Last week, as I’m sure most of you know, up here in the Northeast we had the Storm of the Century that wasn’t. It got me thinking – at least around here, snow forecasts are almost always inaccurate. Other forecasts – rain, sun, etc., are usually right on, at least the day before. Meterology has advanced to the point that, if the forecast calls for rain in five days, we’re gonna get rain. What is so hard about accurately forecasting snow?
Why do meterologists almost always err on overestimating snow amounts rather than underestimating them? I can only recall one snowstorm in my 30-odd years where we ended up with significantly more snow than forecast. In constrast, I’d say 80% of snowstorms underproduce. My sneaking suspicion is that this is driven by the media – higher forecasts of snow accumulation is much more dramatic.
What is so hard about forecasting the rain/snow line? (For you unitiated, the rain/snow line is the line on the map where the precipitation starts coming down as rain instead of snow, IOW where the temperature changes).
Is this just a Northeast problem? Are snow forecasts more accurate in Denver?