Forecast analysis for Feb. 8-11 snowfall

Every time a snowfall is predicted, local and national media outlets will use various computer models to generate their accumulation forecasts. We will be saving and tracking these maps all winter long with a goal of determining which media network is the most reliable in predicting snowfall. Normally, our commentary will describe the map’s successes and failures, then we will assign an Accuracy Score on a 0-10 whole number scale. We will average each agency’s Accuracy Score throughout the winter and keep an updated rankings list at the bottom of each Forecast Analysis post. It is important to note before we get into the post that this analysis is for Western Pennsylvania. Many of these maps also have predictions for many other parts of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast, but know our discussion is only referring to the areas in and around Western PA.

Our analysis will use official snowfall totals from the National Weather Service’s Pittsburgh Office, tweeted publicly at @NWSPittsburgh. This post would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the NWS Pittsburgh office, which worked through the night to compile hundreds of snowfall reports. NWS Pittsburgh Official Total: 3.2″

Normally, our Forecast Analysis compiles the NWS snow totals onto a map. This was not possible for this storm, as the snow ranged from Monday through Thursday, and storm total reports were hard to judge. In addition, this analysis will not assign accuracy scores, because some maps on this page just predicted the snow from Monday through Tuesday, and others Monday through Thursday. It simply would not be fair to judge the successes of forecasting a storm that did not stop for four days. So, just this once, everyone is off the hook. Here’s the maps for your reference:





WTAE FutureCast: Once among the most reliable maps, FutureCast has lost some credibility this winter. However, for a banding storm like this, it might give a pretty accurate forecast.


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Intellicast: One of our favorite forecast maps, from, has been conservative with snowfall amounts all week. Their map banks on the rain keeping snow totals low,


AccuWeather: The digital giant upped their totals this morning, and they now see a huge swath of 3-6" bearing down on the entire area.


The Weather Channel has been very consistent in expecting 3-5" for the entire area all weekend. They have overshot and undershot with their predictions this winter, so it will be interesting to see how this consistency works out.


NWS Pittsburgh is following a general east to west change in accumulation, and has Allegheny County completely in 2-4"


NWS National: Although this model has made huge mistakes that make it hard to trust,

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