Blizzard conditions AND what constitutes a BUSTED forecast??

What constitutes a BLIZZARD?   It's defined as snow or blowing snow, winds greater than 35 mph  and visibility of less than ¼ mile  for at least three hours.  You don't have to have a LOT of snow falling or accumulating but if visibility is down to 1/4 mile and strong winds, it can be defined as a blizzard.  Speaking of blizzard.....note the map of S. California.....the areas in red are currently under a BLIZZARD WARNING....these are in the foothills outside of LOS ANGELES.....this is RARE and indicates a very strong area of low pressure entering the west coast.   That system will stay to our south but may "graze" our area Sunday night into Monday.  


Now, let's go back to today's storm.  I've had a few "nasty" emails saying WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 3-6" you were forecasting?  I wish I had YOUR job.   Before I explain what happened, let's take a look at the storm as a WHOLE!!   We expected the heaviest snow to occur to our south into SD and MN, which it DID.  We expected blizzard conditions to develop in the F/M area, which it did!!  However, snowfall totals fell WELL short of what was predicted in the F/M area.....WHY??  Take a look at the surface map....the closer the lines or isobars are together, the stronger the winds.   The area of LOW pressure centered in S. Wisconsin this morning was responsible for the snow BUT note the area of HIGH pressure in S. Canada.  This high pressure "punched in" drier air and this "ate into" the snow as it was moving north.  The snow had to fight the drier air and that is what cut into our snow totals, basically cutting them in half from 3-6 to 1-3.   But WHY didn't the models pick this up??  1)  They underestimated the strength of the area of high pressure which pushed in the dry air into our area.  This will happen occasionally with the models.   So although we didn't get the AMOUNT of snow we thought in the F/M area, would YOU consider this a BUSTED forecast even though we received the blizzard conditions?    I'd love to hear from you..... weatheratflagfamily [dot] com 


Chief Meteorologist,

Dean Wysocki