Former Nat’l Weather Service meteorologist defends ‘lousy’ forecast

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TRENTON -

A retired National Weather Service meteorologist says Gov. Phil Murphy is wrong to blame Thursday’s snow chaos on a “lousy” forecast.

Murphy held a news conference Friday to address major traffic delays around the state due to unplowed roadways. New Jersey saw much more snow than originally expected.

Murphy took some of the blame, but also said that he blamed weather forecasters.

"Part of this is the forecasts were lousy and I’m not going to let the forecasters off the hook. Let there be no doubt about it,” Murphy said.

RELATED: Under fire for snow chaos, Murphy blames 'lousy' forecasts
MORE: News 12 Weather Center

But retired meteorologist Gary Szatkowski said on Twitter that the amount of snow still did not change the fact that road crews were unprepared to deal with the mess.

“Sleet and freezing rain are NOT driver-friendly weather phenomena," Szatkowski tweeted. “So when the NJDOT person says they salted the roads, and planned to clean them up after the forecast 4 inches of snow fell, and their plans were ruined when 8 inches of snow fell, you're being scammed."

Szatkowski continued, "Because what they are saying is that after 4 inches of snow fell, and everyone hit the roads to go home, they were planning to clean up while freezing rain/sleet were pouring down out of the sky. That's not a plan; that's a recipe for disaster.”

Murphy said that that timing of the storm also lead to some of the traffic issues.

“Unfortunately, the worst of the storm coincided with the early dismissals of schools and workplaces. Meaning, when we needed our road crews the most, they were competing with folks,” the governor said.

MORE: News 12 Traffic Center
MORE: Your November Snow Photos

Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti apologized to New Jersey commuters for the mess. She say that there were 1,800 plows and salters on the roads Thursday.

But many New Jersey drivers reported not seeing any plows. This was because of the gridlock, which prevented the plows and trucks from getting where they needed to be the most.

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