How Did Models Do?

Prompted by an email, I figured I should see how the the UW’s Mesoscale models did with respect to reality with our mini cold snap.  I know, not exactly a cold snap, but that’s relative to the month of January I suppose.

Here is data from the NAM-MM5 and WRF-GFS models for three locations, Portland, Salem, and The Dalles.  The number in parenthesis is the departure from the actual temp.  So a negative number means the model was too cold, zero is spot on, and positive means the model was too warm:

PORTLAND MON HI TUES LO TUES HI WED LO
ACTUAL TEMP 44 34 42 29
NAM-MM5 FCST 39 (-5) 21 (-13) 37 (-5) 25 (-4)
WRF-GFS FCST 48 (+4) 34 (0) 42 (0) 36 (+7)

 

SALEM MON HI TUES LO TUES HI WED LO
ACTUAL TEMP 46 32 46 26
NAM-MM5 FCST 41 (-5) 21 (-11) 38 (-8) 21 (-5)
WRF-GFS FCST 51 (+5) 30 (-2) 48 (+2) 29 (+3)

 

THE DALLES MON HI TUES LO TUES HI WED LO
ACTUAL TEMP 38 24 38 18
NAM-MM5 FCST 13 (-25) 3 (-21) 12 (-26) 5 (-13)
WRF-GFS FCST 41 (+3) 25 (+1) 39 (+1) 25 (+7)

The NAM was too cold in the end, especially east of the Cascades.  Actually it was pathetic over there.  A quick check of Redmond showed a huge cold bias there too.  The WRF-GFS was slightly warm but did very well here in the Metro area, until this morning.    Note the NAM forecast highs only in the 30s to maybe 40 up and down the Valley both Monday and Tuesday, but that was a good 5-10 degrees too cold.

This morning’s lows are interesting because the WRF-GFS was too quick to warm things up (big surprise…no) in the cold air coming through the Gorge.  I think the NAM did a little better this morning due to holding onto the cold air longer, even if it was far to cold to start with.  I should also point out that the WRF-GFS was too warm (maybe keeping it too windy?) for outlying areas.  Although I think we all know that dewpoints forecast in the teens and clear/calm conditions means lots of 20s away from the wind.  Even we forecast mid-upper 20s here in the city with colder outlying areas.

Let’s talk about the long range maps…ah, well, nevermind…maybe another time?

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

326 Responses to How Did Models Do?

  1. Karl Bonner says:

    Based on what most models are showing for early next week (only 3-7 days out), those temps on the second half of the 7-Day look way too warm. With that kind of northerly flow, I’d expect Mon-Wed highs in PDX to be 45 at best, and that would probably require quite a bit of sunshine. If it is a cloudier and somewhat wet pattern, it looks almost exactly like the scenarios where the Valley gets a brief slushy inch or half inch of snow, and the hills get 3 or 4 inches. Keep in mind that we are still in early February, rather than near the end of the month. And when there’s a N or NW flow, the increasing sun angle is less effective anyway.

    Maybe Mark just hasn’t updated the 7-Day yet. I’ll check back in an hour or so.

  2. Azzurri says:

    00z Euro
    Day 7: This has potential.

    First 80 degree day in the PDX occurring around…April 28th. 90 degree day? Hmmmm, May 21st? 100? Uhhhhh, July 3rd. Next chance at reaching 200F? The Apocalypse.

  3. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    No need to stop watching the models folks. Weather does bring surprises when you least expect it. I am not having very high hopes for the rest of winter myself too, but you can’t say its over for good.

    Besides, models can also be used for thunderstorms so its wise to watch them every day like clockwork. Hey, given how the weather is looking around the country right now, I wouldn’t be shocked if we have an exciting show this summer for thunderstorms.

  4. yevpolo1990 says:

    hour 162 on 500mb shows a beginning of a pattern change.

    • PaulB/Eugene says:

      by 192 hours split flow over the NE Pacific with weak SW flow returning to the region, mild temps, clouds, light precip. Pattern change it is.

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      yep, basically we turn zonal, 18z looked better than that it had lower heights to the north and over us as well.

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      we need more cold air

    • blowmedown says:

      Jeez! 00z just puked again! I’M not jumping off any cliff or bridge , but I think I’m done looking at the models this year and I’ll see you all next November! I also think some of you should also do the same. Thanks Mark for all you great weather analysis and this blog! Take care weather geeks!

    • Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

      Jump now and smell the tulips!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      No need to run off blowmedown, take a flying leap and join us for a brewskee!

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      Nothing really changed 500mb wise in terms of a pattern, we just need a little bit more of cold air and the positioning of the ridge.

  5. PaulB/Eugene says:

    GFS says we have the nicest weather in the country in seven days….

    • PaulB/Eugene says:

      Flights to SEA, PDX, LAX, SFO : ON TIME

      Flights to BOS, NYC, PWM, BWI: CANCELLED

    • flurball says:

      We are………… PACIFIC WONDERLAND

    • TAGinGresham says:

      I guess it depends on what “nicest” is for each person. But this weather isn’t the “nicest” in my opinion, because I want snow! It always frustrates me when newscasters view winter weather as a negative, when some of us actually enjoy it. I remember Jim Bosley always rating the day, and as a child, I would get so mad at him and his ratings, lol!

    • pdxpalm says:

      Flights not cancelled. Travel every week and was in NYC this week. Wednesday was a mess, but all my colleagues got out Wednesday night, and I had no problem out of JFK-SFO-PDX on Thursday 🙂

  6. Gordon (Vancouver) says:

    Hello???

    This thing working??

  7. Andrew Johnson says:

    48/29 for the high low today. So far for the month here in Silverton we’ve started off a bit below normal with daytime highs and well below with lows.

    1st: 47/24
    2nd: 44/21
    3rd: 48/29

    Currently down to 39.

  8. Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

    Ok, how about top 5 wishcasters??

    I’ll put myself at 3 or 4.

  9. nwsnow (aka -100F) says:

    Hmm, just about to give up on this winter. This next potential pattern change will be the last thing I’ll pay attention to this season, if this fails, we can pretty much be a 100% sure its over.

    No way to know how cold we get this far out (if any), but my gut tells me we will just have another mediocre cold snap which might bring snow to higher elevations but probably nothing here. What do I base my prediction on? Just think about how many times we end up with snow here in the valley during a period of cooler weather…not very often. Save yourself trouble and don’t model ride and obsess over each run this far out.

    We have all been surprised many times before though, so like Rob, “cautiously optimistic” is a good approach here.

  10. yevpolo1990 says:

    papoose you jumping back on? i am staying put

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I don’t see anything that would make me want to take part in a mass weather geek stampede up the cliff yet. We’ve been burned so many times, it’s hard for me to buy into a change until I see it actually evolving. But with that being said, I must warn you, as I said before, if the possibility of bitterly icy cold, arctic Siberian super chilled frozen wonderland weather (as Rob so eloquently put it) becomes likely, you better not stand too close to the edge…as there is no doubt that any living thing will be in mortal danger from said stampede!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      In the meantime I’m enjoying a few cold ones with W7.

    • Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

      Gulp, burp, ahhh….

  11. Mike (Orchards 255') says:

    Another “Big One” for the Northeast next week…

    49°…

  12. Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

    Anyone jazzed up for 00z? I sure am.

    BTW, the view is great from the top of the cliff. Anyone ready to crawl back up yet?

    • Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

      No riding for me. So nice to be with relaxed and reformed people. A very pleasant and much needed break. Call down when the snow forecast is 5 days out.

  13. bgb41 says:

    18Z GFS @ Troutdale – Cooler/Wetter conditions from 2/14 through 2/18 on current run.

    With 850mb temps bottoming out at -7C and SSW onshore flow this pattern sets us up for snow levels still above the valley floor. Above 500-1000ft some minor accumulation could occur in this pattern. Still though all this is model riding since it all starts around day #12 and as we all know that is too far in the future to get very excited about.

    • Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

      Great some more useless extracted data that means absolutely nothing!!!!

      Just kidding, man. I don’t see how all those highs of 33 at the airport wouldn’t convert to sea level snow though.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      No point speculating on the details of a pattern that far out, IMO.

      A small tweak in that pattern could easily give us snow.

    • Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

      Could snow on Monday next week, at least flurries according to what I’m seeing.

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      a tweak here and there and we may finally get our one inch of snow for once

    • bgb41 says:

      With SSW surface flow those extracted 33 degree high days will end up 35-40 for max temps.

  14. Bob says:

    Loving the latest model runs right now as we now know a pattern change will occur and the prospects for a major snowstorm down to the valley floor is highly likely around the middle of February. Hopefully in the next couple of days the models will verify what is about to occur. Winter is not over by a long shot!

  15. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    These models have been forecasting cold and snow after day 9 since the middle of December..lol
    Sooner or later you would have to think the NW won’t keep dodging snow storms.

  16. Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

    18z GFS = One shot of low snow levels at day 5. Then repeated chances of full blown snowstorms from days 8 through 16.

    Am I missing anything?

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      nope not at all, agreed

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Sorry for my noob question but…even with such a promising run what should one expect realistically?

      I would assume we’re too far out as of current? Right?

    • Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

      Ya, too far out. But probably enough changes for Mark to update his 7 day before tonight.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      I just wish I could click my heels 3 times and go to Accuweather land. But, do to arthritis, someone will have to do it for me. I wish it would snow, I wish it would snow, I wish it would snow…

      http://www.accuweather.com/us/or/beaverton/97008/forecast-details.asp?fday=10

      I had a dream, I dreamt that I lived in a place where it never snowed, and people in Milwaukie lived in a glass bubble, and model riders were jumping off weather bridges, and you were there, and you and you..

      It’s like when Lucy held the football for Linus and he always fell for it, when oh when will we actually get to kick the football?????? AAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGHHH?!??!?!?!

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Thanks Josh for clearing that up for me. 🙂

  17. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    I’d have to say that if I actually get to use my brand new snow shovel I will be completely shocked.

    -My hypothesis for why we get so amped on a good model run:

    Shark + 1 drop of blood = Madness

    Weather geek enthusiast + 1 drop of model = Madness

    🙂

    • J in north hazel dell says:

      There’s the problem, Jake. You and Rob bought new snow shovels this year–ruined our chances for any snow.

  18. Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

    La-la-land is such a tease…

  19. Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

    I do like the cold shot for next Tues/Wed. Is backed up by the GEM and the 0Z euro. As Josh said, like the the one from a couple days ago. Doesn’t hang around long tho.

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      seems like a small warm up after that and then 18z shows low heights over us

    • Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

      or was it Gordon?

    • Gordon (Vancouver) says:

      Yeah, I pointed out this is looking very similar to what we just had and is trending colder as we get closer. Much like this last little episode did. Here’s to hoping we can throw a little moisture at it this time and see what happens. I do like the trend at the end of the run as well but we’ve seen this on and off for about a week and a half now. Would like to see the timing moved up before I get too excited about that.

  20. yevpolo1990 says:

    is hour 192 a possible pattern change? really shows what euro has been hinting.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      It might be.

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      shows a big high south of alaska, and then delivers some nice heights over us 🙂

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Yeah it amplifies nicely over western Alaska somewhat similar to November pattern and has a slight positive tilt into it. What we want is a positive tilt ridge/block near 150 W nosing northeast into Yukon, but I just doubt that occurs.

  21. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    <—– Cautiously optimistic, but no emotional investment in models.. Not yet anyhow.

  22. Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

    Hmm, where is the low out at 160 going to go? How about Coos Bay? If that happens we are getting some snow. I’m watching it like a hawk!!!!

  23. Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

    18z out to hr 120 and showing the changes we have been talking about. High pressure starting to get the nudge:

  24. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Oooo….

    12Z EURO Ensemble 500 Mb Height Anomaly
    http://raleighwx.americanwx.com/models/ecmwfens/12zECMWFENS500mbHeightAnomalyNA_loop.html
    Look what is likely to drop south….

  25. Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

    Let’s do a vote on the Top 5 trolls of the Fox 12 Weather Blog and the Top 5 smartest bloggers.

    This could be interesting :).

    • Jessie says:

      They can have a T-Shirt with the official troll face on it.

    • W7ENK says:

      Let’s not. I don’t think that would be appropriate.

    • bgb41 says:

      Top 5 dysfunctional people = Top 5 Trolls

      Has nothing to do with knowledge or smarts.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      posting a list is a very bad idea

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      remember smartest weather blogger we have here is bgb41 and rest are all dumb and all trolls

    • Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

      Hey, some of us could fall into both lists :).

    • bgb41 says:

      Nope I am not smart, actually just a nice person who likes to contribute to the blog.

      Actually I am really glad you are continuing to bash me Yev. You are going to be crying the blues really soon when you get banned.
      Also, I am glad Mark gets to see who you REALLY are.

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      i am a dummy weather follower, bgb41=god of weather bloggers, i am not saying anything bad here.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      #1 Stephanie K
      #2 Sophie S
      #3 The KTLA weather girl
      #4 Mark N, sorry, you got out voted as there are 2 guys and 1 girl in this household…Oh wait!!!! I thought we were voting on Fox’s weather FOXES!!! My bad 😉

      Sorry, when weather is this boring, you gotta have a sense of humor…Back to Dave Letterman’s “trolltastic top 5”

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      haha! i like that^^^

    • Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

      Here is my list:

      Smartest:

      1.Brian
      2.Brian
      3.Brian
      4.Brian
      5.Brian

      Trolliest:

      1.Brian
      2.Brian
      3.Brian
      4.Brian
      5.Brian

      And, relax Brian, I’m just messin around :).

    • bgb41 says:

      I wish Brooke Carlson did the weather too.
      She’s right up there with Steph/Sophie in the attractive woman category.

    • Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

      Or some of those latin weathergirls I have been posting..mmm mmm mmm.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Yev, no one is calling anyone dumb here. There is just a thing called pride getting in the way of good ol’ fashioned thinking. I’ve known bgb and he’ll forget about weather than most will learn about it. I am not taking sides or pointing fingers, but when I was your age I too would be quick to jump if someone critiqued my ideas, or defend something I said if I was wrong. You just have to take your lumps, ie:pride, and swallow those for now. You are only 20, and I’m sure that if you keep at this weather thing, you’ll be teaching the next generation of Fox’ weather blog groupies, and guess what? There will be another guy/gal that thinks they’re best model reader in the lands, and you’ll be there to show them a thing or two.

  26. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    Starting to cloud up at Lincoln City after a beautiful morning.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      At least the NWS weather discussion is coming around with the cold NW flow aloft and the freezing levels coming down. Hope that’s a good omen this time.

      http://.LONG TERM…FEW CHANGES MADE IN THE EXTENDED…MODELS CONSISTENTLY INDICATE NORTH
      FLOW ALOFT WILL SET UP OVER THE REGION SUNDAY
      . PRECIPITATION LOOKS TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE
      REMAINDER OF THE WEEKEND AND BEGINNING OF NE
      XT WEEK…BUT LITTLE QPF IS EXPECTED. CURRENT
      MODEL RUNS INDICATE HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD
      AND AMPLIFY OVER THE EAST PACIFIC EARLY TUES
      DAY. GFS NOW KEEPS A THREAT OF PRECIPITATION
      MOST OF MONDAY…WHILE THE ECMWF CONTINUES TO
      HINT AT PRECIPITATION PERSISTING THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT. THE GFS TREND STILL REMAINS THE MOST PROBABLE…AND WILL KEEP THE AREA DRY TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY. THE ECMWF HINTS AT MUC
      H LOWER FREEZING LEVELS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
      AS IT SHOWS ANOTHER SURGE OF ARCTIC AIR PLUNGING INTO THE NORTHERN ROCKIES AND NORTHERN PLAINS. SO HAVE COOLED TEMPERATURES DOWN A BIT
      TO REFLECT THIS CHANGE. LR

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