Monday, August 1, 2011

The First of August Brings a Summer Bust

By this time, everyone knows that this was one of the bigger weather busts in a while. And, it was unanimous, so there's no point in comparing the performance of individual forecasters. No weather outlet suggested anything close to what happened today -- both in terms of forecast temperatures and the timing and coverage of the storms. It even seemed that the morning nowcasts somewhat missed the boat. When it became apparent that storms loomed with greater significance than expected, several forecasters anticipated a mid-morning arrival of the storms, when in fact it seemed they held back a bit to produce a stronger punch shortly after noon.

No mention of today's forecast evaluation could go without noting the irony of the coolest day in the last week being the one where an official heat advisory was issued. For that matter, it seems the NWS really should have issued a heat advisory for yesterday, when heat indexes were truly oppressive.

Any professional mets out there have any thoughts on what happened from an informed, meteorological perspective? Did the warm front take longer to come through? What materialized that wasn't anticipated by the beloved models?


  1. @Bill, I agree with most of what you said, especially regarding "nowcasts." When I looked at the radar's 3-5 hours of storms moving into the west metro mid-morning, said that showers and storms would be ENDING around 11:00. It's one thing to have a busted forecast, it's another for your website to have an "up-to-date" forecast for sun/heat on the same page as the radar showing a 3-hour storm moving right toward the area.

    You were also right about the heat advisories. The heat index in my area was over 100 the past two days and in the upper 90s last Thu/Fri, but nothing was issued. It didn't make sense.

    Having said that, biggest bust in awhile? Let's remember the July 15th forecast that called for clearing skies and 90 (the start of the heat wave), but turned out to be a rain-filled day that didn't even reach 80. On that day, they predicted AM storms, but like today, nobody predicted anything near the washout we saw. This is just the latest in a trend of summer busts.

    FWIW, the sun came out around 5:00 in the west metro and it did get into the low 80s.

  2. I dont think anbody anticipated that a big MCV would come rolling through this morning. The MCV brought with it a cold pool, and, because of its timing, a cool day.