Welcome to spring…sort of.

It’s the beginning of spring, at least meteorologically. That does not mean a whole lot to the average person. For meteorological record keeping, winter is considered December, January, and February.  Wisconsinites know that this is kind of silly because March still feels very much like a winter month. However, we do have a big jump in average temperatures this month with average highs going from 37 to 48. With high temperatures forecast in the 40s from Thursday through Sunday, it will start to feel a bit like spring.

For those of you who have not had a chance to read Meteorologist Jeremy Nelson’s blogs about the LRC, I encourage you to do so. In short, the LRC is a weather theory that follows long range weather patterns that repeat each winter season. A new pattern emerges every fall and this pattern continues in a cycle over a certain number of days throughout the winter. This in turn allows a forecast to be given weeks in advance with some skill involved. If this sounds too good to be true, I thought the same thing. I have been impressed with my first winter watching this closely and invite all of you to look back at Jeremy’s forecasts for each month of the winter. I think you will be impressed. They have not been perfect, but they have certainly hit much more than they have missed.

As for our next storm, it looks to wait until next week. The computer models are now trying to hold the storm back and to bring it farther south. Jeremy eluded to this storm in his blog on Saturday if you want to take a look. I’m going to show you the three computer models that go far enough in the future to show the next possible storm.

I hope that this is large enough for all of you to see on your own computer monitors. I want you to focus on the three bottom images. The first is the GFS model. This is a model we often refer to on this blog and on the air. The second is the ECMWF or European model. The third is the GEM or Canadian model. These three models have long-range forecasts out to two weeks. The images are from this morning’s run at 6AM. The images are the 192 hour forecast. This is the forecast for next Tuesday morning. I want you to note the differences and similarities of the three models. The biggest thing that caught my eye was the significant change from the GFS model from yesterday’s run to today’s. I wrote about this yesterday in the blog and the position of the low was well west and north of Milwaukee. Today, it has the low directly overhead. The other thing to note is how much stronger the GFS is than the other two models. This should not worry anyone right now because the GFS has a bias in longer-range forecasting of exaggerating the strength of lows this far in advance. Lastly, the other two models are still holding the low back into the plains states which would keep the precipitation from arriving until Wednesday. Let’s wait and see. Thanks for reading.



2 Responses

  1. Mark – as you all learn more about the LRC, it makes things much easier long range. Is it perfect? No. But as another tool in the bag of tricks, it certainly can help make better decisions about what to forecast and make sense of long range models when they are flip flopping on each run.

    [parallel thought, we did do some analysis in comparing the LRC 500mb height trends to the forecast 500mb heights of the GFS…the LRC outperformed the GFS in limited testing. Tests performed were point forecasts for the same duration]

    There is much more on the backend of this theory that is still being discovered and documented that will help MUCH more. Ultimately, as the research is documented it will help all that use it. We have made some very crucial discoveries this year that ties the LRC into the greater global circulation pattern. It is quite amazing as you can imagine.

    Glad to see that Jeremy has been able to share this discovery and that you are finding it useful. Done right, it provides a HUGE advantage in accuracy.


    • Thanks, Scott,

      I have learned a lot already and Jeremy has mentioned the link with various oscillations. I have a lot more to learn and I am looking forward to it. Have a good one.


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