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RICHARD L. LIVINGSTON

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Joseph T. Schaefer
and
Richard L. Livingston

Abstract

Since the probability of precipitation (PoP) appears in the forecasts of the National Weather Service (NWS), it is important that both the forecaster and user fully grasp the subtleties of the meaning of PoP. A brief review of the theory of PoP is presented. It is shown that although the PoP is defined as the average point probability, the guidelines outlined in the National Weather Service Operations Manual (NWSOM) also make the PoP the expected areal coverage of precipitation across the forecast area.

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Richard L. Livingston
and
Joseph T. Schaefer

Abstract

The medium-range forecast model (MRF) provides the basic guidance for the 3–5-day extended forecast issued by individual Weather Service Forecast Offices. The ability of the MRF to forecast shorter synoptic, subsynoptic, and mesoscale phenomena is examined through the use of the anomaly correlation coefficient and illustrated with several case studies. The operational implications of putting detail in the extended forecast are reviewed. Finally, several suggestions are presented to help operational forecasters determine consistency and accuracy in the extended guidance.

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