Baseball is a uniquely American Sport, although it has its roots in cricket. It’s only appropriate that a week after opening day we’re bombing the Middle East again. While bombing the middle east is not a uniquely American sport, pretending to want peace in the Middle East while each new presidential administration bombs it, is uniquely American. This administration is off to a relatively quick start with a surprise bombing that happened sometime last evening while I was dead from the flu.
Whether it was justified or not is anybody’s guess. Our mainstream media is so corrupt, it’s difficult to validate whether the Syrian chemical attack that precipitated this bombing actually happened. After all, the mainstream media had repeatedly assured us that the outgoing Obama administration had successfully gotten Syria to disarm themselves of chemical weapons, a part of Obama’s brilliant legacy, or something. Thus, it’s not even possible to have occurred even though it was being widely reported to have occurred. Meanwhile, people from both the left and right were claiming it was a “false flag” operation for some reason or another. Moving on from the chemical attacks, it would be nice if our mainstream media discussed how this bombing complicates the already complicated proxy war occurring in Syria. Instead, we have Brian Williams achieving orgasm viewing war porn:
But MSNBC viewers weren’t upset about that, they were upset their beloved Rachel Maddow was interrupted to cover the bombing. Anyway, this bombing appears to have significantly shifted peoples thoughts about Trump. All of the sudden, the mainstream media is in love with him (America sure loves war, huh?) while some Trump supporters have jumped off the “Trump Train” (fortunately, I was never on it to begin with). Meanwhile, die hard Democrats are twisting logic around into multiple pretzel knots trying to explain how someone who they believe is simply a puppet of Putin’s (remember, it’s a fact to these people that Putin hacked the election) has gone and bombed Syria and complicated relations with Russia.
I will be curious to see how all this plays out. In the mean time, it’s definitely time to play 2004’s Team America: World Police song. Satire or not, this timeless classic really should be America’s national anthem:
The evening before last, I came down with a sudden sore throat and nasty malaise. I was able to get some sleep and when I did, fever dreams were occurring. I knew what it was even before I went to bed, though; it was the flu. This despite getting the flu shot later last December.
First thing yesterday morning, I went to MedStar PromptCare in the hopes of trying Tamiflu for the first time ever. The doctor ran both a strep and flu test and both came back negative. But, in one of the most surprising things to ever happen to me, the doctor immediately agreed that it was the flu despite me having had a shot and the test coming back negative. Apparently the fact that the flu shot partially missed the mark this year, the fact that the flu is still going around my area, and the fact that my symptoms all screamed flu, led her to agree with me. Doctors and I have had different opinions about things my entire life, so this was noteworthy. She was also genuinely concerned that if I had any indications of a heart or breathing issue with it to go the ER immediately. I guess those are the hazards of getting older now.
So I got a prescription for Tamiflu and took the first pill around 11am yesterday. The symptoms only got much worse after that and now 36 hours after taking Tamiflu, I can say with certainty that this is going to run its course on par with the other times I’ve had a nasty flu. Which is to say not being able to do anything except feeling like I’m going to die for four days followed by a week of still feeling like a shit sandwich while working.
Now, you’re probably thinking that it isn’t the flu given I had the vaccine just over three months ago and the virus I have is not responding to Tamiflu. I 100% support your logic. I can also say with 100% certainty that you’re wrong. Given that the flu vaccines have missed the mark in recent years, it does make me wonder what the point of getting a flu vaccine is. As for Tamiflu, I’m going to continue taking it since there’s no difference between it and a sugar pill, but I won’t bother with it again. In fact, I went back last evening to my tried and true method of flu symptom relief – gargling a quarter shot of El Dorado rum once an hour, as needed. I strongly recommend trying it if you never have. I’m sure your decent liquor of choice can be substituted.
Edit: Oh, lord. I just learned The Walking Dead season finale is tomorrow. So, that’s the reason. I should have known it was advertising related somehow. This has to be the lamest thing I’ve ever seen a major site do.
I had no idea because I haven’t watched The Walking Dead since season two because it was a joke then.
Imgur used to be a nice site several years ago with interesting or funny images and thoughtful comments. But, it devolved into a majority of shitposts, reposts, and politics (many of which seem to be upvoted by bots) over the years. At the same time, a comment showing even the slightest dissent from the Imgur community groupthink would get downvoted to disappear. I had been thinking for over a year now of dropping off of Imgur because wading through all the bullshit to see something good was getting rather cumbersome.
But for the past 24 hours or so, it’s been nothing but zombies. This happens sometimes, as the community will jump onto a meme. But this topic was put forth by imgur in a banner at the top of their web page and mobile app.
Apparently it’s a game imgur wants users to play by tagging things with #TeamHuman or #TeamZombie with #TeamZombie posts getting “infected” or something. It’s a remarkably stupid thing for an image site to do, but at the same time, remarkably stupid is the world we live in now and imgur has been steadily lowering in content quality, so it’s a Poe’s Law situation as to what Imgur is thinking.
There’s a very strong possibility that this was coordinated for maximum impact on April Fools’, since that is today and the day imgur died to me, but there is a major problem with that thinking – Imgur started it yesterday, March 31st. It’s also unclear what zombies have to do with April Fool’s. So again, Poe’s Law. Still, I’m assuming tomorrow there’s going to be some post from imgur saying “thanks for playing the zombie infection game, we hope you had fun on April Fools”. That will explain the general stupidity of it, but it’s not going to explain why:
A) imgur wrecked its own site for an extended period of time for a joke. Most April Fool’s jokes on the internet are a quick laugh then the site can be usable. This isn’t a laugh and the site is not usable as it once was.
B) Imgur spent some time programming some of the stuff related to the zombie game when they could have been programming other things.
In fact, the top comment on Imgur’s post on the subject is “cool..so the favorites folders are just around the corner then?”
Indeed, folders for favorites is something the imgur community has been asking imgur to implement for years. My favorites are the only thing keeping me from deleting my account at the moment. I’ve already deleted all my posts as well as deleted all my comments. Now I just need to go through my favorites and download them all and sort through them locally to save what I want.
Over the past year or so, they’ve also taken away functionality that people had enjoyed and have made user interface changes that nobody asked for. Also, their servers have been crashing nonstop for the past year and a half or so.
My departure from sites occurs because of a mix of the user community becoming excessively stupid and some sort of self-infliction from the site itself. Imgur is no different, but weighs heavier to the self-infliction side.
Three storm chasers were killed yesterday outside of Spur, TX when a Suburban with two chasers ran a stop sign and collided with a Jeep being driven by another chaser. The crash was not attributable to the weather, despite some headlines that suggested otherwise. The Suburban had the Weather Channel logo on its side, and the driver was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the crash. It was also live streaming at the time.
These are the facts either reported by the Texas Department of Public Safety or verified by me after the crash through simple observation of information in twitter feeds. The damage control team at The Weather Channel was quick to point out that the two in the Suburban were contractors:
I didn’t read any opinion pieces today on the subject because I don’t have to. The storm chaser community will claim they provide a valuable public service with data gathering that helps forecasters increase lead times for tornado warnings. Except they don’t. Virtually all the information they actively gather can be passively gathered by Doppler radar. In fact, it’s Doppler radar that allowed the modern era of storm chasing to begin. What they’re actually doing is gathering video for ratings for money. We all know this to be true.
The first thing that will be said in the opinion pieces, though, is that it was a tragedy. What won’t be directly said is that it was an entirely preventable tragedy and that everyone in the weather community knew for years something like this would happen. I expected a massive crash to occur with non-chasing civilians or emergency responders such as the police or EMTs. But the crash occurred with another chaser who was all of 25 years old (third one down, screen cap saved in case it gets taken down).
The fact that this crash occurred is bullshit enough, but the fact that the driver of the vehicle running the stop sign was not wearing a seatbelt makes for double bullshit from a weather community who is way more than happy to lecture the public on safety. This crash comes after three veteran storm chasers were killed in 2013 when their truck got sucked up and thrown by a tornado turning the truck into a heap of twisted metal, the only thing identifying the make of the truck being the wheel.
Don’t get me wrong here – I’m sure the Weather Channel team (as well as the other chaser) were all good people and the driver of the Suburban simply made a mistake. I say that truly and sincerely; we all make mistakes and may they all Rest In Peace. Also, I’m mostly a hypocrite when it comes to this stuff. If a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is issued for my immediate area, I’m first opening my door to take a look before going to my basement. But the difference between me and others in the community is that I’m not jumping in my car at the first sign of a thunderstorm popping up on a day that looks ripe for severe weather, then driving around chasing it.
I’m also not blowing through stop signs because I’m looking at the sky (we all know that’s what happened) because I’m not out there in the first place. Back in the 90s, I had decided I was going to book a trip at some point in my life and ride along with storm chasers, but by the 2000s, there were articles appearing stating the chasers and their tourist gawkers were getting in the way of first responders and ambulances after a tornado had blown through. I decided then I would not be doing it, but yea, I continue to love me a good high resolution supercell and/or tornado video and will for the remainder of my life. So, I admit that I’m still a part of the problem.
But given the state of politics and the “reporting” by our fearless investigative “news” teams, there is no doubt in my mind that blame deflection will occur and climate change will be brought up as a reason for this crash and the probability certainly exists that Trump will take some blame given his stance with the EPA. After all, this crash occurred the same day the world’s foremost expert on climate science, Michael Moore, announced the END OF THE WORLD (for the 100th time over the past decade):
It seems likely to me that the Russians will somehow be tied to it as well by our media. All items designed to mask the ugly truth when looking in the mirror. A brief spot check of twitter shows at least one person blaming TX roads for the crash. Given that the photos show a very clear intersection and visible signs, I would think this is satire, the account says it is satirical, but I’m thinking it’s actually serious since the account says it is an advocate for road safety? Who knows? I have no idea what people are actually thinking anymore:
All that having been said, what I’m about to say clearly calls for my very own Unwelcome Idea Rob Base meme (only the dankest of memes for me), if it hasn’t already:
How about we stop with the storm chasing bullshit? It risks the lives of storm chasers, citizens and emergency responders while providing nothing other than XXX weather porn. Frankly, there’s enough people simply living in tornado alley now with cameras on their cell phone to satiate the hardcore weather porn aficionados looking for Two Girls, One EF5. At a maximum, storm chaser teams should consist of actual scientists performing research for NOAA or other agencies, like it was prior to 20 years ago. The amateur chasers, the tourist companies and the tornado porn nightcrawlers like the Weather Channel absolutely need to get the fuck out.
But why have the hard conversations and debate when you can shut down any debate by a choice of screams:
Since the storm chasers, including the ones who died, appear to be white males, the “THAT’S RACIST!” and “THAT’S SEXIST!” argument can’t be used as a distraction in this instance in arguing for the storm chasers, although it could be used as a distraction in other arguments related to storm chasing (WHY AREN’T THERE MORE FEMALE OR TRANSGENDER STORM CHASERS?! DAMN PATRIARCHY!). As for me, I’ll just say I believe the Russians are at fault. God forbid if people find out I can think for myself.
I rented and streamed The Devil’s Candy this past weekend based on a review by Chris Stuckmann and the fact that most reviewers are giving it positive reviews. Unfortunately, I found the film to be mediocre. The issue I had with it was that it basically seemed like a standard slasher flick. Yea, it’s an indie film and some may like the artsy take on it, but all I found that part to be was an homage to heavy metal music. And that’s pretty much all the film was – a crazy guy killing children to the backdrop of heavy metal music. Even the climactic ending seemed like it was simply an homage to heavy metal music videos and album covers.
That having been said, I liked the performances of all the actors involved especially the three family members (Kiara Glasco, the teenager, is definitely one to watch for a good film career in the future), but unfortunately, Pruitt Taylor Vince, the killer, plays his typecast character the same as most everywhere else he’s been. Which is to say very well, but I’ve seen the exact same actor playing the exact same character in movies a couple of times before (the first one being 2003’s Identity with John Cusack).
Also, Vudu had streaming problems Saturday evening when I wanted to watch the film and I ended up having to watch it Sunday evening. Lame.
P.S. I found the creepiest scene to be the one where the killer appears in the girl’s bed.
Back in the early 2000s when I was still relatively new to working full time in Information Technology, there were always customers who said “Apples can’t get viruses.” This was so wrong, wrong, wrong, and showed the general ignorance of people when it came to computers, although that ignorance really wasn’t their fault. I knew full well it was part of the Apple fanboi culture to proclaim that Apple computers couldn’t get viruses, although it was never officially stated by Apple to be the case.
Fast forward 17 years later and for the past month, Apple has had a set of advertisements that I’ve seen on the web in video format and on twitter, among other places, that state “you wouldn’t get a PC virus, if you’re computer was an iPad Pro.”
To that, I have to say…
Apple breaking out old, has-been and ignorant arguments reeks of desperation and stupidity and methinks they are fearful of competition from the Microsoft’s Surface series of products. No doubt many will fall for these advertisements and doing a spot check of a couple of articles about it claim that the takeaway from these commercials is that Apple is up to it’s usual “funny” or “cute” self because the message is so obvious in its literal form.
Except that it’s not funny or cute. It’s really stupid. And it’s blatantly trying to get people to think that Apple products don’t get viruses or are somehow more secure.
Back in 2008, I purchased my first ever Apple product, an Apple MacBook Pro. I did this because Microsoft Windows Vista was a complete shit show of a product, a true embarrassment equaled only by my seventh grade social skills. I said at the time that if Apple were smart, they would tune and beef up OS X and bring in a better application ecosystem, then they could outperform Microsoft in both revenue and market share. Instead they did something arguably smarter – brought out the iPad. I said in 2010 when it was unveiled and after I had used one that it was the perfect consumer tablet. But the keyword was consumer – it wasn’t going to be a business or work computer and I said this repeatedly at the time, even as industry analysts happily chugged the Apple cock saying the iPad would ultimately become a true PC replacement.
Seven years and a plethora of models later, most are in agreement now that not even the latest iPad Pro is a MacBook replacement, much less a business PC replacement. With Microsoft bringing out true innovation in their Surface line while Apple simultaneously left the computer lines that run Mac OS X (now macOS) to practically die, Apple obviously sees the problems that lie ahead for itself in the short term. This is just more ebb and flow of the Information Technology tides, as nearly a decade from now I’m sure Apple will be back to being at untouchable status.
For the record – I purchased a Surface Book a year ago and love it. It’s everything it was advertised to be. The Surface dock, however, is the biggest piece of shit I’ve ever purchased and works maybe half of the time. I finally gave up on it about a month ago and tossed it into my spare computer parts bin, as it will be much easier to simply unplug the laptop, monitor, and USB hub and take the Surface Book with me than troubleshooting the black brick turd known as the Surface dock.
“I got an idea that I wanna share. You don’t like it? So what? I don’t care.” -Rob Base.
Every year, the big cities in the Mid-Atlantic and/or northeast US are treated to hype for a big storm that ultimately busts for those cities and inexorably, the post-storm shit show of finger pointing happens. It took until Tuesday, March 14 this winter, but the same broken record finally played again with the all-too-familiar song where the main refrain wails “we need to be better at communicating uncertainty in the forecast”. In case you were in a cave and missed it, a potential blizzard was set to blast DC to Boston with actual blizzard warnings for the Philadelphia and New York city areas. The storm formed, but formed west of where models and forecasters thought it would resulting in mixing for the major cities with the heavy snow inland.
The post-storm shit show kicked off with an AP article that stated weather forecasters thought on Monday afternoon that the big cities would be spared of large snow accumulations but decided to keep the forecast and blizzard warnings in place to ensure continuity and not confuse the public by flip-flopping the forecast.
Not too long after that article, opinion pieces popped up in various places blasting the National Weather Service for its decision to keep the large snow forecast in place if they thought it wasn’t going to happen. One of the more notable ones came from the Capital Weather Gang (paywalled), complete with an obligatory dig at Trump. Social media, such as twitter, then lit up with every Tom, Dick and Harry injecting their opinion on the subject.
First of all, the general public can go fuck themselves with whatever opinion they have on anything. Their primary concern is what exactly is the size of Donald Trump’s hands. And those are the smarter ones. While I would be considered a member of the general public, I have more of a stake in storms like this because I issue actual forecasts to friends for the Mid-Atlantic for winter storms such as the one being discussed. Thus, the reason for my opinion in this post.
Second, the National Weather Service forecasters have always been and always will be in a no-win situation with these storms. It doesn’t matter if the forecast is even slightly off, or entirely correct, people are going to bitch and moan anyway because bitching and moaning is woven into the very fabric of American society. Plus the danger in going to school, work, driving, etc. was all still there in the heavy sleet and freezing rain instead of heavy snow. What people were actually pissed about was the fact that they couldn’t have a good snowball fight or build a decent snowman prior to going back in the house for hot chocolate on their snow day off.
The general public, with their need for everything reduced to 140 characters or less, isn’t going to care about the uncertainty of a forecast, so fuck them. Nobody who has stumbled across this post is reading it several paragraphs in, only search bots archiving it are. (That’s the reason for posts like this and ones in my prior iterations of blogs – they’re for when humans kill themselves from their own stupidity and a future intelligent species or aliens are able to uncover these writings, they’ll understand I wasn’t part of the problem.) Anyone remotely enlightened about east coast USA weather understands that every coastal low, regardless of forecast, is uncertain in its strength and track. So the constant calls in the weather community for communicating “uncertainty” better are a meaningless circle jerk.
Given the very cold air mass in place (did you notice how cold it was the day after the storm?) and the likelihood that it would stay below freezing for the duration of the storm, I agreed with the National Weather Service for keeping the warnings up. But then, our local National Weather Service forecast office downgraded our winter storm warnings to winter weather advisories despite ongoing heavy frozen precipitation. As I noted here, this was baffling to me and the first time I’ve ever seen this occur. So if I’m understanding the AP article correct, the NWS kept the warnings in place because they didn’t want to confuse the public by flip flopping, then flip flopped the forecast for the Mid-Atlantic mid-storm, potentially confusing the public, despite no need to flip flop, by definition.
Our local NWS is deserving of criticism for this flip flopping in my opinion. Also, as hard of working as the NWS forecasters are, I believe most of the actual professional meteorologists can go fuck themselves too with their post-storm opinions on the forecast of these storms. Most (but not all) professional meteorologists have stood by and said nothing for the past decade as money gets pumped into the great global warming fraud rather than weather. On the exact same date as this blizzard-that-wasn’t back in 1993 was the March, 1993 Superstorm. People who paid attention to the weather at the time would know this was a watershed moment for meteorology. Models predicted the massive storm over three days in advance and all of the professional meteorologists patted themselves on the back for the model performance. Now exactly 24 years later, the models have crazy fast computers to work with, very tight grids, and a crap ton of data to work with and the performance in these types of storms for real world forecasts is exactly the same as it was in the 90s, on average.
Politicians, too, can go fuck themselves. Why the Post even wasted typing clicks on Jabba the Hutt, I mean Chris Christie’s opinion on the subject is beyond me (“thought leader” ? LOL!). As for Trump, I don’t have that much of an issue with what he said, because he’s right – these storms usually turn out to not be as bad as they are forecasted or hyped for the big cities. That’s the reason the weather community has this discussion all the fucking time. Remember when Major Hurricane Matthew caused catastrophic damage on the Florida peninsula and Orlando last October? Me neither, because the center stayed offshore the entire time despite hype that it could go inland. And incredibly, NOAA plans to update the GFS model in May with one that is known to be inferior for forecasting hurricanes.
The real people here who require an accurate forecast are emergency managers and planners. What is their opinion of the situation? I have no idea thanks to a media who for eight years said “look how cute Obama is using a selfie stick” and now says “Trump has allowed the Russians to overthrow the United States”. The media refusing to do its job for the past 20 years and the dumpster fire that social media has turned into means that the voices of the people whose opinion counts aren’t heard.
Finally, a number of professional meteorologists, as well as hobbyists, who were basing their forecast on the euro model, claimed their forecast and the euro model forecast verified. This is idiotic, to say the least. It was only starting with the 12z March 13 euro when it became very clear that the euro had the storm hugging the immediate coastline. That was only about eight hours away from the start of the storm by the time the model was finished around 2pm eastern. Emergency managers and others need days of lead time to prepare cities – if there was no blizzard forecast and then one forecasted to occur within 8 hours, an even more massive shit storm would have ensued. This is exactly what happened in the epic fail storm of January 25, 2000, except many people had already gone to bed when the warnings were issued for heavy snow prior to them waking up. This article here reads just like every modern storm bust article saying uncertainty needs to be communicated better and it’s 17 years old!
Others are claiming that because a number of model runs showed sleet over the I95 corridor that the snow accumulation forecasts verified because it was still mostly sleet. This is cringeworthy too. What causes the difference between snow, sleet, freezing rain, and plain rain isn’t even meteorology 101, it’s junior high school weather. All of those precipitation types are related to one another in a winter storm and saying the snow forecast verified in this storm is like saying the snow forecast verified when plain rain fell. It’s simply not true.
Many of the people claiming this are the same ones who are saying the euro verified. What they’re not saying is that the euro recently upgraded its model to include a wide range of precipitation types, even more so than any other model. Meteorologists and hobbyists were assuming the precipitation types factored into the snow maps from the euro being produced by different outlets and that if the snow maps were showing reduced snow it was because of sleet. These precipitation types weren’t factored into the snow maps, so when people thought the euro was forecasting eight inches of snow for our area when looking at the maps, these maps were actually a 10:1 QPF (Quantitative Precipitation Forecast) map of its output of snow and sleet combined. The euro’s later runs for the east coast verified pretty well in its QPF, but the snow forecasts from people did not as a result of this assumption. To give Dr. Ryan Maue of Weatherbell credit, he admits to this in this series of tweets here:
For a moment, I thought ECMWF had lost its way w/NYC #blizzard2017 forecast like 2015, but then I remembered they fixed that issue:
The one model that consistently forecasted the storm’s track and mixing along the I95 corridor was the NAM, but the NAM has performed so horribly the past five years or so that apparently nobody, even professional meteorologists, pay any attention to it at all anymore. This included me, as I didn’t factor the NAM into my forecast at all. Ironically, the NAM was built specifically to model the nuances of a storm such as this.
To summarize the state of weather forecasting we’re in and some of the surrounding issues:
We have professional forecasters who rely too much on models.
The models and forecasts have stagnated, perhaps getting worse depending on the specifics, over the past decade.
The general public is as dumb as dogshit and is getting dumber every day, every hour.
Our politicians are dumb as dogshit and are getting dumber every day, every hour (probably because we’re governed by we, the people).
Actual news reporting and investigative reporting is dead and long gone in America.
It doesn’t matter if emergency managers, schools, etc. believe the forecast or not, they have to go with the worst-case forecast, otherwise their ass would be on the line.
Money has been poured into climate “science” for the past decade, rather than meteorology, and most meteorologists have said nothing.
It’s been my long-standing opinion that forecasting storms such as this won’t begin to improve until we exit the current climate science paradigm. So, here’s an idea that I wanna share: why don’t we admit that the doomsday predictions of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and climate change haven’t come true and that it was all just politics, then start allocating some funding to improving the physics of models when it comes to weather, because short and medium range weather models are the primary tool used for weather forecasting. As someone who has paid good money in taxes over the past 20+ years with a keen interest in weather, knowing that money has been thrown into the black hole of climate science, I believe my voice should at least be heard.
But with the current mentality across America, I don’t see that happening and I see no reason why this broken record won’t repeat. Again. And again. The next one will occur either this coming hurricane season or next winter storm season, or during both. I’ve already got the image lined up for it.
We got about three inches of snow at my place before it changed over to sleet around 1am. It later changed over to a sleet and freezing rain mix. I’m not ultimately sure what type of ice accretions we got because I had to go to work early in the morning, but it was glazing badly as I left in the 6:00 hour. Seeing reports from around the area, this was a bust for most everyone in terms of snowfall and only out towards Fredneck did any real snow fall. My place seems to fall in line with those who are just northwest of I95 and those directly on it seemed to get 2.5 inches. The biggest bust in my forecast was northeastern MD, which seems to have only got about four inches. FAIL.
As for the reason for the bust, the storm formed and tracked further west still from where both I and the models thought it would be and it tracked through eastern North Carolina and over the Norfolk area. In the morning it went just west of the mouth of the Chesapeake and on up over top of the Delmarva before exiting off the Delaware coast. Later in the afternoon it crossed Long Island. My understanding is that this was a bust for Philly to NYC to Boston too due to this track. I believe official forecasts were for snow to be measured in feet for those cities. FAIL.
Here’s what was the official forecast for New York City:
Here’s what it had changed to all of five hours later:
As for model performance, none of them got it right, but last night’s 0z NAM and Canadian forecasted the track correctly, but the storm had basically formed at that point so it shouldn’t have been that difficult. Not surprisingly, the 0z GFS still tracked the storm wrong and incredibly, so did the 06z GFS after the coastal had definitively fully formed. The fairly reliable (in the fist eight hours) HRRR indicated a colder solution in the middle of the night last night and that the mix would change back over to snow early in the morning and this was wrong too. The track on some model runs only a couple of days ago that took it well east were very wrong inside a time frame that is supposed to see improvement and further proof there’s still a long way to go to perfect the models. This after additional data from flights in the Atlantic were ingested into the models over the past couple of days to ensure forecast track and I’m sure additional weather balloon data too. FAIL.
The temperature did stay below freezing at my place for the duration of the precipitation heavy enough for accumulation, so I’ll give my forecast (and the models) that. It went below freezing at 9:05PM last night and went back above at 11:05am. Win.
Also to note: In one of the most perplexing things I’ve ever seen our local National Weather Service do, they dropped the Winter Storm Warning and put in a Winter Weather Advisory around 4:30am. I’ve never seen this in my ~32 years of watching the watches and warnings when there is ongoing heavy precipitation and the temperature is below freezing and not expected to go above, although they do it all the time when temps go above freezing. A winter storm warning is supposed to be 5 inches or more of snow or sleet within a 12 hour period, or enough ice accumulation to cause damage to trees or power lines, or a combination of both snow, ice and wind. We were certainly getting the combination of snow, ice and wind and were forecasted to through at least mid-day (the five inches of snow requirement has never counted when there’s mixing of icing). It was so odd, I had to go to the local NWS page to make sure they hadn’t changed the definition (they haven’t): http://www.weather.gov/lwx/WarningsDefined. I was completely baffled, but then I saw this article here and am thinking since they already had decided it was a fail before the storm started, they just went ahead and downgraded it regardless.
Later during the morning, tree limbs being down were reported everywhere. Here’s one in Canton that is on my drive to work:
Also to note: Only two weeks ago it was loudly declared by the CWG spring had arrived way early and that it could/would be an early record breaking cherry blossom year. A conveniently non-paywalled Washington Post article highlights this:
A couple of days later the NPS officially said the festival will kickoff tomorrow:
The biggest threat of the season is almost here and already virtually all of the weather outlets have downsized their predictions pointing to a bust scenario being more likely. Currently the National Weather Service believes 5-7 inches will fall in Baltimore and 4-6 inches in DC:
This is because significant mixing with sleet is being portrayed by the models due to their belief the storm is going to directly hug the coast now as it passes by us. Here’s a loop from the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model showing an extended period of sleet for I95 in the Mid-Atlantic. This is one such possibility, but usually the sleet band is slightly thinner than what is being portrayed:
But there’s still room for both boom and bust – the first flurries started flying around 6pm in the Baltimore area, a solid three hours ahead of model forecasts, so already the storm is behaving a little different than expected. It may mean nothing, but no storm has ever gone exactly as a model predicted even at event time. And interestingly, the “expect at least this much” (10 percentile) and “potential for this much” (90 percentile) graphics have changed to both lower and raise totals across the area.
The 10 percentile graphic shows nothing for the I95 corridor now:
But the 90 percentile graphic shows an even larger area of 18+ inches intersecting with the Baltimore City line:
So while the National Weather Service has lowered expectations overall, there’s actually more uncertainty in their forecast than there was yesterday.
As for the models, the 12z euro gave 7 inches down the I95 line:
The 18z GFS gives 4-6 inches:
The 12z Canadian gives big amounts, but much of this is sleet being translated as snow on the map:
As for my forecast if I could change it, I would downsize too with a few inches of snow followed by significant sleet. Wednesday is going to be very cold behind this system with temperatures not getting above freezing, a rarity for mid-March. That’s all I’ve got.
I issue a final forecast 24 hours prior to the beginning of an anticipated snow storm. Beyond that is just nowcasting IMO.
Directly along I95 from DC to Baltimore: 4-8 inches with the lighter amounts the further south/east one lives
North and west of I95 from Owings Mills to Rockville to Centreville: 8-12 inches
Northeastern MD (Harford and Cecil counties): 9-13 inches
Southern Anne Arundel county, southern and eastern PG county, north, central and western Charles County: 2-4 inches
Southeastern Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties: 0-2 inches
There’s no real changes in amounts or my thought process from my previous forecast. It’s a certainty that schools will be closed everywhere Tuesday except southern MD given the hype. As for OPM, I’m not sure what their thinking will be. Timing of first snow flakes will be sometime between just after rush hour Monday and prior to 11pm. Heaviest precipitation rates will be between midnight and 8am Tuesday and in those spots where it is snowing, rates could be two inches per hour or slightly higher for several hours.
A storm like this makes me happy I’m not a professional meteorologist. The issues noted in my previous post could lead to a very sharp gradient of snow totals and it’s within the realm of possibility that gradient could be quite large. It’s possible that someone somewhere along the I95 corridor ends up with a few inches of slush while someone 5 miles to the north and west as the crow flies receives 18 inches, although I don’t think the difference will ultimately be that dramatic over such a short distance. The 12z GFS showed no mixing of precipitation for the I95 corridor and the 18z was very similar:
But I find it unlikely to be entirely snow for everyone except southern MD like it shows. Our local National Weather Service agrees that mixing is a distinct possibility over the I95 corridor:
The 12z Canadian showed sleet for a time along the I95 corridor and I find that to be the most likely scenario and sleet would cut down on the accumulation totals:
The 12z euro gave 8-10 inches over the I95 corridor, because it was the strongest bomb of them all with its coastal front overtaking the I95 corridor as well:
Even if the moderate snow totals in my forecast were to verify, it still wouldn’t bring this winter up to normal snow fall. The map below shows the paltry snow for our area this winter down at the bottom.
As with any storm undergoing bombogenesis, thundersnow is possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a couple of reports on social media of thunder being heard if the bombing occurs like the models say it will.
If an area of convective snow breaks out in our area, I wouldn’t be surprised if the National Weather Service upgraded to a blizzard warning. Right now most of the models keep the wind gusts just under blizzard criteria, but convection would bring stronger winds down to the surface. This scenario (where the NWS was originally not going to issue blizzard warnings, but then had to) happened in the third blizzard of the 2009-2010 season. The 12z euro’s wind gusts would meet blizzard criteria for portions of the area if snow were falling.
I finally bought a semi-professional weather station a few weeks ago when AcuRite had a good deal going. I figured today was as good as any day to set it up with the possible snow storm coming. It’s supposed to be able to connect to weather underground but the wunderground site is giving me no response when trying to create a site. I’ll try again tomorrow, but I’m not concerned whether it’s on wunderground or not.
For the record, the local NWS “most likely” scenario at the time of this writing (6:00pm, 03/12) is:
And the “expect at least this much” and “potential for this much” are: