Mayor Quimby: "Mr. Plow, for making it possible for people to get where they're going without resorting to public transportation or car-pooling, I give you the key to the city."
-- Pointless quote from "The Simpsons"
It was starting to look iffy, but Winter Storm "Bumblebee Man" finally delivered the big snow that the computer models were predicting. Here are the snowfall totals for the region (rounded to the nearest inch):
Thanks to gusty 20+ mph winds during the storm, the snow drifted quite a bit, making accurate snow depth measurements difficult.
The gusty winds whipped the powdery snow into crazy patterns similar to sand dunes in a desert
As expected, we were at the northern edge of the heavy snow, with areas to the north getting much less. Thanks to the storm, a massive part of the country has snow on the ground, as depicted by this graphic from the National Snow Analyses:
How accurate was the forecast? On Wednesday, the official forecast called for 5.2 inches at Cape Girardeau:
By Thursday morning, the computer models hesitated and pushed the heavier snow band to the south. The official forecast was adjusted downward, leaving Cape with a projection of only 3.7 inches.
Finally, on Thursday morning, the models flip-flopped. Now the projection was pushed to 6.6 inches.
Of the particular computer models, the GFS from early Friday seemed to perform the best for Southeast Missouri, although it was too optimistic for Tennessee and Kentucky.
The earlier GFS projection from Thursday was too bullish (10-12 inches for Cape), although this might have become reality if all of the precipitation had reached the ground during the first half of the storm.
All told, the computer models and official forecast were fairly reasonable, despite some flip-flopping in the days leading up to the storm. Mother Nature always has tricks up her sleeve, making a 100% accurate snowfall forecast virtually impossible.
"Luster of midday to objects below"
The full moon shining on the snow has created quite a sight during the last two clear nights. For this part of the country, it's a rare treat to enjoy the combination of a big snow, clear nights and a full moon.
Photo taken at 11:00 PM on Sunday evening
Winter Storm "Comic Book Guy"
The next storm system is already on the horizon. The computer models are hinting at a low pressure system passing to the south on Thursday and Friday, potentially delivering a rain-changing-to-snow scenario for the end of the week. It's too early to even consider a dartboard forecast.