The Weather Information and Skill Experiment (WISE): The Effect of Varying Levels of Information on Forecast Skill

Kenneth F. Heideman Phillips Laboratory, Geophysics Directorate, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts

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Thomas R. Stewart Center for Policy Research, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

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William R. Moninger National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Environmental Research Laboratories/Forecast Systems Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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Patricia Reagan-Cirincione University Center for Policy Research, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

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Abstract

The relationship between the quality and quantity of information available to meteorologists and the skill of their forecasts was investigated. Twelve meteorologists were asked to make probabilistic forecasts of significant and severe weather events under three information conditions. Forecast accuracy was generally low. As the amount and quality of the information increased substantially, there was a modest increase in the accuracy of the forecasts. However, the results suggest that the forecasters were least consistent when they had the most information to work with, partially reducing the benefits of the increased information.

Abstract

The relationship between the quality and quantity of information available to meteorologists and the skill of their forecasts was investigated. Twelve meteorologists were asked to make probabilistic forecasts of significant and severe weather events under three information conditions. Forecast accuracy was generally low. As the amount and quality of the information increased substantially, there was a modest increase in the accuracy of the forecasts. However, the results suggest that the forecasters were least consistent when they had the most information to work with, partially reducing the benefits of the increased information.

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