Misleading Snowfall Forecasts

By: 24hourprof, 4:06 PM GMT on January 27, 2015

In my opinion, there was uncertainty in the Philadelphia / New York City snowfall forecasts that forecasters did not openly convey to the public.

When I was teaching forecasting at PSU, I always warned my students not to get caught up with "choosing the model of the day," especially in times of uncertainty. In such situations, a probabilistic, multi-model ensemble forecast (a "blend" of computer simulations) is best. I understand that the public want and...

Updated: 4:23 PM GMT on January 27, 2015

It Never Ends, Second Call...

By: 24hourprof, 7:51 PM GMT on January 11, 2015

A friend of mine just sent me this link to a write-up of the recent record high pressure over the Upper Middle West.

Read the first sentence of the fourth paragraph. "High pressure occurs when air sinks, which exerts a downward force on the ground." According to this absurd reasoning, which purports that sinking air exerts great pressure when it "hits" the ground, surface air pressure must be zero if the air moves upward away from the ground. Yeah, righ...

Synoptic Meteorology

Updated: 9:31 PM GMT on January 11, 2015

It Just Never Ends...

By: 24hourprof, 7:03 PM GMT on January 08, 2015

Last night on the CBS evening news, a reporter talked about farmers in South Carolina covering their plants to "protect them against frost." It still really bothers me to hear people on television suggest that frost kills or damages plants.

Have you ever seen orchard owners spraying their plants on cold nights to protect them? Naturally, the spray eventually turns into ice...it's essentially frost gone wild!!! Are these orchard owners crazy? Facing the de...


Updated: 7:03 PM GMT on January 08, 2015

Forecast Follow-Up

By: 24hourprof, 4:01 PM GMT on January 03, 2015

In my last blog, I showed a seven-day forecast for New York City issued by the National Weather Service on Friday, December 26, 2014. I focused on the Day-4 forecast (valid December 29, 2014...outlined in red below; larger image). I strongly objected to the unwarranted specificity in the day-4 forecast (there is little skill in timing and determining changing precipitation type in the medium range).

The seven-day forecast for New York City issued b...

Updated: 5:12 PM GMT on January 05, 2015

Lack of Sound Communication by the National Weather Service

By: 24hourprof, 5:08 PM GMT on December 28, 2014

A former student of mine drew my attention to the seven-day forecast that was issued Friday for Manhattan in New York City by the local office of the National Weather Service:

The seven-day forecast for Manhattan in New York City issued on Friday, December 26, 2014. Courtesy of the National Weather Service / NOAA. Larger image.

The forecast outlined in red is the one that really caught my eye. Needless to say, such specificity in the Da...


Updated: 8:22 PM GMT on December 29, 2014

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About 24hourprof

Retired senior lecturer in the Department of Meteorology at Penn State, where he was lead faculty for PSU's online certificate in forecasting.