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Arun Kumar
,
Peitao Peng
, and
Mingyue Chen

Abstract

In this paper, possible connections between actual and potential skill are discussed. Actual skill refers to when the prediction time series is validated against the observations as the verification while perfect skill refers to when the observed verification time series is replaced by one of the members from the ensemble of predictions. It is argued that (i) there need not be a relationship between potential and actual skill; (ii) potential skill is not constrained to be always greater than actual skill, and examples to the contrary can be found; and (iii) there are methods whereby statistical characteristics of predicted anomalies can be compared with the corresponding in the observations, and inferences about the validity of the (positive) gap between potential and actual skill as “room for improvement” can be better substantiated.

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