Originally Posted by JamminSki
Sorry but I'm a noob to skiing outside the midwest, so could someone explain the different weather models (GFS & MRF), where to get them and how to read them.
GFS is one of the many models the REAL (NOAA) weather folks use to predict 10-14 days out. Others are MRF (Medium Range Forecast), UKMET (European Model), ETA, NAM (North American Model) RUC (Rapid Update Cycle), and a few others. You can find these models @:http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/slc/forecast/models.php
Beware: they are difficult to understand. Here's a simplified primer:
- Start with the SL Pressure (Surface Level) and Precipitation loops. You will get an idea of what weather systems will come through your area.
- Then go to the 700mb loops, which will give you mid level atmospheric temperatures. This will tell you how cold the system is. Hint: it need to be -4 deg C or colder for snow at the ground level (at least in the Rockies). Anything warmer is generally rain.
Remember that there can be a huge difference from model to model, so you have to go with the one that is currently progging out the most accurate results. You can get a read on that by 1) looking at recent predictions for each model, or 2) read the discussion section for your local NOAA site and see what the weathermen are currently prefering. In the case of this week's activity, SLC NOAA likes the GFS model, as do I since it has been the most accurate in the last month.