This paper describes the preliminary results of three experiments in subjective probability forecasting which were recently conducted in four Weather Service Forecast Offices (WSFOs) of the National Weather Service. The first experiment, which was conducted at the St. Louis WSFO, was designed to investigate both the ability of forecasters to differentiate among points in a forecast area with regard to the likelihood of occurrence of measurable precipitation and their relative ability to make point and area (including areal coverage) precipitation probability forecasts. The second experiment, which was conducted at the Denver WSFO, was designed to investigate the ability of forecasters to use credible intervals to express the uncertainty inherent in their temperature forecasts and to compare two approaches (variable-width intervals and fixed-width intervals) to credible interval temperature forecasting. The third experiment, which was conducted at both the Great Falls and Seattle WSFOs, was designed to investigate the effects of guidance (i.e., PEATMOS) forecasts upon the forecasters' precipitation probability forecasts.

For each experiment, some background material is presented; the design of the experiment is discussed; some preliminary results of the experiment are presented; and some implications of the experiment and the results for probability forecasting in meteorology and probability forecasting in general are discussed. The results of each of these experiments will be described individually and in much greater detail in a series of forthcoming papers.

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Footnotes

1 Supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant GA-31735. This paper represents a revised version of Murphy and Winkler (1974).

2 On leave and visiting the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria (July 1973 to January 1974), and the Department of Statistics, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. (February–August 1974).

3 The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.