Probabilistic Snow Accumulation Forecasting

January 30, 2015

Hey guys, I have been experimenting with a new product and wanted to run it by you all. It is something that would really allow me to simplify snow forecasts, and the uncertainty that comes along with them. As we find out time and time again - nailing down an exact total accumulation amount ahead of time proves to be very difficult. The location and timing of heavier bands of snow can really make or break snowfall in one specific area. When trying to forecast ahead of time this proves to be especially difficulty with the amount of time there is for these variables to fluctuate and drastically affect my forecast.

So rather than simply saying we will see 4-6" in CU and attaching a large disclaimer with all of the variables that could potentially affect that - I can create a chart of probabilities that more easily convey how certain or uncertain a forecast is.

For example, taking a look at the forecast for Saturday night and Sunday: At 72 hours out, it looks most likely that CU will end up with somewhere around 4-6" of snow. However, at this point in time several days out it does look like there is a shot we could end up with slightly more should a heavier band of snow set up shop over us... and on the flip side should the system slide a little bit further north, the heavier snow could end up to our north and we'd end up on the lighter side. As time goes by these probabilities would likely converge on a smaller area as I got more confident in my ability to give you a smaller range. But for now, this allows me to show you that I think it's most likely at this time we end up with 4-6", but here is how likely it is I think we could end up with more or less than that.

 

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