Elliot Abrams

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Northeast Very Cold; Heaviest Snow in Virginia

March 3, 2014; 7:54 AM ET

Monday morning

The storm that originally looked like it could bring heavy snow from Ohio and Pennsylvania to southern New England moved south of the track that would have produced that result. Instead, the heaviest snow today is in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Delaware and extreme southern New Jersey.

So why did this happen to make the forecast so wrong? When the main energy from the storm was over the Pacific last week, the data that was fed into the models had less detail than that available over a continent where data sources are more densely packed. This problem has been somewhat reduced in recent years, but not eliminated, by an increase in satellite and aircraft-based observations.

All along, it was perceived that the heaviest precipitation would fall in a narrow stripe. As it turned out, we were off on the exact position of this band. As the storm storm came ashore and we knew more about its nature, the forecasts improved. However, if you heard a foot of snow was in the forecast Friday and didn't check for updates, then woke up to see no snow this morning, you'd think no storm ever formed. One thing I can assure you is that this will happen again sometime. That's why it is important to look at updates as often as possible whenever you have a weather sensitive decision to make. Here is today's video.

This map shows accumulations as of 8 a.m. They have continued to increase since then in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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About This Blog

Elliot Abrams
Elliot Abrams from AccuWeather.com offers this Northeast Weather Blog for the U.S. with regular updates on NE weather from a leading forecaster and meteorologist.