Weather on the move

Models consistent in being inconsistent, much more than what is normal

To say the numerical weather prediction models are struggling of late is a huge understatement.

I’ve mentioned in many previous blogs how the computer models have been more unreliable than usual for the past six months and especially the past three months. The unique configuration of ocean, atmosphere, and stratosphere is probably the cause.

Put another way, there is so much energy in the system between the equatorial Pacific Ocean and the North Pole the computer models can’t properly resolve the relationships going forward.

Much like last year “weather weirding” has El Nino and La Nina weather patterns behaving “Abbey normal”. This throws off both models and analog forecasting approaches especially beyond 4 days or so.

Cold waves show up then disappear then reappear, snow or a chance of snow shows up then disappears then reappears, rinse and repeat. So we are best advised to play it close to the vest and not over-reach.

Lorenz Chaos Theory aka “The Butterfly Effect” (use internet search engine if you’re unfamiliar) is very much in place for the foreseeable future. Last minute changes can be expected well beyond the usual.

It’s absolute model mayhem and madness with chaos the only consistent thing as the models are flip flopping like a fish out of water.

So if you are a winter weather fan, as Tom Petty sang: “The waiting is the hardest part...”

It still looks like true Polar or even Arctic air (coldest in many years) will pour into at least the Northern Plains and upper Midwest to New England, but it is iffy right now as to how much will make it South of I-40 and when, if it does at all.

Past history has shown us we can have the PV visit the Great Lakes region yet fail to reach Dixie, it requires a rare pattern but it happened in the winter of I think 2018-19.

So the POTENTIAL remains the next couple weeks, but as usual in the deep South it requires a lot of luck to get the right moisture/temperature combination at the right time for anything more than “curiosity” snow or sleet.

Let me show you the weather/model volatility going on using just a simple temperature forecast.

Look at THE BIG CHANGE/SWING in projected high and low temperature from a model suite that occurred just within the last two days.

In one model suite about a 10 degree shift in forecast for next Monday temperatures from model output Tuesday morning to model output Wednesday morning: (single day change)

It was an even bigger flip-flop looking at the European ECMWF model temperature output for next Monday from Feb 1 to the latest output:

What’s a 29 degree temp forecast change among friends? Ridiculous, don’t remember this kind of crazy before in my career.

Shown another way look at the “postponement” or delay in the cold air when the forecast was 8 days in the future vs when it is just over 5 days away:

That is why unlike many other forecasters, amateurs, hobbyists, websites and APPS I don’t forecast based on one model or even a couple models. I use dozens and dozens and look at trends not just an exciting map of the day. It’s also why I don’t tweet them, that way I am not teasing you and playing games with you to get you to follow me or share or whatever. Ignore social media that posts nonsense, it only encourages them. ;)

I could have shown snow maps in recent days but deemed it too iffy to waste my time or yours.

If you see something or hear something and want to know what I think or make of it... just read my blog and LISTEN to my forecast on 95.5 WSB R A D I O available on all platforms. Also on our website at you can find my written forecast right there on the WSB Radio homepage.

Check the blog and forecast often in this changeable pattern the next few weeks, I’ll update but only trust things within 5 days TFN. IF, IF I think I see something with enough support to blog about in the beyond 5 day period I will, if not I won’t, simple as that.

The forecast could change suddenly in a significant way so I’ll keep monitoring.

Thanks for reading, following and listening. Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

Kirk Mellish


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