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March 9-10 Winter Storm


madwx
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6 hours ago, RCNYILWX said:

Sorry you feel the way you do about our efforts. It's cliche, but in weather forecasting, there's always going to be a bit of 'you win some, you lose some.'

However, that being said, I can assure you the headlines are not based "off feeling." When there's a watch in effect and potential to upgrade to a warning, it's a collaborative intra office discussion, in addition to the inter-office collaboration that goes on. Last Thursday, we had about 3 hours worth of discussions on how to handle the existing watch, not exaggerating.

Since we inherited a watch on the (Wednesday) day shift yesterday, and it's within a timeframe when we usually make a decision, we're left with a) upgrade the watch or a part of it to a warning; b ) issue a WWA; c) hold onto the watch

Options a or b are the typical courses of action. Option C is what we went with for last Friday's event given the unusually large uncertainty up to go time. Preference today (including input up to local management level), was to go with the WWA as our highest confidence option. In that, we explicitly forecast up to 7" amounts in spots for the state line counties. That shows it's not as simple as 6" = definite warning.

My own thinking on the decision process was informed on how last Friday played out, with a similar expected 2m temp starting point at precip onset, and the 1-2 hour lag until progressively worse impacts, amidst intense snow rates and TSSN.

If part of the evening commute is spent in a lagged ground and pavement response prior to worsening impacts, and 12-hour amounts end up at 6" or less due to shorter duration of sustained heavy rates, plus lighter snow rates Friday AM with temps near to slightly above 32F, that's part of how we felt comfortable going with a WWA.

Confidence was not high in widespread 6-7" amounts per non-NCEP guidance being drier, and with much of the accums occurring at a less impactful time of day, we didn't think it necessitated a warning issuance.

This of course doesn't imply that we will be right, but shows the process that goes into headline decisions. There's also collaboration between WPC and the WFOs regarding QPF, SLRs and snow and ice amounts.

With the milder winter we've had, and no real classic winter storm setups this winter, we've been left with marginal and thus more uncertain synoptic evolutions. There is consistent post event evaluation going on that we use to build mental models of future events. But it doesn't ever make forecasts and headline decisions easy, and there's opportunities for future improvement that come about, from forecasts and headlines to our graphics and DSS.



 

Someone call 911. RC just murdered someone. 
 

I think you guys are doing as good as possible in a no win situation, especially with how abysmal the model performance has been. The messaging about the potential and while explaining the higher than normal uncertainty has been top notch. 

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3 hours ago, Baum said:

Have not looked at any model runs, and not to much to glean from the discussion here, but LOT(IZZI) have pretty much made this a non-event here south of I-88.  Even the heart of the I-88/290 corridor is basically a meager 1-4" forecast. The late great Jerry Taft approves. 

Classic seasonal pants shitting. Sticking with my call for 3” of concrete but don’t have much confidence 

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7 hours ago, RCNYILWX said:

Sorry you feel the way you do about our efforts. It's cliche, but in weather forecasting, there's always going to be a bit of 'you win some, you lose some.'

However, that being said, I can assure you the headlines are not based "off feeling." When there's a watch in effect and potential to upgrade to a warning, it's a collaborative intra office discussion, in addition to the inter-office collaboration that goes on. Last Thursday, we had about 3 hours worth of discussions on how to handle the existing watch, not exaggerating.

Since we inherited a watch on the (Wednesday) day shift yesterday, and it's within a timeframe when we usually make a decision, we're left with a) upgrade the watch or a part of it to a warning; b ) issue a WWA; c) hold onto the watch

Options a or b are the typical courses of action. Option C is what we went with for last Friday's event given the unusually large uncertainty up to go time. Preference today (including input up to local management level), was to go with the WWA as our highest confidence option. In that, we explicitly forecast up to 7" amounts in spots for the state line counties. That shows it's not as simple as 6" = definite warning.

My own thinking on the decision process was informed on how last Friday played out, with a similar expected 2m temp starting point at precip onset, and the 1-2 hour lag until progressively worse impacts, amidst intense snow rates and TSSN.

If part of the evening commute is spent in a lagged ground and pavement response prior to worsening impacts, and 12-hour amounts end up at 6" or less due to shorter duration of sustained heavy rates, plus lighter snow rates Friday AM with temps near to slightly above 32F, that's part of how we felt comfortable going with a WWA.

Confidence was not high in widespread 6-7" amounts per non-NCEP guidance being drier, and with much of the accums occurring at a less impactful time of day, we didn't think it necessitated a warning issuance.

This of course doesn't imply that we will be right, but shows the process that goes into headline decisions. There's also collaboration between WPC and the WFOs regarding QPF, SLRs and snow and ice amounts.

With the milder winter we've had, and no real classic winter storm setups this winter, we've been left with marginal and thus more uncertain synoptic evolutions. There is consistent post event evaluation going on that we use to build mental models of future events. But it doesn't ever make forecasts and headline decisions easy, and there's opportunities for future improvement that come about, from forecasts and headlines to our graphics and DSS.



 

Well we had MKE office drop a big ball on this one.  Winter Storm Watch -> WWA -> Winter Storm Warning.  I'm sure that left the general public either confused or they have now tuned it out completely.

EDIT: and all these changes before the event even begins.  They should have either upgraded to a warning yesterday or held on to the watch until this morning if they were uncertain.  IMO they handled headlines wrong on this one changing them this much before the event is even here.

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6 minutes ago, TheNiño said:

Why is a WWA —> WSW such a bad thing? How is the public put at risk?

 

Are you serious right now?  The NWS did a wishy washy flip flopping in the last 12 hours.  General public went from "OMG winter storm watch" to "ok no big deal just a WWA" to now "it's a warning now?"  and the event hasn't even begun.  Too much flip flopping.  General public is now tuned out.  They are already laughing about it on Facebook.

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7 minutes ago, hardypalmguy said:

Are you serious right now?  The NWS did a wishy washy flip flopping in the last 12 hours.  General public went from "OMG winter storm watch" to "ok no big deal just a WWA" to now "it's a warning now?"  and the event hasn't even begun.  Too much flip flopping.  General public is now tuned out.  They are already laughing about it on Facebook.

LOL

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9 minutes ago, nwohweather said:

Still like the 3-6" for Toledo, should be an absolutely terrible commute tomorrow morning. I do think CLE needs to be chided a bit for only issuing a WWA for Toledo, there's no reason all counties north of US 6 are not under an advisory until you get east of Sandusky

@OHweather

What say you?

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1 hour ago, hardypalmguy said:

They are laughing at the NWS.

Sorry but the general public is mostly laughing at the weather channel which forecast changes every 6 hours based off the GFS and you know it.  Most of the public uses weather.com and NOT weather.gov to get there weather information.   NWS does a hell of a good job!! 

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Temps looking too warm (again) in NE IL. It'll probably come down decent but won't add up to much even with the overnight timing. Thinking Alek's 3" call busts high and we end up with an inch or two of slop even up here. Better accumulations north of the border maxing out around 5" in central/southern WI. Remember when models were overloaded with moisture and painting feet of snow with this one? :axe:

Saturday overnight looks pretty marginal/craptastic as well. Oh well, at least it's been wet!

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Are you serious right now?  The NWS did a wishy washy flip flopping in the last 12 hours.  General public went from "OMG winter storm watch" to "ok no big deal just a WWA" to now "it's a warning now?"  and the event hasn't even begun.  Too much flip flopping.  General public is now tuned out.  They are already laughing about it on Facebook.

I guarantee you the public doesn’t pay as much attention to a WWA vs WSWS as you think they do. I am willing to bet a lot of money most people had no idea it went advisory then warning, and most of them probably wouldn’t care even if they did know.


.
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1 hour ago, hardypalmguy said:

They are laughing at the NWS.

to me:  the important thing is they get it right.   And not necessary make (or not make) a decision based on how others may perceive it . As soon as they start making decision to "save face" (i.e not go with the WSW just because it makes us looks bad)  is a slippery slope and even worse. .   you deal with it,  learn from it, and apply it to the next one. 

in todays world.  information can get to the public in real time.  with plenty of lead time.  

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1 hour ago, hardypalmguy said:

Are you serious right now?  The NWS did a wishy washy flip flopping in the last 12 hours.  General public went from "OMG winter storm watch" to "ok no big deal just a WWA" to now "it's a warning now?"  and the event hasn't even begun.  Too much flip flopping.  General public is now tuned out.  They are already laughing about it on Facebook.

Response on NWS MKE Facebook post upgrading to a warning.  I'm missing the laughing part.

 

image.png.006d790352bded281168b0ecda270584.png

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Back to the Future of 2015 didn't come (where are my flying cars?!?!?) but I do not think *any* of us here who are not full-time NWS employees who have degrees and expertise and built careers around forecasting the weather should use words like "laughing" to discuss reactions to official and public forecasts.

It's not the 2015 of Back to the Future, we can't tell people the minute rain will end and we can't figure out that Chicago will get 5.2 inches of snow while Rockford get 4.9 inches 36 hours in advance. The guidance and ability to predict continues to improve (even if the NAM sucks). A model/forecast/prediction can still be wrong. Otherwise I'd be going to Vegas right now betting the farm because I knew "the odds" were exactly in my favor. 

Lets just be civil. 

674cbb59-b8f4-4ea3-818f-3c22c455372d_tex

 

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