This is a follow-up on my post yesterday about sharing models online and on social media. Personally, I don't know if it's very productive. I've been guilty of doing it for years and without much thought of the impact. My original thinking was to share the data and give people an early heads-up to the possibility of some type of high impact weather event. Perhaps, it might be Winter weather or a round of severe storms. I thought if I share the data with an explanation it would be okay. Not so much. I posted both the European and GFS model for the upcoming weekend and mentioned the European was hinting at additional snowfall while the GFS did not. The image of the European model almost went viral. This does not benefit anyone.
I'm almost to the point of model data being for "internal consumption only." I'm not going to say I'll never post model data, but I will do it with great restraint. The NWS in Peachtree City, Georgia did a great post on their social media sites about this model madness and why posting a long-range model might not be a good idea.
That same European model that was going crazy with snowfall today for Tennessee and North Alabama has backed off. This far out the models are all over the place. Honestly, during the Winter season you can find a model to predict snow at almost any given time. If you read the NWS graphic in this post, you can get a better understanding why the models get more unreliable the farther you go out.
We weather folks have got to be better about not spreading the panic. Even when you think you're doing something harmless, the public's reaction can dramatic.
That said, you can still find armchair meteorologists posting model data like crazy social media. Some of these guys are actually pretty good self-taught forecasters. It's just hard to know the good from the bad.
This is not a rant, but just an effort to communicate our weather message more effectively. Social-media is as much a blessing as it is a curse at times.
Have a great weekend!
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist