January 27, 2015 1:49 am

OMG Snowmageddon! Here in NJ we are sheltering in place, preparing for days without power, following the state wide travel ban for…
,,,two inches of snow. ROFLMAO!
More modeling failures, but trust us climate models are more accurate!

Village Idiot
January 27, 2015 1:52 am

Always good to seek refuge hear in the Village – always a predictably extreme-weather-free zone

January 27, 2015 2:34 am

Apparently it’s been exaggerated / overestimated. Is anyone surprised?

Reply to  jaffa68
January 27, 2015 4:21 am

The journos and news crews are again frustrated and devastated by not having a disaster to show the world.
It is the same in Australia when a cyclone fails to materialise or only reaches Category 1.

Just an engineer
Reply to  jaffa68
January 27, 2015 12:48 pm

IEEE certified —–> Imagine, Estimate, Exaggerate, Extrapolate!

January 27, 2015 4:53 am

I’m here on the South Shore area of Ma., (about 6 miles inland) and outside of a little wind (30G40) and drifting snow, this is not that big of a deal for a small blizzard. The one back in 2013 was a lot worse comparatively.

DC Cowboy
January 27, 2015 4:57 am

So I guess the mantra now will be “See, Global Warming caused what should have been a record setting blizzard to not be one. Global Warming is real”.

January 27, 2015 5:09 am

starting to hit here in mid maine, winds running 25 gusting to 45 and visibility bad due to it.
temps about 8 deg F with -19 F wind chill.
the saving grace on this one is it (here) will be fluffy. drifts are gonna suck here though.

Reply to  dmacleo
January 27, 2015 1:15 pm

Yesterday the temperature, non wind chill in Stowe Vt was -17F.

Reply to  Tom Trevor
January 27, 2015 2:57 pm

have had a few nights at -20 to -22 F (wind chills -50F or so) with daytime high of 0 to .05/1 deg F.
they suck.
was that daytime temp? hope not as that would hit me tomorrow if so.

Robert Doyle
January 27, 2015 5:14 am

A most unusual storm! 120 miles in a NE vector resulted in a differential of 1/2 inch vs. 12 inches of snowfall. Second, the EU model, which has had a good track record predicted the most intense drop in barometric pressure and the resultant bombing effect. It predicted 16 inches in Philadelphia and a subsequent 2 feet in New York City. I’m thankful to be on the 1/2 inch end of the vector.

Reply to  Robert Doyle
January 27, 2015 8:08 am

How can you claim this storm is “unusual”? How far back have you checked? 50 years 5000 years, 50000 years or longer? It’s fools thinking that the past 50 years is a ‘normal’ baseline that’s resulted in all the climate alarmist nonsense we’re currently being subjected to. Please give it a rest – fool.

Robert Doyle
Reply to  jaffa68
January 27, 2015 8:17 am

By unusual, I meant to highlight the sudden demarcation across a small geography. There was little graduation of snowfall amounts. It was more like an on/off switch. That is the unusual aspect of the storm in this geographical area.
Sorry to have not written more clearly.

Reply to  Robert Doyle
January 27, 2015 2:37 pm

You seem to be making the claim that the storm was unusual in part because the model was wrong. That doesn’t tell us anything at all about the storm all it tells us is about the model and what it tells aus about the model is, it was wrong.

Reply to  Robert Doyle
January 28, 2015 4:57 am

The European model which performed so well last year, does seem to be tanking this year. Guess they have some more adjusting to do

January 27, 2015 5:19 am

OMG – a bit windy AND a bit snowy – it’s a climate disaster.

January 27, 2015 5:36 am

Greetings from Shanghai where it is currently snowing…

Ron C.
January 27, 2015 5:37 am

Newsflash: NYC spared the Snow Storm of the Century, thanks to Global Warming!

Reply to  ren
January 27, 2015 8:08 am

NY City’t Times Square status: Light traffic volume, dusting of snow.

January 27, 2015 6:05 am

I live on one of those blue dots just off Florida and north of Cuba. Now I know why it is so windy here after seeing that NOAA animation. It is cool, only 66 here this morning but no snow.

January 27, 2015 6:15 am

Meh. Not much of an event here in western MD — undoubtedly a bit more in extreme west MD tho. Only 4″ snow and little wind (so far). Not even a flicker of the lights thankfully.

January 27, 2015 7:15 am

Cuomo said on Monday that “there is a pattern of extreme weather that we’ve never seen before” – reiterating his comments in the wake of hurricane Sandy, when he said that “anyone who says there’s not a dramatic change in weather patterns is probably denying reality.”
What we got in the last 24 or so hours is a perfect metaphor for the entire AGW consensus.
First, through the use of computer models, we get a forecast of catastrophic portions. Then, almost nothing happens as the models, now referred to as ‘a work in progress‘, were wrong.

James Strom
Reply to  Neo
January 27, 2015 8:16 am

Young people like Cuomo can’t be expected to have long term memory.

Just an engineer
Reply to  James Strom
January 27, 2015 1:34 pm

Why, are the drugs different now? 😉

Reply to  Neo
January 27, 2015 8:50 am

Regarding Cuomo’s comment, Central park, 7+” of snow, LaGuardia, 11″ of snow, Suffolk Co, Long island, 24″. As predicted a very sharp cut-off on the western side, if the low passes a little closer then NYC gets buried. Central NJ is nearly always close to the boundary. Further east the predictions of about 2′ snow are on the money with hours more snow to come, getting the traffic off the highways overnight was very smart and will enable a faster recovery. The Weather Channel showed three model maps last night, there was a slight difference in the track of the storm center with the Euro model showing the west most path and worst effects in NYC, GFS and UKMet turned out the be closest with a slightly more offshore track, so less snow in NYC, but they all showed a huge snow fall around Boston and winds up to 70mph. In RI still a travel ban in effect, visibility on highways minimal still snowing with winds of 30+mph, the models got it pretty much right.

Eustace Cranch
Reply to  Phil.
January 27, 2015 9:25 am

Okay… what’s all that got to do with Cuomo’s comments?

John M
Reply to  Phil.
January 27, 2015 9:45 am

Nice try at damage control there Phil-dot, but when you’ve lost Time Magazine…

Just an engineer
Reply to  Phil.
January 27, 2015 1:37 pm

So, they had it on the correct coast, there was some wind, and there was snow. Gotcha, pretty much right.

Miguel Sanchez
January 27, 2015 7:25 am

That must have been the most exciting days in the life on all AGW-believers:
At first Global Warming produced the snowiest blizzard in the histrory of the northeastern US.
Then it stroke one more time: Due to the warmed atmosphere even the SNOWIEST blizzard don’t deliver much snow anymore.
2 proofs at at the same time. How ignorant must one be to disregard the warnings?

January 27, 2015 7:34 am

I want to see the actual snow totals on a map when this storm is over, compared to the predictions just hours before.

January 27, 2015 7:56 am
January 27, 2015 8:12 am

Why the NYC forecast failed:

The National Weather Service strongly weighted their forecast toward the historically more accurate European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting model (ECMWF) and the high resolution North American Model (NAM), which showed the Long Island snow band stalling out directly over the city. That didn’t happen. In constructing their forecast, the New York City office of the NWS all but ignored their own recently upgraded Global Forecast System (GFS) model, which showed significantly less snow in the city. As late as Monday evening, the NWS emphasized that the storm could over-perform in NYC, saying, “it should be a raging blizzard.”


Reply to  Yirgach
January 27, 2015 1:19 pm

Back in the day people didn’t alway blindly follow what computers told them. Some forecaster actually looked at what actually was happening and figured out for themselves what was most likely to happen. I don’t care what anyone says about models, an intelligent creative person,who has been around awhile will out perform the models almost all the time.

Reply to  Tom Trevor
January 27, 2015 2:32 pm

I kept reading in the news reports that they had used the wrong model, but if they had only used their own model, it would have been right. “Still, the model correctly predited the general outline of the storm”. Wow, a good forcaster could have done that without a fancy model. Good old Bill Matheson in my home town used to predict these things quite well, and explain all the interactions and possibilities. Now days, they just look at a model and claim the science is settled; get ready for life threatening 4′ of snow.

January 27, 2015 8:42 am

Actually, from me, a former long-time NWS forecaster in the NY-NJ area, the real reason (or at least a large part of the reason) the forecast was a bust is because of the culture of the agency. The narcissists-in-charge have been selecting Senior Forecasters who automatically see the worst in all significant weather situations…from the NCEP WWD desk where relatively little expertise resides, to the local forecast offices where a few geeks who think they know everything pressure others in their office and in surrounding offices to issue products one level more dire than they should be. It’s one thing to adhere to a policy of erring on the side of caution and taking the course of least regret, but it’s another thing when a few nutjobs put out too many watches/warnings/advisories. The statistics show this: the Probability Of Detection has remained high at PHI from 5 to 10 years ago, but the False Alarm Rate has increased. NYC’s POD is a bit lower, but the FAR has increased there too, for several storm categories. Yes, true blizzard conditions were just a few miles east of the PHL-NYC line in this event, but one cannot ignore the culture which plays into the products the public receives. And I will not even get into the culture in NWS/NOAA which exudes a preference for human-caused global warming…at least not now.

Reply to  4caster
January 27, 2015 11:14 am

I’d take sensible precautions as were taken in NYC over the events that occurred in Atlanta a year ago! The forecast wasn’t ‘a bust’, everything predicted happened, fortunately shifted about 20 miles east. I definitely prefer clearing the 6″ off my drive this morning than the upper prediction of 12″. I’m used to what happens here and was expecting it would probably be at the low side of the range.
There’s 21″ at Boston right now and more falling, probably will exceed 24″ by this evening.

Reply to  Phil.
January 27, 2015 2:35 pm

That is a long way from the 48″ predicted.

Reply to  Phil.
January 28, 2015 5:55 am

Where do you get the prediction of 48″ from? The predictions I saw were in the 1-3′ range which were on the money.

January 27, 2015 8:46 am

3 inches of snow. 30 inches of hype. See why reporters and politicians manipulate the people. There’s actually a reason, and you won’t like it. Maybe it’s time for a little rugged individualism and less dependence.

Reply to  jay veritas
January 27, 2015 10:24 am

What three inches of snow? Thirty inches of snow in Framingham? Getting traffic off the roads for a few hours over night enabled much more efficient clearing of the streets and highways. I notice the Time criticism is focused on the governors of the states to the west of the storm, no mention made about the governor of RI who still has a travel ban in place. Or in Mass where it’s still snowing and Boston will likely reach the predicted 2′.
The prediction was for a major winter storm for the NE with snow accumulations exceeding 2′ in places, check: storm surge flooding caused by on-shore winds up to 70 mph: check, power outages due to the blizzard conditions: check, major flight delays and cancellations: check.
Claiming the models are no good because the track of the storm varied by about 50 miles is nuts.

January 27, 2015 8:51 am

In the short term gets heavy snowfall in the region of the Great Lakes and the North-East.

Bruce Cobb
January 27, 2015 9:24 am

Here in NH, we were in the 18-25″ band, and we have around 8″ or so, and the snow is already slackening, so I’m guessing we might see about a foot. Maybe we should call this storm “Hypeageddon”.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 27, 2015 9:30 am

mid maine here and pretty much under full assault now. I would not be surprised to see 20″ but I would guess closer to 15-18. however its hard to tell due to drifts. most of yard is 3-4 feet right now with a few paths of a few inches caused by windbreaks.

Gunga Din
Reply to  dmacleo
January 27, 2015 1:52 pm

I remember when I was in the Midwest “Blizzard of ’78” looking out the picture window and seeing nothing but snow. But it wasn’t up against the window. It was a drift that resembled one of of those big waves you see surfers on. You could go out the front door and there was about a foot and a half space between the window and the snow where the snow was only an inch or so deep. The “crest” almost touched the roof.
Amazing to look at. A pain to shovel through!

Reply to  dmacleo
January 27, 2015 2:55 pm

drifts up to chest in many places, both vehicles up past windows. end of road was about 5 feet high a d a pita to break through with snow blower. I am private road so handle lot of this myself personally.
I broke a path in case emergency vehicles need access and called it good.
the 45+ mph winds make clearing it impossible now.

Mickey Reno
January 27, 2015 9:25 am

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Mickey Reno
January 27, 2015 9:29 am

Sorry, somehow I got a wrong link from YouTube. I was going for the scene in “The Shipping News” where Quoyle is learning how to write for the Gammy Bird newspaper.
Look out there, what’s the headline? Killer storm threatens village.

D.J. Hawkins
January 27, 2015 9:41 am

Here in central northern New Jersey we’ve gone from 18″-24″ predicted to 3″-4″ actual. And most of that may be from drifting. I’d rather be surprised in this direction than the other. Based on snowfall maps, it looks like the bands were compressed and shifted east from the original forecasts.

Curious George
January 27, 2015 10:12 am

Where is a reliable 100-hour weather forecast?

January 27, 2015 10:48 am


January 27, 2015 10:51 am

MSNBC was blaming “climate change” for the storm and they were calling it a hurricane. Turns out the storm was completely overrated and the people predicting a warming climate over the next century can’t even get the forecast right for 12 hours into the future, but we’re supposed to put all our trust into their predictions because the science is “settled” lol.

Reply to  harry
January 27, 2015 11:18 am

‘Completely overrated’, what storm are you talking about? Snow accumulations up to 30″, winds up to 70 mph, coastal flooding, what were you expecting if that’s ‘overrated’?

John M
Reply to  Phil.
January 27, 2015 11:27 am

“Up to three feet of snow in parts of New York City”.
I guess according to the models, Framingham, MA is a part of New York City.

Peter S
Reply to  Phil.
January 27, 2015 12:31 pm

There is a huge difference between a 30″ snowfall and ‘Snow accumulations up to 30″.’

Reply to  Phil.
January 27, 2015 1:26 pm

2 inches of snow in Central Park and all roads in the New York area are closed and for the first time in history the subway is closed for snow, thousands of flight canceled, for 2 inches of snow. That was historic ok, a historic fail.

Reply to  Phil.
January 28, 2015 3:48 am

“Up to three feet of snow in parts of New York City”.
Care to tell us where this quote is from? The original post said: “On Monday, January 26, 2015, the National Weather Service noted: A storm system off the East Coast will continue to strengthen as it develops into a major nor’easter on Monday. As the storm moves up the coast, it is expected to bring snowfall of 1-3 feet or more to many parts of the Northeast through Tuesday evening, including New York City and Boston. Strong, gusty winds will combine with the snow to create blizzard conditions along and near the coast.
Which was right on the money. Several areas near Boston had 3′, Boston itself had 24.5″, Worcester had 34.5″, Framingham 33.5”. Around NYC about 10″ in Central park, upto 28″ on Long Island. Trevor’s claim of 2″ in Central park is nonsense.

John M
Reply to  Phil.
January 28, 2015 7:05 am

Sure thing Phil-Dot

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference that it could be “a storm the likes of which we have never seen before.” In fact, the storm is on track to match or surpass the snowfall seen during the past century’s top five record-breaking snowstorms.
In its most recent update, the National Weather Service predicted up to 36 inches of snow for much of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, and 18 to 24 inches for Manhattan and Staten Island. The weather service has also warned of “near hurricane-force” winds and zero-visibility conditions.
You know, it’s funny. A lot of meteorologists are openly admitting they blew the forecast for NYC and large parts of the Northeast. Perhaps the code of ethics for meteorology is higher than for “climate modelers”, who it seems, cannot admit error under any circumstances.
It’s only the truly committed who seem to have trouble admitting some of the forecasts were wrong. I wonder why.

R. de Haan
January 27, 2015 11:12 am

Snow Job:
Of course it is a good measure if the government sends out warnings for possible dangerous situations but locking down entire towns for a storm in a teapot…

Reply to  R. de Haan
January 27, 2015 1:47 pm

People talk about the cost of doing too little, but they hardly ever talk about the cost of doing too much. Closing all roads,closing the subway, closing the airports, canceling thousands of flights canceling Broadway shows, and having police cars drive around Columbus Circle and other roads to enforce the no drive ban, all for something that might have happen but didn’t, has real costs, and the fool politicians never consider those. The real odds of this being 30 inches of snow was always extremely low, no matter what the computer models claimed.

Reply to  Tom Trevor
January 28, 2015 3:55 am

The roads in NYC were closed from 11pm to 8am, the airlines decided to cancel the flights ahead of time rather than have masses of passengers stuck at the airport (the winds alone would have caused major delays, particularly at EWR). As to the odds of 30″, there were many totals of 3′ so the odds weren’t ‘extremely low’.

Curious George
Reply to  R. de Haan
January 27, 2015 2:12 pm

The government SHOULD err on the side of caution. But the weather forecast was woefully inadequate. How could anybody even dream of a 100-year forecast?

January 27, 2015 12:10 pm

But, it’s impossible for a consensus of meteorologists to be wrong. Impossible!

January 27, 2015 3:01 pm

Extremely treacherous driving conditions being reported today across much of the state. Not only have we been dealing with high snowfall rates of 2-3” an hour at times, but strong, gusty winds from the northeast have created blowing and drifting snow with very limited visibility, if any. Stay inside.
Snowfall totals of over a foot have been reported in many spots. Bangor is around 14”as of 2pm this afternoon, spots along the coast are all over a foot. Greenbush had 18”, Eastport 16”, Ellsworth was at a foot, Houlton had 9”, Dover-Foxcroft had 8”, and Millinocket a measly 3.3”.
The highest wind gust as of his writing (2pm) was 81 mph on Seal Island. Winds gusts across the state are also very high. Frequent gusts over 40-45 mph have been reported at stations inland with much higher gusts along the coast.

I’m GUESSING 15 ” here so far but hard to tell due to the 5 foor drifts

January 27, 2015 3:08 pm

#ForecastBomb #2
First there was #SantaBomb. I was not impressed
Now it’s the “historic” storm
I follow a weather forum, and anything system more than a couple of days out is considered “la-la-land”. Now we see why. Yes, we got lucky with forecasting Sandy, but it was a special case that any competent meteorologist with weather maps (i.e. REAL DATA) could figure out. There was a massive high in the Atlantic, and hurricanes go around highs, not through them. Maybe there will be a serendipitous side-effect in that people will end up less trusting of computer models in general.

January 27, 2015 3:23 pm

Hey, don’t gripe about the blown forecast. It’s not their fault climate change makes it hard to predict the weather.

Rob Dawg
January 27, 2015 3:54 pm

24-36 hour models… bad.
24-36 year models… perfect.
Trust us.

January 27, 2015 3:57 pm

“crippling” “historic” – Was it even remotely unusual for the region?

Gunga Din
Reply to  jaffa68
January 28, 2015 1:24 pm

Someone who lives there will, I’m sure, correct me if I’m wrong but it was not “unusual”. It’s not an annual event. Maybe not even “common”. But such events have happened before … and before the “CAGW” racket was born. It was a natural event.

January 27, 2015 8:04 pm

To be honest, a 35+ inch snowfall would have been a 5 sigma event at about one in 1,744,277 chances of happening. I think they got what? 4″. A friend who works on Long Island had this to say:
“I’m sitting here at work, there’s about 10 cars out of 500 spaces here. So this place is pretty much empty. The roads were clear on my way in at 8 AM. It took me 10 minutes to dig out the 3 feet in front of my car to get to the cleared street. With no snow on my car whatsoever. It was mostly blowing snow, no whiteout event like they said.”

January 28, 2015 12:52 am

Later this weekend, the track of a storm moving up from the Southwest states will hold the key as to the primary form of precipitation in southeastern New York state, northern New Jersey and southwestern Connecticut.
The storm from the Southwest will have a great deal of moisture to work with and could bring a period of heavy precipitation.
The early indications are the Southwest storm will bring snow transitioning to a wintry mix Sunday night into Monday.
If arctic air over southern Canada was to push in ahead of the storm and hold on, there could be more snow and perhaps an extended period of ice or wintry mix.
In any case, people on the road or with departing or arriving flights should anticipate delays from Sunday night into Monday.
The storm may still be affecting western Pennsylvania on Monday when thousands will gather to hear about the forecast for the rest of the winter from Punxsutawney Phil. will continue to provide updates on the storm through this weekend.
A fresh dose of cold air will follow on Tuesday, regardless of Phil’s prediction.

January 28, 2015 4:35 am

ended up with about 17″ here in mid maine so my forecast of 15-18 was pretty good.
I have spinal damage and can feel pressure changes even minute ones and could tell it didn’t drop as low as expected.
many 5 foot + drifts.
did quick break thru to allow vehicles in and out of road but will be tomorrow for most of cleanup.
wind chills still going to be too bad today.

Joe G
January 28, 2015 9:10 am

Light and fluffy- I will take that type of snow-storm every time! The winds even cleared my roof better than my extended roof-rake.

%d bloggers like this: