CLICKBAIT: Do Not Buy Into It

This morning, we have been flooded by questions asking about the potential for a “MAJOR winter storm” early next week. After doing some digging on where this originated, I can now see why the questions are flying around. The original post included a snowfall map, which we have attached above, and then went into describing the “insane” snowfall totals forecast.

There are two major issues with this. One, this storm system is still 7 days out, and as you all should know by now, the models have no clue what will happen on day 7. It’s not until day 3 or 4 that things come into better agreement. The second problem, which is the biggest issue, is this was ONE model, and only ONE run. If you were going to talk about this storm, which I wouldn’t recommend at this point, why not show all of the models, and some previous runs?

Maybe that’s because if you had shown the GEM, it has no snow in Iowa, and keeps all of it across Missouri and Illinois. Or if you had picked the ECMWF, it tracks it across Iowa, but is more reasonable right now, and does not show snowmageddon.

Every year this happens, so this is not a shock. A weather page gets ahead of themselves and creates this clickbait. This clickbait then creates the general public to share it, and then ask more reputable meteorologists, “is this true?”  All this is doing is creating panic that is not necessary and wasting time. Wait until 3 or 4 days out when the models are more believable, and then we will tell you. Don’t worry, we won’t leave you in the dark. But please, DO NOT share forecasts that are 7 days out. They are simply clickbait, not a forecast.

So instead of sharing clickbait, share some common sense, like this post, with your friends!

Zach Sharpe

My name is Zach Sharpe. I am the president and forecaster for the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. You can find me on Twitter @Stormchaserzach and on Facebook at:

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