NOAA updates their forecast services

As I’ve noted before, every forecast outlet pulls their model data from the same source material. The GFS and the NAM are the big models in the US, but the European, UK and Canadian model provide coverage, along with a slew of short range models, and even some created in house for smaller time frames and smaller geographies.

Larger weather companies have created their own methodology for extracting data from the models, and applying formulas to produce forecasts for a broader geographic region without necessarily requiring human involvement at every point in the country. These are called “blends” because they take bits of particular models and create their output.

Recently, the National Weather Service has done away with their former MOS (Model Output Statistics) page, which allowed users to see the raw text output from the GFS and NAM for hundreds of sites across the country, instead replacing it with a page offering the National Blend of Models (NBM) which is all the text forecasts after they have been processed by the National Weather Service using their blending formula (but before they have been processed by local meteorologists and placed on the NWS site).

Since the GFS and NAM are still available for meteorologists, this is really a lift for weather persons without the backing for a company to pay for a whole lot of model data, as it suggests the trends of all the guidance, and not just that which is available for free to the American masses.

It may not lead to better forecasts from everyone, but it definitely sweeps the curtain aside for more curious eyes.

Leave a Reply