Shred FX

only the gods know better

Tweet Follow @OpsMouse

Colour Legend About

About the SHRED FX

WHAT IS IT FOR?

The Shred FX (pronounced 'Shred Eff Ex') is an overview of alpine snow forecasts for ski resorts in western Canada. It is meant to give snow fanatics a quick 5-day overview over expected snow amounts and snow quality to see where the good stuff (champagne) is expected.

WHO ISSUES IT?

The Shred FX is produced by Cirrus, the slightly overconfident Linux development server at Mountain Weather Services. Cirrus is programmed by a practicing Canadian professional meteorologist (P.Met. and EC certified) with over 15 years of forecast experience over the mountains of western Canada. Cirrus issues the ShredFX four times a day.

WHERE DOES THE DATA COME FROM?

The data is a side product (first guess) of the operational production cycle at MWS that provides forecasts to the professional avalanche, heli/cat-skiing and movie industry.

The underlying raw data is extracted from the leading US regional (WRF NAM, short term) and global (GFS, long term) weather models. The data is then post-processed in house (by Cirrus) at each location separately. Unique weather patterns for each ski resort, weather model and seasons are considered and the model data is adjusted appropriately. These post-processing routines are updated together with the commercial routines. This ensures that the data in the ShredFX always uses the newest and most accurate post-processing available.

The post-processing is achieved through scientific meteorological principles and first hand experience in the professional avalanche weather industry. It is not a simple statistical or geographic correction. This is a big difference to other public alpine weather forecasts and is reflected in its accuracy. The ShredFX is updated after the US EPA issued the most current GFS model run and all post-processing routines are completed (4 times daily, see time stamp at the far bottom of the ShredFX).

HOW IS THE ACCURACY?

The short answer is: Good.

The medium answer is: Better than anything else available for alpine elevations in western Canada.

The long answer is: It is an automated computer forecast and as such there is room for improvement. Truthfully, there is no such thing as a flawless automated precipitation forecast anywhere, yet. Our science (computing power) is getting there, but nobody has the perfect model yet. The precipitation numbers from the ShredFX are used at Mountain Weather Services as a 'first guess' for the professional/manual forecasts and often surprise with their accuracy. In fact, occasionally, it turns out that the first guess was the best forecast of them all.

Great pains are endured to make this 'first guess' as accurate as possible as it is used on a regular basis for operational work at Mountain Weather Services. Other options have failed to impress. If it may be said, the post processing routines added a degree of accuracy, that has not been achieved through any other means at MWS. Constant updating of the routines and gradual improvement of weather models using higher resolution and up to date parametrizations are reflected in the ShredFX immediately after their release. This guarantees that the ShredFX is always as accurate as current technology allows.

WHAT DO THE COLOURS MEAN?

If you scroll to the bottom of this section you will find a colour legend.

WHERE IS ALL THE OTHER INFORMATION?

We provide the full forecast (winds, temps etc.) for web display (or non-public use) in most common formats (xml, html etc.). These forecasts can be obtained from Mountain Weather Services as a commercial service.

WHY DON'T YOU PUBLISH BACKCOUNTRY FORECASTS?

The ShredFX, like all public and freely available forecasts, is not suited for applications where adverse weather can get you into trouble. MWS does not encourage backcountry winter travel without thorough and detailed knowledge of avalanche and weather conditions that go well beyond the information contained in the ShredFX. Professional guides certified by organizations like the ACMG, IFMGA and CAA have the knowledge to interpret weather information on a professional level and often retain services by professional meteorologists (like MWS) to keep you safe in the backcountry. Your best bet is to stick with those professionals or a ski resort.

WHAT UP WITH THE NAME?

Urbandictionary.com has this to say about to shred: 'To skate, snowboard, surf or BMX aggressively. Where shall we shred? Tim totally shredded that last run. "SHRED IT!" - vocalised as an encouragement' (I am getting too old for this!). FX is often used in meteorological circles as an abbreviation for the word forecast just like WX is used for weather.
Colour Legend:
Some Rain or Rain/Snow mixture
Lots of Rain
Lots of Rain and Snow Mixed
Some Snow
Oodles of Snow
Champagne
Oodles of Champagne
Issued: September 18, 2014, 4am. Next update by 11am.
Coast:
Check the latest avalanche forecast at:
TodayTonightFridaySaturdaySundayMonday
Hudson Bay MtnTraceTraceNilTraceNilTraceHudson Bay Mtn
Shames Mtn7mm8mmTrace10mmNil11mmShames Mtn
Mount CainTraceTraceTraceNilNilTraceMount Cain
Mt WashingtonTraceTraceTraceNilNilTraceMt Washington
WhistlerTraceTraceTraceNilNilNilWhistler
N Shore MtnsNilTraceTraceNilNilNilN Shore Mtns
Colour Legend:Rain, Rain/Snow + Rain + Rain/Snow Snow + Snow Powder + Powder
Interior:
The ShredFX is supported by:
TodayTonightFridaySaturdaySundayMonday
Tabor MtTraceNilNilNilNilTraceTabor Mt
Purden LakeTraceTraceNilNilNilTracePurden Lake
Sun PeaksTraceNilNilNilNilNilSun Peaks
RMR7mmTraceTraceNilNilNilRMR
SilverstarTraceNilNilNilNilNilSilverstar
Big WhiteTraceNilNilNilNilNilBig White
Kicking HorseTraceTraceTraceNilNilNilKicking Horse
Apex MtnNilNilNilNilNilNilApex Mtn
WhitewaterNilNilNilNilNilNilWhitewater
Red MountainTraceNilNilNilNilNilRed Mountain
KimberleyNilNilNilNilNilNilKimberley
Panorama VlgTraceTraceTraceNilNilNilPanorama Vlg
Colour Legend:Rain, Rain/Snow + Rain + Rain/Snow Snow + Snow Powder + Powder
Rockies:
Check the latest avalanche forecast at:
TodayTonightFridaySaturdaySundayMonday
Powder KingTraceTraceTraceTraceNilNilPowder King
Marmot Basin4mmTraceTraceNilNilNilMarmot Bsn
Lake LouiseTraceNilNilNilNilNilLake Louise
Mt NorquayNilNilNilNilNilNilMt Norquay
Sunshine VlgNilNilNilNilNilNilSunshine Vlg
NakiskaNilNilNilNilNilNilNakiska
PowderkegNilNilNilNilNilNilPowderkeg
Castle MtNilNilNilNilNilNilCastle Mt
FernieNilNilNilNilNilNilFernie
Colour Legend:Rain, Rain/Snow + Rain + Rain/Snow Snow + Snow Powder + Powder

Image Courtesy Environment Canada

Image Courtesy NavCanada