For the first time in six months, I failed at my job. I completely botched yesterday's forecast.
Showing up to work and already having a general idea of what the day will bring is pretty standard for me. I walked into work yesterday morning anticipating a break from all the rain and wind and cold (you probably are in the same boat). I may have just relied on what I looked at the previous day, as Tuesday's model runs were showing some ridging (high pressure) settling in. I took that to the bank. Wednesday morning came, and things looked pretty much the same. That ridge in the 500mb chart (left), which is basically a map that shows where the greatest amount of energy half way in the atmosphere, was still there. But the forecast did not hold up. So what happened?
A large cloud shield was up near Vancouver Island yesterday morning, here is the snapshot of that. The sharp edge on the back side of the shield indicates the location of the jet stream, or the direction in which the storm SHOULD have gone. It looked as though it would push north, leaving us with pleasant weather. But as the day progressed, the clouds pushed eastward instead of north. The ridge that I was counting on had failed me and it was game over. Instead of the decent, dry weather, those clouds brought cooler and a bit more showery conditions.
It was really the first time I had been completely incorrect with a forecast. I have missed temps in the past, but never temps AND conditions. But hey, luckily I work in a field where you can still get paid to be wrong (but I don't support being wrong).