31″ of Snow For the Plains thru March 1? True or False?

31″ of Snow For the Plains thru March 1? True or False?

Forecast Breakdowns

If you haven’t heard about the 2-3 feet of snow that might come to the plains and midwest, here’s what you need to know…

I think we can all agree there is currently a “Fake News” outbreak right now. It’s hard to distinguish what is reality and what is not reality.

The “fake news” outbreak is starting to spread into the world of meteorology. I’ll come back to that in a second.

But first, the image above is a computer model image showing 1-3 feet for the northern plains and midwest regions through March 1st. This image was posted by a page on social media Sunday and went viral in rapid fashion.

That’s a tell people believe it, or want to.

It wouldn’t get shared otherwise. Would you share someting you don’t believe in?

That said, you might be wondering, is this image actually going to happen in the real world? Are the northern plains and midwest going to see 1-3 fee through March 1st?

Here’s my take on it: I would rate this scenario unlikely.

But… not impossible (more on that in a bit).

Fake Forecasts? No. Imaginary Forecasts? Yes

I’ve heard the term “Fake Forecasts” to describe these out of control weather model images being tossed around. However, considering no one can 100% predict the future, there are no such thing as “fake forecasts”.

It’s anyone’s game. The future will do what it wants. A better word to describe these crazy model images are what I call “Imaginary Forecasts”.

Imaginary Forecasts are forecasts that have a very heavy bias load associated with them via the forecaster’s motives. They could happen, but are most likely a fairy tale.

Three common reasons that Imaginary Forecasts develop are:

1.) The forecaster wants a snowstorm, therefore, favors all data supporting that snowstorm via confirmation bias.

2.) The forecaster is engineering a weapons-grade hype storm that will help his or her forecast spread on social media like wild fire. (Which will get them more advertising clicks, likes, etc.)

3.) They are doing neither 1 nor 2 but rather taking a massive forecasting risk.

I have no problem with any of these scenarios as the internet is free speech. Hype is absolutely necessary in some scenarios. And crazy storms are fun to talk about!

However, if your part of the general public, all of this noise may confuse you. We have entered an age where distinguishing truthful stuff from untruthful biased stuff can be quite a challenge.

Let’s be simplistic here and say that out of 10 winters, you may see a scenario like the weather models map play out once or twice. Right off the bat, we are left with 2 out of 10 odds (20%).

On top of that, we are relying on a computer model going out 2 weeks into the future. Relying on one model image from one model type from one model run is a recipe for a big forecasting disaster 9 times out of 10.

Those two alone are lowering your odds of a succesful forecast even more.

Here’s an image developed by the National Weather Service called the “Pachinko Effect”. It shows how the physics packages in models aren’t 100% accurate. They can begin to make unrealistic decisions overtime.

The Chaos Theory

Models are affected by something called the Chaos Theory.

The Chaos Theory says that if a butterfly flaps its wings in California, it could cause air disturbances that grow and grow overtime, affecting everything else.

A couple weeks later, it could have theoretically changed the weather patterns enough to cause a thunderstorm in the Ozarks of Missouri.

Perhaps the butterfly could have flapped it’s wings twice and caused the 30″ snowstorm that suppose to hit the northern plains turn into a 6″ snowstorm.

I’m being really simplistic here, but it’s way easier to see the Chaos Theory’s effects this way.

Researchers and technology have not yet found away to make weather computer models immune to this. They have gotten significantly better at minimizing it’s effects with storms less than 7 days out.

Capturing a “crisp, clean picture” of anything past a week out is making a deal with the devil. The model image above shows a “crisp, clean picture”. It’s so crisp it has snow amounts shown for counties down to the decimal.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of these Imaginary Forecasts being posted on social media.

What To Trust and What Not To Trust

Human bias removal and forecasting techniques still are important in forecasts today.

Models usually only forecast large broad features moderately well past about 5-7 days out. This includes large scale weather patterns. Specific snow amounts are extremely hard to predict this far out, especially when using one image from an out of control weather model.

If this scenario does happen to the T, it would be one of those 1 out of 10 or 20 times it happens.

If you want to know how I decipher a good forecast from a bad forecast online, you can read my blog post here on how to spot a clickbait trap.

The Verdict

With all of that said, I am predicting a significant uptick in activity for the central U.S. for lots of rain, wind, and snow to come late February into March. The northern and central plains/midwest look to recieve well above normal rain and snowfall. 

This all starts Friday 2-24-17 as a winter storm looks to zip through the northern and central U.S.

But there are still no obvious consistent signals for specific snow amounts,  storm strength, number of storms, and location. I’d be making a deal with the devil if I forecasted them.

When there are good signals, I’ll let you know.

If you enjoyed this post, you should follow my Facebook Page Below.

I do live forecast breakdowns across the U.S. where I track big storms across the U.S. and answer your questions. You’ll also find forecasting tutorials on here.

And after you do, feel free to share this post with your friends!

Stay safe,

-Cody

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Feb 20, 2017
How To Spot A Weather Forecast Clickbait Trap

How To Spot A Weather Forecast Clickbait Trap

Forecast Breakdowns

4 Easy Steps To Spot A Clickbait Trap

If you haven’t read my blog post about what a Clickbait Trap is, you can read it here.

I’ve put together 4 key factors on how to spot a Clickbait Trap below. I hope this saves you time and proper planning for the weather now and in the future:

#1.) These pages post snowfall amounts and highly detailed weather graphics more than 5 days in advance.

Meteorology just isn’t there yet to be accurate within specific details that far out. The storm can completely disappear like the example in this very blog post.

#2.) They have scary words such as “historic” or “disaster” 5+ days in advance.

The models usually have issues over-estimating storm intensity farther out in advance. While big words can live up to their hype, it often doesn’t happen when they are said that far in advance.

#3.) The Facebook Page that posts the weather forecast is biased.

This requires a bit of skill to track, but I’ll show you how to do it.

Many of the weather computer models make forecasts 2 to 4 times a day. Some of them every hour. They take in the current conditions and use physics equations to predict what will happen with these current conditions into the future.

The farther you get into the future, the less accurate they become through something called the chanos theory. Any small change in the current weather the models didn’t pick up on can have a DRAMATIC impact several days into the future.

Because of this, some model forecasts show big storm systems several days in advance. Some model forecasts don’t show anything.

Not only are there multiple model forecasts each day, there are mutliple models. That is a ton of different forecasts.

That said, these pages will usually favor the model forecast that shows the worst case scenario. This gets people’s attention more than calm weather does.

If you see anything that is highly abnormal or rare for your area, especially far in advanced, be skeptical.

I’m not saying that these forecasts are always going to be wrong. But they often are. The farther you go in advance, and the more extreme it is from normal weather for your area, the less likely it is from happening.

#4.) Refer to the list in the next section.

The list in the next section was developed by the National Weather Service. I changed it up slightly and added a few things to it, but the general premise is the same.

If the forecast or forecast graphic breaks any rules of the following list, it could be a clickbait trap…

What Forecasts Should I Trust?

7+ days out: General Talk About Broad Weather Patterns and Long Range Climate Forecasts

• Forecasts can describe the general pattern for the main regions of the U.S. only. Is it going to be active in this region?
• Snowfall amounts, impacted locations, and timing are near impossible to predict accurately.
• Broad 3 month forecasts can be forecasted with moderate accuracy (ex. a winter forecast)

5-7 days out: General Talk About A Possible Storm

• The possibility for a storm impacting a region can be forecasted with moderate accuracy. It is usually fine to talk about this.
• However, the location could change by 2-3 states, the timing could change by 1-2 days, and snowfall amounts are still near impossible to guess accurately.

3-4 days out: Storm Possibility

• The possibility for a storm impacting a region becomes more clear and can be forecasted with moderate to high accuracy.
• However, the location could still change by 1-2 states, the timing could change by 1 day.
• Snowfall amounts can be broadly guessed only if there is strong agreement within the models. Larger ranges in snowfall amounts are usually used. If there isn’t, continue to take these with a grain of salt.

1-2 days out: Storm Potential Is Clear

• The possibility for a storm impacting a region becomes very clear. Specific details could still change.
• However, the location could still change by 50-150 miles, the timing could change by 6-12 hours.
• Snowfall amounts can be guessed with decent accuracy but can still very by a couple to few inches.

1-2 days out: Storm Details Are Clear

• Specific details now become clear.
• The location may still change, but only by a county and the timing could change by a few hours.
• Snowfall amounts can be guessed with high accuracy (usually within 1 to 2 inches of actual totals).

Feel free to bookmark this list and come back to it whenever you need to. I hope this helps you.

The Big Problem

Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of these clickbait traps being posted up in the ocean that is the internet. They typically hype things up, because it works.

You may think everything is a big overhyped. Indeed it often is.

Hype and clickbait are powerful tools used to help describe the percieved threat of an event.

Hype and clickbait are good if they have the right, ethical intention at stake.  If there’s a bad storm coming, you should know. It should have you getting ready.

The problem arises when things are overhyped or in more rare cases, underhyped.

These tools can be mis-used. And it’s usually in the form of over-hyping things to get people to respond or take some form of action (facebook page likes or ad clicks).

Ever wonder why weather events “seem” to be getting worse and worse or that bigger and bigger words are used? Because the old stuff isn’t working as well anymore.

And people are becoming numb to it. So people have to continuously use bigger and bigger words. They have to use more colorful and out of control weather forecasts and graphics.

While forecasters should be compensated and rewarded for the work they do, the methods can sometimes get out of control. It’s the overhyping thats the problem. It’s an illusion.

This disturbing trend could continue to numb society of the truth.

So what actually is the truth? What forecasts can you trust?

These questions led me to develop something I call the “Hype Barometer”…

Your New Tool: “The Hype Barometer”:

The Hype Barometer is a fun tool that is a measure of whether I think that a storm event is overhyped, or more rarely, underhyped. I commonly check different sources of weather forecasts to feed into the Hype Barometer.

It ranges from a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being extremely overhyped and 1 being extremely underhyped. Somewhere around a 5 means that the storm has about the right amount of hype.

It’s a tool I will put into both my blog and video forecasts for major storm events across the U.S.

I will often post the Hype Barometer with myths, questions, answers, and my own forecast regarding a particular storm event.

Occasionally, you’ll see me hype things up. But I will only do it if I feel it is necessary.

I am literally clearing out all of the B.S. for you and keeping you from falling into these clickbait traps.

No more traps.

I hope that you now see why you should get your weather information from a trusted source, such as the National Weather Service, respected meteorologists, and even some respected amateur forecasters.

My Gift To You

That being said, If you’d like access to forecast updates for MAJOR storm events across the U.S., which include my Hype Barometer, join my superforecasters weather email list below. It’s completely free.

Heck, I’ll send you my 80-page Regional Winter Forecast for free right after you sign up as a bonus. Yes, it actually is 80 pages (lol). However, it is a simple read and you will gain a lot of knowledge about what could go down this winter.

And if your a weather enthusiast, you’ll also get recieve exclusive weather forecasting tutorials.

So go ahead and join below.

After you do, follow me on Facebook below. I’ll be doing some educational forecast video updates for major U.S. storm systems.

And share this blog post with your friends so that they don’t fall for these clickbait traps.

-Cody Ervin

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Dec 01, 2016
39″ of Snow Coming Dec. 8 for the Midwest? Why This all May be a Trap…

39″ of Snow Coming Dec. 8 for the Midwest? Why This all May be a Trap…

Forecast Breakdowns

Wait, This Is Real?!

A disaster of a snowstorm unlike anything we’ve seen is apparently headed for the midwest next week.

If you haven’t seen it by now, there is at least one online forecasting website that posted a map of a big and mean band of 30+ inches of heavy, wind driven snow for Minnesota and Iowa come Dec. 7-9…

…Oh, and the map also shows 1-2 feet of snow for much of the Midwest….

You might be surprised to hear this: They technically AREN’T lying.

The image below is a snowfall forecast from the Tuesday morning run of one of the american computer models (known as the GFS) for Dec. 7-9th. I check this to make sure this was real. It was…

This is a REAL model forecast generated by the GFS model Tuesday morning. This is no prank.

Woah! So a 39″ snowstorm is headed for the midwest?  Hold on…

From the over the 10 years of active forecasting experience I have gained in forecasting hazardous weather from the field of storm chasing, I haven’t seen anything quite this dramatic play out.

I began to feel the anticipation bubbling up. A big, bad storm is coming. A big one. A bad one. I began to get the pre-storm jitters.

But then, I began to scratch my chin.

“Ehhhhh….wait a minute,” I said skeptically as I was viewing this map.

“I’ve seen these crazy snowfall maps posted on these random weather Facebook pages before.” I said aloud. “And we ended up getting a half inch of snow!!! Is this really going to happen? I’d like to know!!!”

If you’re like me, you likely have experienced this too. And even if you haven’t, you likely will soon.

And this is where the prank comes in. And I hope to save as many people as I can from falling for it…

A Sudden, Dramatic Change Appears…

The image below is THE SAME American computer model (the GFS) released two days later this week (Thursday). Here’s it’s forecast for THE SAME Dec. 7-9 storm:

WHERE’S THE STORM?? It’s not even there. No 40″ for Iowa and Minnesota. No 1-2 feet for most of the midwest. Heck barely an inch for most people. Is this a prank?

Now let’s take a look at these two model runs side by side. The one from Tuesday morning this week, and the one from Thursday morning this week both forecasting for the time of the apparent storm next week on Dec. 7-9:

(all maps via pivotalweather.com)

So what is going on?? That is a HUGE difference.

I’ll get into that in a second. But first, I’ll talk about the very thing these forecast pages don’t want you to know about…

They Don’t Want You To Know About This Truth…

The internet is becoming flooded with weather Facebook pages. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.

Here’s the good thing: People are exercising the first amendment. This should never be taken away. This is awesome.

Weather predictions aren’t exclusive to anyone. Anyone can play the game. You do not need qualifications to voice your opinion.

Another awesome thing: The U.S. government does not sensor weather models and data from the public like they do in other countries. Anyone can use it!

But here’s the bad thing: There is an increasing amount of clickbait-esque Facebook forecasts popping up on Facebook.

What’s real? What’s not real? It’s hard to tell.

You don’t need meteorology qualifications to own a Facebook weather page. An under water basket weaver can start up Facebook weather page.

That said, there are certainly a number of self-educated amateur forecasters with no qualifications who can often outpreform meteorologists at times. I’m all for the freedom of speech. This is awesome and they deserve credit.

But some of these amateur weather forecasters, and perhaps a very small number of private weather forecasting companies, want to reel you in unethically.

Why???

 

They Are Out To Get You Like An Octopus

These clickbait forecasts are put together by people who own fan pages on Facebook. They are engineered schemes. These clickbait forecasts are designed to snatch people’s attention and suck people into the forecaster’s Facebook page to gain likes and in some cases, income.

These clickbait Facebook pages are like an octopus sucking up Facebook likes in the ocean of the internet. By sucking up “likes”, they drain people of their time and of their perception of reality.

The ocean is the internet.

The clickbait facebook pages are octopi.

These out of control snowfall maps are a way to suck people into liking their page.

It’s bait set out by the octopus. It’s clickbait. We’ll call these crazy snowfall maps and other overhyped weather forecasts “Clickbait Traps”.

Clickbait traps prey on people’s emotions to get them to take some form of action. Usually extreme forecasts and forecast graphics work well because it gets people exited and curious. It just works.

But it could be a waste of time and of planning to the person viewing the forecast.

Unfortunately, there are octopi all over the internet that have set up these clickbait traps all over the internet to try and get you.

Chances are, if you come across one of these clickbait weather facebook pages, you’ll see many of these clickbait traps setup on their newsfeed.

To save you some time and proper planning, refer to this blog post I made on how to spot a weather forecast clickbait trap. It’s one you should bookmark.

The Big Problem

Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of these clickbait traps being posted up in the ocean that is the internet. They typically hype things up, because it works.

You may think everything is a big overhyped. Indeed it often is.

Hype and clickbait are powerful tools used to help describe the percieved threat of an event.

Hype and clickbait are good if they have the right, ethical intention at stake.  If there’s a bad storm coming, you should know. It should have you getting ready.

The problem arises when things are overhyped or in more rare cases, underhyped.

These tools can be mis-used. And it’s usually in the form of over-hyping things to get people to respond or take some form of action (facebook page likes or ad clicks).

Ever wonder why weather events “seem” to be getting worse and worse or that bigger and bigger words are used? Because the old stuff isn’t working as well anymore.

And people are becoming numb to it. So people have to continuously use bigger and bigger words. They have to use more colorful and out of control weather forecasts and graphics.

While forecasters should be compensated and rewarded for the work they do, the methods can sometimes get out of control. It’s the overhyping thats the problem. It’s an illusion.

This disturbing trend could continue to numb society of the truth.

So what actually is the truth? What forecasts can you trust?

These questions led me to develop something I call the “Hype Barometer”…

Your New Tool: “The Hype Barometer”:

The Hype Barometer is a fun tool that is a measure of whether I think that a storm event is overhyped, or more rarely, underhyped. I commonly check different sources of weather forecasts to feed into the Hype Barometer.

It ranges from a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being extremely overhyped and 1 being extremely underhyped. Somewhere around a 5 means that the storm has about the right amount of hype.

I’ll give the storm on Dec. 7-9 an 8.

It’s a tool I will put into both my blog and video forecasts for major storm events across the U.S.

I will often post the Hype Barometer with myths, questions, answers, and my own forecast regarding a particular storm event.

Occasionally, you’ll see me hype things up. But I will only do it if I feel it is necessary and ethical.

I am literally clearing out all of the B.S. for you and keeping you from falling into these clickbait traps.

No more traps.

I hope that you now see why you should get your weather information from a trusted source, such as the National Weather Service, respected meteorologists, and even some respected amateur forecasters.

So Will There Be A 40″ Winter Storm?

You can almost for sure expect a rather strong cold blast to head into much of the U.S. after Dec. 7th or 8th. The models have been extremely consistent painting brutal cold across the U.S. after this time frame.

The models have been uncertain with whether there will even be a storm or not associated with this cold blast, let alone the intensity of the storm.

That being said, If you’d like access to forecast updates for MAJOR storm events across the U.S., including this one, which include my Hype Barometer, join my superforecasters weather email list below. It’s completely free.

Heck, I’ll send you my 80-page Regional Winter Forecast for free right after you sign up as a bonus. Yes, it actually is 80 pages (lol). However, it is a simple read and you will gain a lot of knowledge about what could go down this winter.

And if your a weather enthusiast, you’ll also get recieve exclusive weather forecasting tutorials.

So go ahead and join below.

After you do, follow me on Facebook below. I’ll be doing some educational forecast video updates for major U.S. storm systems.

And share this blog post with your friends so that they don’t fall for these clickbait traps.

-Cody Ervin

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Dec 01, 2016