Martinsville Weather - Winter Storm Forecast Review for Thu 01/17/08
Long Range Forecast (Very Good): I predicted a chance of rain or snow 10 days in advance, removed it 9 days out, then put it back in on the 8th day and kept it there from then on. I simply had a chance of rain or snow showers early on, then added in the possibility of a mix 5 days ahead of time. Overall, my long range forecast was very good.
Short Range Timing Forecast (Good): My last forecast before the precipitation began was for snow to start around 3 or 4 AM, then change to sleet around 11 AM, and come to an end around 4 or 5 PM. Snow began around 5 AM, which was a little later than I predicted, because it took a while for the dry air to moisten up enough for the snow to reach the ground. The major difference was the changeover to sleet, which took place during the 8:00 hour in the morning, much earlier than I had expected. The precipitation came to an end during the 3:00 hour in the afternoon, which was just a little earlier than I had predicted. Overall, my timing forecast was pretty good, though it could have been a bit better.
Precipitation Type Forecast (Fair): This was probably the worst aspect of my forecast, mainly because I didn't expect to get much if any freezing rain. I discussed the timing issues above, which led to us getting sleet much earlier in the day than I expected. More warm air continued to move in aloft, changing the precipitation to freezing rain by mid to late morning, which I did not predict. Fortunately, ice accumulations appeared to be fairly light, but because I didn't predict freezing rain and we got several hours of it, I could only give myself a rating of "fair" in this category.
Temperature Forecast (Good): Overall, my temperature forecast for the duration of this winter storm was about 2 degrees too cold. I predicted a low of 28 Thursday morning, but we only dropped to 30. I then predicted a high of 32 Thursday afternoon, but we climbed to 34. Overall, that was a pretty good forecast, but in a scenario where every degree matters, it could have been a little better.
Accumulation Forecast (Very Good): I originally predicted accumulations around an inch, then changed it to 1-2 inches, and eventually 1-3 inches. As it turned out, most of the county seemed to pick up around an inch to an inch and a half. The 1-2 inch forecast probably would have been best, but the potential did exist for us to get as much as 3 inches if the precipitation didn't change to sleet until later in the morning, so I feel like this was a good accumulation forecast.
Overall Grade: A-
Conclusion: After having several poor winter storm forecasts over the last couple of years, this one helped to give my confidence a much-needed boost. The main problem with it was the fact that I didn't predict any freezing rain, but otherwise, I feel like it was a good forecast.
Review my forecasts:
8 AM Thursday 01/17
8 PM Wednesday 01/16
8 AM Wednesday 01/16
8 PM Tuesday 01/15
8 AM Tuesday 01/15
8 AM Monday 01/14
8 AM Sunday 01/13
8 AM Saturday 01/12
8 AM Friday 01/11
8 AM Thursday 01/10
8 AM Wednesday 01/09
8 AM Tuesday 01/08
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