Monday, December 05, 2016
High Wind Forecast A Bust For Mt. Hopkins
The forecast for a high wind event this weekend at Mt. Hopkins was the first to fail (see earlier post below). All that occurred at the RAWS site was brief period of winds gusting over 40 mph. Not at all what the WRF-GFS forecast sounding on the 1st indicated (below from 06 UTC for Sonoita valid at 00 UTC 4 December). Had the sounding forecast been accurate, there would have been an extended, high wind event event. However, the GFS forecast that was driving the WRF went seriously awry over the weekend. The closed low at 500 mb that was forecast to cross northern Sonora actually dug far to the south, ending up over the southern end of the GoC before turning eastward. Quite a significant bust by the models, given the fairly short time range.
The model forecasts did trend downward wrt wind speeds at Sonoita as time went by and the models tried to catch up with the misbehaving, closed low. The forecast that is second below was for Sonita at midnight on the 3rd - but from the WRF-GFS run at 12 UTC on 3 December. Finally, at bottom is observed TWC sounding for 00 UTC on 4 December - going with the models continues, at time, to be dangerous!
Posted by Bob Maddox at 5:50 AM