This post comes to us from Graham Shelby.

It’s Groundhog Day and in Pennsylvania, a groundhog has fulfilled its civic duty by lumbering outside on a chilly day and declaring that spring is coming soon.

But what do professional weather forecasters have to say about the next few weeks for Louisville? It’s worth noting that this winter has, in fact, gone largely (if not entirely) according meteorologists’ expectation. In 2010, the Climate Prediction Center’s three main predictions for this winter in Louisville were these:

An early start to winter.

Check.

Lots of snow.

Check.

Warmup in January.

Come again?

National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Jarvis says, “The forecast was that we would warm up. And we haven’t. Currently we’re running 2.3 degrees below normal.”

Jarvis says weather forecasters would, of course, like to get everything right, but two out of three isn’t bad in long-term forecasting. That’s because variables in the computer models meteorologists use make accuracy in long range predictions difficult. One tiny error in a complex formula can warp the whole calculation. Still, there is a demand for long-range predictions from scientists, the media and the agriculture industry.

And in case you’re wondering, the official forecast for February in Louisville:
Below-normal temperatures.

Above normal precipitation.

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