Elevation in models

Happy Holidays!

I just have some general questions about resolution and elevation. I think I understand it, but just want to make sure.

I hike a lot in the White Mountains in NH, USA. Some of the worst weather has been record on the top of Mt. Washington. So I try and get the most accurate weather I can before going out.

My understanding about model resolution and elevation is: the tighter the resolution the more accurate it the model will be. But as far as elevation, the model will take the average of the area of the resolution? So lets say in a 3km area, the temp shows 50F. And the highest point is 5000Ft above sea level and the lowest point is 1000Ft above sea level. Will the 3km model average out the temps at both elevations? So it could be 0F @ 5000ft, and 100F @ 1000ft. The 3km model will show a average temp of 50F? Is this how this works?

If this is true then there would be no way to get the conditions at a elevation, unless the entire 3km area was at the same elevation?

Am I thinking about this correctly?



@Remy Great Question & Happy Holidays to You

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Hi @Remy,

All the data is for a set elevation which is generally at surface level. Temperature is 2m above ground, wind is 10m above ground, precipitation is surface, and pressure is mean sea-level pressure. Clouds, CAPE and lifted index integrated through a range of elevation.

Data at higher elevations is on the todo list but this is a huge job both in implementation and data processing. For GFS, data is released at 13 levels, therefore, there is 13 times more data to process!!

Higher resolution can generally mean more accuracy, but really it means it can resolve more detail. If the overall model predictions are wrong, your wrong prediction will just have more detail :wink: