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Weatherman apologizes after snow forecast fizzles

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published February 11, 2014 at 9:52 a.m.

Todd Yakoubian

A weatherman for a Little Rock television station offered an apology Tuesday after a winter storm that had been expected to drop accumulating snow failed to develop in central Arkansas.

Todd Yakoubian, a meteorologist for ABC affiliate KATV-TV, Channel 7, wasn't the only weathercaster whose prediction didn't pan out. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm advisory for points including Little Rock and the developing storm led newscasts and made headlines over the weekend and Monday.

But Yakoubian was in a small minority in one respect: He took to his Facebook page and blog first thing Tuesday to apologize for forecasting a snow that never fell.

"I don't think anyone takes it as bad as I do when it comes to busting a forecast," Yakoubian wrote on Facebook, acknowledging he "should have bailed on the snow forecast" as the prediction models changed. "I'm very sorry."

The post generated significant attention, with more than 1,800 likes and hundreds of comments by 9 a.m. An overwhelming majority appeared supportive, with many pointing out a missed forecast in a different situation would be worse.

"That bust is better than saying there would be no snow, only to wake up to a huge surprise," Steve Hopkins wrote.

Yakoubian followed up with a detailed explanation on his Arkansas Weather Blog, writing that the models suggested a significant winter storm until Sunday when things started to look "less and less impressive."

A short-term model that "has not performed well lately" suggested on Sunday that no snow at all would fall in central Arkansas, and that one turned out to be correct despite the model's spotty record with recent events, Yakoubian wrote.

He apologized twice more in the blog post for a forecast that was "nowhere close to being right."

"Once again, I'm very sorry," Yakoubian wrote. "That's the nature of weather forecasting. We have had a very good run so far this winter forecasting the onslaught of cold, snow, and ice. We got this one storm (or lack of) wrong."

Other television meteorologists also took to the web to explain or comment on the lack of snow.

Yakoubian's KATV colleague Barry Brandt also apologized in a Tweet while KTHV, Channel 11, meteorologist Sarah Fortner posted a photo of figure skater Ashley Wagner's disgusted look upon learning her score at the Olympics with the added caption "Waking up to RADAR this morning..."

And Greg Dee, a weatherman at KARK-TV, Channel 4, and KLRT, FOX16, posted the traditional winter storm photo of a ruler set level on the ground to measure the accumulated snow. There was just one caveat: There was no snow in the image.


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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 total comments

SUPERDUTY says... February 11, 2014 at 12:19 p.m.

Well, at least we are all stocked up on milk, bread, and toilet paper!!!!!!!!!!!

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HawgFan says... February 11, 2014 at 12:22 p.m.

It's probably not a good idea for any weatherman to start apologizing when they get things wrong because it happens WAY too often.

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RaylanGivens says... February 11, 2014 at 12:25 p.m.

I would hate to have that job

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tressiewilkinsyahoocom says... February 11, 2014 at 1:19 p.m.

It did actually snow last night in Southwest Little Rock. I was out at the Food Giant on Stagecoach road. They were not totally wrong.

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JakeTidmore says... February 11, 2014 at 1:43 p.m.

This had most of the state of Michigan laughing for 2 days and a very embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future, likely think before she speaks.

What happens when you predict snow but don't get any! The female news anchor finished her regular report. It was the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, so she turned to the weatherman and asked: “So, Bob, where's that 8 inches you promised me last night?”

Not only did the weatherman have to leave the set but half the crew did too because they were laughing so much.

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obbie says... February 11, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.

Hey, nobody's perfect, dude.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... February 11, 2014 at 5:33 p.m.

ht tp://ww w.viralgrapevine.c om/does-every-anchorwoman-have-8-inches-on-the-brain/

( | suggest removal ) says... February 11, 2014 at 7:49 p.m.

Todd for president - or congress - or some government position. We need a few leaders who will acknowledge their mistakes.

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