This long-form course is all about weather models and the different types of weather models.
This course covers what each different model type does and what they’re best for when forecasting. Be sure to look at The Hitchhikers Guide to Weather Models for a more introductory lesson.
Different weather models for different jobs
There are different weather models for different jobs. There are models built to forecast climate signals many years into the future, there are other models built to anticipate weather patterns over the course of the next couple of weeks, and there are models with high resolutions that let you see where individual storms may be likely to form down to the city. This means that when you are approaching weather models, you need to do so with a bit of a concentrated mind. Using the wrong model for the job you won’t get the right results.
Furthermore, it is also important to remember that one model can be very wrong. Use several different models to make a forecast, not just one. Doing so lowers error rates and up your weather forecast successes.
The models we use
We love the following models most:
- ECMWF: The vaunted Euro model is really good at predicting mid-term weather patterns. This means we pay a lot of attention to it a few days out from a chase.
- GFS: The GFS doesn’t get nearly the same recognition as the Euro but it is a more than capable model that we also use a few days out to forecast chase probabilities.
- NAM: While the NAM is soon to be defunct, we still use it to forecast chases within a couple of days out.
- HRRR: This is the bread and butter day of model. The high resolution makes targeting for storms the morning of the chase way easier than it used to be. But remember: this is an imperfect model that’ll steer you very wrong as well if used in isolation.