Feb 15, 2024 - News

Northeast snowstorm uncovers forecasting weak spots

A kid with a sled and no snow on the hill

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The storm that brought New York City the most snow in more than two years was also one of the biggest forecast busts in recent memory for New England and the rest of the highly populated I-95 corridor.

Why it matters: The miss, with computer models shifting significantly on all aspects of the event within 24 hours of the first flakes flying, calls into question scientists' abilities to anticipate extreme weather events, Axios Generate author Andrew Freedman writes.

The big picture: When some of the country's biggest cities are involved, the economic consequences of a forecast miss can be significant.

  • From Sunday into the middle of Monday, the forecast for Boston called for up to a foot of snow, with some areas potentially picking up more than that.
  • The last-minute shift had practical consequences: Boston Public Schools ended up closing Tuesday for only a trace of snow.

Shovel deeper: How to prevent another major miss

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