Thursday, February 4, 2010

To Snow or Not To Snow, That Is the Question.

Being a meteorologist in the public venue, either by working for media, or being one who issues forecasts for the National Weather Service, has to be one of the most thankless tasks ever. The forecasting has certainly gotten better over the years, and detection of tornadoes and other severe weather using Doppler radar has saved countless lives. Still, predicting the weather remains, at best, a tricky business. You can look like a genius one day, and a total idiot the next. Our weather here in Kansas City today and for the next four or five days is a perfect example. Take today...the weather service and most of the weatherpeople thought that it would start with some precipitation this afternoon, and continuing through the night, with possibly an inch or two on the ground Friday morning. I just stepped outside, at 1554 CST, and it is cloudy, and cool and not precipitating whatsoever. In fact, I have seen no precip today, except for 5 minutes of something over in Overland Park, when I had to run an errand. A look at the radar reveals that the precip is coming up from the south, and is all around us, but Kansas City itself is the hole in the precipitation doughnut.

The radar at 1600. There we are in the middle, the place with nothing going on. Radar image from MSN.

And then there's this, from the scientific weather briefing from the weather service, included on

Typical February winter storm playing out across the region this afternoon and through the upcoming 30 hours...with forcing issues...thermal issues...and track issues all present.

So, maybe it will snow around here today and tomorrow, or maybe it won't. We'll keep you posted.

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