Snow & Scare Tactics Forecasting

UPDATED POST:  SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2014, 10:02 a.m.  (except for updated snow totals at the bottom)

Light snow or flurries are possible for through early afternoon.  Additional accumulations will be on the light side.

Part of the “Winter Storm Warning” and the “Winter Weather Advisory” has been cancelled.  The remaining “Warning” is in effect until 3 p.m. Saturday.

Enjoy your day and weekend!


ORIGINAL POST:  SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2014, 7:30 a.m.  (except for updated snow totals at the bottom)

More snow is expected today before the storm departs this afternoon.

A “Winter Storm Warning” remains in effect in the fuchsia-colored area, including the Quad Cities, through 6 p.m. today and a “Winter Weather Advisory” in the purple shading until 3 p.m. Saturday.

A few more inches of snow will fall today before noon.

After very cold temperatures tonight through Monday morning with sunshine Sunday and Monday, another accumulating snow is likely Tuesday and Tuesday night.

This will have to be watched closely.  It’s my experience, this far out, that the storm will track closer to the Quad Cities in the future models.

At this point, I must vent.  Please bear with me!

While there’s always a possibility of big snow totals when you clump together snow systems and worst case scenarios, that is irresponsible forecasting at its best.  A local meteorologist is notorious for this.

People need to know specific short-term snow forecast totals and not have one heavy snow long-term model after another thrown at them.  Yes, it’s fun to look at, but it creates fear, frustration, and lack of confidence in ALL responsible meteorologists when these don’t pan out.

Just today, someone posted this crap on my Facebook page.

Weather Channel

THIS IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!  You could look at this and say, “it’s warning us in advance”.

While this “could” happen, my philosophy is that if you take every worse case snow scenario for every snow event, it’s likely you’ll come up with that total.

However, a very high percentage of human forecasters would look at this and say, “interesting”.  And, then they’d say in their forecast something to the effect of “several snows are possible this week and could add up to a decent or significant amount of snow.  We’ll be watching that for you.”

At that point, they’d wait until there is sufficient data before each snow event to make a responsible forecast that they’d stake their reputation on.

And, then there are the “Chicken Little” forecasters and their scaremongering that creates panic forcing people to ask other responsible meteorologists, “are we really going to get 24″ of snow?”

The bottom line is that a computer model 5, 10, and 14-days out may materialize into heavy snow.  But, there are so many variables involved in forecasting that making a solid, reliable, and accurate snow forecast a day or two out is still difficult sometimes even with the technology we have these days.


I’m stepping down from my soap box now.

I’ll have more on the Tuesday snow event with snow forecast totals Monday morning on “CBS4 News This Morning” beginning at 5 a.m. in the Quad Cities.

As for today, I’ll try to keep snow totals updated in this portion of the blog.  So, check back for that.

Snow totals (so far) from my colleagues at the National Weather Service:  7.5″ Adair (IL); 7.0″ Macomb (IL); 7.0″ Keokuk (IA); 7.0″ La Harpe (IL); 7.0″ Stronghurst (IL); 6.5″ Monmouth (IL); 6.5″ Burlington (IA); 6.5″ Fort Madison (IA); 6.0″ Prairie City (IL); 5.8″ Galesburg (IL); 5.7″ Knoxville (IL); 5.3″ Bentley (IL); 4.5″ Salem (IL); 4.3″ Kewanee (IL); 4.0″ Reynolds (IL); 4.0″ Princeton (IL); 4.0″ Fairfield (IA); 3.8″ Bettendorf (IA); 3.8″ Sherrard (IL); 3.8″ Altona (IL); 3.7″ Moline (IL)*; 3.5″ Galva (IL); 3.5″ Geneseo (IL); 3.5″ New Windsor (IL); 3.5″ Aledo (IL); 3.3″ Cambridge (IL); 3.0″ Muscatine (IA); 3.0″ Washington (IA); 2.8″ Columbus Junction (IA); 2.5″ Davenport (IA); 2.5″ Morrison (IL); 2.5″ Lanark (IL); 2.5″ Freeport (IL); 2.1″ Iowa City (IA); 2.0″ Walcott (IA); 2.0″ Durant (IA); 2.0″ Solon (IA); 1.7″ Eldridge (IA); 1.5″ Maquoketa (IA); and 1.3″ Dubuque (IA)*.

*These are the official reporting station totals are only updated every six hours.  The next will be at 6 p.m.

One final note:  We ended January with 17.7″ of snow in the Quad Cities making this the seventh snowiest January on record.



6 responses to this post.

  1. I always trust what you say regarding the weather. Thanks for all of your updates!


  2. Deb,

    Thank you for the vote of confidence. Have a great weekend!



  3. Posted by Margie on February 1, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I trust you only…I still think they were fools to get rid of you! But, your gain, you are Awesome!


  4. I don’t like the scare tactics and especially don’t like the assumption that snow is universally despised. I love when we get snow! I like your straightforward style and that’s why I’ve named you the official meteorologist of Quad City Nordic, a group of local cross country skiing enthusiasts. Congratulations, Anthony! What a huge step forward for your career, huh? Look us up on Facebook and say hey sometime, ok?


    • Hi there,

      Thank you for very much for checking out my blog, for the kind words, and for naming me the “official meteorologist of Quad City Nordic”. That’s too cool.

      I hope to keep the snow coming for you. I love the snow, too. It’s the bitter cold that I could do without!

      I did check out your Facebook page.

      Happy Snow Days to you and your buddies.



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