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Here’s why the Massachusetts snow forecast changed

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Here’s why the Massachusetts snow forecast changed


BOSTON – From the beginning, the meteorologists at WBZ-TV in Boston had a bad feeling about the snow storm heading to Massachusetts Tuesday. The snowfall predictions took a major turn downwards from Sunday to Monday and many people want to know why.

Snow predictions early discussions

Here’s an example of what we were talking about behind the scenes over the weekend while trying to develop an accurate forecast of snowfall totals.

Saturday 1:21 p.m.

Text from Eric Fisher to me: “I dunno, just feels like a weird headfake storm to me”

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Sunday 4:05 p.m.

Text from Eric Fisher to me: “Still feeling kind of leery of a late shift south”

Monday 12:47 a.m. on WBZ-TV News after the Super Bowl

Eric talking to David Wade and Lisa Hughes: “I’m a little worried it’s going to slip farther south; we will watch the trends tomorrow”

Granted some of these conversations were private, but we did try to caution our viewers about the uncertainty with this particular storm. Trust me, I know, in the end, many folks aren’t hanging on every word that is said on TV and most are just waiting for the snow forecast map.

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Winter storms are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. This is a big part of what makes forecasting in New England so intriguing. You can literally do this job your entire life (see Barry Burbank, well over 40 years), and still have sleepless nights wondering if the atmosphere will behave as you predicted.

Contrary to popular belief, meteorologists don’t just go outside and stick their fingers in the air to determine the forecast. We rely on very complex weather models. These models are run on giant supercomputers capable of churning out quadrillions of calculations per second. Seriously! That’s 15 zeros!

Despite this insane amount of technology, in the end, the weather is still somewhat unpredictable. There are just too many moving parts. We are light years better at forecasting now than we were 10, 20, 30 years ago, but still far from perfect. We would love to be able to accurately predict how much snow your town is going to get four days in advance but that just isn’t possible. This is, after all, still a FORECAST. Things will change. Sometimes dramatically so.

What happened to the snow forecast in Boston

Over the weekend, you likely started seeing snowfall forecast maps popping up here, there and everywhere. By Sunday, most of the model guidance seemed to be converging on a storm track that would produce a widespread 6-to-12″ of snow across southern New England. However, with this storm, there was a very fine line between getting a whole bunch of snow and getting nothing. We knew that there would be some very intense snow bands that would produce 1-to-3″ per hour. If your town ended up underneath this banding, you were in for an intense 3-6 hours of snow. Just a few miles to the north, flurries.

Minor shift, major change in snow predictions

By Sunday night, and more so Monday morning, there was a minor shift in the model output. It appeared that the center of the storm may pass about 50 miles farther south that what was originally forecast. For a storm system several hundred miles across, 50 miles isn’t much. BUT, if those 50 miles just happen to be right over Massachusetts a minor shift becomes a MAJOR story. Shifting the highest snowfall totals (8-12″) 50 miles southward had a major impact of hundreds of thousands of people. For reference…50 miles (as the crow flies) in Massachusetts is like going from Lawrence to Plymouth or Boston to Falmouth.

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So, much to the disappointment of some, and the delight of others, we made a significant change to our snowfall forecast Monday afternoon. Basically, everything was shifted about 25-50 miles south.

Unfortunately, many towns, schools and businesses had already chosen to make a decision to close on Tuesday, nearly 24 hours prior to the first flakes. I get it, you want to give folks as much notice as possible to find babysitters, change plans etc. Sure, occasionally you get a multi-day mega-blizzard, and the call is an easy one. Most of the time, however, making those calls a full day in advance is a dangerous proposition and NOT one that any meteorologist would recommend.

Part of me longs for the old days, when we would all wake up at 5 a.m. and flip on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 to hear whether school was canceled or not. Strange that back then, when communication was much more rudimentary, we waited until the last minute to make those decisions. Whereas now, when we can get the word out in seconds via text, robocall, social media etc, we make the calls way sooner.

At the end of nearly every blog I write, I urge everyone to stay tuned to updated forecasts. That isn’t just a throwaway line, we really mean it!

The atmosphere is a crazy place. A thunderstorm unexpectedly forming in Texas on Monday could start a chain reaction that leads to massive changes to Boston’s weather a few days later.

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We know and respect that you all have busy lives with kids to care for and businesses to run. Our goal is to provide you with the most accurate information possible and, just as important, keeping you updated when changes occur.



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Greater Boston Stage Company debuts parody of 1997 “Titanic” film called “Titanish”

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Greater Boston Stage Company debuts parody of 1997 “Titanic” film called “Titanish”

03:37

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STONEHAM – You may not think of “comedy” when you think of the movie Titanic. But the East Coast premiere of “Titanish” at Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham may change your mind.

It’s a parody of the 1997 Oscar-winning film, making fun of what you see on screen, not the event itself.

“We have these characters we know and love. We’re playing those moments for stakes and truth and then we’re peppering in the joy, the silliness, the ridiculousness, the sight gags, but those can’t exist and those don’t work unless you care,” said Director Tyler Rosati.

“We are taking these really great parts of the story that we love and admire and that has lived really nicely throughout our culture and kind of amplified it,” said Elainy Mata, who portrays Rose.

Robin Irwin is “Old Rose” in “Titanish,” but she was also a member of the original Broadway cast of “Titanic: The Musical.”

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She wants to make sure audiences know this is a very different show. 

“They really were aiming for historical accuracy, and this has no accuracy whatsoever,” Irwin said.

Expect to see your favorite film moments play out on stage. Actor Paul Melendy calls it pure satire.

“We kind of break the rules and do what we want, and you get a bunch of funny people to come in and bring their humor. Magic happens,” he said

“Titanish” runs at the Greater Boston Stage through March 17.

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Boston College Men’s Basketball is Collapsing at the End of the Season

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Boston College Men’s Basketball is Collapsing at the End of the Season


This has been an up-and-down season for the Boston College men’s basketball team overall, but it’s been all downhill for the past few weeks. The Eagles have lost four straight games since mid-February, tumbling to a 6-12 record in the ACC and showing that their “gritty not pretty” style of defense is losing its luster. Even Quinten Post’s 30-point game against Pitt couldn’t prevent the Eagles from getting blown out by 25 points.

Giving up 80+ points to FSU, NC State, and Pitt all within two weeks has been their downfall, consistently getting out-rebounded, or failing to generate turnovers, or giving up too many threes. BC gets bullied a lot in the paint and Quinten Post isn’t as good of a defender as he is a scorer, while Devin McGlockton is still inconsistent as the other primary big man. BC’s transition defense is also a disaster at times, leading to open threes or easy drives into the paint at inopportune times. There is a limit to what this team can do based on the talent level on the roster, but they are definitely a step behind in their defensive execution, too, which falls on the coaching.

The offense this year has been better than it usually has been in Earl Grant’s short tenure, but it still has a long way to go. The Eagles can’t execute a designed play out of a timeout to save their lives, while the offense can oftentimes go stagnant if Quinten Post or Claudell Harris are having a bad game. Plain and simple, the talent on the offensive side of the ball is not distributed evenly, and the coaching has not helped to develop the supporting cast. With Quinten Post on his way out after this season, things could get worse again before they get better.

So where does that leave us? The only two teams remaining on BC’s schedule are Miami and Louisville, two of the worst teams in the ACC this season. Beyond that, we’re probably looking at another first or second round exit in the ACC tournament. Even if BC wins its last two regular season games and a couple of games in the postseason, this is a step backwards from 2023, or at least a lateral step. They were supposed to take a step forward this year. These developments are concerning, to say the least.

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Sunday’s tournament scores and highlights

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Sunday’s tournament scores and highlights


 

ROUNDUP

BOYS HOCKEY

Tyler Bourgea and Jeremy Insogna each scored twice as No. 1 Tewksbury (19-3-0) advanced to the Div. 2 state quarterfinals with an 8-1 win over No. 16 Plymouth North.

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Ryan Davis scored the game-winner with four minutes left as No. 2 Nantucket (17-4-1) held off No. 15 Bourne 3-2 in a Div. 4 second-round contest.

GIRLS HOCKEY

Shirley Whitmore tallied the game-winning goal with six minutes left as No. 9 Peabody/Lynnfield/North Reading (18-4-0) edged eighth-seeded Pope Francis 2-1 in a Div. 1 second-round contest.

Sarah McIntyre scored a pair of goals, while Kayla Leonard and Julia Lemire also netted a goal as No. 11 Marshfield (14-8-0) knocked off sixth-seeded Leominster 4-1 to get to the Div. 2 state semifinals.

 

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BOYS BASKETBALL

DIVISION 1

SECOND ROUND – Monday

Newton North at North Andover, 6

Lawrence at Central Catholic, 6

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Waltham at Worcester North, 6:30

SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

Cambridge at BC High, 6

Methuen at Xaverian, 6

Needham at Catholic Memorial, 6:30

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Lowell at Andover, 7

SECOND ROUND – Wednesday

Putnam at Franklin, 6

DIVISION 2

SECOND ROUND – Monday

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Westwood at Holyoke, 6

SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

Scituate at Leominster, 6

Shepherd Hill at Malden Catholic, 6

Bedford at Pope Francis, 6:30

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Canton at Somerset Berkley, 6:30

SECOND ROUND – Wednesday

Middleboro at Milford, 6

Burlington at Mansfield, 6:30

Doherty at Sharon, 6:30

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DIVISION 3

SECOND ROUND – Monday

Pembroke at Taconic, 6

Watertown at Pittsfield, 6

SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

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Martha’s Vineyard at Medfield, 5

Tantasqua at Newburyport, 6

East Boston at Norwell, 7:15

SECOND ROUND – Wednesday

Abington at Charlestown, 6

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Dover-Sherborn at Apponequet, 6

Salem at Old Rochester, 6:30

DIVISION 4

SECOND ROUND – Monday

Case at Burke, 6

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SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

Nantucket at Monument Mountain, 5:30

Maimonides at Wareham, 6

Tyngsboro at Manchester-Essex, 6

David Prouty at Clinton, 6:30

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Monomoy at Bourne, 7

SECOND ROUND – Wednesday

Georgetown at Lynn Tech, 6

New Heights at Millbury, 7

DIVISION 5

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SECOND ROUND – Monday

Monson at New Mission, 5:30

SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

Boston English vs. Minuteman, 5:30 (Madison Park)

Athol at Pioneer Valley, 6

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Old Colony at Mahar, 6

Ware at Hoosac Valley, 6

SECOND ROUND – Wednesday

Douglas at Holbrook, 6

Granby at Hopedale, 6

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Rockport at Drury, 6

GIRLS BASKETBALL

DIVISION 1

SECOND ROUND – Monday

Braintree at Wachusett, 6:30

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Quincy at Lexington, 7

SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

Bridgewater-Raynham at Wellesley, 6

Framingham at Central Catholic, 6

Needham at Weymouth, 6:30

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Taunton at Bishop Feehan, 6:30

Andover at Woburn, 7

SECOND ROUND – Wednesday

Attleboro at Springfield Central, 6

DIVISION 2

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SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

Reading at Walpole, 6

Whitman-Hanson at Dartmouth, 6

Mansfield at Northampton, 6:30

Wakefield at South, 6:30

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Leominster at Medfield, 6:45

Norwood at Billerica, 7

SECOND ROUND – Wednesday

Minnechaug at Oliver Ames, 6

Nashoba vs. Notre Dame (Hingham), 6:30 (Hingham)

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DIVISION 3

SECOND ROUND – Monday

Apponequet at St. Mary’s, 6

Tantasqua at Hanover, 6

Wilmington at Foxboro, 6

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SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

North Reading at Sandwich, 6

Pentucket at Dover-Sherborn, 6

Springfield International at Medway, 6

Newburyport vs. Watertown, 6:30 (Waltham)

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East Bridgewater at Norwell, 7:15

DIVISION 4

SECOND ROUND – Monday

Hamilton-Wenham at South Hadley, 6

Wahconah at Millis, 6

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Frontier Regional at Cohasset, 6:30

SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

Carver at Littleton, 6

SECOND ROUND – Wednesday

Hampshire at Millbury, 5

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Georgetown at Tyngsboro, 6

Rockland at Cathedral, 6

Northbridge at Bourne, 6:30

DIVISION 5

SECOND ROUND – Monday

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Academy of the Pacific Rim at St. John Paul II, 5

Mahar at Hoosac Valley, 6

Pioneer Valley at Maynard, 6:30

SECOND ROUND – Tuesday

Drury at Lenox, 6

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Hopedale at Palmer, 6

Narragansett at West Boylston, 7

SECOND ROUND – Wednesday

Franklin Tech at Westport, 5:30

Tahanto at Renaissance, 6

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BOYS HOCKEY

DIVISION 1

SECOND ROUND – Saturday

Arlington Catholic 4, Pope Francis 2

Catholic Memorial 2, BC High 1

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Franklin 7, Weymouth 3

Marshfield 2, Reading 1 (2 ot)

St. John’s Prep 7, Wellesley 1

Winchester 3, Arlington 2 (2 ot)

SECOND ROUND – Sunday

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Xaverian 4, St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 1

SECOND ROUND – Monday

Braintree vs. Hingham, 6 (Canton Ice House)

QUARTERFINALS – Wednesday

Catholic Memorial vs. Winchester, 5 (Loring)

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Arlington Catholic vs. Marshfield, 7:15 (Gallo)

QUARTERFINALS – Thursday

Franklin vs. Xaverian, 7:30 (Loring)

St. John’s Prep vs. Braintree/Hingham, 7:30 (Stoneham)

DIVISION 2

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SECOND ROUND – Saturday

Boston Latin 3, Billerica 2 (ot)

Duxbury 5, Malden Catholic 1

Masconomet 4, Canton 2

Newburyport 4, Gloucester 2

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Woburn 2, North Andover 0

Concord-Carlisle 3, Whitman-Hanson 1

SECOND ROUND – Sunday

Auburn 5, Plymouth South 1

Tewksbury 8, Plymouth North 1

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QUARTERFINALS – Wednesday

Tewksbury vs. Auburn, 5 (O’Brien)

Woburn vs. Newburyport, 7:30 (O’Brien)

QUARTERFINALS – Thursday

Concord-Carlisle vs. Boston Latin, 5 (O’Brien)

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Masconomet vs. Duxbury, 5 (Stoneham)

DIVISION 3

SECOND ROUND – Saturday

Marblehead 3, Methuen 1

Medfield 2, Triton 1

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Nauset 2, Marlboro 1

Pembroke 2, Grafton 0

Scituate 6, Watertown/Wayland 1

West Springfield 5, Lynnfield 2

SECOND ROUND – Sunday

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Shawsheen 3, Blackstone Valley 0

Somerset Berkley 6, Essex Tech 0

QUARTERFINALS – Wednesday

Scituate vs. Marblehead, 5 (Gallo)

Medfield vs. Shawsheen, 7:30 (Loring)

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QUARTERFINALS – Thursday

West Springfield vs. Somerset Berkley, 5 (Loring)

Nauset vs. Pembroke, 7:15 (Gallo)

DIVISION 4

SECOND ROUND – Saturday

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Dover-Sherborn/Weston 4, Dedham 1

Hanover 4, Old Rochester 1

Norwell 3, Lunenburg/Ayer Shirley 0

Sandwich 6, Gardner 3

Winthrop 6, Hudson 1

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SECOND ROUND – Sunday

Ashland 6, Martha’s Vineyard 3

Nantucket 3, Bourne 2

Stoneham 6, Wilmington 0

QUARTERFINALS – Wednesday

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Sandwich vs. Dover-Sherborn, 5 (Stoneham)

Winthrop vs. Ashland, 7:30 (Stoneham)

QUARTERFINALS – Thursday

Nantucket vs. Stoneham, 5 (Gallo)

Norwell vs. Hanover, 7:30 (O’Brien)

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GIRLS HOCKEY

DIVISION 1

SECOND ROUND – Saturday

Archbishop Williams 2, Methuen/Tewksbury 1

Belmont 4, Lincoln-Sudbury 1

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Hingham 3, HPNA 0

Malden Catholic 3, Westford Academy 0

Notre Dame (Hingham) 3, Braintree 1

St. Mary’s 4, Boston Latin 2

Shrewsbury 4, Bishop Feehan 1

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SECOND ROUND – Sunday

Peabody/Lynnfield/North Reading 2, Pope Francis 1

QUARTERFINALS – Wednesday

Malden Catholic vs. Hingham, 5:40 (Ryan)

Notre Dame (Hingham) vs. Peabody/Lynnfield/North Reading, 8 (Ryan)

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QUARTERFINALS – Thursday

St. Mary’s (Lynn) vs. Shrewsbury, 5 (Ryan)

Belmont vs. Archbishop Williams, 7:30 (Bog)

DIVISION 2

SECOND ROUND – Saturday

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Algonquin/Hudson 3, Martha’s Vineyard 0

Burlington 8, Plymouth South/North 0

Duxbury 4, Gloucester 1

Falmouth 5, King Philip 2

Milton 4, Pembroke 3 (ot)

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SECOND ROUND – Sunday

Canton 2, Westwood 0

Marshfield 4, Leominster 1

Nauset 4, Sandwich 0

QUARTERFINALS – Wednesday

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Duxbury vs. Milton, 5 (Bog)

Nauset vs. Algonquin, 7:30 (Bog)

QUARTERFINALS – Thursday

Burlington vs. Marshfield, 7:30 (Ryan)

Falmouth vs. Canton, 7:30 (Bog)

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