Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November 16, 2015: The Amazing AccuWeather Meteorological Model

One year ago today at this time, our meteorologists were preparing forecasts of tornadoes in the central High Plains. It was extremely unusual to be forecasting tornadoes that far northwest this late in the year. One of the things that added to our confidence was the superb forecast made by AccuWeather's high-resolution model.
At left is the forecast we made for AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions' clients (red and purple lines). Along with the forecast are the actual rotation tracks of the powerful thunderstorms that produced the tornadoes. At right is the conventional forecast made by the government. The red dots are where tornadoes actually occurred. The forecast (colored areas) under-forecast the probability of tornadoes (using their technique, probabilities should have been as high as 45% near Liberal, Kansas) and put the highest probabilities too far south. I don't post this to criticize the government but to illustrate our added capabilities as a result of our model.

While the public received warnings from television (KWCH TV, Wichita, right), our clients received precision warnings for their specific requirements. For example, storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski was kind enough to send the photo of the BNSF Railway train stopped due to our storm warning for the track in the Pampa, Texas, area. The tornado is at left center in the photo (made possible by a flash of lightning).

It turned out that this was the biggest outbreak of tornadoes this far northwest in Tornado Alley this late in the season, ever. Yet, we were able to issue accurate forecasts and warnings as if it were a typical tornado situation in May.

The rate of progress in weather science the last five years is nothing short of astonishing. If your
business is affected by weather, give us call!

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