The Heaviest Snow Missed Us :(

2016-12-30 09:08:08.000 – Adam Gill, Weather Observer/IT Specialist

 

Over the past few days it was looking likely that a strong coastal low was going to form near Boston and move almost directly north along the Maine and New Hampshire border. This would have dumped copious amounts of snow in the White Mountain region with most areas near the mountains seeing greater than 2 feet of snow. Even yesterday, the day of the storm, all the morning model runs had the summit getting hammered with 30+ inches of snow. I was very excited because this would have been one of the biggest snow storms that I have ever seen!

Well by the early afternoon when the low began to develop off of the coast, the center was forming a little further east then what was being forecasted. I was nervous because the storm was quite small so a small change in the storm track means a big difference in snowfall amounts. The mid-afternoon model runs caught onto this track and the bulk of the precipitation was now expected to fall in western Maine rather than New Hampshire. Models tend to have trouble with pinpointing the exact location of the low development and especially with how small this storm was, resulted in a lot of busted forecast. We were forecasting at least 24 inches of snow that was going to fall in this storm but so far we are at 17.2 inches. This was still a good snowstorm but it was disappointing due to how much was anticipated! It is frustrating when a forecast is busted like that especially when it is expected to be such a major storm. Places that were expected and warned of getting near 2 feet of snow ended up getting around a foot while places in western Maine got way more than what was expected because of the shift in the storm tract.

 

If the snow band had developed over Mount Washington, with upslope enhancement I would say the original snow forecast would have been fairly accurate. The snowfall rates under the band were quite incredible with widespread 2-4 inch per hour rates.

 

Adam Gill, Weather Observer/IT Specialist

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