Thursday, February 28, 2008

Model Muttering

Note: This post is rated "G", suitable for all audiences; does not contain the weather "s" word.

Weather model skill as a function of year, from The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction, Peter Lynch, Cambridge University Press, 2006. Chart © ECMWF. Click image to enlarge.

In the nearly 60 years since the modern era of numerical weather prediction began, many orders of magnitude improvements have been made in both computer technology and the formulation and methods of solution of the equations describing the atmosphere. As a result, huge improvements have been made in the accuracy of daily weather forecasts. As good as the models have become, however, it's important to realize what they can and cannot do.

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