Weather Service to boost daily forecasting

Prediction updates for our region will be renewed every three hours

Twice-a-day forecasts from the National Weather Service are giving way to condition reports that change almost as fast as the weather itself.

“This is a big step in serving the public better,” Jim Pringle, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said Tuesday.

“We want to routinely update forecasts a minimum of every three hours,” Pringle said. “We had been issuing the required two-per-day forecasts.”

Temperature, wind speed, humidity and weather conditions will be reported, Pringle said. Updates will be issued more-frequently than every three hours if weather “events” such as the onset or end of a storm dictates, Pringle said.

Forecasts used to be issued about 4 a.m. and between 3 and 4 p.m., Pringle said.

“If you check our website a minute before we update and a minute after we update, you’ll see a difference,” Pringle said.

Frequent updates serve the aviation community, travelers, ranchers and farmers, emergency-management officials as well as the general public, Pringle said.

Forecasters began more-frequent updating Feb. 15 and will continue working out kinks in the system through the last of May, he said.

The National Weather Service website is a bazaar of information, Pringle said. Type in “weather.gov/gjt” for the Grand Junction homepage, he said.

Browse the page for links to specific information or use the cursor to pinpoint locations such as three miles southwest of Breen, seven miles northeast of Bayfield or 10 miles south of Durango.

Grand Junction is one of 11 National Weather Service test sites. The other sites are Louisville, Ky.; Paducah, Ky.; St. Louis; Jackson, Miss.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Gaylord, Mich.; Marquette, Mich.; Goodland, Kan.; and Dodge City, Kan.

The agency’s office in Grand Junction, covers 18 western counties in Colorado and the four eastern counties in Utah.

daler@durangoherald.com

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