It was supposed to be historic. A climactic disaster in which millions located on the East Coast would have to bunker down and stay inside.
Throughout all of Sunday and Monday, everyone living in East Coast states like Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and so on, could not escape the rumors and forecasts.
They were simple; winter storm Juno was coming and there was nothing anyone could do about it. The National Weather Service called for two feet of snow in cities like New York and Boston, only to change their prediction hours later.
Calling for 20 to 30 inches of snow and wind speeds up to 45 mph, Juno looked to be as serious as it could be. To top the anticipation off, schools and cities all over New England, including Springfield College, shut down operations for Tuesday, January 27, before any snow started falling.
All anyone could do was wait.
Waking up Tuesday morning to no classes and free schedules would be a dream for any Springfield College student, except for last Tuesday. Although they did wake up with nothing to do, students awaiting 20 inches of snowfall were greatly disappointed.
The forecast was wrong, completely wrong. But why?
According to the Weather Channel, “Snowfall forecasting involves the intersection of many variables on scales from local to global: atmospheric pressure patterns, wind directions, air temperatures at various levels of the atmosphere, and the amount of moisture in the air.”
With today’s technologies, meteorologists are able to predict weather patterns within 10 days of anything actually happening. This still does not explain the miscues of the Juno forecast. However, it does and here is why.
All of those variables are exactly that, variables. They all change, will change and continue to change as the storm cells continue to move. Meaning that a prediction for 20 inches of snow could change with in the minute.
In conclusion, the weather is constantly evolving and meteorologists can predict and forecast storms but it is all speculation until the storm hits.
Winter storm Juno however, did hit areas of Massachusetts hard. The storm dumped more than 30 inches of snow in areas of Worcester, Middlesex, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk counties, with over 9,000 homes across the state losing power.
The Weather Channel reported that throughout the storm more than 30,000 homes lost power which may have been less than predicted but still more than any ‘failed’ storm should produce.
Nonetheless, there was worse. The island of Nantucket and the surrounding coastline faced severe flooding and winds up to speeds of 78 miles per hour.
Pictures of cars submerged in ice water, houses caving in and snow filling streets and sidewalks littered weather.com and other media outlets. For those on the east coast of New England, winter storm Juno was no joke.
With Juno gone and over with, it’s time to look at what Mother Nature has in store for New Englanders for the next week or so.
Groundhog’s Day, like every year, will be February 2nd, and as of right now, there are two storm systems that could bring more snow to the North East before then (next Monday).
First (according to The Weather Channel), there will be a low-pressure system coming off the Gulf of Maine that could potentially bring snow to the New England area. Not enough snow to bring schools or businesses to a close but enough to make people stare into the sky and proclaim, “Look it’s snowing.”
Second, a warmer subtropical southern jet stream (spreading from Colorado to New England) will intertwine with the cold front looming over the East Coast. This would result in a more persistent and heavier snowfall.
So those disappointed with the snow Juno produced on top of Springfield College, have no fear, more will be here. Just don’t expect classes to be cancelled.