Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How is the Heavy Rain Forecast Working Out?

As this is a very slow-moving storm, the rains are not over yet. Here are the forecast rains for the next 48 hours:


[caption id="attachment_7925" align="aligncenter" width="310" caption="Rainfall from now until 7am CDT Friday"][/caption]

However, I thought it would be worthwhile to see how the heavy rain forecasts, issued on this blog last week, have worked out so far.


My first posting on this storm was six days ago on March 15. I posted two maps, the National Weather Service's forecast rainfall amounts as well as the European model's forecast. That posting was titled "No Flooding? Pass the Salt, Please" because of a story that ran in a number of newspapers that day forecasting a low chance of spring flooding while this heavy rainstorm loomed.  Click on the link to see those forecasts.


Now, here is the 4-day rainfall amounts for the period ending at 7 o'clock this morning. 


[caption id="attachment_7926" align="aligncenter" width="617" caption="Rain gauge and radar high-resolution rainfall estimate for the 96 hours at 7am this morning."][/caption]

I think you'll agree that, considering it was four days before the start of the storm, the forecast was good. The next forecast, posted March 17, was excellent (see below).


[caption id="attachment_7927" align="aligncenter" width="302" caption="Rainfall forecast posted the morning of March 17 on this blog."][/caption]

While certainly not perfect, weather science continues to make major strides in our ability to forecast all types of storms.  

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