WSFM-3000 Model Data

Welcome to our model guidance page! This page is something new and something old really. In 2009, our office began running a new computer model algorithom as an experiment to make simulated computer forecasts for systems entering the west coast, and project where the system is most likely to go, and it's maximum peak intensity. The results nearly floored us! The computer track positions ended up being off by 200 miles! That's remarkably accurate as compared to other models which showed different scenerios and magnitudes. Then, we ran various temperature, wind, and pressure test runs with similar results. It was commissioned into operational status in 2011. Today, our staff still utilizes this model for much of our forecast products.

On the charts shown below, there are four (4) different model run output results which have been analyzed and plotted. The first chart is the storm track estimate. This is basically an outline of where the storm is most likely to go. Since winter storms can and often do alter their courses, this grid could be updated quite often. The next chart is a depiction of what hazards are expected with the incoming storm. Again abrupt changes in the storm track would mean changes for the hazards, and where they will set up. Next, is a storm magnitude chart. This grid shows the winds and pressures. The stronger the storm, the tighter the isobars will be around it's center. The last chart is the projected storm track itself. This grid shows where the storm center currently is, and where it's expected to move to. This is illustrated by a lined arrow. Also shown is a forecast error polygon. That represents where the storm may end up going based on climatology data. All these charts are updated every six (6) hours, as new data is received and processed.

...Fourth depression forms over the central plains!...

...Likely to become a storm later tonight...

Note: Mouse over tabs for the other graphics.

Winter storms can sometimes give forecasters headaches by their erratic and unpredictable motion, or movement. Because of this, it becomes very difficult to determine certain factors further in advance. As a result, greater uncertainty exists the further ahead in the outlook period. When confidence is high enough, a winter storm watch is usually issued, but even so, their still remains a fair amount of uncertainty owing to an uncertain storm track and where everything sets up. While our in house model runs are accurate, forecast error too, can be large, especially with storm track. This is illustrated below: