National Weather Service Statement on Last Week's Nor'Easter

"We never hold back on information"

The Meteorologist-In-Charge of the Boston/Taunton National Weather Service Office issued the statement below.  

There have been a few media references to the National Weather Service's handling of last week's nor'easter. As manager of the National Weather Service's Taunton office, I want to be clear that we never hold back on information or intentionally provide false or fake information - ever!

Although forecasting for southern New England can be challenging and typically involves the interpretation of varying computer model projections, we try our very best to disseminate our latest and best informed thinking to our partners and customers. After all, we are part of the community ourselves, and it is always in our best interest to be credible. Furthermore, as a National Weather Service meteorologist for over 40 years, I have never. ever witnessed any action or thought at this office or any other National Weather Service office where there was some deliberate attempt to withhold in formation.

We strive especially hard to develop and maintain tru st with federal, state, and local public officials to meet our primary mission of saving lives and property. And we commend the actions of our public officials who must consider the high stakes of risks to public safety and costs of preparations to address those risks when making decisions for the public good.

Weather forecasting is a challenging business with an inherent level of uncertainty. That is why we produce snowfall probability maps that depict our latest thinking on not only the most likely amounts to expect but also both the '·Expect At Least This Much·· and " Potential For This Much·· amounts we could receive from a storm. These maps are available on the web (weather.gov/boston/winter) for all to see.

Usually, we need to adjust our forecasts as we get closer to the event, which this office did very well for the March 14 nor'easter with particu lar emphasis on the uncertainty of how much sleet and rain may fall along the heavily populated Boston to Providence corridor. Our Area Forecast Discussions also lay out our latest thinking for all to see. We simply do not (and have no motivation to) provide anything less than our latest and best thinking to all we serve.

Bob Thompson
Meteorologist-in-Charge

You may also read the original statement here.


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