Opinion
The Human Element of a Weather Forecast
Being a meteorologist is a difficult job some days. Usually, it’s an academic problem: Trying to decide between two weather forecast models, gnashing your teeth over a couple degrees on a forecast, adding a chance of rain on a weekend day, etc. It’s what most people know meteorologists to do. We’re scientists who predict the future. We forecast weather, so we obviously consider different things rooted in science. Every so often though, you get pulled into an entirely different set of circumstan
Forecasting
The Importance of Shortwave Troughs and How to Identify Them
With the severe weather season upon us, I thought I would revisit and update an old post I wrote before joining Weather5280. Shortwave troughs are features in the general flow of the atmosphere that are very important when it comes to forecasting, particularly for convective features and winter weather. Shortwaves can be thought of as "weather-makers," whereas Longwaves (Rossby Waves) might then be "trend-makers." Multiple shortwave troughs can be imbedded within a Rossby Wave trough. Shortwave
Forecasting
Comments on Last Week
85 degrees. That’s the temperature swing we saw between last Sunday’s high of 71° and Thursday morning’s low of -14° at Denver International Airport (DIA). Last week’s cold wallop was nothing to scoff at, especially so early in the season. We broke two all time record lows on November 12 and 13, of -13° and -14° F respectively, and two record low maximums. The record low for November 13 wasn’t just broken, it was smashed. The previous record low was -3° F set in 1916, making the new record 11
Forecasting
The Making of a Weather Forecast Headline
These days a lot of thought goes into social media messaging and news headlines, but maybe not enough. While the ultimate goal is often to generate clicks, at what point are we doing our audience a complete disservice by drawing them to our site with a wildly exaggerated message? Yesterday, The Denver Post Tweeted this headline, sending Twitter into a frenzy and making local meteorologists wonder what they'd missed. Fifteen inches was a long shot, with littl