It sucks but it's long past time to submit the grade for our biggest storm of "winter" 2022-23, the truest microcosm of the worst winter on record for much of Connecticut.
Honestly, I should have done this weeks ago, but I was totally worn out by the disaster of constantly tracking ten day potential. As a result, this will have a different look with the verification map, but the grading will be all the same.
Below: the actual result. This was a historic storm in areas just to our north.
Overall, the timing worked ok. It started as rain and the rain/snow line gradually collapsed overnight. However, that cooler scenario did not pan out and much of southern CT and the CT River Valley fought the temps and dry slotting all day. While many did change to snow, it didn't really happen at the shore. That has implications on other parts of the forecast.
As you know, this was the hardest forecast of my career, to the extent that this can be called a career lol. The guidance was awful, and even with our adjustments it was too warm in southern CT and through much of the CT River Valley. However, the forecast worked out well in our high confidence NW CT zone, and worked out fine but to a lesser extent in eastern CT. By failing to meet an already low bar for most of CT, this grade is one of the worst I've given out. NW CT saved this from being an F.
Another really rough forecast. To my surprise, we saw inland gusts barely verify, but along the shore there was less wind than expected. Not by much, so the grade isn't horrible. I think the lack of a strong high to the north reduced the pressure gradient, which would have brought bigger wind as the low rapidly intensified.
This was probably the high point of the forecast, unfortunately. As we expected, the combination of wind (just strong enough) and heavy wet snow in NW CT led to widespread outages. The lack of snow elsewhere limited outages, but we didn't predict widespread outages in other parts of the state.
There was an extraordinary gradient, with high impact in some regions and virtually little wintry impact elsewhere. Some parts of towns received a high impact event, and other parts saw nothing. It ended up far more elevation dependent, and although we did see widespread cancellations, that doesn't speak to the true impact of the storm. We went moderate to high impact for the state, and it verified in NW CT, to a lesser extent, NE CT, and nowhere else. Ugh.
Overall, for such a high stakes and uncertain forecast we didn't do as well as we'd hoped. Even with the passage of time I still feel that way. As conservative as we were, it still wasn't enough for most of CT, that had a pretty epic fail with this one. For NW CT, it was high impact and we got that right, but a lot of the state outside of some parts of NE CT fell short of the forecast.
Final Grade: C
I'm surprised that it's actually this high, but it's a low C for sure. I will always hate this forecast and "winter".
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