World Climate Service: an indispensable toolkit for today’s Energy Meteorologist

ECMWF PNA Climate Index Forecast

Energy meteorologists are busier than ever

Energy traders around the world rely on their energy meteorologists to keep them on top of the weather and ahead of the market. Huge advances in long-range forecasting over the last decade mean that energy meteorologists are busier than ever (see here and here) attending to a wealth of meteorological data, whether it be:

  • communicating real-time dynamical model updates
  • blending a raft of evolving dynamical model data into a proprietary forecast
  • gathering climate index data and understanding their impacts
  • identifying signals and assessing confidence in the long-range forecast

With this in mind, the World Climate Service has developed an innovative suite of products and tools which equips today’s energy meteorologist with an invaluable meteorological resource, freeing up valuable time to allow them to focus on what really matters.

Save time with WCS’s feed of reliable meteorological data

The energy meteorologist is confronted with huge volumes of new data on a daily basis. That data needs to be analyzed, applied to the market of interest, and then communicated; which is why efficient access to relevant, accurate, and reliable forecast data can make all the difference.

For example, collecting and comparing long-range dynamical forecast data from various sources can become significantly time-consuming. Data integrity can also be a major issue with different sources likely to be utilizing different calibration methodologies, if any are used at all, and various climatological baselines.

Example multi-model ensemble forecast: an ECMWF seasonal wind speed probability forecast

This is where the World Climate Service comes into its own, presenting calibrated long-range dynamical model output from the ECMWF and CFSv2 on one page, enabling instant visualization, and easy comparison. A range of parameters is available together with customizable forecast periods.

Gathering current and historical climate index data can be another slow and tedious task, but with the World Climate Service climate index data page, monitoring the major climate indices is a breeze.

Climate Index Monitoring: The East Atlantic/West Russia index

The current state and recent evolution are clearly displayed, with the historic data available to download at the click of a mouse.                                                                        

Furthermore, the written seasonal forecast from the World Climate Service (view examples with your free trial) can be a godsend to the busy energy meteorologist. To begin with, arguably the most reliable and accurate long-range forecast available anywhere in the world is provided. In addition, the product includes detailed reviews of recent dynamical model output, as well as all of the relevant climate indices. The volume and quality of work behind this product mean that the energy meteorologist no longer needs to spend precious time piecing together various data sources each month.

Improve skill with innovative WCS products

Many energy meteorologists only take note of the forecast anomalies (such as temperature and precipitation) from the dynamical model output, but there is other valuable information on offer.

An example forecast anomaly map

The World Climate Service has developed some innovative techniques to extract more value from the ensemble forecast: probabilities of future events. For example, the ECMWF long-range forecasts are combined with the CFSv2 to produce a more accurate multi-model forecast. Additional skill can be gained by considering the ECMWF long-range forecast in combination with the WCS statistical SUB-R product.

With climate index data at your fingertips, it becomes easy to build a climate index monitoring process. Not only does the World Climate Service provide the energy meteorologist with robust historical data, but the forecasts are also presented in terms of the climate indices, giving the energy meteorologist the information they need at a glance.

A CFSv2 subseasonal forecast of the PNA climate index

One of the most valuable resources is the WCS climate index analog system. This powerful tool allows users to instantly see the historical impacts of various climate indices (or combinations of indices) around the world at any time of the year. Historically, what effect did a negative QBO have on rainfall in European winters during weak La Niña’s? The answer is just a few clicks away (and below).

Example analog analysis: weak La Niña and negative QBO in wintertime

By interrogating the effects of the various climate indices at different times of the year with the index analog system, the energy meteorologist can quickly build their knowledge, understanding, and confidence as to how influential the various indices will be in the coming season. This knowledge, in combination with the visualization of the dynamical model output in terms of climate indices, can enable the energy meteorologist to anticipate the evolution of the climate indices, and thus gain new insight into the long-range forecast.

Improve Communication of Risk

One of the major challenges facing the energy meteorologist is understanding and communicating the uncertainty in the long-range forecast. The nature of the long-range forecast is such that output is often expressed in terms of the probabilities of all possible outcomes. While it is straightforward to communicate the most likely outcome, it is much more problematic to incorporate all of the available information contained within a probabilistic forecast. 

In the first instance, a better understanding of the long range forecast evolution in terms of climate indices enables the energy meteorologist to better hone in on the outcomes in play, and thus more accurately assign a subjective risk to various scenarios in their guidance.

In the case of the World Climate Service probabilistic long-range forecasts, careful application enables business users to precisely take account (and thus advantage) of the risk inherent in the probabilistic forecast.

These are just some of the ways in which the World Climate Service is helping energy meteorologists around the world. To find out just how useful the WCS toolkit is, why not sign up for a free trial today