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Weather Prediction for the 21st Century

Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:19 pm
see Friday August 2, 2019

The current US weather models are second class. It should be a national scandal (it is for those of us who follow weather forecasting blogs). Cliff Mass at the U of WA has discussed this for years. As he observes accurate and timely weather forecasting is important for aviation, disaster planning, agriculture, recreation, and managing energy production (esp. wind and solar).

He posts a few technical discussions of this every several months. If people are interested I will keep this thread up to date, possibly adding other links besides Cliff's.
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Re: Weather Prediction for the 21st Century

Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:56 pm

I’ve heard said, once you get past three or four days of forecast, you can almost do as well flipping a coin. IMHO, the euro models seem to be the most accurate.
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Re: Weather Prediction for the 21st Century

Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:04 am

Airport forecasting tends to be very accurate a couple of hours out. As DFW17L says though, the further out the forecast, though, the lower the accuracy. Weather is complicated. Do we care about the weather more than a few hours out? Of course. But it doesn't need to be super-accurate until we get closer. Weather minima are conservative, especially for isolated airports.

And this is at airports, where there is a lot of money thrown at the problem compared to your average "news at nine" weather forecast.

Some places also have more variable weather than others. Predicting summer weather in Las Vegas involves fewer unpredictable variables than summer weather in Hong Kong.
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Re: Weather Prediction for the 21st Century

Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:14 am

The US weather models are seriously lagging behind the Euro, but that should be changing later this year with the rollout of a new model based of much more powerful computing. It should be closer to the accuracy of the Euro. The NWS forecasters already have access to it in beta form and have been using the past few months to do a side-by-side comparison between the models and actual observed weather. Hopefully this one is much better.

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