Welcome to PGH Snow Day’s first Forecast Roundup of the 2018-19 winter season. We begin this year with a very complicated system that will bring snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain to the Pittsburgh area early Thursday morning through late Thursday night. It will be a difficult decision for school officials, as they determine whether the threat of icy roads will be significant enough to cancel school — and we say cancel because a 2 Hour Delay will not make much sense as weather conditions are predicted to worsen throughout the day.
Ultimately, the most important factor in determining snowfall totals will be the amount of mixing, as it often is in Western PA. As AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno has said repeatedly over the past couple of days in his Periscope forecasts, Pittsburgh is often the battleground between all snow, mixing, and dry air. That dividing line, which so often seems to go directly through the city, has historically busted forecasts with snowfall totals much lower than predicted. We will know around this time tomorrow whether history repeated itself, or if the cold air won out and snow totals exceeded expectations.
Below are forecasts from each of the outlets that we currently track: KDKA, WPXI, WTAE, NWS Pittsburgh, AccuWeather, The Weather Channel, and Intellicast. (Note that we are no longer tracking forecasts from the NWS Digital Model, which we found to be unreliable and lacking proper timestamps.) Over the past three winters, Intellicast has been our most accurate forecaster, just ahead of The Weather Channel (check out our Forecaster Ratings here). We are also including, in table form, the probabilistic forecasts from AccuWeather and NWS Pittsburgh at the bottom of this roundup.
As always, we’ll publish a Forecast Analysis article after the last flake has fallen recapping the storm and grading each of the forecasts we track.
Probabilistic Forecasts for Nov. 15, 2018
Average Forecast: 2.26″
PGH Snow Day Weighted Average Forecast: 2.35″