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Wx Forecasting Links

iowastorm

Senior Member
Some of the guys asked me to post some good links for weather forecasting, because they wanted to learn about weather themselves and not have to rely as much on the regular sources such as weather.com and intellicast. If you really want to learn 'real time' from other forecasters, I highly recommend reading the daily forecast discussions issued by local NWS offices. They can be found through IWIN by going here: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov Once there, click on a version, find your state data and then choose the 'forecast discussion' option. This is usually a good source of information, unless the forecaster is a dud.

Here are some of the tools I use on a daily basis:

The MRF model is helpful to watch and view forecast trends over a 3-10 day period, but must be watched closely because it's trends can vary significantly from one update cycle to the next.

MRF - Medium Range Forecast Links from various sources:
UCAR: http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/model/index.php3?model=mrf
Unisys: http://weather.unisys.com/mrf/index.html
Nexlab: http://weather.cod.edu/forecast

The ETA and AVA models are also good forecasting tools for shorter term forecasting from 0-72hrs. The ETA is usually the preferred model of choice, but many forecasters tend to compare all of the models and base their forecasts upon a compromise between two models. When this happens, it is usually a comprominse between the ETA and AVN.

ETA Model (0-60hrs.)
UCAR: http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/model/index.php3?model=eta
Unisys: http://www.weather.unisys.com/eta/index.html
Nexlab: http://weather.cod.edu/forecast

AVN (Aviation) Model (0-72hrs.)
Unisys: http://www.weather.unisys.com/avn/index.html
Nexlab: http://weather.cod.edu/forecast

Mesoscale Analysis (Surface, Satellite, Radar)
Surface: http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/surface (updates hourly)
Satellite: http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/satellite
http://www.goes.noaa.gov
http://www.weathertap.com (must pay for this service)

Radar: http://www.weathertap.com (must pay for this service)
http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/radar

US Warning/Watch Graphic from IWIN
http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/iwdspg1.html

If anybody needs other links or needs help understanding the models, I'd be happy to help. I'm not a weather expert, just a weather enthusiast that's been lucky to learn from my friends at the NWS.

-Storm
 

AK Snow

Junior Member
Storm,

As a retired weather forecaster I'd have to say those are some pretty hardcore weather geek sites for a guy who claims to be no expert:) BTW: Out of all the places in the world I ever forecasted for I'd have to say your part of the country took the cake for having the greatest variety of weather and degree of difficulty for forecasting. The midwest is a pretty humbling experience for most forecasters - I know I was glad to move on!

Alaska Dave
 
OP
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iowastorm

Senior Member
Alaska Dave,

Nothing like our weather here; especially in the Spring. I've been actively involved in storm and tornado chasing for over 10 years and love every element of weather. You are definately right about forecasting here. Our 'neck of the woods' is affected by so many different atmospheric elements that forecasting can be a real challenge. I really think that many people have a genuine interest in weather, because it is one of the few things that we truly have no conrol over. Did you forecast in the military or in the private sector?
 

AK Snow

Junior Member
Storm,

An old ex-GI forecaster - got used to weather in your part of the country when I was in Nebraska back in the 80s. This is my first year plowing and typical of Mother Nature's contempt for weathermen we're running about 30 inches behind normal snowfall so far this winter! Same thing happened the first year I had a snowmobile:) Hope she is treating you all in the "lower 48" a little better.

Alaska Dave
 
OP
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iowastorm

Senior Member
AK Snow,

Most of our chases are in Nebraska. Most people don't know that NE (especially Western NE) has some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. Great storms out there too! I take it you were at Offit Air base.

Where are you in Alaska? I used to live in Seattle and venture up your way from time to time??
 

AK Snow

Junior Member
Storm,

I'm up here in Fairbanks (the real Alaska!). Guess that makes me one of the rare out west guys here in the forum. Lived in Seatle myself for a few years before ending up here. Enjoyed it there, but it got a little too crowded for my liking. Would have loved to have gotten in on the plowing contract for Mt Rainer Park - in a dry year they'd still get 400 or 500 inches of snow. I suspect that, like a lot of guys, I sort of backed into the plowing business. Up here I kept seeing guys using things as big as Cat 966 loaders to remove hardpack from residential driveways (at $300 to $400 a pop) and since I'd been thinking about buying a skid steer anyway I figured I wouldn't have any trouble being price competitve with guys using larger equipment for residential work. Made a little money so far, but kinda slow getting started - Mother Nature hasn't been helping much so far this winter. You're right about that country in western Neb, real pretty out around Chadron. As a storm chaser, if you came up this way you'd probably not be too impressed with our T-Storm season, still we'll get some pretty good hail out of these little 25,000 footers up here - that took some getting used to. Has to do with lower tropopause heights... Better stop now or folks will think the plowing forum is getting too "weather geeky":)

Alaska Dave
 
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