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Hoosier

It's almost here... 20th Anniversary of the January 1999 Snowstorm

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I always feel like the anniversary sneaks up on me, probably because it's at the beginning of the year.  

20 years.  Wow.  In some ways it seems like 20 years ago but in other ways it seems like less time has passed.  This was a nice storm for most of us and a special storm for some of us, so please share your memories, pics, etc in the coming days.  

Here's a radar grab from the afternoon of December 31, 1998.  Not much going on at that point, but oh how that would change.

n0r_19981231_2040.png.d99417e0c72007664adc9826174dcc63.png

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A couple things this storm is known for is the large area of significant snow and the heavy snow amounts that occurred east of the surface low track.  There was plenty of antecedent cold air in place across the region, and then as that started to erode, the system began to occlude, shunting the warm sector away.  Normally you're not going to see those kinds of snow amounts east of the surface low, especially in this part of the country which lacks legit mountains to assist with CAD.

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010312.thumb.png.47f808eaf4a5331cede2aa4ca32f7b68.png

 

010318.thumb.png.40313ab4bd7cdb05325b99aaf36aa462.png

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Yeah. It's genuinely freaky. You and I were both like teens or something. I'm pretty sure you were also on weather.com forums with me and forky. It's so awkward to think about.

Hoosierwxdude, I genuinely enjoy your flashbacks.

 

I obviously don't have any memories of your experience of this storm - but yeah. Nice to have known you this long, even though I did poof for a while.

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51 minutes ago, Hoosier said:

Radar loop, courtesy of greatlakes.salsite.com

19990101_to_03_nowrad_loop.gif.436d797b6736f165c69ade678245b225.gif

Hey, this web site is my web site. Yay. Later, I made an even better loop based of NWS radar archives.

http://www.greatlakes.salsite.com/Blizzard_of_99_radar.html

I remember this specifically. I was at Grandma's house for 1999 New Year's Day, possibly watching Michigan vs Arkansas in a bowl game (Back when Arkansas was a rated football team.) This new guy Paul Kocin was the winter weather expert on The Weather Channel, and was talking in detail about the storm to come. Apparently, Paul Kocin was quite new to TWC at this time. I look back and remember Paul Kocin's reports on TWC were quite favorably. I was not totally surprised by the storm. The AVN model (what they used to call the GFS) had a high QPF, I was watching this for a few runs, and it just kept saying there would be about 1" of QPF, with the critical thickness of 540dm or less. So I told my parents that it would snow a foot. Looking back on this, it was quite bold, now considering how many busted forecasts I've lived through at this stage in my life, and the fact that weather prediction was worse back then. The storm started out with about 20 degree temperatures, with east winds in Toledo, and this continued for many hours, as about 9" of snow happened in roughly 12 hours. Then we had sleet, up to 1" of sleet, with the wind making it bounce off the windows. Toledo got brief freezing rain and rain, but this didn't diminish the snow and sleet depth of 10" before the strong westerly winds burst though. The snow was light flurries after that, and winds were gusting strongly. Freezing rain affected northwest Ohio greatly, but not right at my house. I believe the north side of Toledo got 12" of snow and sleet combination, but south of Toledo had damaging freezing rain.

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37 minutes ago, (((Will))) said:

Yeah. It's genuinely freaky. You and I were both like teens or something. I'm pretty sure you were also on weather.com forums with me and forky. It's so awkward to think about.

Hoosierwxdude, I genuinely enjoy your flashbacks.

 

I obviously don't have any memories of your experience of this storm - but yeah. Nice to have known you this long, even though I did poof for a while.

I was on TWC forums, but I don't recall being there for this storm.  Definitely later in 1999 and I hung around there into 2002, though I was mostly at WWBB by then.  

Yeah, it is hard to believe some of us have been posting for 20+ years.  

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9 minutes ago, Chinook said:

Hey, this web site is my web site. Yay. Later, I made an even better loop based of NWS radar archives.

http://www.greatlakes.salsite.com/Blizzard_of_99_radar.html

I remember this specifically. I was at Grandma's house for 1999 New Year's Day, possibly watching Michigan vs Arkansas in a bowl game (Back when Arkansas was a rated football team.) This new guy Paul Kocin was the winter weather expert on The Weather Channel, and was talking in detail about the storm to come. Apparently, Paul Kocin was quite new to TWC at this time. I look back and remember Paul Kocin's reports on TWC were quite favorably. I was not totally surprised by the storm. The AVN model (what they used to call the GFS) had a high QPF, I was watching this for a few runs, and it just kept saying there would be about 1" of QPF, with the critical thickness of 540dm or less. So I told my parents that it would snow a foot. Looking back on this, it was quite bold, now considering how many busted forecasts I've lived through at this stage in my life, and the fact that weather prediction was worse back then. The storm started out with about 20 degree temperatures, with east winds in Toledo, and this continued for many hours, as about 9" of snow happened in roughly 12 hours. Then we had sleet, up to 1" of sleet, with the wind making it bounce off the windows. Toledo got brief freezing rain and rain, but this didn't diminish the snow and sleet depth of 10" before the strong westerly winds burst though. The snow was light flurries after that, and winds were gusting strongly. Freezing rain affected northwest Ohio greatly, but not right at my house. I believe the north side of Toledo got 12" of snow and sleet combination, but south of Toledo had damaging freezing rain.

I think Kocin got there in 1998.  This may well have been the first big storm he covered for them though.

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ILLINOIS STATE FORECAST DISCUSSION

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL

300 AM CST FRI JAN 1 1999

 

WHAT A MESS TO WALK INTO AFTER HOLIDAY LEAVE

 

TIMING OF ONSET OF PRECIP, LOCATION OF ANY FREEZING PRECIP,

CONVERSION OF WATCHES TO WARNINGS, SNOW AMOUNTS, AMONG THE

CHALLENGES.

 

MODELS NOT EXACTLY IN GREAT AGREEMENT WITH NGM BECOMING THE

SLOWEST, BY 6-12 HOURS, AT THE FAR END OF THE 00Z MODEL RUNS.

SLOWER NGM ALLOWS WARMER AIR TO PUSH FARTHER NOTABLY NORTH

AND WOULD INCREASE THE THREAT OF EXCESSIVE SNOWS (UPWARDS OF

A FOOT) TOWARD CHICAGO.  WHILE IT IS FAR FROM CERTAIN SINCE

WE ARE STILL WAITING ON SYNCHRONIZING OF NORTHERN AND

SOUTHERN STREAM SYSTEMS DURING THIS FORECAST PERIOD, WILL

LEAN TOWARD THE FASTER AVN AND ETA SOLUTIONS.  THIS NEVER

REALLY ALLOWS TEMPS AT ANY LEVEL OVER NORTHEAST IL TO GET

MUCH ABOVE -10.  EXCESSIVE SNOWFALLTHREAT THEN SHIFTS

SOUTHWARD INTO THE QUINCE-KANKAKEE TO BELLEVILLE-TERRE HAUTE

CORRIDOR.

 

AS DISCUSSED WITH PAH...THREAT OF SIGNIFICANT ICING NEAR OHIO

RIVER IS DIMINISHED EVEN WITH THE FASTER/COLDER ETA/AVN.

HOWEVER AS COLD AS SURFACE TEMPS ARE, A SHORTER ICE EVENT

REMAINS A GOOD POSSIBILITY AND FOR NOW WILL MAINTAIN LATE

FIRST PERIOD WATCH. SEE GREATER THREAT OF ICE FOR 50-75 MILES

SOUTH OF ABOVE NOTED EXCESSIVE SNOW BAND.

 

MANUAL HEAVY SNOW GUIDANCE LOOKS PRETTY REASONABLE...MAYBE

JUST A TAD FAR EAST FOR TODAYS 4 INCH AMOUNTS.  MANUALLY AND

MODEL SUGGESTED TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS EXCEED A FOOT IN MUCH OF

AREA MENTIONED ABOVE...BY TOMORROW MORNING SOMETIME.  WOULD

NOT BE SURPRISED...ESPECIALLY IF ANY CONVECTIVE SNOWS

OCCUR...TO SEE SOME LOCAL 2O PLUS AMOUNTS BEFORE ALL IS SAID

AND DONE. WILL SUGGEST THIS IN WSW.

 

TO SUMMARIZE WARNING/WATCH DECISIONS...

WILL UP THE GOING WATCHES TO HEAVY SNOW WARNINGS IN WEST

CENTRAL SECTIONS TO THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT AND GO WITH

2ND/3RD PERIOD WARNING FOR EAST CENTRAL SECTIONS WITH ICE

ALONG SOUTHERN EDGE.  IF ETA-AVN VERIFY, ROCKFORD

(ESPECIALLY) AND CHICAGO AREA MAY NEVER ACTUALLY VERIFY HEAVY

SNOW, BUT WITH REMAINING UNCERTAINTY, WATCH WILL BE CONTINUED

ACROSS THE NORTH.

 

THANKS FOR COORD: PAH, DVN, ILX, MKX, IND, LSX.

 

.CHI...WINTER STORM WATCH...NORTH AND PORTIONS FAR SOUTH

       TONIGHT AND SATURDAY

       HEAVY SNOW/WINTER STORM WARNING...WEST CENTRAL TODAY

       INTO SATURDAY.  EAST CENTRAL TONIGHT AND SATURDAY.

 

KAPLAN

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ILLINOIS STATE FORECAST DISCUSSION

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL

245 PM CST FRI JAN 1 1999

 

POSSIBLY THE BIGGEST WINTER STORM IN PARTS OF ILLINOIS IN 20

YEARS. ETA AND NGM MODEL LOOK REASONABLE IN TRACK AND

INTENSITY OF STORM THOUGH SLIGHTLY SLOWER SPEED OF NGM

PREFERED. AVN SOLN A LITTLE TROUBLESOME...IT WOULD GIVE LESS

SNOW ESPECIALLY TO NW IL. EITHER WAY A MAJOR STORM WITH NRN

STREAM VORT MAX/UPR LOW MERGING WITHSRN VORT COMING OUT OF

TEX. JUST A MATTER OF TIMING AND FINAL POSITIONING. PLENTY OF

GULF MOISTURES AS SEEN BY 850 DEWPTS OF 8 TO 10 C INTO EAST

TEXAS AND OK THIS MRNG. SFC DWPTS IN 50S E TEXAS SPRDG N.

CERTAINLY PLENTY OF ARCTIC AIR IN PLACE.STORM SHD REALLY

WIND UP TNGT AND SAT AND HEAD TWD SW IN BY SAT EVE. HEAVY

SNOW BAND EXPECTED FM STL TO BRL NEWD TO RFD TO SBN. HEAVIEST

SNOW LOOKS TO BE THRU CNTRL AND NE IL WHERE AMOUNTS TO 18

INCHES POSSIBLE. SRN IL WILL SEE A MESSY MIX OF SNOW THEN

FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET...THEN MAYBE RAIN FOR A PERIOD LATE

TNGT AND ERY SAT BEFORE CHANGING TO SNOW AND ENDING SAT EVE.

VERY WINDY SAT AND ESPECIALLY SAT NGT AND SUN WITH WIND

CHILLS 15 TO 25 BELOW...SEVERE BLOWING AND DRIFTING AND NEAR

BLIZZARD CONDS. COULD BE SOME LAKEENHANCEMENT SAT NGT AND

ERY SUN FOR NE IL. LAKESHORE STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED FOR NE

IL MAY NEED WARNING SAT.

 

.CHI...WINTER STORM WARNING SRN IL TNGT AND SAT

       WINTER STORM WARNING CNTRL IL TNGT THRU SAT NGT

       GALE WARNING LM AND LS

       

ALLSOPP

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ILLINOIS STATE FORECAST DISCUSSION...CORRECTED

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL

300 AM CST SAT JAN 2 1999

 

ADDED WARNING INFO...

 

MODELS HAVE COME INTO REASONABLY GOOD AGREEMENT AT 500 MB AND WITH

EVENTUAL LOCATION OF SURFACE LOW OVER CENTRAL GREAT LAKES, THOUGH

THE ETA TRACKS THE LOW FURTHER WEST ON THE WAY TO ITS 48 HOUR

POSITION.  WILL ACCEPT THIS BASED ON RECENT SURFACE PRESSURE FALL

PATTERNS AND THE FACT THAT THE FARTHEST WEST TRACK ALMOST ALWAYS

SEEMS TO BE MORE CORRECT WITH STRONG SYSTEMS HEADING NORTH.

 

SYSTEM IS CERTAINLY COMPLEX WITH SIGNIFICANT HEAVY SNOW HAVING

FALLEN ALREADY (& CONTINUING) IN PARTS OF CENTRAL/NORTH ASSOCIATED

WITH GOOD ISENTROPIC LIFT BUT NOTNECESSARILY KEYED TO ANY 500 MB

VORT MAX.  BASED ON CURRENT RADAR AND SATELLITE LOOPS THIS APPEARS

POISED TO CONTINUE TO SPREAD SLOWLY NORTH TODAY.  ON THE OTHER HAND,

POWER HOUSE VORT MAX PRESENTLY IN CENTRAL SOUTH DAKOTA IS FORECAST

TO DIG SOUTH TODAY THEN RECURVE TONIGHT IN A PATH THAT OUGHT TO

REINVIGORATE SNOWFALL AND SUSTAIN GOOD LIFT OVER NORTHERN AND

ESPECIALLY NORTHEAST IL THROUGH MUCH OF SATURDAY NIGHT.  THIS IS

CONFIRMED BY VERTICAL VELOCITY TIME-SECTIONS.  MANUAL HEAVY SNOW

OUTLOOK FOR OVERNIGHT PERIOD LOOKS UNDERDONE IN NORTHEAST IL. ADDED

FEATURE WILL BE A AT LEAST A FEW HOURS OF LAKE ENHANCEMENT IN

CHICAGO AREA AS WINDS SWING MORE NORTHEAST DURING THE NIGHT.  LEMO

METHOD SUGGEST MAX STORM TOTAL OF AROUND 18 INCHES. WILL ACCEPT WFO

INPUT FOR THEIR AREAS...BUT LOOKS LIKE 12-18 INCH STORM TOTAL FOR

MUCH OF NORTHEAST IL, LESSER AMOUNTS SOUTHEASTWARD IN NORTHWEST IN.

 

WINDS IN NORTHEAST LOOK TO BE A LITTLE LESS THREATENING THAN THOUGHT

PREVIOUSLY WITH MORE WESTERLY TRACK OF SURFACE LOW. EARLIER

LAKESHORE EROSION POTENTIAL STATEMENT WILL BE KILLED. ON THE OTHER

HAND WINDS GUSTING UP TO AND OVER 30 IN MANY AREAS NOW, SO NEAR

BLIZZARD CONDITIONS, ESPECIALLY IN RURAL AREAS SHOULD APPEAR IN

ZONES MUCH OF CENTRAL AND NORTH.  STILL COULD MEET BLIZZARD CRITERIA FOR

A TIME IN PORTIONS OF NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHWEST THROUGH WEST

CENTRAL AND WILL NEED TO MONITOR.

 

CENTRAL AND PARTS OF SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS IN THE MIDST OF SIGNIFICANT

ICING EVENT AND MAY NEED TO GO WITH ICE STORM WARNINGS THERE. WARMER

AIR WILL ALLEVIATE PROBLEMS IN FAR SOUTH LATER TODAY. POTENTIAL

AFTER CHANGE BACK TO SNOW SEEMS LIMITED HOWEVER WITH MODELS

SUGGESTING SUBSIDENCE/DRY SLOTTING LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT. SEE

LINCOLN AND PADUCAH DISCUSSIONS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.

 

DEEPENING LOW LIKELY TO PULL ARCTIC AIR INTO STATE TONIGHT AND

SUNDAY WITH MUCH OF STATE SEEING STEADY OR FALLING TEMPS SUNDAY.

ESPECIALLY WITH SNOW COVER, POTENTIAL FOR LARGE MOS ERRORS LOOMS.

 

.CHI...WINTER STORM WARNING TODAY AND TONIGHT NORTH AND CENTRAL

       ICE STORM WARNING TODAY PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST

       GALE WARNING LM AND LS

       

KAPLAN

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URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL

445 AM CST SAT JAN 2 1999

 

...SEVERE WINTER STORM WILL CONTINUE TO PUMMEL MUCH OF ILLINOIS TODAY

AND TONIGHT...

 

.A SEVERE WINTER STORM WILL CONTINUE BURY MUCH OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL

ILLINOIS UNDER VERY HEAVY SNOW TODAY AND TONIGHT WITH MAJOR ICE

PROBLEMS IN PARTS OF THE EAST CENTRAL  NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE

ALSO EXPECTED TO DEVELOP.

 

TRAVEL WILL BE DANGEROUS WHERE IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE.

 

ILZ005>006-012>014-020>023-032-INZ001>002-021700-

MCHENRY-LAKE-KANE-DU PAGE-COOK-KENDALL-GRUNDY-WILL-KANKAKEE-

LIVINGSTON-LAKE-PORTER-

INCLUDING THE CITIES OF WOODSTOCK... WAUKEGAN... AURORA... WHEATON...

CHICAGO... MORRIS... JOLIET... KANKAKEE... PONTIAC... GARY...

VALPARAISO

 

...WINTER STORM WARNING THROUGHTONIGHT...

SNOW WILL CONTINUE HEAVILY AT TIMES THROUGH TODAY AND TONIGHT AND BY

THE TIME IT STOPS ACCUMULATING SUNDAY MORNING 12 TO 18 INCHES OF SNOW

SHOULD ACCUMULATE.  THERE WILL ALSO BE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND

DRIFTING OF SNOW WITH LOCAL WHITEOUT CONDITIONS. MANY ROADS WILL

LIKELY BECOME IMPASSABLE LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT ESPECIALLY IN OPEN

AREAS.

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15" and thundersnow at my house with this storm. One of the more incredible storms I can remember. Me and my brother went out to shovel at 9pm, the next morning it looked like we didn't even touch it.

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Lived in S. Bend at that time and used to read Skilling in the Chicago Tribune. About a week out, his map showed a "potential storm" with a blob of 2" qpf covering the region around southern tip of Lk. Michigan. I remember thinking that I'd never seen that much moisture with a snowstorm before and wasn't sure if it was a mis-print lol. Unfortunately I went out of town visiting that weekend and missed most of the actual storm. Came home at the tail end and had to dig my driveway out of 20" depth. Had a drift about 40" on my back deck. Just north into Berrien Cnty where I worked, it was at least 24" due to a bit of follow-on LES as the low headed north. That's the last CAT-5 bliz that I've had the pleasure to experience firsthand. I used to have some "special alert text" from the NWS that high-lighted the potential for up to 27" amounts for SWMI but can't remember where I saved it. 

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Glad to see this still stokes the memories of people here, as for a lot of you I think, in terms of snowfall amounts, the 1999 storm has been usurped by more recent storms.  

Not me though.  Still holds the gold in therms of amounts (15.1") and ferociousness.  As Hoosier mentioned, very unusual storm in terms of how widespread the foot plus amounts were to the east of the storm track.  Where I live, you'd think the most prolific snow producing storm would be an Apps runner, not something that passed over Traverse City. 

It was preceded by a horrific December in 1998, much like we're having this year (even warmer though, but just a snowless.  And November 1998 wasn't as much as fun as this November either).  Just mention that to give hope to the hopeless.  Things can turn on a dime.

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The expanse of 6"+ snow totals with this storm is most impressive. Can't think of another storm that had this many, across such a wide area. Here's all the official site totals for Jan 1-3 (note there a few on here that don't "exist" anymore, meaning they don't officially record snowfall anymore).

Alpena, MI (APN): 11.5"

Chicago, IL (MDW): 20.6"

Chicago, IL (ORD): 21.6"

Cleveland, OH (CLE): 6.2"

Columbia, MO (COU): 9.3"

Columbus, OH (CMH): 6.6"

Dayton, OH (DAY): 7.5"

Des Moines, IA (DSM): 7.7"

Detroit, MI (DTW): 11.3"

Dubuque, IA (DBQ): 11.2"

Eau Claire, WI (EAU): 6.0"

Findlay, OH (FDY): 7.7"

Flint, MI (FNT): 8.5"

Fort Wayne, IN (FWA): 8.4"

Grand Rapids, MI (GRR): 15.6"

Green Bay, WI (GRB): 7.7"

Houghton Lake, MI (HTL): 17.3"

Indianapolis, IN (IND): 10.9"

Jackson, MI (JXN): 16.0"

La Crosse, WI (LSE): 9.6"

Lafayette, IN (LAF): 12.0"

Lansing, MI (LAN): 11.6"

Madison, WI (MSN): 10.9"

Mason City, IA (MCW): 14.6"

Milwaukee, WI (MKE): 15.4"

Minneapolis, MN (MSP): 8.2"

Moline, IL (MLI): 14.3"

Muncie, IN (MIE): 16.2"

Muskegon, MI (MKG): 9.3"

Ottumwa, IA (OTM): 8.0"

Peoria, IL (PIA): 14.1"

Quincy, IL (UIN): 13.5"

Rochester, MN (RST): 7.3"

Rockford, IL (RFD): 9.0"

Romeoville, IL (LOT): 15.3"

Saginaw, MI (MBS): 13.2"

St Louis, MO (STL): 8.0"

South Bend, IN (SBN): 18.9"

Springfield, IL (SPI): 13.4"

Sullivan, WI (MKX): 13.6"

Toledo, OH (TOL): 7.9"

Waterloo, IA (ALO): 12.5"

Wausau, WI (AUW): 7.1"

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28 minutes ago, buckeye said:

Was that the storm that twc had on its maps a week out without it ever changing?  

 

Might be...I do remember this storm being forecasted for days in advance.  Kind of joined Superstorm '93 to fuel the idea that the really big storms are well-modeled.

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Hmm, obviously it snowed in the Dayton area with that system, but I have no memory of it (actually no memory of any snow storms on NYE/D since '86).  It looks on that radar sequence like a classic lake cutter (just like yesterday's system), must have been some serious cold temps in Ohio ahead of that cold front for the WAA/WTOD/dry slot not to take over!

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14 hours ago, RogueWaves said:

Lived in S. Bend at that time and used to read Skilling in the Chicago Tribune. About a week out, his map showed a "potential storm" with a blob of 2" qpf covering the region around southern tip of Lk. Michigan. I remember thinking that I'd never seen that much moisture with a snowstorm before and wasn't sure if it was a mis-print lol. Unfortunately I went out of town visiting that weekend and missed most of the actual storm. Came home at the tail end and had to dig my driveway out of 20" depth. Had a drift about 40" on my back deck. Just north into Berrien Cnty where I worked, it was at least 24" due to a bit of follow-on LES as the low headed north. That's the last CAT-5 bliz that I've had the pleasure to experience firsthand. I used to have some "special alert text" from the NWS that high-lighted the potential for up to 27" amounts for SWMI but can't remember where I saved it. 

Lived in sw lower near Stevensville.  I was 10, but I have pics in a photo album of the drifts.  We were snowed in for a couple days and the snow lasted on the ground the rest of the winter pretty much.  This storm is why I fell in love with snow and weather and essentially ended up here.

joined the forums in 2004... tone deaf in every way.  I remember being teased by Will and Forky

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1 hour ago, HighTechEE said:

Hmm, obviously it snowed in the Dayton area with that system, but I have no memory of it (actually no memory of any snow storms on NYE/D since '86).  It looks on that radar sequence like a classic lake cutter (just like yesterday's system), must have been some serious cold temps in Ohio ahead of that cold front for the WAA/WTOD/dry slot not to take over!

I recall it well, primarily for how well in advance it was modeled.    There was a very strong Arctic airmass in place.   Here in Columbus, it started very late at night and continued into late afternoon the next day.   Lots of virga at the onset.  It didn't warm up enough to mix until 90% of the precip has ended.  Ending as light freezing drizzle.   I'm also sure, that at least here in my area we received closer to 9", vs the official CMH airport measurement of just under 7".

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I was home on leave for Christmas from Fort Riley Kansas. Piled up good for my area. Was at least 10 inches. Delayed my drive back a day. I-70 was one lane almost all the way to Illinois. Must've counted 15-20 big rigs in the ditch.

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3 hours ago, buckeye said:

Was that the storm that twc had on its maps a week out without it ever changing?  

 

Yeah, pretty much.  I remember frequently tuning in to catch the weekly planner (or whatever they called it), just to see if there were any changes, and it remained remarkably consistent for being a week out.  I recall they even introduced a "heavy snow" area on the map.  At that point you knew it had a chance to be big because they rarely did that.

 

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