Sunday, April 15, 2007

April Snowstorm, Part 3

It's calm and mildly chilly outside right now - as it has been all day and night - though you might not be sure of that if you'd been watching the 11:00 local weathercasts.

The "historic" storm that was supposed to dump 6-12 inches of snow on the Rochester area seems to be more mythical than historical. All three of the local stations downgraded their forecasts at this hour, though Josh Nichols - whom I usually trust - seems to be holding out hope that there will be some devastating weather to contend with on Monday morning. I actually got the feeling that Nichols was more defending his reputation than trying to provide an accurate forecast.

Nichols (WHEC, channel 10) downgraded the forecast to 2-4 inches after 6:00 am on Monday and kept using the word "backbuilding" of the threatening snow, which is somehow to supposed to magically grow in intensity and descend upon us while the temperatures are in the mid-30s.

I found his report to be more than just suspect, but on the verge of being non-credible. One of his cohorts said the Lake Ontario shoreline would be buffeted by 9-11 foot waves. I've never seen waves higher than 6 feet on the lake all my life, so I may just head down there tomorrow with a camera.

Channel 8 (WROC) downgraded their forecast to 1-4 inches by morning and an additional 3-5 inches during the day Monday.

Channel 13 (WHAM) dropped their forecast total to 1-3 inches, with 3-7 in higher elevations. All three stations predicted overnight lows around 32 degrees and Monday highs of 35-38.

My empirical observations are light, almost non-existent winds, temperature just above freezing. I checked the ice cube I put out in the open air on the back porch at almost 11:00 pm, and there was almost nothing left of it. I'm putting another ice cube out there to see if the temperatures actually fall below freezing overnight.

Overall, the weather forecasters totally misled the public on this one. The threat of heavy snow in Rochester was at best a 50/50 shot and they never should have predicted anything more than 4-6 inches. According to my pedestrian overview of online weather maps it now looks as though the general Rochester area will see no more than an inch or two, if that, though we are getting a healthy Spring rain.


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