A Poorly Predicted Wind Event

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My profession did not do an adequate job today, when we had a significant, and poorly forecast, wind event. Both on the coast and here in the lowlands, wind gusts reached 50-60 mph near water and exposed locations, with the remainder of the area experiencing 30-40 mph gusts. The Evergreen Bridge had 40 mph sustained winds for two hours around noon. Lots of branches were downed and several thousand people lost power.
So what went wrong. Remember the low center I mentioned this morning? Well that low center was deeper (lower pressure) than analyzed and the predicted lower was stronger and went further north than our computer models suggested (the low was nearly going over us...that does not produce strong winds). This was a small scale low--which are essentially hard to forecast-- and clearly there was insufficient information to define its structure offshore. Computer models require a good description of the initial state (call the initialization) to simulate the future and this was clearly lacking this morning and before. This is one reason why I am pushing for a coastal radar...to give us a good description of what is happening in the near coastal waters. The radar would not have help yesterday's forecast...but we would have had a real chance to get it right last night or this morning...6-12 hrs ahead. So what grade would I give this forecast? Not a B I am afraid.. perhaps a D.

PS: the windstorm is still in the model forecasts...check this out for Friday morning--a 962 mb low to our north and and an intense pressure gradient over us...
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