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.

If you haven’t done so, be sure to check out our introductory course to weather models, The Hitchhikers Guide to Weather Models.

When it comes to weather models there are several different types that are built 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 weather 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 — as if you use 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, it is always best to use weather models in such a way that you are using several different models to make a forecast — that will lower error rates and up your chase successes.

We love the following models most:

ECMWF: The vaunted Euro model is really good at predicting mid-term weather patterns, which 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, with high resolution it 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.