What Is Forecast Reliability?

Introduction to Forecast Reliability In talking about the quality of weather forecasts, it is common to hear the words “reliable” or “unreliable” used in common parlance as well as in specialized and technical settings. It’s therefore worth considering what the notion of “reliability” means to different people, and how we use this notion in connection[…]

Photo of a UK offshore wind farm

Probability Forecasts for UK Offshore Wind Farms

As the science of long-range forecasting matures, and evidence of real-world success accrues (see here and here), new applications of subseasonal and seasonal forecast information are emerging constantly. Traditionally, long-range forecasts for the energy industry have focused on expected variations in energy demand due to (mainly) temperature fluctuations, but energy supply is becoming more and[…]

A Remarkable Analog: 2002

On November 18, the World Climate Service issued its seasonal forecast and discussion for winter (December-February) 2019-2020 in the U.S. and Europe. WCS seasonal outlooks include an overview of expected climate anomalies, key drivers, and risk factors for the upcoming three-month season, and our forecast document contains detailed discussion of available predictors, including dynamical model[…]

Making Sense of Long Range Forecasts

In an October 31 blog post, distinguished meteorologist Cliff Mass of the University of Washington commented on the degree of usefulness of long range forecasts, with the title, “Extended Forecasts Are Not Reliable“. Dr. Mass highlights the lack of deterministic skill of temperature and precipitation forecasts in the dynamical forecast models beyond two weeks and[…]