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Click bait? Social media buzzing with forecast that shows major Tri-State snow storm coming

Here's why you should think twice before sharing
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Posted at 11:34 AM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 20:14:52-05

Have you seen snowfall maps popping up in your Twitter and Facebook feeds for the weekend ahead?

There's nothing like a map showing 6-plus inches of snow to totally stop you in your tracks, start the panic factor and make you want to hit "Share" immediately. Right?

When that system is still five days away, it's called click bait.

In the weather world, "click bait" is a post on Facebook, Twitter or on a website that seems so startling that you must check it out.

Snow maps are a big offender in this category. Only after reading the post do you realize it's too early to even issue the forecast, and there's some line that says "This is only a model run, our forecast will come out in several days."

The problem is, many people just look at the map, take it for an actual forecast and that becomes the buzz online.

And, my internet-loving readers, it's already happening for the system on Saturday.

If the chance for snow was 48 hours out, I would encourage you to spread the word about the snow forecast. But it's not time for that yet.

Snow forecasting is one of the hardest things we have to tackle. The movement of a low pressure system by less than 50 miles can take you from getting walloped with snow to a few flurries. Talk about a let down!

Finding consistency from one weather model run to the next is often hard to come by so many days out. The variety of snowfall projections from this system alone over the past 48 hours have been enough to make your head turn.

Sharing snowfall maps five to six days before snow is even going to happen should be a no-no when you see it on your Facebook feed. Why? It's highly likely that forecast will change.

So, my lovers of winter or despisers of snow: Yes, there is a chance we could see snow this weekend. We'll learn a lot over the next two days regarding the track of this Colorado Low and figure out where it's going -- and who will end up with several inches to shovel.