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Weathercasters Offer a ‘Mea Culpa’ on Surprise Sunday Snow Blast

(Haddonfield, NJ looked like a Currier & Ives landscape on Sunday afternoon when a surprise snowstorm dumped 5-10 inches on the region.   Photo by Steve Butler)

(Haddonfield, NJ looked like a Currier & Ives landscape on Sunday afternoon when a surprise snowstorm dumped 5-10 inches on the region. Photo by Steve Butler)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Yesterday’s snowstorm took a lot of people by surprise,  including meterologists.

What went wrong with the forecast?

The Delaware Valley forecast included snow — we knew that.  We just weren’t prepared for how much snow Mother Nature gave us.  It also surprised the forecasters.

“We wound up with anywhere from five to ten inches of snow when we thought it would only be a couple of inches,” notes Accuweather meteorologist Elliot Abrams.  “At the last minute, extra moisture came in from the south to the snow zone, and suddenly it was snowing one to two inches an hour.”

What about KYW Newsradio listeners who say the weather folks blew it?

“Well, they are right,” Abrams acknowledges, adding, “We keep working on making the forecast better.  I gurantee this: there will be mistakes made in the future.”

After every forecast, he says, “We look back on them all and see how we can do better.”

Abrams says the next round of snow — if the forecast is accurate — should start tomorrow morning, ending by early evening.  Two to four inches are expected, but weathercasters are still watching the storm as it approaches, tweaking the forecasts.   Abrams says at this point it’s still possible that the storm could sock us with more or bypass us all together, and each subsequent forecast benefits from slightly greater accuracy.

Hear the expanded interview with Accuweather meteorologist Elliot Abrams in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 3:36)…