A busted forecast

2010-01-03 15:37:27.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

Oops.

That’s the best word I can think of to summarize my feelings about the forecast I made for the storm that moved in yesterday afternoon and is now winding down as I write this. In the weather forecasting world, we call the forecast I made a ‘busted forecast’. In this case though, I REALLY busted on my forecast. I mentioned in my comment last night that we were expecting wind gusts well over 100 mph and perhaps the highest winds in years. Instead, we got a peak gust of 92.3 mph. Wind speeds of that magnitude are a regular occurrence during the winter time. Snowfall also didn’t end up being nearly as heavy as expected with only a few inches being measured.

Meteorology is and always will be an inexact science. It is an especially inexact science here on Mount Washington. This is one thing about meteorology that I have always found intriguing, but it is also what causes busted forecasts like this one.

Now I try to look on the bright side of things whenever possible. The bright side of this situation is that it will end up being a learning experience in a lot of different ways. When I find some time either today or tomorrow, I plan on pouring over some data from the storm, trying to figure out why it didn’t turn out nearly as I thought it would

Another bright side is that there is a lot of winter left to go. There will always be another storm to look forward to on Mount Washington, another chance for record breaking winds, and another chance to do a better job of forecasting!

 

Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

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