Looking for rain in all the wrong places…

Like in our best USA! models.

Pretty upset this early AM to find that the US’s Weather Forecasting and Research-Global Forecast System (WRF-GFS) model run, a model costing millions of dollars BTW, ingested last night’s 5 PM AST global data, BUT then threw up an identical twin that matched the Canadian Enviro Can model output that came out 24 h earlier!  It was unbelievable to see this, humiliating really, something akin to a reverse nose job.

Recall that the USA! model had rain here and a big cold trough right over Catalina on the evening of December 9th into Monday morning the 10th.  The Canadian model had that SAME trough over Cornhusky Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska!

The Canadian model was right.

Here’s are the two forecast maps made within 24 h and each for for the SAME DAY AND TIME by our own WRF-GOOFUS model:  on the left,  the rainful run from the previous day that made me so happy (until I had some “spaghetti” and saw it was likely a bogus output).  The panel on the right is the sickening output from last night, both rendered by IPS.

Valid for Monday, December 10th at 5 AM AST. Sweet!

From last night, also valid at 5 AM AST, Monday, December 10th. Horrible, unbelievable amount of change between the two.  Makes you feel sad for weathermen and weatherwomen that have to deal with these things.









I really wanted Enviro Can to eat some crow with their forecast of MY trough over Nebraska.  But no!  “Bow down to Canada”, as heard here if you substitute in your mind the word, “Canada” for “Washington.”  Hey, its got the lyrics at this site and so it should be pretty easy for you to sing along with it.

BTW, the Canadians (Enviro Can) don’t feel they have to show “spaghetti” plots to reveal how bad their numerical forecasts might be because they are always so right (in the 144 h time frame available from Enviro Can).  “Don’t need no spaghetti.”

Can we say the same?

Doesn’t seem like it.  We need “spaghetti” so we can see how bad our model forecasts might be.  Calling Obama now…. not “happy with crappy”, to quote some overseas manufacturer’s creed, here.  OK, our models aren’t exactly “crappy” but they aren’t as good as they should be.

Too, I have to deal with Canadian relatives that will be gloating today, I am sure.   Maybe this spectacular example of “model divergence”,  as we would call it, Canadian vs. US, is the talk of Canada today, and that’s what makes today’s wrf-goofus output sting so much.

I really want to call President Obama on this and tell him about it; I know he would add it to his list of things that need to be fixed in our country.  Even if you have only a tinge of jingoism, you HAVE to be upset that the Canadians in their big little country, have a better weather forecasting model than we do!  I think I am going to have to lie down for awhile…calm down.

So, what is ahead in our weather?

Of course, we have to look at the Canadian model first to get the most reliable one to see if they have anything for us…  (hahahahah, sort of). I always do look at that one first, but I don’t brag about it.  The summary of last night’s Enviro Can run, out to 144 h:  they got nothin’ for us, just some cooler air over time.  Cirrus clouds will be floating by from time to time as they do on most days.  Did you know that Cirrus is a precipitating cloud?  Yep, little ice crystals are always settling out leaving those pretty trails.  Mt. Everest would know this…

Yesterday’s Cirrus clouds, sunrise to sunset

Feel another song coming on…. key lyric, “I don’t remember getting older…”

Hope you had some good log entries describing the varieties and species of Cirrus…  If you did, you’ll be getting closer to getting that Cloud Maven Junior Tee.

7:01 AM. Sunrise Cirrus.
5:32 PM. Sunset Cirrus, maybe with a contrail in there, dammitall.



By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.