Grading our work: A look at how we did forecasting the first big winter storm of 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- We’ve been telling you about Friday’s winter storm all week long and things went mostly as planned and even had a few “good news” twists along the way. As with any major weather situation, the forecast is hard to pin down more than 24 hours out and we tried to be transparent as we shared the developments along the way starting Tuesday evening.

There were rumors of as much as 12 inches of snow possible starting Tuesday night (which we didn’t fall for) and by Thursday evening we were able to pin down a more accurate look at what your winter storm would hold.

READ | Travel advisories in effect across Indiana

Our Chief Meteorologist Kevin Gregory took a look at our forecasts, what we shared and what actually happened and graded our team (including himself) on how well we did predicting and getting you through this winter storm.

So without further ado...

Our grades from the January 12 winter storm system:


Overnight rain changed to freezing rain by the morning drive, as forecasted.


The advertised 30-degree temperature drop from the 50s Thursday evening into the 20s by Friday morning was on target.

READ | Expect higher gas bills after record cold spell


One to three inches was forecast for Indianapolis Metro and areas to the northwest. Officially 1.3” fell at the airport.

Snowfall amounts of 3” to 5” were forecast for Bloomington, Nashville, Columbus and Greensburg south. Most areas were short of the forecasted amounts. There were exceptions, Spencer measured 3.7” and Smithville at 4.5”.

 Having rain, freezing rain and sleet in the forecast complicated snowfall predictions. Sleet lasted for a longer period of time, cutting down on snowfall amounts.


READ | Winter Storm Warning, Winter Weather Advisory issued for most of central Indiana


Computer models early in the week were predicting as much as 15” of snow in the Indianapolis Metro region for this storm. Although there is a desire to know potential snowfall amounts as early as possible, in this storm the form of precipitation was in question. When we first started forecasting the snow, we didn’t know how much of the moisture would be converted to freezing rain, sleet and snow. So we decided to wait before mentioning specific numbers.

Watch the video below for more on how Kyle and Kevin graded their forecast and what we'll look at moving forward. 

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