While taking my Mississippi State courses in meteorology, I was surprised to find the very difficult and confusing concept of precipitation type (aka – ptype) being taught primarily from a sparse, yet scientifically thorough website.
This website comes from the National Weather Service Office in Louisville. My guess is, it was done by one of their meteorologists to help his colleagues in the office more than the general public.
It’s a scary read, isn’t it? It’s everything you hated about math. I understand.
Forecasting precipitation type really is mind numbingly difficult. It is a ‘compund’ forecast based on other forecast parameters. Any error, anywhere down the line. is multiplied along the way, throwing off the ability to truly be specific.
Doing the forecast is one thing. Knowing there’s a significant chance it will be wrong, no matter how hard I work at it, is frustrating. There’s a lot riding on these particular forecasts.
All of this is on my mind with the chance of wintry precipitation Sunday night (tonight). Right now, it looks like sleet to freezing rain to rain.
Looks can be deceiving.