Good Question: Is the US or European model better at predicting weather?

April 11, 2017 07:09 AM

The U.S. and European weather models are both used to predict the weather, but which one is more accurate? Beth Coleman reached out to Pat Taney for an answer. Pat consulted with one of the experts – Rich Caniglia.

Beth: I was curious why we have to look at the European models for weather here in the U.S.

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Rich Caniglia: Well there is a lot of thought that the European model is more accurate than the American model, and one of the reasons for that is it has more advanced computers. It's had some very, very big hits, including Hurricane Sandy. When it made that left hand turn into New York City, it was the European model that predicted it. Nobody else did. It predicts it a little faster, catches on to changes a little bit ahead.

Pat Taney: Those changes can make a big difference. 

Rich: A huge difference. It can mean the difference of two feet of snow or flurries.

Pat wanted more real time results, so Rich looked at the rain totals from last Friday. The European model predicted about 1.66 inches of rain for this past Friday. The U.S. model predicted closer to 2 inches. 

So which one was right? The European model! We had 1.66 inches of rain at the airport. 


Pat Taney

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