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Last night, the broadcast media were forecasting highs of 73º and this morning, they were forecasting highs of 72º. I never heard anything to suggest there was any forecast uncertainty. Perhaps that’s what you get when you only look at the ECMWF forecast?
Update Thu 02/23 @ 8:40 AM — The latest 12z NBM captures the trend from last night— most models have trended a bit ‘lower’ for high temperatures today. But there’s still an extremely high spread in model predictions, as shown by a standard deviation (sd) of of almost 5º. This means whatever forecast temp you decide to hang your hat on has high uncertainty in either direction.
As mentioned yesterday, in these situations in the past, I would generally move towards the NBM mean plus the standard deviation, which for Philadelphia would be about 72-73º.
Last night’s ECMWF was in this ballpark. But the very latest HRRR has a high of only 65º for Philadelphia.
NBM high temps, to be reached between 3 and 4 PM. Then temps begin to fall into the 50s by evening—
Update Wed 2/22 9:36 PM — Tonight’s early models have the warm front barely making it beyond Philadelphia. High temperatures on Thursday are running a bit ‘cooler’ with expected highs in the mid to upper 60s. Still a large spread in the NBM forecast of almost 7 degrees, so for now, think 67°, as high as 74° or as low as 60°
Previously Posted Wed 5:51 PM —
It’s been well-advertised that we’re going to see some unusually high temperatures on Thursday. What hasn’t been well-advertised is that there is extremely high uncertainty in the model forecast high temperatures.
The latest NBM model (which statistically evaluates about 40 different model inputs and compares their forecasts to actual conditions six hours later) shows an extraordinarily high standard deviation (sd) of over 8 degrees.
With an sd of over 8 degrees, a forecast of an average high temperature of 69º means there are models forecasting a high of only 61º and other models forecasting a high of near 77º.
(Typical standard deviations for a next day forecast are about 1.8º, rarely more than 3º.)
Why? There is a considerable amount of model disagreement regarding how far north the warm front will move.
Here’s the latest Canadian RGEM model, forecasting 75-76º for Center City Philadelphia —
(The latest ECMWF is closer to 72º)
Here’s this afternoon’s NBM model mean forecast high temperatures—
I’m leaning towards the higher Canadian model forecast high temp because many times I’ve seen the NBM undershoot in situations where temps are far from normal.
However, keep in mind, it might just reach 69º or maybe as high as 80º. There will be a tight temperature gradient wherever the warm front stops. Location north to south will be a big factor.
But can we really complain about a high temp of only 68º in February?