Jump to content

PTC/AccuWeather Fiasco (or, the derp of PA government w/ weather)


BeerandWXTogether
 Share

Recommended Posts

http://mobile.philly.com/beta?wss=%2Fphilly%2Fnews%2Fpolitics&id=369043591

 

I have a ton of strong opinions but, in the interests of keeping it brief, I'm going to ask a few questions.

 

1) Why is that PA is paying a meteorologist (PEMA has one on staff they recently hired despite no budget being passed) and that person is not coordinating with PennDOT and the PTC regarding snowstorms and other major weather situations?

 

2) Why is that PTC is using a private contractor for forecasts despite being a state agency? Shouldn't you use .gov (NWS) or, now that PEMA has one, PEMA's meteorologist as your primary sources?

 

3) If you felt that those other forecasts were different, why didn't whoever was in charge at the PTC call up to State College and get an update? Wouldn't you want more up-to-date weather info?

 

This isn't a political thing per se but where the fook is the coordination in the state government if your tax dollars are being used for a meteorologist where that individual is the lead dog in weather forecasting, or part of a collaborative effort with the NWS?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are state government requested conference calls with NWS offices during life threatening/high impact weather events and PA requests them often.  I have been on a couple in which an Accuweather meteorologist has been on listening (but I forget whether or not they could comment).  Given we (NWS) can not give personalized forecasts, the PTC would not be the first hybrid or government agency to have a contract with a private forecasting firm.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are state government requested conference calls with NWS offices during life threatening/high impact weather events and PA requests them often.  I have been on a couple in which an Accuweather meteorologist has been on listening (but I forget whether or not they could comment).  Given we (NWS) can not give personalized forecasts, the PTC would not be the first hybrid or government agency to have a contract with a private forecasting firm.  

 

When you've been on them, do you usually give general idea of what to expect (heavy snow, gusty winds, blizzard conditions at times) without getting into the "8-12 for this stretch of the road" type of deal?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you've been on them, do you usually give general idea of what to expect (heavy snow, gusty winds, blizzard conditions at times) without getting into the "8-12 for this stretch of the road" type of deal?

Yes. We don't get into that specific information. Its as much concise and high impact information you can cram into a 15 to 30 minute call with 6 NWS offices on and a host of state agencies without getting to the point you never get off. CTP is the state liason office, they do most of the heavy lifting with PA. We are the state liason office for NJ & DE.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how they specifically determined how much snow to expect.  One thing I've yelled from the rooftops for my family NOT to do is to look at the day/night forecasts that Accuweather provides.  For that blizzard, a common thing would be:

 

Friday - Snow - 2-4 inches of accumulation

Friday night - Snow, heavy at times - 3-6 inches of accumulation

Saturday - Snow, heavy at times - 3-6 inches of accumulation

 

While it may be true, seeing the totals broken up like that sometimes makes it seem to the untrained observer that it won't be as bad because it's relatively small accumulations that seem spaced out on paper.  The only map, IMO, that they should be looking at is the storm total map put out by CTP or whomever. And, of course, input from meteorologists throughout the event.  Just my somewhat uneducated two cents

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how they specifically determined how much snow to expect.  One thing I've yelled from the rooftops for my family NOT to do is to look at the day/night forecasts that Accuweather provides.  For that blizzard, a common thing would be:

 

Friday - Snow - 2-4 inches of accumulation

Friday night - Snow, heavy at times - 3-6 inches of accumulation

Saturday - Snow, heavy at times - 3-6 inches of accumulation

 

While it may be true, seeing the totals broken up like that sometimes makes it seem to the untrained observer that it won't be as bad because it's relatively small accumulations that seem spaced out on paper.  The only map, IMO, that they should be looking at is the storm total map put out by CTP or whomever. And, of course, input from meteorologists throughout the event.  Just my somewhat uneducated two cents

 

The NYC Department of Sanitation when I worked at the NYC office used to average three forecasts: ours and two private contractors.  I dont know if investing that much in forecasts would fly today .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Per article below PTC probably too busy picking-up their bread and milk and getting their snowblowers ready
 
"A day before last month's blizzard left hundreds of motorists stranded along a stretch of road under his agency's supervision, the Pennsylvania Turnpike's chief executive attended a Harrisburg briefing where the governor's top meteorologist warned at least 12 to 18 inches of snow would fall along the corridor."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Per article below PTC probably too busy picking-up their bread and milk and getting their snowblowers ready

"A day before last month's blizzard left hundreds of motorists stranded along a stretch of road under his agency's supervision, the Pennsylvania Turnpike's chief executive attended a Harrisburg briefing where the governor's top meteorologist warned at least 12 to 18 inches of snow would fall along the corridor."

http://mobile.philly.com/beta?wss=/philly/news/politics&id=369365301

Well that is an interesting article including info from the PEMA meteorologist. Interesting that the PTC in this article stated they use multiple weather sources and one does not weight more than others in the decision making, yet another article I read the PTC stated AccuWeather is their bread and butter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The NYC Department of Sanitation when I worked at the NYC office used to average three forecasts: ours and two private contractors. I dont know if investing that much in forecasts would fly today .

The NY DOT does that as well. They use multiple weather sources including AccuWeather and NWS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Per article below PTC probably too busy picking-up their bread and milk and getting their snowblowers ready
 
"A day before last month's blizzard left hundreds of motorists stranded along a stretch of road under his agency's supervision, the Pennsylvania Turnpike's chief executive attended a Harrisburg briefing where the governor's top meteorologist warned at least 12 to 18 inches of snow would fall along the corridor."

 

 

If Jumper's assertion is true, PTC and PennDOT should be folded up and a whole new cast of bureaucrats from a northern state that knows how to manage snow should be brought in to run both of them...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

 

the tl;dr seems to read - let's make PEMA's in-house meteorologist more muted than he already is, let's continue to use AccuWeather, and let's not really do anything different except tweet and post to FB more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the tl;dr seems to read - let's make PEMA's in-house meteorologist more muted than he already is, let's continue to use AccuWeather, and let's not really do anything different except tweet and post to FB more.

 

I am sure they will implement everything that was listed in there. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...