How close to the winter weather forecast did we get?

6 Storm Team Weather School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Now that we are at the end of our winter season here in East Tennessee, I thought it would be a good idea to go back and check how it compared to our forecast we gave you back in October of 2020.

Let’s start with December. Our forecast was to have a colder than average temperature forecast and above average precipitation. We did OK on the temperatures — we were below average. But we issued out on the precipitation just a bit as we were about 3/4 of an inch below average for the month. Check out these photos from the first snowfall in December.

Let’s go ahead to January. We thought this would be a pretty mild month and that was the case. In fact, temperatures ran about a degree and a half above average for the entire month, but we missed the precipitation. We were actually pretty fry dry for our January.

We’ll finish with February, which was an unusually cold February. It was one of our coldest we’ve seen in some time. We did not get the temperature forecast correct. We were about half a degree below average, but we got precipitation right as we were about a tenth of an inch above average.

Lets talk about snowfall estimates across the area. I love this map our friends at the National Weather Service in Morristown provided to us. A special thanks to meteorologist Danny Gant for giving us this graphic. You can easily see the void of snow we had across much of the central and southern valley locations, but there were some decent totals across the plateau. Probably the winners, I guess you could say, were along the Tennessee – Kentucky border and up into southwest Virginia. It is not uncommon to see the highest peaks of the Smokies see the most snow.

So how did this compare to our forecast? Let’s start with the valley, we had about a 2-5 inch forecast and we saw between 1 and 5 inches of snow. Of course, we were pretty close there. We did alright with the plateau as well, as between 6 to 10 inches was our forecast and we saw between 6 and 16. southeast Kentucky and southwest Virgina, we went to 6 to 9 inches and saw between 6 and 18 inches, and for the Smokies we went 30 to 60 inches and got between 44 and 72 and a half inches. All and all, for this typical La Nina weather pattern, warmer and wetter, that cold spell we had in February certainly helped up some of these snow totals but overall, I think we did OK.

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