Numerous new methods have been proposed for using spatial information to better quantify and diagnose forecast performance when forecasts and observations are both available on the same grid. The majority of the new spatial verification methods can be classified into four broad categories (neighborhood, scale separation, features based, and field deformation), which themselves can be further generalized into two categories of filter and displacement. Because the methods make use of spatial information in widely different ways, users may be uncertain about what types of information each provides, and which methods may be most beneficial for particular applications. As an international project, the Spatial Forecast Verification Methods Inter-Comparison Project (ICP; was formed to address these questions. This project was coordinated by NCAR and facilitated by the WMO/World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) Joint Working Group on Forecast Verification Research. An overview of the methods involved in the project is provided here with some initial guidelines about when each of the verification approaches may be most appropriate. Future spatial verification methods may include hybrid methods that combine aspects of filter and displacement approaches.

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Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia