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Continued: Winter storm warning: This one could break April snow record

  • Article by: CURT BROWN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 3, 2014 - 10:36 AM

Now the higher-speed computers can crunch data faster, improving accuracy.

And lead times, or how many hours in advance the public gets warned, have improved to 20 hours this winter — giving people nearly a full day to, well, get depressed.

Highly accurate, not perfect

Schmit said the decision to trigger a winter storm warning from a watch “has to do with our confidence.” When they’re 60 percent sure “an event” is going to happen, the warning goes out.

And 92 percent of the times this winter when they’ve warned a county, at least 6 inches has indeed fallen.

So go ahead and bet they’ll be wrong this time. Your optimism has an 8 percent chance.

“It’s getting better, but it’s never going to be perfect,” Paul Douglas said. “And no matter how good we get, people tend to remember the times we blow it.”

 

Curt Brown • 612-673-4767

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