Why? Why do “we” use them? One of my teachers said they are “tools”. They don’t make a forecast. Yet, when we get into BIG storms EVERYONE uses them. And they only add to our confusion of what is going to happen . Yet, we need them. With every run, ensemble, etc.. we need them to be “right” because the impact affects millions of people. The Euro short for European, the NAM(North American Mesoscale), the GFS (or American model) , and the count goes on and on.
What we aim for is a consensus of the models. We look for consistency. We look for that time period (usually less than 48 hours) for that slightest shift which can make all the difference between a blizzard, and a sleet storm instead as last week was the case. Yet, WHY are the meteorologists continuing to get wrong. Well, they are “selling” the storm to us. It’s a business. So, the more people who pop on their channel it’s a good thing for them. They are dedicated, but it’s very difficult when your trying to do your “job”, and have to sell it as well.
And the TV personalities go on the backs of the other pros-NOAA- who should have the information to give us the BEST forecast. And they keep confusing us with warnings and advisories, “most likely”, and other types of forecasting tools that lend to even more confusing information feeds. Yet, they get it right more often than not.
In an article written by Harry Enten for the blog 538 he hit the nail on the head when he said:
“Meteorology deals in probabilities and uncertainty. Models, and the forecasters who use those models, aren’t going to be perfect.”
So, that leaves me at my original thought: Models are, at best, “tools” of the business. Not gospel.