Big storm brewing in the blogosphere but does that mean big winter storm for northeast Ohio?

Mark: Computer models aren't the same as forecasts

CLEVELAND - Some computer guidance is suggesting a big winter storm early next week. Power of 5's Chief Meteorologist Mark Johnson explores the possibility.

The purpose of this post is to stay ahead of the "buzz" on Facebook and Twitter. Lots of folks post lots of different things about weather. A couple of computer forecast guidance products, what we call "models," are suggesting a winter storm tracking thru Southern Ohio late Next Sunday into Monday, bringing with it accumulating snows to Northern Ohio.

Here's what we know: these models are NOT forecasts. They are suggestions; they tell us what trends to look for and when to look for them. This potential storm is still a full seven days out and isn't even on our maps yet. It is impossible to nail down exact conditions that far out.

We also know that these models are not saying the same thing. The GFS Model, for example, shown below, suggests the heaviest snows moving into Central Ohio next Monday & Tuesday. Another model, the European model, puts the heavy snow right over Northern Ohio, but brings it in earlier, Sunday into Monday morning. Still another model, the Canadian, or CMC, keeps the storm center south across the Southern States and gives Northern Ohio nothing but flurries. Three different computer guidance products giving us three different solutions. That's how it goes.

Which one is right? Maybe none of them. It is way too early to start getting specific. The models will change between now and the weekend as new data is ingested into the computer programs. As the day approaches, the models should get closer and closer to the "correct" solution. In the meantime, it's always fun to look at the different models and say "what if."  As long as everyone remembers that it's most likely NOT going to happen the way the guidance says it will a full seven days out!

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