Sunday, January 23, 2005

TWO ROADS DIVERGED IN A YELLOW WOOD,
AND I TOOK THE ONE LESS TRAVELED BY,
AND THAT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
- from "Stopping by a woods on a snowy evening" by Robert Frost

As of January 26, this site will be been on the air one year. It has been an amazing time, and I look forward to the increasingly interesting weather coming for the remainder of our lifetimes. I enjoy big storms, forecasting big storms, and most importantly, providing information that helps you be safe in the big storm.

So as we turn the corner and go into the second year, it is time to pause and get your input on what YOU want to see with this site. I run this just like my trips with the Dundalk Adventure Club. We find out what kind of trip the kids want to do, then put out some proposals, and they decide on the trip. So think about some ideas that can help the site be more informative for everyone. Consider recommending any specific links you'd like to see, what areas of the Northeast do you think need better forecasting coverage on this site, etc.

Remember the primary focus is the I-95 corridor, except for when tropical systems threaten the U.S., or if a snowstorm would hit the southeast (haven't forgotten about you central Alabama).

I will explain the meaning of the headline when I can post the pics I took in the storm out here at Seven Springs.

Change in snowfall forecasting

1. Accumulation predictions will be a straight number for a city or specific area, such as
"12 inches for Philadelphia" or "8 inches for York County" the caveat is that forecast implies their may be a 2 inch variance on either side of that number.

2. I will begin grading the accuracy of the forecast based on a percentage system. How close in percent was the actual accumulation to the forecast. If Philly gets 11" and I said 12", then it is about 90% accurate, which would be an A. York County, if I said 8" and the actual was 5" then 5/8 = 60% roughly? That's a D which in my book is not really passing. I will grade all my forecasts when the storm is over based on the LOW number to be consistent.

3. I'll do an average roundup of all the predictions for a final storm grade based on percent accuracy.

About the comments

1. SPORTS AND WEATHER. I used to drive my parents nuts (right Mom?) about the weather at home back in the day. I was probably one of the first viewers of the Weather Channel when it came on the air... (anyone know the date? ah, good guess.. it was March 1, 1982). So I get as emotional and OCD about the weather as sports people do about their teams. So my fellow powderhounds in Beantown... IT IS OKAY to let your emotions spill over onto this site about your sports teams. In fact it helps to broaden and diversify our viewpoints on life, as my family would vigorously nod their heads were I to say there is more to life than weather. My statement about the Steelers country servers was just to throw a snowball at you for fun. Then again, it's so powdery, I can't make snowballs.

2. STORM REPORTS. I think other viewers really seem to enjoy reading the storm reports from far away. Us PH's love a good snow, even in July. Just hearing about it. And the NWS reporting system is not ideal, so it helps us understand the dynamics of the storm with your observations. Keep on postin' !

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT BIG STORM

Fear the Florida Factor. I am running out of internet cafe time, so this is a preview of my next big call, which is not hype, it is grounded in science. Bostonians, get your seatbelt out. I think this storm was only a setup for what is coming in February. Florida provided that lightning strikes twice, or three times, or four times. Water temp profiles off east coast are running 4-6 deg C above normal. That's why you'll have 25-30" in Boston today.

So the early word on February, another storm bigger than this one, believe it or not. More later.

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