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Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

Computer models starting to flop, we may only get 2 or 3 inches

Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010, at 10:00 AM

Winter Storm "Bumblebee Man" is coming together nicely over Texas. Here's the current (9:30 AM CST) national radar image:

The storms looks good on infrared satellite:

However, the computer models are suggesting that the storm will be weaker once it arrives here, with a track slightly more to the south. The latest computer-generated guess/forecast from the National Weather Service shows Cape Girardeau receiving only 3.7 inches of total snow accumulation instead of the 5.2 projected yesterday.

Heavy snow is still expected along the US 60 axis, with 8.0 inches predicted for Poplar Bluff. A slight northward jog in the storm could bring that heavy snow to Cape Girardeau, but this looks less likely than it did yesterday. AccuWeather.com is projecting over 7 inches for Cape Girardeau, but I'm having a hard time believing that.

If anything, the storm could track more to the south, leaving us with squat.

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I believe in waiting until I see flakes falling before I start putting "a little" faith into the forecasters. The numbers are all over the place from the weather channels dismal 1-3 (which they reduced from an earlier forecast) to 7-10 from the locals. You can't tell me that storm is that hard to forecast. Allbeit, I followed the bread index and headed out because I would love to get snowed in tomorrow. I do predict I will wake up in the morning and not find much at all. Thanks for the posts. I love reading them.

-- Posted by pickles on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 1:36 PM

Illustrator: Snowstorms really are hard to forecast. The problem is that even the slightest hiccup in the storm's strength and track could mean the difference between 4 inches and 12 inches. Or nothing at all.

Let's say this was an ordinary spring rainstorm instead. The difference in the storm's track could mean the difference between a quarter-inch of rain or a half-inch of rain. If a weatherman called for a half-inch but we got a quarter-inch, nobody would make a fuss. A quarter-inch of rain is not that big of a deal! (Unless we're in a drought.)

But when converted to snow, a quarter-inch of liquid makes a huge difference in the total accumulation. That's why accumulation forecasts are so frequently wrong.

-- Posted by James Baughn on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 1:53 PM

Yikes it has changed again now were in the 6.6 range on the map:


-- Posted by darkstar on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 2:39 PM

darkstar: The computer models are really starting to get interesting. The latest GFS model shows Cape Girardeau getting 10-12 inches and Poplar Bluff getting 12-15 inches. See:


Another model, the NAM, is a little more reasonable with Cape getting 6-8 inches. That's still quite a lot:


-- Posted by James Baughn on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 2:44 PM

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