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29 June 2017

U.S. About to Fall Further Behind in Long Range Weather Forecasting

The Europeans are now testing a new version of their ECMWF model with a resolution of around 9 km, and so far it looks very good. Not that the present model isn’t since we forecasters now depend on it heavily for long range forecasts beyond 2-3 days. The NOAA GFS model is almost always the least accurate and that is not my subjective opinion. Look at the skill scores below …


18 October 2016

U.S. Model Issues Reach Main-Stream Media

Meteorologists have been talking about the long-range model issues for several years now, and many viewers of local weather already know that their local forecaster depends on the European long-range model much of the time. The superior performance of the European ECMWF global model made news during Hurricane Sandy, and the public likely first heard about the issue then. Congress did, because due to public pressure (and embarrassment?) NOAA finally …


5 October 2016

Did The Euro Model Just Pull Another Forecast Coup?

Matthew is gaining strength again tonight, and Florida and South Carolina are still going to see a significant (perhaps severe) storm. If the eye stays out to sea, it will not be as bad as it could be, but if it crosses just inland, much greater damage and a major storm surge is likely. Still a rather large disagreement between the higher res. regional models and the global models today. The …


11 August 2015

The Real Reason U.S. Weather Models Missed The Forecast on Hurricane Sandy

Among my fellow meteorologists, the talk after Hurricane Sandy was how accurate the european ECMWF model was compared to the U.S. Global Forecast System (GFS) model. Fortunately, most of us who were forecasting Sandy, knew that the euro was the better choice from previous experience, but it turns out that the reason we thought it did a better job was wrong. We thought it was because the Euro models initialization of the atmosphere …


14 January 2015

Weather Forecasts Are About To Get Even Better

I asked one of my professors at OU in the mid 1970’s if we would ever be able to make reliable forecasts out to a week, and he said it was unlikely, because we would needs computers running hundreds of times faster than they did then. Well, what do you know! The computer in your iPhone is  thousands of times faster than what was in the Lunar Module on July …