Hudson Valley Snowstorm Fizzles Out: Why Forecasters Failed
Schools were closed and shovels were ready but the snow accumulations never came.
It's the storm that psyched out the Hudson Valley. On Wednesday the entire region was bracing for what was supposed to be the first measurable snowstorm of the year. The Hudson Valley hasn't seen any real accumulations since last March, so many were assuming that the time had finally come to bust out the snowblower, but they were wrong.
Meteorologists were all predicting some measurable show in areas like Poughkeepsie and Newburgh even after the snow appeared to be fizzling out. Local forecasters at Hudson Valley Weather doubled down at around 11am declaring that we'd see snow totals towards the top of their predictions, which was four inches or more throughout most of the Mid-Hudson region. but we all know that didn't happen.
So why do even the most trusted weather forecasters get it so wrong?
All of the high-tech radars and instruments used by meteorologists can only supply data about what has already happened, not what is going to happen in the future. Forecasts are educated guesses made by analyzing what the weather has been doing and how current conditions may affect the weather in the future.
Even the best meteorologists are really just guessing. Think of it as a kid throwing a paper airplane. They can aim for a certain target, adjust for wind conditions and be convinced that the plane will land where it's intended to, but once you let go, there's no telling what's going to actually happen.
So, when will we actually see some snow?
While there's no foolproof way to know when the next storm will come, there is a technique for forecasting the snow that may be even more accurate than the ones used by fancy meteorologists. That method says to expect a huge snowstorm on Saturday, February 4.
How do I know that there will be difficult weather that day? I'll be flying into a local airport on Saturday. If history is any indication, every time I fly there are always weather delays, so it's a given that we'll see a lot of snow on that day. But hey, if I'm wrong I'll still be just as accurate as the meteorologists.
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