Frank's Weather or Not: Euro vs American...the Model War?


Weather Models!

The mainstream of forecasting these days (how ever did I predict anything before the late 90s?) and they've gotten better and better as computers have become bigger and faster.

First, the good news: the GFS American model is getting better and the NEW GFS, called the FV3 (full volume), launches on March 20th. What's the difference? In a nutshell: The current GFS, developed before the age of high speed computers, is not able to provide such highly detailed informations (as the FV3). Even if it ran on a computer with more processing power, it would not work faster. The new FV3 will also solve equations more efficiently and drive down more locally to the forecast. A terrific explanation about the difference between these two models, although a bit scientific, is right here

I've been watching the FV3 for a while although technically it hasn't been "operational" and the launch was delayed by the government shutdown. It's definitely better than the old GFS in terms of precipitation forecasts. The bad news is that, by most counts, the new FV3 still isn't as good as the European model.

Now, saying that, all models have their good days and bad days. The Euro tends to have better good days. What I've noticed is that the FV3 is much closer to the Euro than the GFS, so I'm optimistic we have a great model on our hands. Marshall Shepherd published a terrific explainer about the Model Wars in Forbes this week I encourage you to read right here. He even links our local science guy Eric Berger (who ranks the new FV3 in third place, up from fourth).

So here is a fun Let's See What Happens.

Below are the GFS, the FV3 and the Euro for this coming Tuesday Morning. Basically a four day forecast from now. You and I will decide on Wednesday how they compare.


The GFS: Widespread rain Tuesday Morning


The FV3-GFS: Rain more in the Gulf to Mississippi and South Carolina


Euro precip from Eastern Texas through LA and Arkansas to Mississippi.

And remember, models are just forecasts. You know how that goes.


In other news, Today is National No One Eats Alone Day, so make sure you do your part! Speaking of which, we're having dinner tomorrow night with a couple whose marriage I will be officiating in May, or is that "aisle" be officiating!! Woohoooo.....and Sunday we go to the Rodeo Championship Wine Auction and Dinner with our friend Angela Hernandez. We're gonna lasso some fun times!! I'll post pics on Monday!

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