The Flip/Flop Of Weather Forecasting

Earlier this week I posted my thoughts on rain (and even snow) chances in Oklahoma for this coming Monday.  At the time, two major computer models, the European and the GFS, were indicating a good chance of rain coming into the state by Monday.  The European was even so bold as to predict snow in the state, perhaps as far south as OKC.  I was enthused at the prospect of getting some much-needed rainfall.  But believing model solutions six days out can lead to problems.  Aspiring meteorologists take note.

Case in point, the model solutions changed radically by the next day, and the hope for rain on Monday evaporated.  Let me show you the European solution for Monday from earlier this week:

Notice how the model predicted a wet and cold day for Monday.  Cold enough for snow!  Now look at the latest European prediction for Monday:

As you can clearly see, most of the rainfall has been eliminated for Oklahoma, and the rain/snow line (the blue dashed line) is all the way up in Nebraska instead of dipping into Oklahoma. 

The lesson here is that putting too much faith in the models, especially several days in the future, is usually a bad thing.  Sometimes they can give you indications of what is to come, after all the models did show a significant cool down in our future ( as I type this it’s only 47 degrees).  But relying too heavily on them can lead to poor forecasts, so take them with a large grain of salt, and use them with caution.

Rick

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