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Photos: Blown forecast -- or a readjustment?

blown forecast 205x205.jpg
Photos below.
What qualifies as a blown forecast? Last month, no local weather pros foresaw a snowpacalypse for March 12 -- and when one developed, 9News staffers pelted good sport Marty Coniglio with snowballs. Cut to the past few days, when prognosticators predicted that morning rush would look like the graphic seen here -- described by Weather.com as "right now" -- instead of a little drizzle and a whole lotta nothing. Then again, some predictors shifted at the last minute to say the storm would be arriving later. So were they still wrong? Sorta wrong? Or not wrong at all?

Well, the Colorado Department of Transportation has been slow to adjust. Around dinnertime yesterday, CDOT's Facebook page posted this photo....

cdot snow photo april 16.jpg
...and this message:
Our friend Mike K. shared this from I-25 and Santa Fe in Denver this morning -- so pretty! As the sun goes down and temperatures drop, we are expecting slick conditions on the roadway and more snow will be falling this evening. Ice and Snow, Take it Slow folks!
CDOT followed a few hours later with another ominous pic....

cdot snow photo 2 april 16.jpg
...and an equally foreboding note:
OK everybody, here comes round two! The only highway closure right now is US 287 (both directions) from State Highway 14 to Wyoming, but more snow is coming! Overnight, we will have crews working (they've been on 12 hour shifts since Sunday night), as more than six inches is expected in northern Colorado and the mountains. Check www.cotrip.org before work tomorrow, we're all experiencing a typical Colorado spring season! And if you see them out, thank a plow driver!
Yes, I know this image isn't of the Denver metro area -- but these kinds of conditions were supposed to be happening here overnight. And during my drive to work at around 4 a.m. (yeah, I know), I saw a striking number of snowplows cruising C-470 and 6th Avenue looking for flakes and finding none.

Understandable, given the mixed messages. While Weather.com's "right now" graphic does indeed show serious snow falling in downtown Denver when the skies are clear, its hourly details have been adjusted to depict a few snow showers developing around noon, with their intensity picking up and then remaining steady throughout the afternoon and overnight tomorrow. And on its Facebook page, 9News juxtaposes a winter-weather-advisory graphic....

9news winter weather advisory.jpg
...with a forecast that says pretty much the same thing:

9news forecast april 17.jpg
If snow does indeed start up around noon today, does that mean these predictions were accurate? Or because forecasters were saying something entirely different as recently as evening yesterday, did they blow it? You be the judge.

More from our Media archive: "Video: Marty Coniglio's blown 9News forecast prompts Facebook hate, snowballs."


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7 comments
Colorado Department of Transportation
Colorado Department of Transportation

Hey Denver Westword! We'd actually argue that we got it right :) We aren't forecasters, but from the looks of our cameras at www.cotrip.org, things look pretty nasty in the northern half of the state, just like we said! :) -Ashley

Joseph Beaton
Joseph Beaton

Here is the thing about the forecasts. They are generated by the National Weather Service based on mathematical models using recorded data. The closer the time to the forecast the more accurate they are. The more information we put in the computer models, the more accurate they are. Its an guesstimate not an exact science. Don't take the forecasts as exactly what is going to happen but as a guide to use your own common sense and judgement. Don't hate the people who provide the forecasts because they didn't get it exactly right.

Nick Browning
Nick Browning

If you are from here, you know to just not listen to anything they say and be prepared for anything. It's not California, it's colorado and it does snow here through May. Be prepared....

Ryk McDorman
Ryk McDorman

KDVR's 9:00 forecast got it right, so no surprises here. PM rush hour should be interesting.

Joe Neely
Joe Neely

Economists are beginning to appear more accurate the weather forecaster s.

Adam Aedro Drotar
Adam Aedro Drotar

I'm more surprised when they are right then when they are wrong.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Colorado Department of Transportation Thanks for weighing in, CDOT. Much appreciated.

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