So this whole experiment I tried with letting people see the changes in the modeling over the last few days missed its mark. My intent was to show how much things fluctuate before a system arrives. In doing that I seem to have created panic and widespread depression with every bad model run. So I am going to go back to the way I have always done it, with commentary until the models achieve some degree of a conclusion, which if we are lucky is before the storm arrives.
This brings me to another topic, the word “Storm” as it relates to winter. Different people and organizations and industries define the word differently. In the Skiing world, from what I have ascertained in the last 20 years, any time it snows its a “Storm”. I tend to have a different opinion on that. It gets difficult because everyone interprets it differently and it becomes difficult to properly communicate what to expect. Now we’re in the age of naming and thus commercializing storms so it becomes even more complicated. For example, we should get some snow Thursday late and Friday. Is there a storm? Yes. Will the “Storm” hit us? Yes, I mean no. I mean it will but it won’t (more on this later today). It’s like the monsoon or a Hurricane that hits Louisiana and the remnants track into Minnesota. Does that mean Minnesota got hit by a Hurricane? No, unless you watch The Weather Channel. I used to like the Weather Channel, I think I watched the first airing in the early ’80s.
What is a Winter Storm
A Winter Storm varies based on your location in the United States. In our area, the National Weather Service has two sets of rules (though they bend those rules around the Holidays and shoulder seasons). Above roughly 8,500′ a Winter Storm Warning is issued when more than 12″ of snow is expected. If 6-12″ is expected a Winter Weather Advisory is issued. Below 8,500′ if greater than 6″ is expected a Winter Storm Warning will be issued. If 3-6″ is expected a Winter Weather Advisory will be issued. Did you ever wonder why they forecast 2-5 inches so often? There you go.
I am very encouraged with what has happened so far, and with what I believe lies ahead. I do think that these below normal temps can only last so long. I see a scenario with a brief warm-up (relative to average, not a blowtorch), it may still be this month, before settling into a cold stormy pattern with Winter lasting late into Spring. We are just getting started and by the comments, some people have already given up. I know the reason. It has been a very difficult year, the fire took its toll and everyone is so used to no precipitation, every time a “Storm” comes in, they think that is literally our only chance to get precipitation, so if it is a little off, they completely give up. Don’t give up, Winter is just getting started, give it a chance.