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Update January 25, 2016- The WSJ avoided the “Blizzard” term altogether. The journalist, Corinne Ramey, replied, “I can’t speak for the WSJ in general. But for the local, NYC-area story I wrote, the storm wasn’t a blizzard.”
Also, most people receiving our emails did not bother to click read the stories, so they thought I was predicting snowfall. The different headlines of the emails all led to the same story entitled, “Prediction: There will be no blizzard“.
This was not about snow accumulation. I correctly forecast that the large Nor’easter fizzled out and that we would not be hit by a strong-wind blizzard.
January 24, 2016- by Steven E. Greer
We previously reported that the New York Times officially has categorized the epic snowstorm we received on January 23rd as not being a blizzard due to the low winds (audio below). Therefore, the reader might be skeptical of our claim when they go to the NYT’s own website and see the headline of “Blizzard”.
The NYT, and most other media, are playing a game that allows them to have their cake and eat it too. For credibility sake, they are cleverly not ever calling the New York storm a “blizzard”. In the NYT article, for example, blizzard was never used to define any specific city.
They are using “blizzard” in headlines of a story because it is what everyone wants to read about New York City, despite the inconvenient truth that it was a mild storm but with a lot of snow. People want to think that they survived an epic blizzard.
Likewise in TV-land, we nailed down CBS meteorologist Lonnie Quinn on Twitter, asking him to explain how he went about labeling the storm a blizzard, since our data from the National Weather Service via AccuWeather showed that the winds were only 14-MPH, far below the 35-MPH threshold required for blizzard status. After being unable to provide the simple data, Mr. Quinn tweeted to us, “Hi Steve, the criteria for a blizzard is standard. The same storm can be a blizzard in one place and not a blizzard in another…. My station has always used Central Park for our “official” readings. I’ve seen others use LGA. Winds/temps vary from place to place”.
The fact remains that the “Epic Blizzard of 2016” was just a big snow squall that sputtered for two days and peacefully dumped a huge amount of snow for the kids to frolic in. A Nor’easter blizzard with high winds would have been deadly and devastating.
Words matter. It was not a blizzard.