Martinsville Weather - Winter Storm Forecast Review for Sat 1/22/05
Long Range Forecast: My long range forecast for this winter storm was very good. I predicted it all the way to 10 days in advance, although my timing was slightly off from days 8 through 10 when I thought more of the precipitation would fall on Sunday instead of Saturday. But overall, I'm very happy with my long range forecast.
Short Range Timing Forecast: My timing forecast was pretty good. I predicted freezing rain to fall mainly during the afternoon and then scattered snow showers overnight, and that is basically what happened. I didn't really expect the freezing drizzle that fell Saturday morning, but I did have a 50% chance of precipitation during the morning in my forecast just in case something like that happened.
Precipitation Type Forecast: I didn't really nail down the precipitation type until a couple of days before the storm hit, but once I did my forecast was pretty much correct. I would have liked to have been able to nail down the precip type sooner, but this particular storm was so tricky to forecast that I didn't feel like I could do that.
Temperature Forecast: My temperature forecast was pretty good. However, it did get warmer late Saturday afternoon than I predicted. The wedge of cold air that formed east of the mountains wasn't quite as strong as I expected, and that is what led to the slightly warmer temperatures.
Accumulation Forecast: Similar to my comments about precip type above, I didn't really give an accumulation forecast until a day or so before the storm hit. This was also due to the complex and very uncertain nature of this particular storm. However, I decided to forecast up to 1/4" ice and then less than 1" of snow Saturday night, and both forecasts were technically correct. I probably would have been better off predicting 1/8" ice and a dusting of snow, but it was still a good forecast.
Conclusion: I give myself a grade of A- for this storm. There really weren't any major problems with this forecast. The one thing I didn't like was that I had to be somewhat elusive with my precip type and amount forecast until Friday morning's update, and that is why I went down to an A-. I don't like being elusive like that, but this was an unusually complex system and due to the incredible uncertainty associated with it, I felt like I didn't have much choice. There was a possibility that the system was going to phase (or merge) with a system coming up from the Southwest. If that had happened, the entire winter storm would have been much further south and it would have been much worse in this area than it was. But that didn't happen, so we only ended up with some freezing rain and a dusting of snow.
Review my forecasts:
8 PM Saturday 1/22
8 AM Saturday 1/22
7 PM Friday 1/21
7 AM Friday 1/21
7 PM Thursday 1/20
7 AM Thursday 1/20
7 PM Wednesday 1/19
7 AM Wednesday 1/19
7 PM Tuesday 1/18
7 AM Tuesday 1/18
7 AM Monday 1/17
8 AM Sunday 1/16
8 AM Saturday 1/15
7 AM Friday 1/14
7 AM Thursday 1/13
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