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Way Over Our Heads podcast: The 'dry slot' no one saw coming, and how do meteorologists contend with busted forecasts?

The dry slot put meteorologists in a tough spot in the most recent MN snowstorm.
dry slot

The dreaded dry slot. It's the reason last week's much-hyped snowstorm didn't deliver the "up to a foot of snow" that was predicted for the Twin Cities and many surrounding areas of Minnesota. 

Instead of 8+ inches of snow, the metro area received much less, with 4-5 inches very common. A bit more was found in parts of south-central and west-central Minnesota, with the highest totals in northern Minnesota, which was able to dodge the dry slot. 

"Dry slot" might not reach the level of other viral weather terms like polar vortex and bomb cyclone, but it's certainly a real thing the experts have to contend with. 

As climatologist Kenny Blumenfeld and Jim du Bois explain in this week's episode of the Way Over Our Heads podcast, nobody saw the dry slot being as much of a snow-killer as it became. 

And when a snowfall forecast busts, public frustration grows. 

What are meteorologists to do? Should they rely less on forecast models and avoid the risks that come with trying to predict a weather event with too much precision?

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