Is another big winter storm REALLY on the way?

Posted at 2:23 PM, Jan 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-31 15:38:36-05

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By now you’ve probably seen these scary looking images in your Facebook and Twitter feeds. They’re painting in 10, 15, even 20 inches of snow next weekend. And I’m getting near-panicked, snow-weary folks asking me if it’s really true. Here’s my answer:

It’s still winter. Could we get another winter storm? Of course.
But what you’re seeing are cherry-picked images from a single computer forecast model.

There are about six main computer forecast models we look at, and many, many variations on each of them. So we’re literally talking about dozens of different weather solutions to consider.

When a single model paints in a panicky scenario, it’s worth keeping an eye on. We consider a number of factors when making our forecasts, including how reliable that model has been in the past, how realistic the scenario is and what the other models are saying.

Jesse Ferrell with AccuWeather explains it well: “Be wary of forecasts that are only on one model. If nearly every model is on board with a solution, then you can be more confident in your forecast.”

And that’s what we will be looking at over the next few days. Are other forecast models moving in the same direction? Right now, we are forecasting some rain and snow by the end of next week. It’s not looking like a monster winter storm. But stay tuned.

Patrick Rockey
NewsChannel 3 Chief Meteorologist
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