It’s All Interconnected

In order to forecast the weather, I look at lots of data. Some of it is observational – in other words, what is being seen at any given time. Other data sets are based on computer models and predict the future.

These models have convoluted names but are referrred to by screwier acronyms. I have to know them because they’re my stock in trade. No one else carews about the Eta or GFS or MM5.

A few months ago, the National Center for Environmental Prediction decided they needed to change the names of a few of these models. I’ve read their reasoning, though I’m still not sure I understand it.

Hey, it’s their models. What they name them is up to them.

Today the changes went into effect. Most of my data sources dried up! The meteograms I produce on this website stopped being produced. BUFKIT, a nifty model analysis program stopped getting its data. My friend Bob’s website lost contact with the mothership too.

It looked like no one (myself included) used the prep time to be ready for what was coming. I don’t remember when I first heard about these changes, but it was a significantly long time ago. There’s really no excuse.

I was still able to get the data, but not in the ways I’m used to, and certainly not with the ease I’m used to.

By tomorrow… or Thursday… or next week this will all be cleared up. Except for people who stumble upon this blog entry in my archives, no one will remember. But I want to go on record as saying, “what a pain.”

Let It Snow – Please?

I finally decided 6-12″ for Shoreline and Western Connecticut and 5-10″ for the rest of the state. The snow has started, and I’m watching the traffic cameras in Lower Fairfield County as if this were some sort of riveting drama – which it is to me.

Downstream, there has been some heavy snow. But, I am also looking at the western, trailing, edge of the system. It is moving too fast. At this rate it won’t last all night.

I hate snow on so many levels.

As the new 0z eta starts dribbling in, it is backing off precipitation. Now, only around 25″ liquid equivalent. Two days ago it was over an inch. That’s a huge drop off.

On the other hand, it doesn’t look like the initial conditions that were fed into the model were totally accurate. Maybe the model is poisoned from the outset!

I hate snow even more.

With 35 minutes to go until the news on WCTX, I am going to stick with the earlier forecast, in spite of the new guidance. But, I will express my concern that I’ve over predicted.

What a mess. And, what a mess I am.

No Storm’s A Bullseye

Before I went to bed, I wanted to get a look at the 06Z&#185 computer models. The Weather Service now produces the computer guidance I see up to 4 times a day… more chances for agita.

Actually, the accuracy of these models is so much better than what I first used, 20 some odd years ago. Looking back, it’s a wonder I’m still sane!

Still, I’m never 100% accurate.

Earlier this evening, I was overly aggressive in my forecast. I called for 12-24″&#178, inland, less on the shoreline, which seemed reasonable… but everything had to fall in line for that to come true and that’s just too much to expect.

By 10:00, with a quick look at the 0Z eta and parts of the 0Z GFS (yes – eta is lower case, GFS is upper), I realized the storm would be leaving sooner and lowered my numbers. Now it was 10-15″ inland and 6-12″ on the coast. That’s still significant, but significantly less. Either way, it will fall faster than the plows can handle.

There’s no doubt the forecast will change again. No snow forecast is ever 100% accurate. Hopefully, I’ve been close and all it will need is a little tweaking as newer, fresher, hopefully more insightful data comes in.

Spring cannot come soon enough for me.

&#185 – All weather data is synchronized to UTC (Universal Coordinated Time), aka GMT (Greenwhich Mean Time), aka “Z” time. It is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time

&#178 – On my first broadcast at 5:00 PM, bad data from a graphic I made and thought I replaced, made air. It called for 15-30″. I made the mistake of not saying it was a mistake, but that I was considering lowering it. I should have said exactly what happened. It was foolish on my part. I know some people saw that number and will remember it even though I ‘revised’ it a few minutes later. This is my responsibility totally.

Not My First Choice in Weather

As the 00z (7:00 PM) run of the eta (a computer generated weather prediction model) starts coming in, it seems like the earlier prognostications will stand. Snow, starting before dawn and lasting through midday.

It won’t be a lot of snow, but we have the long drive to Bradley Airport. And then, Helaine has to drive back home.

This trip will start earlier than usual. Hopefully, I won’t spend the entire day sitting in the terminal… but I might.

Let The Games Begin!

Here’s one more reason for me to dislike winter. It looks like there’s a major winter storm heading toward the East Coast for Thursday/Friday/Saturday.


Except, the ETA (a computer model) brings in loads of moisture at temperatures that imply snow, while the GFS (yet another model) scoots it just our our south.

One of the models is dreadfully wrong. Actually, both could be dreadfully wrong. The question is, will I be gleefully right?