The snow that kept workers and students home on Wednesday finally arrived late Wednesday afternoon. But the foot of snow predicted for southeastern Massachusetts on Wednesday, causing schools to close and commuters to stay home for the day, turned out to be more like 4 to 6 inches. But the storm whacked New York and the mid-Atlantic.
The snow came, but in lesser amounts and several hours after Walter Drag predicted it.
‘‘Sometimes we over-predict. Sometimes we under-predict. And sometimes, we’re spot on,’’ said Drag, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton, on Wednesday night. ‘‘This time we over-predicted for the afternoon hours, definitely.’’
Wednesday’s snowfall started in the greater Brockton area late in the afternoon – and several hours after the 10 a.m. start predicted in local weather forecasts. To prepare for the snow, several local schools either closed early or altogether on Wednesday. Taunton closed its schools. The Bridgewater-Raynham school district sent students home at 10:30 a.m.
Area residents left work early, cleared out supermarket shelves and readied their shovels. In Brockton, Department of Public Works crews pretreated city roads as early as 4:30 a.m. – all in anticipation of heavy daytime snowfall.
Then everyone waited.
By around 5 p.m., residents finally started seeing the wild winds and swirling snow – but by then, an earlier predicted forecast of around a foot was being adjusted downward. According to the National Weather Service in Taunton, 4-6 inches of snow eventually fell across the region.
So what happened?
"It’s running definitely less than we expected during the daylight hours because of somewhat warmer surface temperatures,’’ said Drag, the meteorologist.
Temperatures were above freezing, melting the snow during the afternoon hours, Drag said.
Drag wasn’t shy to say the weather folks were off on this one.
‘‘That’s what people want to hear. We admit it. We’ll review the storm and then we’ll see if we can learn something from it,’’ Drag said.