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SUNYA Experimental Results in Forecasting Daily Temperature and Precipitation

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Science, State University of New York at Albany, Albany 12222
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Abstract

An analysis of skill in predicting daily temperature and precipitation is presented for six years (1969–1975) of forecasts made for the Albany County Airport by students and faculty in the Department of Atmospheric Science of the State University of New York at Albany. The daily consensus forecast (made up by averaging the forecasts of all forecasters) shows no significant secular increase in skill for temperature. An apparent increase in the consensus skill in precipitation forecasting is noted with most of the increase occurring in the spring 1972 semester. Possible reasons for this increase are discussed. The skill (defined as the percentage improvement over a persistence climatological forecast) of the ensemble of forecasters over a persistence climatological control is near 50% for the first day decaying to 10% and near zero by the 3rd and 4th day for precipitation and to just under 10% for temperature by the 4th day. These results are consistent with the results presented by Sanders (1973).

Some relationship is found for skill to be a function of the variability of the daily temperature about the climatological mean. Skill, however, appears to be insensitive to the frequency of days with radiational cooling, a major local forecast problem. likewise skill appears to be independent of daily rainfall amount or frequency. These findings are consistent with those found for Boston by Sanders (1973).

Finally, the trend towards a plateau in skill noted by Sanders (1973) is confirmed for a different location.

Abstract

An analysis of skill in predicting daily temperature and precipitation is presented for six years (1969–1975) of forecasts made for the Albany County Airport by students and faculty in the Department of Atmospheric Science of the State University of New York at Albany. The daily consensus forecast (made up by averaging the forecasts of all forecasters) shows no significant secular increase in skill for temperature. An apparent increase in the consensus skill in precipitation forecasting is noted with most of the increase occurring in the spring 1972 semester. Possible reasons for this increase are discussed. The skill (defined as the percentage improvement over a persistence climatological forecast) of the ensemble of forecasters over a persistence climatological control is near 50% for the first day decaying to 10% and near zero by the 3rd and 4th day for precipitation and to just under 10% for temperature by the 4th day. These results are consistent with the results presented by Sanders (1973).

Some relationship is found for skill to be a function of the variability of the daily temperature about the climatological mean. Skill, however, appears to be insensitive to the frequency of days with radiational cooling, a major local forecast problem. likewise skill appears to be independent of daily rainfall amount or frequency. These findings are consistent with those found for Boston by Sanders (1973).

Finally, the trend towards a plateau in skill noted by Sanders (1973) is confirmed for a different location.

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