Tamping down the storm hype

Lots of “buzz” on the street about the storm coming Tues-Weds.  It looks like a mixed picture for our area, and here’s why:

Yes, we are looking at a storm that will be running across the Deep South to east of the Carolinas.  And yes, we will most likely feel affects.  Yet two vital components, storm track and temperatures, still defy clarity as of this writing (2/27).

A more southern and eastern track will mean significantly less moisture than a track hugging the coast.  A hundred miles variation one way or the other makes a BIG difference, and we simply cannot tell that until time gets closer.

In addition to this question of moisture, temperatures will also be critical, especially during the daylight hours Wednesday.  Low-level temps could very well turn out be too warm for snow aloft to survive its trip from cloud to ground without melting.  In other words, a wet snow-rainy mix, or even just plain old rain is possible.  This is an issue we wouldn’t face in mid-Janaury, but do have to consider as we get closer to spring.

Keep watching our main weather discussion page on our web site for the latest on this storm.

*Jim D.


51 Responses to Tamping down the storm hype

  1. weatherfan23060 says:

    GFS has heviest precip in central VA from 1 to 7 AM

  2. weatherfan23060 says:

    NAM IS MOVING N AGAIN asfunction:_parent.group.openLink,http://raleighwx.easternuswx.com/models/nam/12znam850mbTSLPp06030.gif

  3. snowmanshortpump says:

    Morning y’all. So, where’s that significant/major winter storm at?

  4. weatherfan23060 says:

    Could it happen we will see?

  5. southsidejeff says:

    Hope this wasn’t our last chance for snow 😦 Because it’s not looking like much of anything at this point.

  6. southsidejeff says:

    From our favorite “pretend” weatherman at 12:45 “And because the heavier precipitation is further to the east and over southeastern Virginia… the precipitation over Central Virginia is lighter and the temperatures near the ground are somewhat warmer.”

    Gee…what a shock.

    • snowmanshortpump says:

      Now, correct me if I’m wrong jeff. But hasn’t the weather team here at nbc12 been saying this all along? Hasn’t pretty much every weather forecasting site been saying this all along? I believe it’s been only one person saying everyone else was wrong and he was right! Hmmmmm…

      • guru1111 says:

        Do you guys have anything else to do? Are you really upset that someone predicts something different than what you want to hear? If it snows, so be it, if not, move on! It’s weather and NONE of us control it… now move along!

      • southsidejeff says:

        Guru….I’m a snow lover…..I would LOVE his predictions to come true. What me off is when he makes grandiose claims that don’t pan out while slamming all the other guys who had the forecast right. And if you don’t want to read about it, then I suggest YOU move on.

    • jt16 says:

      You guys are funny. Taking the guy’s website as absolute when we’re still 72 hours away. He’s saying some models show more precip south and east while storms like this one generally have bigger precip fields north and west so it wouldn’t be unusual for the precip field to expand. Forecasts are going to change a lot between now and Tuesday night. If you guys want to make light of it every time someone changes their forecast slighlty and call it a bad forecast then you have too much time on your hands.

      • southsidejeff says:

        The point is he disses all the TV guys for not getting the word out about these “Major Storms” (and he’s still calling it that, by the way) gets everyone amped up about lots of snow and then falls back to just about exactly what the TV guys have been saying the whole time. He has zero credibility now.

      • southsidejeff says:

        And one more point….it is IMPOSSIBLE to predict the weather a week or ten days out. Yet he keeps wanting everyone to believe that HE can. As we are clearly seeing now, no, he can’t.

      • snowmanshortpump says:

        And he’s the one going to the newspaper and radio with his ridiculous predictions, not us! His site still says. “MAJOR WINTER STORM LIKELY, HUGE SNOW FOR VA POSSIBLE”. Who else predicts this?
        Please. This guy needs to be put in his place. He can’t go around “crying wolf” all the time. Lives depend on accurate weather forecasting. That’s why you need the pros like Jim, Andrew and Ross at nbc12!

    • djwill38 says:

      Yes he is a pretend weatherman and he has generated much discussion which we have gotten amped up about. But even, if just for a day the major tv stations and the paper got wrapped in the hype by saying there is a chance for significant winter weather middle of this week. You make a great point about it being IMPOSSIBLE to predict weather a week to 10 days out. Since this is the case, they why do all weather forecasters have a 7 day planner on the weather if there is a really GOOD chance it will change up to 1-2 days before (whether it be with a storm, temperatures, etc). So I ask you why do they predict any weather, good or bad, so far out? My best guess is so that we will talk about it and watch it and increase their ratings, especially during the winter months in the Virginia area. Any thoughts you all have would be great!

      • southsidejeff says:

        I agree with your overall point, which is that it’s pretty much useless to do a 7 day forecast at this time of year. I think this probably evolved from customer demand though, so they try to keep us happy…and hardly anyone ever goes back to check what the 7 day forecast showed 7 days ago.

    • sh0rtpump says:

      GET A LIFE.
      Ridiculous that all y’all can do is argue on a WEATHER blog. Are y’all on this 24/7? It is SO sad that none of you guys have anything better to do than have a popularity contest. All of you all are nothing but redundant & instead of using this blog as an informative blog, I use it for entertainment.

      -Hoping for snow! :)-

  7. skeller85 says:

    Bruceybee, he’s either right or wrong. The point is, there remain far too many variables for him to have been so confidently pushing a major snow storm. That’s just irresponsible and headline grabbing. It’s working for him- we talk about him and he’s on WRVA and in the Time’s Dispatch. But, the track is so uncertain right now based on a number of factors. He seems to have gotten the message as it looks like he has toned down the language a bit and is simply being more objective in his writing. Oh, and CCSpike? Sorry, buddy, but this guy has been crying the sky is falling all winter. Call it whatever you want- his implications have been clear every time and he has fired people up every time. That’s just irresponsible so far out when there are so many factors to consider. His overall analysis is well based in the science of meteorology. It’s his presentation of the information- he commits to a probability far too early in the process. If he’s right, he looks like a genius. If not, well, it’s the weather, so how upset can we be?

  8. bruceybeee says:

    well I’ll say this if dt is right on this one as hard as it is to call no disrespect to anyone i’ll have to side with him. He called one of the biggest snow storms we have hade this year when nobody thought it would be big. I’m talking about the december storm (pre-christmas) that took the area by storm. hard to remember that but he did. Not necessarily a follower but you have to give him some credit. None taken from any tv met because they have the ability to cause wide spread panic!!!!!

  9. snowmanshortpump says:

    He just updated his site again and is back tracking even more now. He knows he was way off on this one but can’t bring himself to say just yet. He says he’ll wait for the models Sunday evening and Monday. Duh, really.

    • southsidejeff says:

      By Wednesday he’ll be talking about how he got it right and the TV guys blew it…hoping we all forget that he’s been running around yelling “The Sky is Falling” for a week

      • ccspike says:

        apparently, ‘hooked on phonics’ doesn’t work for everyone; does the phrase “this is not a prediction’ not mean anything to you? or do you use all your brains on sophomoric insults? bottom line, wxrisk has done AT LEAST as well as the local mets, and significantly better than NWS and the other ‘majors'(weather channel, intellicast, accuweather, weatherunderground)

    • southsidejeff says:

      Now his site’s down again…I guess his Commodore 64 finally gave out…

    • jt16 says:

      Spike said it best, apparently nobody knows what “This is not a prediction” means. Southside Jeff and the other take everything they read on the guy’s weather site as the word. He simply presents data that most people don’t know how to read or have access to and breaks it down into simpler terms. He’s also been very mindful to remind everyone that he uses trends to support his data. He’s been fairly accurate so far this winter and really, all he’s doing is presenting his case, it’s just another pool of information. Take it for what it is. I’ve never seen a weather blog with this much negativity and name calling, it’s very sophmoric. What these people here don’t understand is and tiger91 said it best, the Richmond area is a difficult area to forecast snow due it’s closeness to the ocean and the trend of storm tracks over the past hundred years. Snow is very difficult to predict in amounts more than 48 hours out anywhere, much less here. So everyone whining about not having snow amounts this far out should really zip it. I’m from New England originally and forecasters there are in the same boat. 48 hours out, making accumalation predictions that are accurate is tough and sometimes foolish, they can only get an general idea. Maybe if some of you actually took some classes in school pertaining to this subject you’d get an idea of how hard it is to forecast winter weather. It’s a lot of science, numer crunching, local experience and gut feeling. Lay off the forecasters, none of you armchair meteorologists could do any better.

      • southsidejeff says:

        OK, DT…now go back to trying to keep your website up

      • plug12001 says:

        bruceybeee, jt16,

        You probably know but your dealing with a few children or young brats on this site. Not worth the time to post anything intelligent. They’re just gonna come back with more crap.

      • djwill38 says:

        Very good post. But I believe that the forecasters in Richmond need to have some accountability when they are wrong (which none of them do) and receive credit when they are right (which all of them do). 2-3 days out with all of the state of the art equipment they have, they should get it close to correct ALMOST every time. You mentioned that you are from New England. I am sure the MAJOR difference there is that people know how to deal with the snow. In Richmond, we do not have the equipment or know how to drive in it, at least some anyway.
        The other issue is in a city that does not know how to deal with snow, it is critical to get the forcast at least close or planning purposes. When the 4 inch Thunder Blizzard happened, the schools and work places are relying on at least a close forecast to make their decisions about school. So in this case, the forecasters do need to take some responsibilty. When there was the 1-3 / 2-4 inch snow that did not happen, they need to take responsbilibilty for that as well. When they get it right, they should receive credit.

        I don’t give them a pass because they are professionals and this is what they get paid to do! I would not give my doctor a pass if he said I had a cold and I took my tempurature which clearly showed I had a high fever, Would you?

      • jt16 says:

        dj, even 2-3 days out it’s difficult to nail snowfall totals no matter how good your models/technology and experience are. Like many of the tv guys said, this storm is just now on the west coast, a 100 mile jog ot the north or south when it develops could mean the difference between slop and 6-10″ of snow. For accountability, do you propose forecasters get fired when they blow a forecast? They provide a service, forecasting winter weather is like playing roulette, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. The weather is very unpredictable and the general public needs to stop thinking of forecasters as error free people. No forecaster is perfect and never will be. This time tomorrow they should have a better idea of storm track and maybe an idea of temps and moisture content however still early to start making snowfall maps. If this winter is any indication, many if not all snowfall totals changed in the 36 hours leading up to the storm. When these guys blow it, they usually mention that and they learn from it.

      • djwill38 says:

        2 days should be enough to get it close to being accurate. And No, they should not be fired when they make a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, I understand that. However, to your point when these guys blow it, they usually mention it is something I have ALMOST NEVER heard them say “we were wrong or we made a mistake.” That is all I am asking for. And yes I know it is not exact, but as professionals, I would hope they would be able to get it close at least 8 out of 10 times.

  10. tiger91 says:

    I really think that the Richmond area is one of the hardest places to forcast winter weather. It always seems to be right on the rain/snow line. However, if I had to make so many qualifications, that are in this blog, on a forecast that I did for my business, it would be worth nothing. At some point to be useful, you have to be correct in forecasting an event more than 12 to 24 hours ahead. Sometimes it seems that many weather forecasters can’t do that like the snow forecast last week.

  11. djwill38 says:

    Just a few minutes ago, around 6:30pm, I tried to go onto that rsiky guys webpage and it say “oops, this link appears to be broken!”

    I think he is going to be wrong on this one! The other thing about the snow, I thought all the forecasters build it up, but this guy is over the top!

    Any he is pretty cocky!

    • southsidejeff says:

      My prediction is that he’ll gradually adjust his “forecast” — and I use the term lightly — to be the same non-event that the TV guys are saying. Much ado about nothing as usual with him. Kind of hard to take the guy seriously he can’t keep his own website up and apparently has never heard of spell-check….

      • ccspike says:

        looks more like the ‘TV guys’ are steadily adjusting their forecasts towards what wxrisk is saying…did you have any problem shoveling the ‘1-3 inches’ that EVERYONE in the area EXCEPT wxrisk predicted this week?

      • southsidejeff says:

        And who’s adjusting their forecast now, CC?

  12. skeller85 says:

    This is why he’s getting the attention. When you call for a blizzard every time it starts raining in Seatle, you’re going to get attention. Sometimes he’s right, sometimes he’s wrong. The responsible guys don’t say anything about the sky falling 10 days out- IT’S THE WEATHER!!!

    • carlrossi says:

      Is that why last Tuesday when all the news stations were saying 1-3. He said it was a non event. MAybe you should get your facts straight.

  13. weatherfan23060 says:

    Should shift west 36-48 from event.

  14. southsidejeff says:

    Couldn’t be more different in their forecasts….in fact, he says 85% chance of at least 3 inches of snow. It will be interesting to see what actually happens…WX has been talking about this for a week, while NBC12 just started talking about it. And…if it turns out to be as NBC12 forecasts, then they were right not to “hype it”. We’ll just have to wait and see…

    • snowmanshortpump says:

      And it’s ridiculous that he gets all the airplay he does. Even the Richmond times dispatch has been sucked into his hype printing a front page story yesterday about this so called storm. I’m sticking with the guys here. They’re the pros.

      • southsidejeff says:

        Yeah, it is a little odd the amount of press he seems to get on WRVA, etc. And he’s just so damned sure of himself…talking about how incompetent the “TV guys” are….we shall see…..

      • snowmanshortpump says:

        And he’s now starting to backtrack on what he said. He’s starting to see the snow/rain line like everyone else. I think he will look very silly this time round!

    • southsidejeff says:

      He’s still got an 80% chance of at least 3 inches of snow….what cracks me up about him is that he rails on the “traditional” forecasters for being too conservative…for not trying to forecast a storm that is 10 days out…and where are we going to end up? With a lot of hoopla from him and another storm that amounts to nothing…which is why the NBC12 guys haven’t been saying much about it — BY DESIGN.

      • djwill38 says:

        I think it is probably by design since he is probably not going to be correct as he tries to figure out what to say. There is going to be something that happens, just not the HUGE storm he is predicting. However, ALL are now predicting some sort of wintry weather.

      • southsidejeff says:

        Big diff between “wintry weather” (which, at this point, I seriously doubt we will even get) and a “MAJOR STORM!!!!!!!!!!” which is how he has been hyping it for a week now

  15. snowmanshortpump says:

    But that “guy” on the wxrisk site insists it’s going to be a “major SNOW event” for our area. Surely he can’t be wrong!?! 😉

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