Don’t pay attention to long-range snowfall hype! Here’s why

A lot of amateur meteorologists are spreading a lot of hype about a huge snowstorm that’s supposedly going to hit next week sometime. As WANE-TV meteorologist Jesse Hawila wrote in a Facebook post yesterday, this is ridiculous. The same thing happened in December, when Twitter and Facebook users posted a map image from a forecast model run six and a half days in advance of the storm. That map (below) suggested that northeastern Indiana could get more than 20 inches of snow. But that didn’t happen!

European model snowfall map from Dec. 16, 2013
Forecast map from a European numerical forecast model created Dec. 16, 2013 for a Dec. 22-23 event.


As that storm passed northern Illinois, DuPage College meteorology professor Victor Gensini wrote a great blog explaining why it’s so foolish to distribute images like the one above, especially without lots of explanation of what these computer models mean and don’t mean. Now that some people are again foolishly hyping the next big storm for our area, reading Gensini’s December blog is again worthwhile. Check it out. (Thanks to WANE-TV meteorologist Greg Shoup for sending a tweet about Gensini’s blog.)