Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Problem With Winter Forecasting This Season

Mother Nature seems to love very sharp snowfall gradients this year.  Here is the latest projection from the National Weather Service's NAM model (note:  I am not suggesting that this forecast is correct, I am just illustrating the problem that forecasters have with this weather system). Click to enlarge.

The forecast snowfall gradient is more than 8 inches in 30 miles near the Kansas-Oklahoma border east into Missouri and in northern Arkansas!  The problem is that, until we get to less than twelve hours before the snow starts, our science has no ability to accurately forecast that type of gradient.

So, this is one of those situations where the forecast for your driveway could be significantly in error simply because the storm shifts 10 miles in either direction.

As always, you'll get "The Best Weather on the Web" at AccuWeather.

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