Weather experts are not sure exactly how the epic storm rumor for Feb. 9 got started. They only know they are trying to stop it.
A little over a week ago, weather buzz began to build calling for an epic storm this weekend — as much as 20 to 30 inches on the East Coast.
The may have begin, as many do, on Facebook.
The Capital Weather Gang’s Jason Samenow says he first saw the forecast on Facebook on Jan. 29, when the page run by Weatherboy Weather said the European Model showed the blizzard formation.
Samenow says Weatherboy Weather admitted he did not trust the model — but it was too late. The radar picture he posted was shared countless times and the the rumor spread, well, like a blizzard.
“The same forecast independently ended up on The Delmarva Firefighter Forums Facebook page and was shared over 41,000 times,’ Samenow points out.
Upon further review, it turned out the image was an alternative version of the European model called a control run, not the real thing – and represented 10 days worth of snow, Samenow writes.
Many meteorologists have reposted the picture to Facebook, some drawing a big black “x” over it, to spread the world it is false. They are also reminding readers that forecasts cannot be made 10 days out — and to get your weather information from trusted sources like the National Weather Service.
The NWS said that the forecast was “nonsense then and it is nonsense now.” In fact, the hundreds of inquiries the NWS had to field prevented staffers from doing its job during Wednesday’s very real East Coast snowstorm.
To review: No big storm this weekend in Reston or the rest of the Mid-Atlantic/East Coast. The forecast here is for snow flurries to a dusting on Saturday and Sunday.