The Billy Penn Snow Totals tracker: Help us keep forecasters honest

It’s only Tuesday, and hype over what could be a massive snowstorm on Friday and Saturday is already building. The lesson, as always: Stay tuned!

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Twitter via @cbs3_wx

Remember the first time Philly meteorologists called for a major snow storm last year?

It was late January. They were calling for at least six inches and as much as 12. Michael Nutter even brought out the heavy coat!

And Philadelphia got a dusting.

By Tuesday, hype over what could be a massive snowstorm on Friday and Saturday was already building. Katie Fehlinger of CBS3 had set things off Monday by predicting 17.9 inches. NBC10 all but guaranteed a massive snowstorm would happen.

So here’s a rundown of where they and others like the National Weather Service stand right now. Also, we’d like your help: If you see any forecasts by a local weather personality or one of the major groups that tracks these storms — or any cringeworthy comments they make on the air — let us know in this Google form that we’ve embedded at the end of this article. We’ll highlight some of the responses throughout the week.

The specific predictions

Katie Fehlinger, CBS 3

17.9 inches


The “hardest-hit areas” could receive one to two feet of snow, and the snow could fall at a rate of one to three inches per hour. Accuweather included Philadelphia in that category.

The exact opposite of a specific prediction

Adam Joseph, 6ABC

Joseph was not a fan of these early predictions. He said in a Facebook post Tuesday, “If you have been seeing expected snowfall totals for this storm, they are not coming from reputable meteorologists (at least the ones that don’t play scare tactics, and have some kind of responsibility). What you are more than likely seeing is a models representation of the worst case scenario to get a rise out of you. I mean, why show you the least case, or most likely case?”

Big storm but no specifics

John Bolaris

“I’m not going to play the ‘how many inches game’ yet.”

National Weather Service

From this morning: “A major winter storm for most of our forecast area that could be particularly vicious along the New Jersey and Delaware coasts.”

Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz, NBC10

Says heavy snow is likely but “plans don’t need to be changed just yet.” He also threw a bit of indirect shade at Fehlinger.

Cecily Tynan, 6ABC

She’s predicting heavy snow and not until after Friday’s commute. But she won’t get into specific measurements until tonight. 


Gary Szatkowski, National Weather Service

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