NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Did we get snowed by the National Weather Service?
By now we know that for most of us Tuesday's storm turned out to be weaker than predicted. What we didn't know, however, was that the National Weather Service knew that as early as Monday afternoon but decided to stay the course and double down on its worst-case scenario forecast.
"NWS offices decided it was best to remain on the high-side of the forecast snowfall in the event the rain/snow line remained just east of the major cities, which was still a possibility," the National Weather Service said in a statement.
"I don't think anyone wants to intentionally exaggerate a snowstorm, that anyone that cares about weather and predicting it accurately," Weather Underground meteorologist Bob Henson says. He adds that changing the forecast of a major storm at the last minute only does damage by confusing the public.
"I like to think of preparing for a storm with a big potential as insurance," Henson says. "It's like with a hurricane. Not every single hurricane is going to come inland every single point where there is a hurricane warning. But the warning means that somewhere in this region you're going to get a big hurricane."
Tell that to the owners of Tavo, a restaurant in the West Village that shut down for the day along with countless other businesses in the tristate area. The bar manager said the business lost thousands of dollars.
So what happens the next time? How are we to trust a government agency whose job is to give us reliable weather information in those final critical hours before a storm hits?
"The National Weather Service and private weather forecasters have their credibility on the line so they don't have any motivation to overestimate or underestimate a storm's potential," Henson says. "They're going to call it as they see it as best they can."