Friday, February 13, 2015

Check On Long-Range Verification

In an earlier post I had highlighted the 168-hour global model forecasts that were valid at 00 UTC on today, Friday the Thirteenth (i.e., at 5:00 pm MST yesterday). Forecast above is the GFS 500 mb 168-hour forecast and below is the NAM 500 mb verifying analysis. Both the GFS and the ECMWF forecasts were certainly good approximations of the large-scale features present last evening. But the weather is in the details, and both models over did the size, intensity, orientation, and location of the small 500 mb closed low that is currently over southern Baja. So, close but no cigar for the models. The accumulated precipitation forecast in the GFS for period ending at 5:00 pm MST yesterday was extremely over done and was mostly a no show in the Southwest.

The small, digging system did bring strong winds from southern New Mexico westward to the Pacific. Ron Holle was driving from San Diego back to Tucson yesterday and reports winds estimated at 60 mph as he crossed the coast ranges on I-8. Mt. Hopkins RAWS station measured 84 mph at mid-morning yesterday and is still gusting around 50 mph this morning. So it goes.

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