Long-Range Forecasts, and Thanksgiving 2007 Outlook

November 14, 2007

Long-range (three days or more into the future) weather predictions are often misunderstood by those without a background in science or statistics. My recent blog about LaNina is a good example.  A long-range forecast is intended to predict a general trend, not day-to-day changes. It might snow this winter. It might not. The intention of my “Winter 2007-2008 Outlook” was to provide a thumbnail sketch of the average temperatures and precipitation for the entire winter. It doesn’t mean that it won’t snow, or that it won’t be cold now and then during the December-February period.

 

 There is some science to this. Weather records and pattern statistics show that a LaNina winter will give you better than a “coin toss” chance of warmer and drier conditions in this part of the country. Much thanks to the kind viewers who understand what I’m trying to share with these outlooks!

Applying this same principle, the accuracy of the 7-Day forecast will decrease the further out we go. Sometimes, the weather patterns are more stable than at other times, and my accuracy even out a week can be quite good. A rapidly changing pattern makes it very difficult to be correct even three or four days out, much less a week. However, all this does NOT mean that the 7-Day forecast is useless. Just remember, the forecast is intended to detect TRENDS.

So….having said all that…indications from the computer models are all pointing to much colder weather right around Thanksgiving. I’m certainly not promising this, but historically, late November is often the time of the first major intrusion of arctic air into Texoma. The consistency among the models t for the past few days regarding this event raises my confidence a bit more that it may happen.

As always…time will tell.

 

 Take Care,

 Steve LaNore

Chief Meteorologist

KXII-TV

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