The Winter Storm That Wasn’t

After a lot (a lot!) of hype, very little snow fell.

The storm scheduled to hit our region Sunday and Monday was much-hyped. The Weather Channel named it “Titan.” philly.com’s John Bolaris was pretty sure this would be the area’s biggest March snowfall ever.

Multiple school districts in the region announced Monday closings Sunday night, including Philadelphia, Lower Merion, Radnor, Springfield and Marple Newtown.

Many other school districts declared two-hour delays for Monday, including Centennial, Central Bucks, Council Rock, Great Valley, Hatboro-Horsham, Lower Moreland, Methacton, Norristown, North Penn, Neshaminy, Phoenixville, Pottstown, Tredyffrin-Easttown and Upper Moreland.

At times, meteorologists were calling for a hefty 8 to 12 inches of snow for eastern Pennsylvania.

In the end, “Titan” was kind of a dud, as winter storms go.

Though multiple people reported to Patch that area roads were slick Monday morning, most areas received only a dusting of snow.

These are the region’s official snowfall totals from the National Weather Service:

Bucks County:
Bensalem: 1.4 inches
Warrington: 0.5 inches

Chester County:
Exton: 0.8 inches
West Chester: 0.8 inches
Phoenixville: 0.5 inches
Tredyffrin Twp.: 0.5 inches

Delaware County: 
Media: 3.0 inches
Wayne: 0.7 inches

Montgomery County:
Wynnewood: 2.0 inches
Royersford: 0.1 inches

Philadelphia County:
Philadelphia Intl. Airport: 2.2 inches
Port Richmond: 2.0 inches

The storm was so inconsequential in the Lehigh Valley that the National Weather Service didn’t activate spotter services, and recorded no official snowfall totals for the area.

What do you think about much-hyped winter storms? Should schools cancel classes based on predictions alone? Let us know in the comments below, and take our poll above!

Cinderabi March 04, 2014 at 07:41 AM
Truthfully, I think weather casters are just making mountains out of snow drifts in an attempt to sell more advertising for their tv stations. Look at what they advertise.... a lot of big pharma prescription dtugs for anxiety, depression and insomnia coupled with unhealthy food and health indurance ploys. What a racket! I'm ready to get hulu so I can watch tv without all the conststant doomsday interruptions from these folks. I find them excruciatingly annoying at the very least.
Pam March 04, 2014 at 08:36 AM
Cinderabi- we are with you, and we did! Cancelled satellite tv & switched to Hulu plus three years ago. I don't regret it at all and am saving a ton of time, only 10 sec of commercials every 15 mins. We actually have to pause the tv to go get a drink. When I want news and weather I go to the internet, check Intellicast, WeatherBug, Weather Underground. I'm done with the Weather channel because their 'local' just isn't local to Central bucks area, it's local to the east coast in general and is filled with hype and commercials. ACCUweather is not accurate at all, bad track record in my opinion. I average all the predictions together and get a real picture of what the storm will be. Intellicast low balls the storms (i think their weather detection equipment is in a protected area, because when it's really windy here like can't stand it kind of windy they report 5-8 mph winds whereas everyone else is reporting 30 mph winds with gusts to 40 mph! Last big storm Intellicast predicted during storm that we'd get a total of 6-8" snow and NOAA said 14-18". We actually got 17" in Warrington. All other stations mentioned predicted 10-14" for us). NOAA.org tends to be closer to snowfall occurrences and has a great map for color bands of predicted snow fall, & revises their predictions every few hours to be current. Before I go to bed at 11am I check weather. When I get up at 6am I check again, then check school website for closures. I can't believe the kids went to school one storm and got dismissed after a few hours in the height of the storm 'for safety reasons' ! Reality check, it would have been more safe for the kids to be in school than wandering home in a snowstorm to empty houses! Either they go to school & stay the whole day or they stay home, period. Going in 2 hrs late for a dusting of snow was a waste of time 3/3 and I told them so in an email. If they make their decision at 5am like they say they do, then they'd see no snow on the ground at 5am and tell kids 'full day', period.
Ginny Nelsen Place March 04, 2014 at 09:01 AM
I spent the day on Sunday watching weather forecasts on various websites (including NWS) and on tv. As the day wore on, the snowfall predictions dropped from 8-12, then 6-8, then 4-6...by the time the call came from the school district it was clear that the storm was changing course and that a huge snowfall was unlikely. I think if the district had seen the downward trend, they should have waited in this instance to make the call.
Lindsey Murdah March 04, 2014 at 09:07 AM
Forecasts at least three days out are at best a 'guideline'. Unfortunately, forecasters like to hype big weather events well in advance of their predicted occurrence. Think viewership/ratings. I'm always bemused by their comments like 'the storm under performed', 'the system changed course' and 'we got lucky' after 3/3-type misses. This assumes a sentient storm made the decision to defy the prognosticators precious models. Ah, the arrogance. It is their obligation to get forecasts of life threating weather correct. If they are off a few degrees or percent of sunshine when they predict 'partly sunny with a high of 50 degrees - so what, no harm done.
Sue Packel March 04, 2014 at 10:13 AM
Haven't we learned NOT to listen to John Bolaris? He is a joke as a weatherman.


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