4 December 2018

Why Those Snow Forecasts Online are Likely Wrong

Posted by Dan Satterfield

From NOAA/NWS Kansas City, Mo. Click for larger version.

I go weak in the knees when I see a science info-graphic that explains something really well in one picture. The image above from the NWS Kansas City is a really good one about long-range weather forecasts. Many forecasters in the Mid-Atlantic region and the Midwest are dealing with a possible winter storm beginning this weekend. We cannot say much more than that right now,  and it’s tough to explain to the public why we are ignoring deterministic models that they are seeing snapshots of online.

In many cases, the public does not see extra models and European model data that is not freely available but even this would not make a huge difference in a forecast like this. The models are telling us only one thing clearly and that one thing is that the predictability of this storm today is very low.

In other words, ask us tomorrow! Oh, and no we do not care what the Weather Channel or X said 😉