Blizzard Buries Northeast
On the last weekend of January, a powerful winter storm slammed into parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast burying some areas under more than 2 feet of snow. AccuWeather forecasts were more precise than any other weather service. Our forecasts also stayed consistent in the lead-up to the storm, not changing based on each run of computer forecast models. AccuWeather For Business meteorologists warned businesses sooner than anyone else. On Monday, 5 days ahead of the storm, our forecasters specifically highlighted the area at greatest risk for more than 6 inches of snow. On Tuesday, they pinpointed the hardest-hit areas of New England accurately predicting the potential for over a foot of snow and significant travel disruptions. By Wednesday, before any other weather source, AFB meteorologists issued their first storm total snow forecasts. These forecasts for the major cities of Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston were extremely accurate several days in advance. Our teams also started predicting that blizzard conditions would occur in Southern New England. As the storm approached, our forecasters consistently messaged about the risk for 2 to 4 inches per hour of snowfall in that area by including the language of “extreme snowfall rates may strand motorists,” helping to keep drivers off the roads and safe from dangerous conditions.
Key forecasts highlights from the issuance of the first snow map over 3 days in advance:
- New York (8-12” actual snowfall): AccuWeather’s forecast of 8 to12 inches of snow, issued before any other weather source, was perfect and held consistently. Our experts also accurately messaged sharp variation in snow total; less in NJ, more on Long Island– which is exactly what occurred.
- Boston (2 actual snowfall): AccuWeather’s initial forecast of 12 to 18 inches of snow in Boston, accurately portrayed the risk for significant snow. Our meteorologists correctly predicted the blizzard conditions as well as the significant beach erosion and wind gusts of 70-90 mph along the Massachusetts coast.
- Philadelphia (6-7” actual snowfall): AccuWeather predicted 3 to 6 inches in the forecast issued on early Wednesday. This forecast was then updated late Friday to 6 to 8 inches during the storm. AccuWeather accurately messaged “sharp variation in snow total; lower amounts western suburbs; higher amounts down the shore” within the forecast – which is exactly what occurred.
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