Seeing a lot of human nature this morning: excuses, little responsibility, blame and criticism. As humans we are sinful. We make errors. We need to confess them. We must take responsibility. Don't blame something or someone else. Don't pile on thinking you are any better. This is what God's Word teaches.
What am I talking about? I have read a lot of excuses this morning from forecasters about why the snow forecast was a complete disaster: computer models to severe weather down south to deeper ridging to less lift, etc, etc, etc. One excuse after the another.
Just admit it. As forecasters we messed up. Myself included. I overdid the snow. What snow? Exactly. It never came. As a forecaster I must decide what I believe will happen and then I issue that forecast. It is a guess into the future. Many times I do well. But like this case, the snow portion was wrong. I cannot blame the models. They are tools. If I misuse the tool, that is my responsibility. But in this case, I should have known.
A rule I have witnessed many times in my life, I broke. The rule is this: To get snow in a snow/ice/rain situation, you need fresh cold air. We had that Sun night. But then the evaporating snow came Mon morning (called virga) and ended by early afternoon. Nothing happened right? Wrong. Something did happen.
Our dew point temperatures (measure of moisture in air) rose several degrees from the upper 10's to the mid and upper 20's. The air was no longer fresh. It was now used. Thus when the precipitation started again, it would not have the same evaporative cooling ability like that of fresh dry air. Last evening when the radar showed it was precipitating over the house, it was. We didn't get evaporative cooling. The air cooled maybe a degree or two at the most, but only at the surface, not in the atmosphere above us as was the thinking and the models showed. Our air mass was used or stale.
Of note were the dew points in northern PA into NY state: they remained in the upper 10's. They had very little or no "virga" like we did Mon morning. The air stayed fresh and they either got some snow or are still getting snow this morning.
I used this rule as a basis for my original forecast Sun evening. But abandoned it because the snow was not reaching the ground Mon morning. So, I assumed the air was still fresh. Mistake on my part. Regardless of what the computers said. Seeing this I should have stuck with what I thought Sun night. Live and learn. Hopefully :)
Pastor Terry. He received his bachelors degree in Meteorology from the State University of New York at Oneonta, in 1994. The education continued as a hobby by reading the blogs of some of the best forecasters in the business. Although forceasting the weather is an imperfect science, it is a pleasure to follow what the Creator has made.