‘Tis The Season For Misleading Forecast Models

The Weather Authority

As we get into the summer months, a word of caution to those of you model watchers out there: don’t take the bait.

Forecast models this time of year struggle, because often what drives rain chances aren’t large scale weather patterns, but small scale boundaries and processes that can be difficult to see in real time, let alone model properly. Take today for example. Our highest resolution convection allowing model (CAM) suggested a few isolated showers and storms across North Alabama in the afternoon, with nothing in Middle Tennessee.

So, what actually happened? No rain this afternoon in North Alabama, and in Middle Tennessee…

Another thing to watch out for: hurricanes in the long range model runs. This time of year, there’s almost always a model showing a big hurricane past a week out. The GFS is showing one now entering the Gulf around June 8. This is not likely. The models tend to do this. It’s something that often gets a lot of attention on social media, and doesn’t end up doing much.

So, a word of caution. Know where your weather information is coming from. Models are great tools, but they don’t replace the trained eye of a meteorologist (and many of the pages that post model data like this aren’t run by meteorologists. Just enthusiasts. We’ll keep you informed this summer. And we’ll let you know once something important has piqued our interest and attention. Until then, take what the models say with a grain of salt, and be wary of those who post a few too many model runs.

Alex Puckett
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Trending Stories

Click Here To Send Us Your Photo