Mother Nature’s Still Deciding

The GFS is forecasting a heavy rain event for nearly all of Connecticut. The NAM is much snowier with rain mixing in close to the shoreline.

You humored me yesterday by staring at the weather map I posted. I’ll press my luck again this time with four maps! This is a comparison of two different models, the NAM and the GFS, and how they depict rain versus snow.

These are the most commonly used weather models. They’re in agreement right now about as much as the Republicans and Democrats are!

Here’s the setup. Everything you see on the left map is rain. Everything on the right map is snow. An arrow on each map points to Connecticut.

Look closely and you’ll see the GFS favoring the left map over Connecticut. The NAM favors the right.

The exact numbers aren’t all that important now because I can guarantee they’re not accurate! Look instead at the colors. The hotter they are the more precipitation is predicted.

The GFS is forecasting a heavy rain event for nearly all of Connecticut. The NAM is much snowier with rain mixing in close to the shoreline.

Where they both agree is in accelerating the precipitation. It now looks like we’ll see the first of it (whatever it is) sometime Thursday afternoon. The NAM has everything ending around rush hour Friday. The GFS is a little slower and holds the rain into Friday afternoon.

Do you see why this stuff frustrates me so? Sure, we don’t miss them like ’78, but there’s still a lot of hemming and hawing on my part when I’d rather be firm.

Since we’re so much closer to the even my method of forecasting will change a little. I’ll start paying closer attention to how the models were initialized. That means I’ll check to see if that data fed into the computers as they started their work matches the real world conditions. Because of the methods used to create the initial conditions they don’t always!

I’ll keep you up-to-date.

It’s nice to be in the saddle again.

18 thoughts on “Mother Nature’s Still Deciding”

  1. Morning Geoff. Up at at em early I see. LOL Good to see you in the saddle again.
    NWS is saying poss. 6 to 12 but very early only potental.

  2. It’s good to have you there! I really like this method of forecasting, Geoff!
    It allows you to go into more detail, and I learn more!

  3. Thanks again Geoff, and good morning as well. Perhaps you should consider morning weather forcasting…..You could change your “Don’t go to bed just yet”, moniker, to “Don’t hit the showers just yet”…….Works for us non-nocturnal creatures….

  4. Geoff,

    Someone paid you to do this for a living. I advocate adding a “PayPal” account to your forecasting…’cuz I sure-as-hell would pay you to continue to forecast for me! 😛

    On a more serious note, thanks for taking the time to do this for us “common-folk.” I can’t stress enough how much you are missed on nightly news. TV just isn’t the same.

  5. Wow! I knew there was a lot that goes into forecasting the weather, but I didn’t know there was THAT much! It seems that even with computers, it gets even more complicated. Thanks for pointing out CT to us on the maps. Makes it much easier to understand. I hope we end up with all rain!

  6. It’s always seemed to me to be easy to predict what we’re going to get. All one needs to know is where the steering currents are going, and thus whether (weather?) we’ll be on the north/west side of the rotation or the south/east side; particularly when we’re on the margins of winter, as we are this week. Should be easy to know which way the wind is blowing, right? 🙂

  7. Now we can see why predicting is not so easy. But, it is a lot easier for you to show us how you predict, why you have a dilemma and your thoughts on the upcoming weather on your own personal blog than having to be “right” on the public news channel. You have a receptive audience here, one that can not fault you and appreciates your lessons and your best predictions.

  8. This is fascinating – I like having this kind of information. It is SO good to be getting forecasts from you – we need to figure out how we can make it a paying gig for you. Subscription service? I’ll subscribe. You provide much better information, including the uncertainty, than the folks on TV, and in more detail. Thank you!

  9. I love it when you jump back in the saddle again! I miss seeing you on the tube, but love that I can get my “fix” right here!

  10. Geoff,

    It’s awesome to see you back. I think you may have found a niche by supplying those of us who are weather geeks with more technical information! I certainly enjoy it!

    When will you start doing your own weather broadcasts over the ‘net?


  11. Here in Portland, OR it’s much easier to forecast right now. Rain with a chance of rain, mid 50’s. haha. You guys can’t wait for snow season to finally be done with the same way we can’t wait for rainy season to be over!

  12. Awesome to see real explanations of the weather instead of superficial stuff. This is weather for people who have an attention span of longer than 10 seconds.
    Gotta love it, and I do appreciate it.

  13. I really think you can make a living on-line with a small monthly fee site, and doing weather science and tech presentations for schools as a web cast there are several revenue streams you can explore. And with this site it’s no scam ! “Will the real Goeff fox please stand up ?” LOL

  14. I’m thrilled to be getting forecasts from you again. I even mentioned this at work today. I’m probably one of the very few who’s hoping for an end of season snowSTORM on Friday. Can’t help it, I love late March/early April snowfalls. The snow they leave behind doesn’t last very long and so I feel I can enjoy them more than the winter ones.

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