Explaining Computer Weather Models

Hurricane Central

Watching News 2, you might hear Storm Team 2 talk a lot about “weather models”.  This data is key in helping us predict the weather.  The different weather models get a lot of attention when it comes to hurricane season, so I thought I would break down what the models are, how they forecast and explain some buzzwords you might hear in your next forecast.  

Starting off with the different model names, you might hear Rob, Josh, Chrissy and myself talk about the Euro Model, GFS, or even the Nam… all these are different model we might use when forecast.  Each model is produce by a difference governments based on the algorithm they have develop.  There are over 100 different types of models, no model is the same. Each algorithm has different strengths and weakens, but no model is right 100 percent of the time.

How do this model forecast? Models start by taking the current condition collected by weather balloons all over the globe and compiling them into what is called Model grids, just a fancy word for organize the data. This data is then inputted into the models algorithm, to produce a possible forecast outcome.  This process can be compared to a chemical reaction, no reaction is the same and you can only predict what will happen but it doesn’t mean it will happen. The models are like chemist taking current weather conditions and add different weather ingredients to predict an outcome.    

Meteorology is an imperfect science, while the models are a great tool for us to use. It’s important to have human input to make sense of the data. Don’t just look at one model as a potential forecast, count on Storm Team 2 for full forecast updates.

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Interactive Hurricane Map

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