Make Your Weather Source Work For You…

Hello everyone!

I am seeing a lot of posts about frustration over today’s storm online. Believe me– it frustrates me on the same level! These storms are very difficult to predict–and at the end of the day, people rely on their weather information and their weather source to make critical economical/safety/and travel decisions. We always go based on the data we have in front of us. Everyone–including the National Weather Service thought this storm was going to pack a punch. It still did–for some, but it definitely fell short for others. Dry air became a huge issue to overcome, and cut down on totals for many. As most of you know though, I always do my best to stay very close to each and every one of you and provide the best info possible–and I do it all for Free. I am not paid by a TV station for any of my efforts–or from my App. I do it for the passion and the love of the science, and of course, for you!

A few call outs to help make the best decisions at the onset of a storm & during a storm:

  • Who is your source–and do you trust them? Have they worked for you in the past? Ok–great!
  • Do you use multiple sources? Consider each one carefully, if they are vastly different than anyone else with their predictions–keep this in mind.
  • Always put stock in an official advisory and warning– but just know, snowfall is predicted in inch ranges– and usually will never be at the very top end, unless the storm really just comes on with a bang.
  • If you are not in a warning, but a snowfall map says you will get ‘x’ amount of inches–take more consideration into the official advisory/warning–as maps can be very hard to align with, as some of the lines may be far too generalized to factor in your county, especially if it doesn’t have as many square miles as others.
  • Check in with your source– tweet/DM (Direct Message) or even email them when you have a question. I always do my best to answer a few inquiries during the day to give the best guidance–as maps can very quickly go outdated during the day.
  • Trust Twitter over Facebook– because Facebook has an algorithm that often will post an older update before a newer update, and it is easily overlooked.
  • Apps–even mine, take them with a grain of salt. They are usually based on a set model, and numbers will vary widely on those. Reference the official warnings and radars, but never trust the Apple app, or any other app for an ongoing trustworthy weather source during the day, beyond the basics. It will help keep you dialed in, but the information is often changing faster than the app can keep you aware. Just know that most apps are far from perfect for keeping you on your A-game with making critical decisions regarding an approaching storm–specifically with things like exact snow total predictions, etc.

Those are a few tips I have for you to help make US work for YOU and help you make good choices during a storm. Nothing frustrates me more than when a storm doesn’t deliver, or if people have made a critical decision based on the data they are following. I always do my best to own a decision and provide the best info possible. I usually also only update my maps a couple of times a day, but a storm is constantly evolving, and I can always drop a quick message during downtime within the day.

Lastly–be nice to your weather source/Meteorologist. We don’t need a ton of posts about ‘Busts’ or ‘Failures’ or ‘I knew it wouldn’t pan out’– some people still got 8″ or more from this storm. Storms are highly variable, and after EACH and EVERY storm, if you look at an official totals map, it is usually a lot more random and varied than any map you will see in advance of a storm. We try very hard to get it right– and it’s not a perfect science.

Again– it is all about making your source work for you.

Happy to help where I can. This storm was a bust for some, and a win for some, it just depends on who you ask–and as usual, the storm was evolving every minute of the day. I know for me– I have a solid 5″ and had been reporting 90% of the day, after my AM update/forecast reduction to have around 4-8″ on the North side and 5-10″ on the South. Of course some to our S missed out, but others didn’t– so it really just depends on your location–precisely.

Thanks for reading!

-Meteorologist Bohdan Cole or on Twitter @BoKnowsWeather for Direct Tweets and DM’s

Also @BoKnowsWXAlerts for automated county specific warnings for the Metro area.