Did the Big Storm live up to the forecast? Depends where you ask

A snow plows clears snow from the Long Island Expressway, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 in Mineola, N.Y. A storm packing blizzard conditions spun up the East Coast early Tuesday, pounding coastal eastern Long Island into Maine with high winds and heavy snow. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Thousands of flights were cancelled, thousands of children stayed home from school, and many adults got the day off as well. Drivers were required to stay off the roads in several states.

So, the question is: Did this turn into the storm we anticipated? Our team of stations operates in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We asked our meteorologists what they think as the storm winds down.

Did the storm materialize the way meteorologists anticipated?

Gil Simmons, meteorologist at WTNH in New Haven, Connecticut, tells us, “We knew this storm was going to be a tricky one. A very narrow band of heavy snow was expected, but it was tough to pin down the exact location.  It ended up dumping snow at least 1″ to 4″ per hour over our eastern viewing area (eastern CT). Amounts ended up much lower in the western part of Connecticut. As the storm developed, winds increased & we are very thankful power outages ended up being minimal.”

TJ Delsanto, meteorologist at WPRI in Providence, Rhode Island thought the storm materialized just like they thought it would. He told us, “The storm has behaved almost exactly as we anticipated in Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts, just a few things were unexpected. We originally anticipated “15-30” across a wide area including all of Rhode Island and most of Massachusetts, excluding Cape Cod.  At this moment (2 p.m. eastern on Tuesday), every corner of Rhode Island has reported at least a foot with a report of at least 15” in each of the five counties.  Similar amounts are being reported for Bristol County, MA.  Framingham, MA has gotten 30” of snow, and it’s still snowing!”

Nick Bannon is a meteorologist in Springfield, Massachusetts. He said the timing of the storm was just as forecasted. However, snowfall amounts changed with the movement of the storm. “Timing of the arrival of the storm during the late Monday hours, with the worst of the storm in the morning followed by gradual improvements in the afternoon all followed as predicted,” Bannon said. “What was not anticipated was the high intensity of the storm never materialized (for Springfield, Massachusetts), especially for where the populous of our viewing area lives. The heaviest snow happened where we said, the lightest snow happened geographically where we expected, but the snowfall totals were lower than expected.”

What changed about the storm as it moved into your area?

Nick Bannon from Massachusetts tells us in western Massachusetts the low pressure system developed 100 miles east of where many reliable computer models were forecasting. That change dropped amounts of snow for western Massachusetts.

TJ Delsanto in Rhode Island said a few things did change that had not been anticipated.

  • Lower power outages – “The number of power outages (Rhode Island) got was a lot lower than expected.  That, of course, is good.  That’s attributed to the fluffier nature of the snow,” Delsanto said.
  • Colder temperatures – “The temperatures were a little colder than anticipated, so the snow was fluffier rather than heavy and wet.  Still, strong wind gusts did knock power out for thousands…mostly in Massachusetts,” Delsanto said.

Who got the worst of it?

Eastern Massachusetts, eastern Connecticut and much of Rhode Island got the most snow. Some places easily received two feet of snow. Others saw three to four foot drifts. That’s as tall as an average first grader! You can continue to follow minute-by-minute storm coverage with the following stations:

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