Weather experts were right for a change when they accurately predicted and tracked the recent snowstorm that dumped nine inches on Maryland before finally moving on to New England.
Weather lore is full of locally inaccurate weather predictions, including one of the granddaddies of all time: the 1933 hurricane that devastated Ocean City.
Another miss came around Christmas 1947, when forecasters did not predict one of the most intense storms to hit the Eastern Seaboard. It blew in from the icy Atlantic, raised havoc across seven northeastern states, killed 58, paralyzed New York, and spread snow from Maine to Washington.
Locally, meteorologists predicted fair and cold weather for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with only the mountainous sections of Western Maryland seeing snow.
"The snow which began late Christmas night, ranged in depth from one inch on the Eastern Shore to six inches in the mountains. Three and three-quarters inches were recorded by the weather bureau in Baltimore," reported The Sun.
Beyond the usual inconveniences, Baltimore was seemingly spared from the storm, which grew more intense on Dec. 26 as it raced northward.
"Transit officials said that snowballs broke at least eight windows on streetcars," The Sun said. "At the Municipal Airport, gusts of wind which reached 40 miles an hour rolled wet snow up into `jelly rolls' about a foot in diameter but did not interfere with landings or takeoffs."
The storm seemed to save its greatest ferocity for New York, which was buried under 25.8 inches of snow that fell in 15 hours and 45 minutes. The storm surpassed the 20.9 inches of snow that fell on the city during the famed Blizzard of 1888.
Meteorologists estimated that the rate of snowfall in New York was 1.8 inches per hour while officials declared that the snow cost the city $183,000 an inch to remove.
The storm was not officially a blizzard, which is characterized by temperatures of 10 degree or less and winds of more than 30 mph.
"Rail and bus transportation was hard hit and sometimes halted. Airplanes were on the ground packed in snow. The giant New York port lay lifeless," reported The Sun.
Offices in New York closed early as workers struggled to get home by bus and train.
"Commuters living in suburban communities were stuck, however. Great throngs filled railway stations and bus terminals, waiting vainly for trains and a few buses operating at a crawling pace and then fighting to get on them. One bus moved a city block in three hours," The Sun said.
Long-distance rail travelers also had a tough time as inbound trains were delayed and outbound trains were canceled or operating far behind schedule.
On the Long Island Railroad, electric trains that had stalled in the storm had to be pulled by steam and diesel locomotives.
A heavily laden New York Central Railroad commuter train struggled through the storm into White Plains, N.Y., with 4,000 passengers aboard - four times its normal number - crammed into every available space.
The storm closed LaGuardia and Newark airports, as well as those in Hartford, Boston and Providence.
While 10,000 men were ordered into the streets by the New York Sanitation Department to begin snow removal, Fire Commissioner Frank J. Quayle, fearing an inability to respond to fires, asked residents not to light Christmas trees with electricity or candles.
The commissioner also urged residents to clear fire hydrants near their homes or places of business.
A man was crushed under a theater marquee that gave way under the weight of the snow. Hearses were stalled in snowdrifts in outlying areas. It was also the first time pedestrians were allowed to walk through the Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson River.
Augustus Post, one of the "Blizzard Men of '88," compared the great storm of 1888 with the 1947 edition.
"This is just half a blizzard," Post told The Sun, recalling how in 1888 he had to enter his house through a second-story window, wear barrel staves for snow shoes and walk across a frozen East River to Brooklyn.
"The whole city was cut off from the rest of the world for three days," Post said. "The only way to get a message out of New York City was by cable to London, and thence back to Boston."
In the 1947 storm, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Gordon were traveling to Brooklyn, N.Y., with their 5-month-old daughter, Robin, from their home in Willows, Calvert County, when they were stranded in the snow on U.S. 1 between Elizabeth and Jersey City, N.J.
The family waited nearly 12 hours in the car until being rescued.
"We had some milk in the trunk of the car for the baby but the trunk was frozen shut. We couldn't get it out," Gordon told The Sun.
Nearby was a milk truck, also stuck in the snow, whose friendly driver offered several bottles of milk for baby Robin. Ever resourceful, Gordon heated the milk for his daughter on the engine block of his car.
As the storm finally blew itself out, New England ski resorts were happy with the accumulation of snow, but many skiers were unable to reach them over impassable roads.
While the crippled Northeast shivered under a blanket of snow that week, Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., were the warmest cities in the nation with a temperature of 87 degrees being recorded on Dec. 27.
On the vagaries of weather forecasting, an editorial in The Sun observed: "The moral: Keep your fingers crossed when you read what the weather man has to say. Day in and day out, he hits things fairly well, but he is capable of some dreadful blunders."