LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It’s February 9! For many you, this is the day you thought we were supposed to get a foot or more of snow! Instead, we have 50s and sunshine this afternoon.
We all see the weather model maps from our local meteorologist, but are those long-range forecasts accurate? Our Chief Meteorologist Ben Pine is here to verify if can we trust the snowfall maps?
More than two weeks ago, a snowfall map spread like wildfire on social media. It wasn't our forecast, but it was posted on Facebook by a local meteorologist. The map was posted on Wednesday, January 24 (two and half weeks ago) with a description of 12-15" of snow for today, Friday, February 9.
Not long after this long-range weather model data was posted, I received the following text from a friend: "Ok, seriously, I am leaving for Key West February 8th!! Is there really a freaking snow storm coming that week? Please tell me no!!"
This is just one of many comments and questions we got regarding a February 9 snowstorm!
OUR QUESTION: Should professional meteorologists post long-range weather model data, and is that data accurate?
I personally believe that we shouldn't post it, and we didn't. But for help with these questions, we've brought in the head of our Louisville National Weather Service office, John Gordon.
Can we verify tonight that the long-range forecast, predicted by that model from January 24 was wrong?
Yes, today is 50 degrees and sunny.
Is all long-range weather model data inaccurate?
Yes, most of the time it is unreliable.
It falsely raised concerns and needlessly worried people to the point they were trying to change plans way in advance. In the end, showing data suggesting a major snowstorm two weeks out based on this long-range model data does not serve you. It was flat out wrong.