Posted at 9:55 AM on February 22, 2008
by Craig Edwards
One of the most dreaded phrases that can haunt a meteorologist is, caught by surprise. By nature, weather forecasters know that predicting the weather, particularly long range, remains a challenge. Monitoring computer models, assessing trends and latching on to consistency of model runs determine our confidence level.
There are times when a forecaster can sit back and let the whims of nature play out without much drama and impact. This looks like a good weekend to put the gone ice-fishing sign on the weather lab door.
Seasonal temperatures, adorned with partly cloudy skies and accompanied by light winds make the forecast a real yawner! But your MPR weather team has the antenna fixed on the western horizon and events that may create some excitement on Monday.
Radar screens should light up with precipitation in South Dakota early Monday. We’ve seen this scenario before, only to watch the wintry mix take aim at Albert Lea, Rochester and LaCrosse.
Know this, your weather experts remain in the cockpit, even though we temporarily have engaged the auto-pilot. You are now free to move about the wintry landscape.
And...once again....it looks like it will go south. I think no model can be trusted more than 4 days out!
Having looked at all your weather info, couldn't find much mention of what I think most of us value as the major component of weather / change, i.e. WIND. Didn't find any mention in UPDRAFT (seems to be related) or Jet Streaming (Whoosh-it too). Noticed 3-mentions in Weather Coverage on 1/11, 1/29 and 1/30. Had hoped NPR could at least compete with wunderground.com to satisfy a sailor's gut feeling for this major relative of "draft" and "jet streaming. Would "NE 10-15" (sample) be asking too much?