Sometimes, you just have to laugh. Earth is a complex system, and forecasting weather events in such a complex system is no easy task due to the built in entropy aka “chaos” of dynamic weather systems. The best we are able to forecast into the future with and skill is about 7 to 10 days. 30 years ago, the best was 5 days. We often criticize climate models for their attempts to forecast 10, 50, 100 years into the future, so it is instructive to look at what happens just a month ahead, as so brilliantly illustrated by these tweets from the Weather Channel.
The source of that Tweet is this article: February Temperature Outlook: Mild in Central, Eastern U.S.; Colder in Northwest
They say this: “February could be warmer than average in the Southern Plains and parts of the East” and supply this labeled graphic seen below.
But then, nature and chaos step in, they Tweet 20 days later:
And then…just three days later…..
So much for model forecasting skill less than a month ahead. To be fair, the forecast came from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and the Weather Channel simply graphically stylized the forecast for TV and web use.
But we are expected to believe unverified climate models have useful forecast skill years, decades, or even a century in advance.