some fun after the warmup?
February 23, 2007
The long range forecasts from accuweather and weather.com both predict a warmup followed by a slight cool-down; however, after looking at the models from last night it looks as if after a week or so of warmer weather it is likely that most areas will return to significantly below average weather (temperature departures of 6-10 degrees) for a period of 4-5 days, followed by a quick warmup (2 days or so), then more below normal weather (models also hinting at a succession of large storms in early march and a period of much below average [10+ degrees] temps).
To summarize- looks like after this short warmer period that we will enter a pattern of storminess and cooler temps! However, the period of storminess could prove disastrous for local resorts if the precip type was rain instead of snow.
How good are the models? I know the "big boys" think they have the overall trends down -- but the day to day, week to week stuff, doesn't seem so good to me at least.
The models past 4 or 5 days have a high degree of inaccuracy for the day to day precipitation, temperatures, ect. However, you are correct in saying that they are very useful for overall trends; which, allows me to predict "periods" of warmth, cold and storminess. That is why i find it ridiculous that accuweather puts out a 14 day forecast, but thats another story. The main model that i use for the long range (7-15 days) is the GFS which has been around for a while and has proven a vital forecasting tool for all meteorologists.
I'd be thrilled at a late march snow -- we used to get them didn't we? Maybe this is the year again!
If once I skied at say Whitetail in early April -- why that would be one to remember!
Even past "mid-march" would be really cool...
wow.... to show how variable the models can be from this morning to now the GFS has gone from an all rain event for this weekend from the PA border south to now suggesting a possible wintery mix as far south as DC!! It will be exciting to see if this southward trent continues over the next few days
I think the two biggest weaknesses of the GFS is that it tends to underplay cold in the winter (-2+ away from the mean) and the accuracy past 4 days out. The European and Japanese models seem to be more accurate in this respect and it is fascinating to me to compare them all.
Of course, no matter which you look at you have to remember that these are mathematical algorithms and not predictions per se. I think it takes a good interpreter (weatherman (no, not most guys on your local news
)) to make an accurate prediction.
I am continually amazed at how much the forecasts change as they "home in" during the last 24 hours. Weather prediction is really a mixed bag, even short term.
The local NWS offices put out a scientific discussion article a couple times a day that explains the results of the many models that they use and their interpretation of those results to get the forecast. It's not always straight forward how they go from the model to forecast as the models often disagree with each other and the forecasters experience will often tell them what kind of event or effect of the local geography is not captured accurately.
25 degrees up in Canaan & SNOWING..again. 2 to 4 with isolated amounts to a half foot....Isolated has CV written all over it! The Mini Alpps up north should do well too during this WARMUP
OOPS..There it is!....6.1" OFICIAL at 3715' Canaan as of 7 am..Still snowing lightly..