You see Fred at the news desk and in front of weather maps every evening, but there’s a lot more that goes into bringing the weather forecast to Siouxland.
Most of Fred’s day is spent in the weather center looking at lots of information from computer models. These
models are a simulation of what could be the weather we experience over the next seven days and beyond.
What actually will happen is, of course, unknown.
Some models are statistical models which, yes, at their most basic is a set of numbers and letters.
Some models are map based like this one, and others are charts and graph based.
At ABC9 we use models run by governments in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
So with all of these different kinds of models the question is, how exactly do we synthesize to make them to make the forecast? You wouldn’t want to hear there are just a bunch of model solutions in your forecast on TV.
The answer is that over time, you get to know the computer models much like you might know a good friend or family member. You know their strengths, their weaknesses, and you know how they perform in different environments.
Once Fred sees what each model is showing for the coming days, he then puts his forecasting hat on and works to decipher what is most likely to happen.
Sometimes the models agree. When this happens we have a much higher probability of of getting the storms, snow or rain that those models are showing.
But other times, the models don’t agree.
That’s when Fred’s job gets a little more difficult.
Each day, the models have various outputs several times throughout the day. So, Fred is constantly looking for trends as the snow, rain, or stormy weather gets closer to approaching.
By being on top of these trends, Fred is prepared to offer you the latest, and hopefully best forecast, each time he steps in front of the camera.