Monday, July 22, 2013

Thunderstorms Less of a Surprise

I had trouble getting to sleep last night, so I got up about 11:30. Even though I had told Kathleen to turn the sprinklers off (they were set to go off at 4am) because of the heavy rain forecast for Kansas this week (scroll down), I thought I'd take a look at the new set of computer model forecasts. I was surprised to see thunderstorms across south central Kansas forecast to develop during the night.

This was what the radar was supposed to look like at 4am. This was too early. Here is what the actu AccuWeather Regional Radar looked like at 8am.
A perfect forecast? No. But, it had the right idea in a situation where forecasts were hardly obvious.

Meteorologists call this "mesoscale modeling" (the late Dr. Ted Fujita created the term "mesoscale" meaning small or fine grain analysis of weather phenomena, especially thunderstorms). As a science we are making real progress in this regard.

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