2.1 The Fickle Winter of 2016-17 (Invited Presentation)

Monday, 8 January 2018: 10:30 AM
Ballroom D (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
David Novak, NOAA/NWS/NCEP, College Park, MD

The winter of 2016-17 featured a variety of unique events, including a major central U.S. ice storm, a drought-busting wet western cool-season, one southern storm, and several challenging northeast Snowstorms. Overall the winter was warm and wet, with February ranking 2nd warmest over the CONUS. Snowfall was above average in the west and generally below average in the East.

Two particular challenging events stand out. The challenging nor’easter of March 13-14, 2017 featured a rain/snow line that cut through the northeast Urban Corridor. Although earlier forecasts called for a crippling blizzard in New York City, snow turned to sleet as the storm tracked closer to the coast, while record snowfall fell in up-state New York. On the west coast, a localized overachieving snowstorm in the Portland, Oregon metro area January 10-11 proved to be a challenge for models and forecasters alike. Both of these events prompted an intense community discussion of the need for communicating uncertainty.

This talk will review the impacts of this fickle season, with particular attention to forecast and communication lessons learned from the specific events.

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