Icy, Snowy Apocalypse Watch

snowy apocalypse meter 2014-02-04

It's now February and the Icy, Snowy Apocalypse Watch finds itself curiously under used. Sure, this winter's had snow and it's been cold, but as they (don't really) say, it's been a dry cold.

That changes tonight. The paraphrased forecast:

Tuesday: Sunny, low 30s. Snow? What are you talking about?
Tuesday evening: Snow? Really?
Overnight Tuesday to Wednesday: Oh, so this is what you were talking about. Snow begins after midnight, with accumulations of maybe 4 inches by sunrise. Temps in the low 20s.
Wednesday morning: The snow continues with maybe another 8 inches. Temps around 30.
Wednesday evening: Maybe a bit more snow. Temps in the teens.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from midnight Tuesday to 6 pm Wednesday. And 24-hour snow accumulations are projected to be in the 8-12 inch range. (Higher elevations could get 12-15.)

This storm is moving in from the southwest, and it seems like there's usually more certainty with storms from the west than the coastal storms and their fickle paths. In fact, NWS is projecting there's an 80 percent chance this area gets 7 or more inches during the period from midnight until noon Wednesday. Upside: NWS is predicting most of the snow will be just that -- we won't be subject to the wintry mix.

Even so, we're pegging this as a solid "grudging respect" icy, snowy apocalypse. A foot of snow is a respectable effort on winter's part. Add in that the not-terribly cold temps could lead to heavier snow (as opposed to the incredibly fluffy, super cold stuff we've had this winter), and the heart of the storm is hitting around the morning commute, and this could be some hassle.

Shovels at the ready, hardy Upstaters.

Media freakout forecast: Oddly enough, we're dialing down the predicted freakout. Eh, it's February, the hype muscles are probably feeling a bit fatigued.

Necessary note: You should take this all with an enormous bag of rock salt. AOA has absolutely no weather forecasting expertise. At all. That said, the world will probably not end because of some snow. Most likely.


My assumption is the Media Freakout rating directly correlates with the direction of the storm's path - especially if we're including national media.

Approaching from the southwest, with a 80% chance of 7-12 inches of snow? Meh, whatever... they're used to it.

Approaching from the east/southeast, over NYC and/or Boston with a 10% chance of 0-whoknows inches of snow? Prepare the snow-proof bunker! Gotta get the bread and milk!

I like the "media freakout"-o-meter. Because, as a whole, the media can go a bit overboard.

In my case, it's not my fault - my editors make me do the obligatory weather story. I don't wanna.

"Media freakout forecast: Oddly enough, we're dialing down the predicted freakout. Eh, it's February, the hype muscles are probably feeling a bit fatigued."

Plus, the media freakout over the recent stock market decline has used up this month's entire freakout reserves. Gotta build up more for March Madness.

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