18 August 2010

Bad Weather Forecasts

I have yet to see an accurate weather forecast for the Moscow region.  The forecasts are generally off by at least 5 degrees.

Winter days are forecasted to be much colder than they actually get; summer days are forecasted to be much hotter than they get.  The same pattern holds for night temperatures, where winter nights are forecasted to be warmer than they get and summer nights are forecasted to be cooler than they get.  It is as if some idiot talking-head stock analyst on CNBC took over Moscow's meteorological board after spewing hogwash over America's airwaves for years.

The only explanation that I see is that there is some sort of temperature dampening effect that the meteorological models do not take into account.  Basically, the weather models seem to have been built for a desert city when, in fact, Moscow behaves more like an ocean-side metropolis.

As it happens, greenhouse gasses have precisely that effect on the atmosphere.

1 comment:

  1. I believe things are unfortunately much simpler than your explanation. Weather forecast is just about catching current weather (e.g. wind speed and direction) and -- based on that -- calculating how air mass will move.

    In 80s there were something like 10,000 meteorological stations spread over the Soviet Union. They weren't automatic and required personnel to run them and to report numbers. Now there are about 100 of them working.

    Just checked the facts -- in 2005 there are about 17 stations in Moscow region, 5 of then in Moscow itself. This year there are 46 stations in Moscow already, but to achieve 99% probability of correct prognosis they need about 200 (there are 300 in NY, to compare with).