Saturday, January 29, 2011

GFS and ECMWF Quite Different At 120 Hours

The 120 hour forecasts from the operational versions of the GFS and ECMWF at 1200 UTC this morning (29 January 2011) are quite different over southeastern Arizona. The GFS at 500 mb (top) has a very cold 500 mb low over Oklahoma, with heights of about 567 dm over extreme southeast Arizona. Thickness values (middle - 1000 to 500 mb) are around 540 dm. However, the ECMWF (bottom) has the low over New Mexico with 500 mb heights over extreme southeast Arizona at the same time of about 546 dm (more than 200 m lower than the GFS!). The ECMWF thickness appears to be about 522 dm - a very cold value for this part of the country. Thus, while both models' forecasts indicate the change to colder temepratures, the ECMWF (if it proved accurate) would likely bring the coldest temperatures of the winter to this part of Arizona. Certainly something to keep an eye on.
Also of note are the extremely cold thickness values in both model forecasts of around 480 dm over eastern Canada - Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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