Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Clueless Forecast

Steenburgh's Intermountain Cyclone Forecast System
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
I'm just about ready to give up.  As discussed in the previous two posts, there's quite a bit of uncertainty with regards to the details of the weather forecast over the next couple of days.  We know there's an Intermountain cyclogenesis event on tap, but the forecast models can't seem to settle on a track or frontal position, especially for tomorrow afternoon and evening.

I was encouraged to see that the NAM and the GFS were converging on a solution this morning, but that doesn't necessarily mean they were converging on the right solution.  Indeed, the SREF showed that there was a lot of spread when one looked at all the available model solutions, so uncertainty remained.

So, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised when I pull up the 1800 UTC 24 Feb NAM and GFS and find that they have shoved the frontal trough and precipitation band for tomorrow afternoon back to the north compared to the 1200 UTC 24 Feb initialize runs.  Oh the humanity!

NAM forecast valid 5 PM MST 25 Feb
GFS forecast valid 5 PM MST 25 Feb
Like the roulette wheel in Vegas, you simply can't beat a chaotic system.  It is a fact of life that some patterns are more predictable than others and in a pattern like this it is simply inappropriate to issue a simple, deterministic forecast.  Snow is coming, but the specifics of where, when, and how much remain uncertain.  The bottom line is to be prepared, but stay tuned.

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