A World of Weather
Fundamentals of Meteorology

Laboratory Exercise #6

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This problem requires you to use the NAM MOS, GFS MOS and MOS consensus (the average of the two - see Laboratory Exercise #5 for the background material on MOS) to predict tonight's low temperature and tomorrow's high temperature for the town where you live (or the nearest city or town for which MOS data are available).  Given the nature of this forecast, you should complete this assignment relatively early in the day - in other words, in the morning, afternoon, or early evening (waiting until the nighttime hours to complete this assignment essentially defeats the purpose of forecasting tonight's low temperature).

To do this exercise, follow these steps:

1.  Go to the University of Wyoming's Web page for city forecasts and observations

2.  Pick the region or section of the country where your city or town is located.

3.  Under MOS Forecasts, choose NAM MOS.

4.  On the interactive map, scroll over the town/city in which you live (or the nearest town/city for which MOS data are available).  The name of the city or town should appear. Click on the corresponding white dot.  Copy and paste the pop-up MOS table into a Word file.

5.  Repeat Step 4 for GFS MOS.

Based on the MOS data you just generated, answer the following questions.

a.  What is the name of the city or town for which you generated the MOS data?  What is its three-letter station identifier?  For example, the three-letter station identifier for Allentown, PA, is ABE. 

b.  What were the time and date at which the NAM MOS and GFS MOS were initialized?

c.  What are the NAM MOS and GFS MOS forecasts for tonight's low temperature?  What is the MOS consensus?  We define MOS consensus as the average of the NAM MOS and GFS MOS forecasts.

d.  What are the NAM MOS and GFS MOS forecasts for tomorrow's high temperature?  What is the MOS consensus?

e.  To do this final part of the question, you need to wait until the day after tomorrow to verify your forecast.  To verify your forecast, follow these steps:

  • Go to the interactive map of the National Weather Service Forecast Offices.  Click on the forecast office closest to the town or city in which you live.
  • You should see a link labeled "Climate and Past Weather."  Click on that link.
  • At this point, you want to generate the Daily Climate Report for the day you made your forecast.  Daily Climate Report is the default setting on the Local Climate Page, so there's nothing for you to choose in the Product menu (on the left).  Make sure your city or town is highlighted in the Location menu (in the middle).  If your town does not appear in the menu, select the nearest city or town, but please try your best to make sure the town/city for the MOS data you generated and the Daily Climate Report are for the same city or town.  In the Timeframe menu, Most Recent is the appropriate choice if yesterday was the day for which your forecast applied.  If you waited longer, select Archived Data and choose the appropriate date (the date for which your forecast applied).
  • Copy the Daily Climate Report and paste it into a Word file.   What were the verifications for the high and low temperatures?  Write a paragraph that describes how NAM MOS, GFS MOS, and MOS consensus performed.