Why Timing Storms is Difficult….

Good Morning Everyone!

Everyone always asks…”Why do Meteorologists always say a chance for showers and storms?”…or “Why is there such a broad timing for showers and storms?”

Simple answer…model data is inherently slower then what happens in real life.

When we forecaster look at data, it usually shows us bits and pieces for every 6 hours and how it will move through the atmosphere. We take that data and then start timing things out. We look at how the storms have interacted with certain features we saw in early model runs and if the progress seems to be continuing as predicted earlier.

Take for example, the long weekend is cut and dry…we will see a nice Saturday, a slight chance for a storm on Sunday…better chance late Monday afternoon. I can say this because all the models are timing out the storms at about the same time.

 

ECMWF Forecast for Wednesday at 1AM. Image Courtesy: WeatherBell LLC.

ECMWF Forecast for Wednesday at 1AM. Image Courtesy: WeatherBell LLC.

GFS Forecast for Wednesday at 1AM. Image Courtesy: WeatherBell LLC.

GFS Forecast for Wednesday at 1AM. Image Courtesy: WeatherBell LLC.

Heading into Tuesday night…different story. As you can see above, the models are not agreeing with placement of the front…nor timing of the storms…one has the storms here earlier. If the timing is later…the odds of stronger storms decreases dramatically.

Over the next day or so, my job will be to see how the models will place that front and if one model moves toward the other model. Basically, will the timing of these storms agree with both models…or will we still see this disconnect. Only time will tell…..

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