Meteorologist Explains Widely Varying Claims Of Snow

The National Weather Service is predicting three to five inches of snow for much of the WGEL listening area today. While that’s certainly a lot, it’s not the foot of snow that many people were talking about as early as last week and over the weekend.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jon Carney told WGEL those rumors of a foot of snowfall started by someone posting a graphic of raw data on their Twitter feed. He told us why laymen should rely on meteorologists to interpret that data.

“I would say take anything you see on Twitter or Facebook, unless it’s from the National Weather Service with a giant grain of salt,” Carney said. “It does take a little bit of experience to learn how to interpret this stuff. Myself, I’ve been doing this for 15 years as a professional meteorologist and it takes that long sometimes to understand the biases and the way that models perform in the extended periods.”

The National Weather Service advises against relying on model forecast data that tends to be very inaccurate beyond 3 to 4 days out.

“These models really do tend to grossly over forecast the amount of precipitation that comes out of these kinds of winter storms,” Carney said. “I would say don’t believe what somebody just posts on Twitter to be the gospel truth. Wait for a qualified meteorologist to take a look at it and give his or her interpretation of what’s going on.”

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