UKMET. ECMWF. GFS. GFDL.

Executive Summary

WSI Corp. meteorologists explain the alphabet soup of weather models, the ranges of their forecasts and how they perform in part 1 of a two-part article series. In part 2, WSI's Dr. Todd Crawford explains how third-party vendors take the high-level raw data of these models and turn it into relevant information for P/C insurers seeking to evaluate weather risk.

To most of us, this potpourri of letters are seemingly chosen at random and have no meaning. It’s almost as if someone reached into a large sack filled with all 26 alphabetic characters many times over and somehow created this cocktail after they’d consumed a few beverages of their own.

In truth, these letters are acronyms for just a few of the numerical weather prediction (NWP) models available to meteorologists as part of the forecasting process. If you consume a weather forecast on your smartphone, television or on your computer, chances are very good a meteorologist has evaluated at least some of these data as he constructs his daily forecast.

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