87th AMS Annual Meeting

Sunday, 14 January 2007
Probabilistic forecasting and the future of meteorology: Training for changing roles
Exhibit Hall C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Kent A. Johnson, MSC, Kelowna, BC, Canada
Probabilistic forecasting represents perhaps the biggest change in weather forecasting since the advent of satellite imagery in the 1960's. In order to take advantage of this new science, it is absolutely necessary that meteorologists and other decision-makers be trained to use probabilistic forecast information from either numerical or statistical ensemble prediction systems. It is well known that weather forecasting has uncertainty. However, with effective information, this uncertainty need not be a barrier to decision-making. Communication of uncertainty is the key. Before the value of the science can be realized, consumers of weather forecasts must be made aware of the use and limitations of ensemble prediction systems. A strategy for educating meteorologists and decision-makers will be provided. This strategy will include an awareness component, existing examples of probabilistic forecasts along with simulated, simple decision-making games. Through working “downstream”, with the economic and safety-related decision-makers, the future value of probabilistic forecasts will be optimized.

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