The GFE Grid Monitor compares GFE gridded data sets and presents graphics that represent
summaries of those comparisons toward the goal of enhancing forecaster situational
awareness. It does not modify grids, although future enhancements may allow forecasters to
launch tools that can change grid values. While the Grid Monitor is intended to be used for
comparing gridded forecasts to gridded analyses of observations and forecasts to forecasts, it
designed to compare any GFE gridded data set with any other GFE data set of the same
weather element. So, if your site has configured GFE to display climatological data sets, for
example, the Grid Monitor will allow those comparisons by default with only minor configuration
The main purpose of the Grid Monitor is to enhance forecaster awareness of the state of their
forecast as compared to gridded observations. However, it has been designed as a framework
to allow many more potential uses. Because of this framework design, forecasters may discover
more uses for the monitor than originally conceived. Below we list a few of these uses.
Assess the Quality of the Official Forecast
The most important function of the Grid Monitor is to compare working (Fcst) or Official forecast
weather elements to gridded analyses of observations. This gives the forecaster the ability to
objectively assess the quality of any gridded forecast at each forecast point. The summary
graphic displays an unbiased comparison between the forecast and the gridded analysis of
choice (RTMA, MSAS, Obs). The area over which the comparison is made can be defined by
the forecaster as well as graphical representation of this comparison.
Assess the Quality of the Any Model or Consensus
To examine how well a particular model or consensus blend has been performing, forecasters
may compare any forecast data set to a gridded analysis of observations. This allows them to
determine the quality of any forecast in realtime, providing guidance as to which forecast data
set is performing best, and a potential contributor to the official forecast.
Compare the Official Forecast to any Model or Consensus
The Grid Monitor can also assess how well the Official forecast compares to any forecast model
or consensus model blend. Users only need to change the data set that is compared to the
GFE forecast and comparison graphics will be generated for those data sets. This allows
forecasters to assess whether new models are colder/warmer or wetter/drier than the current
Compare any Model or Consensus to any other model or Consensus
Occasionally forecasters may want to employ the Grid Monitor to compare elements from two
numerical models to determine how they differ. For example, one can compare how the latest
NAM12 compared to a Consensus generated from a suite of models, or compare the latest
GFS40 to the previous run of the GFS40 to determine any temporal trends implied by the latest
Compare any Gridded Data Set to Climatology
To better understand how much a model, consensus, or Official forecast deviates from
climatology, forecasters can also compare these data sets to climatology, presuming
climatological data sets are configured in your GFE. This is a quick and easy way to determine
how the current forecast compares to what is expected for current time of year.
Any of the above mentioned comparisons can be restricted to a specific geographic (Edit) area.
This provides the user with the ability to assess regions that may have a tendency to diverge
from the guidance or forecast with greater variability than others within the county warning area.