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Top meteorologist provides forecasting insight into 'Snowvember'

WBFO News File Photo

Buffalo Meteorologist in Charge Jason Franklin believes local weather forecasters do a really good job most of the time, anticipating what Mother Nature throws at Western New York in the winter.

Most local residents are well aware of what happened a year ago, when snow buried South Buffalo and the Southtowns with up to seven feet of snow and stopped movement for days.

Franklin admits the forecast wasn't for quite that much snow but that's what all indicators were showing. There was a warning. Franklin says there's a lot of art in a forecast, once meteorologists have looked at everything from the temperature to satellite images.
"There are very subtle things that our models today sometimes don't pick up very well," Franklin explained. "But these are the things that can cause such slight deviations from what we're thinking can be a difference between two feet of snow to seven feet of snow, which could cripple a city, versus something that could be more of a nuisance or something that you could get through in a few hours."

Franklin says forecasters were fully aware what was going on because the Weather Service isn't far away and workers could look out the window and see the wall of storm and snow which hovered over the area for more than a day. He says forecasters went through the right process in making the prediction.

"We put out the watches about two days ahead of time and then the warnings were out, roughly about a day, day and a half ahead of time. For such a small event to happen in such a small area with such intensity and ferocity, that's unprecedented."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.