Thursday, March 24, 2016

192-Hour 500 mb Forecast Valid This Morning

About 7 days ago I showed the GFS and ECMWF operational forecasts that were valid at 12 UTC this morning. These forecasts are at the top and bottom here, with the NAM 500 mb analysis for 12 UTC this morning just above. neither global model was very accurate for this event at 192-hour. The GFS was too fast and forecast a very elongated system from northeast to southwest. The ECMWF was very much too slow, showing almost a "locked-in" type closed low over the Southwest. The height errors in the forecasts are probably more severe for the ECMWF, because of a strong too-high and too-low couplet over the Northwest to Southwest U.S.

The actual storm system was considerably more intense than the models indicated, producing serious winter weather impacts from Colorado to Wisconsin, and severe thunderstorms from Texas to Missouri. At long time frames an average of the two operational models was probably closer to reality.

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