Monday, February 15, 2010

Never forget direct observation

There is a story in Navy history of the meteorologist buried deep below decks on an aircraft carrier who called up to the admiral on the bridge with the weather report.  Clear and sunny for the next several days he reported when in reality the ship was barreling through a massive storm.

Anyway, I swear the evening news report I was watching said the total snow expectation for the day and evening was 1-3" by morning.  Having just walked home through near blizard conditions at a couple points, that story came to mind. I think I had an inch on my head.

2 Comments:

Anonymous DBR96A said...

Predicting snowfall often takes a level of precision that an imperfect science such as meteorology won't allow. A 50-mile difference in the track of a low-pressure center can mean the difference between snow and no snow, 6" and 2", or 12" and 6".

I live on the Georgia Piedmont these days, and snow/ice forecasting often comes down to last-minute temperature observations. There have been times when Atlanta and Athens have both been pegged for ice, but only Athens got ice while Atlanta was stuck with a cold rain because the temperature went no lower than 34.

Monday, February 15, 2010 9:28:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

Top 10 snowiest months in Pittsburgh history:

1. January 1978 (40.2")
2. December 1890 (36.3")
3. March 1993 (34.1")
4. February 2010 (33.3")*
5. November 1950 (32.3")
6. January 1994 (30.1")
7. January 1977 (26.5")
8. January 1925 (26.2")
9. December 1944 (26.0")
10. February 2003 (25.3")

Top 10 snowiest winters in Pittsburgh history:**

1. 1950-1951 (82.0")
2. 1913-1914 (78.5")
3. 1993-1994 (76.8")
4. 1960-1961 (76.0")
5. 1995-1996 (74.5")
6. 1992-1993 (72.1")
7. 1969-1970 (70.7")
8. 1935-1936 (63.6")
9. 1963-1964 (62.6")
T10. 1977-1978 (62.2")
T10. 1959-1960 (62.2")

13. 2009-2010 (61.5")*

* - As of February 14, 2010. Subject to change.

** - "Winter" is defined as everything between the first and last measurable snowfalls during a time period beginning July 1 and ending June 30.

Monday, February 15, 2010 10:22:00 PM  

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