National Weather Service accused of misleading public about snowstorm forecast

After the latest winter storm to hit the Northeast was forecast to be a monster but actually was dismal for many, accusations are flying that the National Weather Service knowingly mislead the public about the snowfall totals.

A report by WTXF and the Associated Press stated that when computer models showed a change in the storm and that it would likely not produce the high snow totals that were first predicted, meteorologists purposely did not change their forecasts.

On Monday, March 13, meteorologists said New York City was supposed to see 18 to 24 inches of snow. Boston and Philadelphia were supposed to get more than a foot and Washington D.C. was supposed to have at least eight inches of snow. The amounts in those areas, however, were far less significant as they only received between 3 and 7 inches.

Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Prediction Center in suburban Maryland had this explanation as to why meteorologists did not change the totals, “Out of extreme caution we decided to stick with higher amounts. I actually think in the overall scheme that the actions (by states and cities) taken in advance of the event were exceptional.”

CBS News noted that when pressed on the issue of why it did not change the forecast, the National Weather Service said that “a dramatic change in the snowfall forecast could produce an unwelcome result of less readiness and vigilance.”

These cities and counties were ready all right as most of them practically shut down Tuesday in preparation for the mega storm that never was.

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Michelle Kapusta

At Large Senior Editor, Temple University graduate, Philadelphia resident and avid sports fan.