83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003: 2:30 PM
Mentor—a performance support system for forecasters
Christopher J. Ryan, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Vic., Australia; and A. Jha and S. Joshi
Poster PDF (185.9 kB)
Objective guidance provided to weather forecasters continues to improve in accuracy, content and range, but for most forecast and warning products the forecast process still includes an element of subjective judgement. Human skill in forecasting is based on experience of a range of weather situations and knowledge of the performance of objective guidance systems. But while guidance data and forecast products are normally archived and available for statistical analysis, the subjective inputs to the forecast process generally are not.

The Mentor system has been developed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology over the last 2 years, and was inspired by the “Coach” system used at Tulsa Weather Forecast Office. Mentor is a web-based system which allows forecasters to record in real-time their assessments of likely “problems of the day”, forecast difficulty and the value of objective guidance. Follow-up records, usually made within 24 hours, allow forecasters to record the accuracy of their earlier assessments. These initial and follow-up entries accumulate in the Mentor database, and can be quickly analysed and searched by forecasters to assist in subsequent forecasting decisions. Automatic synoptic type classification is an important element of the system. It is expected that Mentor will also be useful in training new forecasters, and in estimating the relative values of objective guidance systems in different synoptic situations.

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