Environmental impacts to responsive space launch at the Eastern and Western Ranges
Calculations for the statistical measures of accuracy were developed. The Hit Rate (HR) represents that fraction of observed “yes” events were correctly forecast. For this study, this is defined as the probability of issued warnings that met the desired lead-time but ignores false alarms. The False Alarm Ratio (FAR) is the fraction of predicted “yes” events that did not actually occur. The last statistical formula is the Success Score (SS). The SS measures the fraction of events that were correctly predicted. It can be thought of as the accuracy of correctly forecasted events. Other examinations include analyzing lead times for various meteorological events and the ability to issue a forecast within the desired lead time.
Results demonstrate current shortfalls in forecasting across several key environmental parameters which include lightning, convective and non-convective winds, precipitation and temperature. Both ranges show a large number of false alarms (forecasted but did not verify) for some of the environmental parameters. Even more significant are the low success scores or the probability of issued warnings meeting the desired lead time based on LCC. Ongoing research is focused on improvements in weather prediction which will lead to significant increases in operational responsiveness and decreased cost. Further research is required to improve weather forecasting so that responsive space launch will be realized.