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Terry’s Take: From Brazil with love!

Posted on: 10:44 pm, November 5, 2013, by

Terry Swails Weather Blog

FROM BRAZIL (TO THE MIDWEST) WITH LOVE!
With dramatic improvements in computer model accuracy, short term forecasts in the 1-5 day range have become very reliable. The days of surprise storms are a thing of the past. For me, the most enjoyable part of my job has become the development of the mid to long range forecast where trends are not as apparent. Experience and skill play a larger role in formulating the forecast and the challenge of accuracy is far greater.

winter outlook

There are numerous models to examine when assembling such a forecast. One of the products I have been impressed with is the Brazilian meteogram. It’s a long range model and has a solid track record when it comes to catching extended trends. It showed our October snow a month before it fell and was really strong last spring with late season cold and snow events which impacted the Midwest.
What I’m posting today is a 6 month forecast from the model that goes out to May. The data is for Chicago because it’s the closest city available here in the states. There are several things that stand out to me. One is the seasonal warmth that prevails the next 3 weeks, until about November 24th. I’m very much in agreement with that. It then shows some big up and down temperature fluctuations until mid December and then bang, full out harsh winter cold through Christmas, New Years, and the entire month of January!

6 MONTH WINTER FORECAST FROM THE BRAZILIAN METEOGRAM

6 MONTH WINTER FORECAST FROM THE BRAZILIAN METEOGRAM

Another interesting aspect is the number of snow events it shows, the green spikes depicted on the graph at top. There are 6 or 7 major spikes and even more minor ones. No rain at all from about Dec 17th to early February.
Finally, another troubling trend is a cold, wet, spring with the threat of snow all the way up to May. A total of 3 snow events in April alone! I love snow but I’m done with it once April rolls around.
Anyway, it’s not the specifics of the meteogram that matter to me, its the trends. And believe me, they aren’t pretty, especially from mid December on. The Brazilian meteogram, just another wrench in my forecasting tool belt.