Grading my winter storm forecast.

Now that we have had time to recover a bit from Friday-Saturdays winter storm. Time to hand out some grades on my forecast. This is something I do with all my forecasts but thought I’d share them with you.

Snowfall Forecasts:

Issued 11 pm Thursday, January 21, 2016

This was final forecast Thursday night before the first rain drops, snow flakes and sleet pellets even fell.

Manuel Snowfall Map

Reality of what fell:


This was actually the really good part of the forecast snow fell in the general amounts I expected. The only area which was a bit off and really missed was in Caldwell Co around Lenior. I thought we’d see more like 7″ + in reality just around 3-5″ fell there.

Snow Cover



Ice Forecast:

Grade: C+/B-

This was my biggest concern that this could turn into a damaging ice storm. That didn’t happen as we got way more sleet than freezing rain. Now I did mention that the sleet mix was the thing that worried me the most about my forecast, and that would save us from freezing rain. Even so I missed the significant ice to the south and east.




What really fell:

Manual ICE Map2



Went with after 2 am Friday morning lasting through Saturday morning, this was the best part of my forecast.

Overall Grade:


As far as winter storms go this was a well-placed forecast. The best part was the five days heads up that we would be dealing with a winter storm. 

The reason we always do these post-event verifications is to learn how we can do better the next time. In fact, I keep a detailed spreadsheet on our five days forecasts for that very reason. So we can track any bias or errors we might be having and adjust to keep us Charlotte’s most accurate forecast six years running.





  • Rich Vanderford

    A+ for around the clock access even when you were out of town, good job.