Newark airport, JFK and LaGuardia all closed down and 2000 flights were cancelled. People rushed food stores and shelves soon became empty. Companies in New York and New Jersey closed down for the next day in anticipation of the superstorm . All during the night the reports kept changing. First there were reports of two feet of snow with two inches falling every hour, then 18-20 inches, then 12-14 inches, then 8-10 inches and finally 5-8 inches which is what we were finally left with and closer to five inches. People became angry at the missed forecast causing them a lot of panic and disruptions.
Meteorologists across the Northeast were scrambling to get back in good graces with the public on Tuesday — apologizing on Twitter for forecasting the “historic blizzard” that never was.
“My deepest apologies to many key decision makers and so many members of the general public,” tweeted National Weather Service meteorologist Gary Szatkowski. “This is a big forecast miss.”
South Jersey’s NBC Channel 40 weatherman Adam Rutt added, “No other way to put it…this was a major bust of a forecast, the biggest in my short career. I was wrong…very wrong…and I am sorry.”
The powerful winter storm that was supposed to hammer the Big Apple and other parts of the metropolitan area overnight Monday turned out to be a lackluster headache that dropped merely inches of snow — despite forecasts which called for more than 2 feet in some parts of New York and New Jersey.
“Alright, this dunce is headed to bed,” tweeted CBS Philadelphia meteorologist Kate Bilo. “Lots more snow chances ahead as the cold gets locked in. We’ll get the next one.”
She added, “If the forecast has to be wrong, I’d rather it be overestimated. Less risk to lives and property. But I’m sorry it ended up this way.” She was right there. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Gov.Christie had lifted the travel ban for vehicles south of I-195 at 7 a.m., with the snowstorm being less-than-expected.
All vehicles – except for emergency personnel, news media, utility workers, food-service employees and other necessary personnel – were included in the order.
Christie, speaking via telephone on NBC News 4 New York, said the delay in lifting the travel ban in the northern part of the state was due to coordinating the change with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to match the change in New York City in particular.
Christie said the ban was justified, given the weather predictions.
“I’m looking at snow accumulations that were predicted at 20 inches plus,” he said on NBC. “We still got 6 to 10. We responded based on the forecast at 9, 10 o’clock last night.
“We erred on the side of protecting human life,” Christie said. The lower snow totals will make getting back to normal much easier, he said.
Later, on ABC7, when Christie was asked what he would tell people who criticize all the closings and travel bans, he said, “I’ll say we listened to you guys!”
The snowstorm that was supposed to batter all of New Jersey was much less than historic, with no more than 7 inches falling in Monmouth County, and half as much elsewhere.
It’s a double edged sword because if they didn’t take these precautions people would still be clamoring saying “Why didn’t you close things down?” You just can’t win.