Storm Stella was a dud — And the federal government played us.
Before Tuesday’s winter storm had touched down in New York City, The National Weather Service was aware that it wouldn’t bring the Big Apple the two feet of snow it had originally reported, but kept this information to itself.
It didn’t want to confuse the common folk, it seems.
— Wayne Schulz (@mas90guru) March 15, 2017
In fact the storm, which the Weather Service originally thought would be so intense that they gave it a name — Stella — only dropped about one-fourth of the precipitation it predicted. The New York Post reported:
On the eve of Tuesday’s Winter Storm Stella, the National Weather Service got reports that its dire prediction of up to 2 feet of snow for New York City may have been exaggerated — but decided not to change its forecast.
Fears of a massive blizzard led officials to close city public schools and for above-ground train service to be stopped — but in the end, only about 7 inches fell in Central Park.
But one day before Stella’s arrival, National Weather Service meteorologists in the northeast compared notes and computer models and realized their original predictions were way off the mark — it would be more of a dusting than a blizzard.
Nevertheless, they continued their dire “doom and gloom” warnings to the public, lest the public become too complacent.
“Out of extreme caution, we decided to stick with higher amounts,” Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Prediction Center in Maryland, told the Associated Press. “I actually think in the overall scheme that the actions [by states and cities] taken in advance of the event were exceptional.”
Carbon said he didn’t want the public to become confused and possibly let their guard down.
“The nature of the beast is that there’s always uncertainty in every forecast and we have to get better at describing that,” Carbin said.
New Yorkers were not amused. In preparation of of the exaggerated predictions, businesses were closed and services shut down.
“In the end, New York wasn’t that bad and everything is shut down here,” said Rachel Holzberg, 24, of Ridgewood, NJ.
Local politicians were’t happy about being hoodwinked either. State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. gave it a handle that’s being spouted with greater frequency these days — fake news.
“What is this, fake news?” the Bronx Democrat asked. “Shame on them, because you made the city spend a lot of money. They made a lot of people lose money.”
Others voiced their anger on social media.
Wake up right! Receive our free morning news blast HERE
— dontdrinkthekoolaid (@skipthekoolaid) March 15, 2017
Fake news from National Weather Service. Blizzard forecast was exaggerated — but didn’t want to confuse us: https://t.co/BUparkSSUs
— Stuart Kaplow (@StuartKaplow) March 15, 2017
See!!!! I told you! I think they always exaggerate when it comes to snow, just never this much and they got caught. https://t.co/RTKJUGBf1Q
— Katherine Cardona (@CardonanKath) March 15, 2017
Finally one person observed this:
— Trent Colan (@shining_city) March 15, 2017
Good point. If we can’t trust the Weather Service on what’s going to happen in the next day, how can we trust what they say will happen in the next millennia?
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