Friday, January 29, 2010

Full Wolf Moon Tonight


 Again it seems a major storm has been sidetracked around Northern New Mexico. This one had looked as if it would give us significant snowfall because the warnings seemed to center on the east slopes of the northern Sangre de Cristo mountains. That's me. Snow was to continue through noon today. But I awoke this morning to the nearly full Wolf Moon glaring off the scant six inches of newly fallen snow.

This is an El Nino year and it is suppose to mean heavier than normal snow for my section of the country. We have had this forecast before. Often enough that my first thought when told it was an El Nino year was that all the snow storms would miss us. They tend to go south of us in El Nino conditions. I have noticed that just from informal observations. But the meteorologists have not noticed it. And they are the ones that collect all that climate data they feed into the computers that crunch the numbers and come out with revised predictions. 

I am reminded of that old computer term: GIGO - Garbage in, garbage out. There are three different computer models used to forecast the weather. Each meteorologist (ergo television reporter and internet souce) has their favorite. Currently it would seem the weather on the tool bar at the bottom of my browser and Yahoo weather on my IM window don't use the same source. And the national weather service that issues these storm watches seems to use another.

Some years back it was discovered that one of the more popular of the three computer weather forecasting programs did not even factor in the state of New Mexico. Storms raced across Arizona and vanished until they reappeared in the panhandle of Texas. Or they hung a left at our western border and then slid across the bottom of Colorado in an impossibly sharp straight line and wound up in Kansas. I have heard they have fixed that but it does not seem to have improved their ability to forecast weather in the mountain west. 

Looking at a map might. Yesterday the storm was over Grants and heading they claimed Northeast but going south of Albuquerque which is due east. Then dumping significant snows on the east slopes of the northern mountains (immediately north of Albuquerque) while still continuing ENE movement across the state. That should have put the heaviest snow somewhere around Dalhart, Texas I do believe.

Let me say the moon was beautiful this morning and I am looking forward to its rise at sunset tonight it what can only be (by my predictions) a clear beautiful mountain sky.

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