The Forecast, Chicago Style

Gfsimage
 As mentioned many times in the past, we here at Infospigot Information Industries are fond of reading the Area Forecast Discussion (AFD) published online by National Weather Service offices around the country. The AFD gives a broad-brush explanation for the upcoming forecast; they discuss the latest trends in the output from the numerous weather models they follow and give the rationale for why they believe it will be windy and cold but dry tomorrow and the next day instead of warm and rainy. It would not seem to be the kind of writing that has a lot of character to it. Most of the time it isn't. Every once in a while, though, some personality leaks through. In this morning's discussion of upcoming weather from the Chicago office, a forecaster mentions that the weather models show that storms next week will be warmer than expected. Thus the region can expect rain instead of snow. But what about white Christmas? Here's the forecaster's summary (with some of the arcane AFD abbreviations spelled out and the all-caps style left intact): 

HEADING INTO EXTENDED RANGE…GUIDANCE HAS MADE A MAJOR SHIFT IN SCENARIO WITH MID WEEK WEATHER SYSTEM. GFS [GLOBAL FORECAST SYSTEM MODEL] NOW BRINGS DEEPENING LOW NORTHWARD ACROSS ILLINOIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT-THURSDAY SUGGESTING MAINLY A RAIN EVENT FOR MOST OF FORECAST AREA. 00Z [6 P.M. CST THURSDAY] EUROPEAN [MODEL] HAS COME IN FOLLOWING SUIT. THIS LOOKS LIKE A VERY SIMILAR SITUATION AS WHAT WE HAD THE FIRST WEEK OF THIS MONTH. THEREFORE…RATHER THAN RIDE COLDER SNOWY FORECAST INTO THE GROUND…HAVE BEGUN TO TREND AS WARM WITH THIS SYSTEM AS GRID TOLERANCE WILL ALLOW. HOPE NO ONE GOT THEIR KIDS SLEDS FOR CHRISTMAS UNLESS THEY CAN BE ADAPTED FOR USE IN MUD."

As I said, these folks can be a riot. (Picture above: the current GFS Model Forecast from Unisys Weather.)

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