ECMWF vs GFS for January 1, 2018

| December 27, 2017 @ 11:22 am

As I noted in the Weather Xtreme Video post this morning, I had to do without the ECMWF model due to an incapacitating power outage at the European Weather Center during the model run. Well, the power outage was fixed, so we now have access to the ECMWF model graphics. I’ve assembled two charts seen below at 00Z January 1st showing the results from both.

As we saw yesterday and as we see today, the ECMWF is drier than the GFS especially further north into the colder air where winter weather could be an issue. I know I’ve said it before and probably will again, but often times the accurate solution when the models differ so much is something about half way between the two. I believe the latest ECMWF is a tad wetter than it was yesterday morning, but it is still not quite as wet as the GFS. The ECMWF is also a tad faster on the development of the low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico than the GFS is, and that would make a big difference in the weather produced across the Southeast US.

The GFS is still holding onto the idea of a wintery mix across the Southeast US beginning for Alabama as early as late morning on the 31st and continuing through the noon hour on the 1st. When you look at this whole period, the ECMWF differs from the GFS primarily in the northward extent of precipitation. At this point, the best approach is to hold off on going hog wild with a winter storm and continue to see how future model runs handle this feature. If you come by this blog very often, you already know it is likely to change especially when dealing with a weather system 4 to 5 days out.

I usually do my grocery shopping on Wednesday, and this morning a lady asked me if I was one of the weathermen on television. I answered yes, and then she asked if she should be concerned about New Year’s Day seeing me in the bread aisle!!!



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Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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