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Forecast Evaluation and Application Research
Early in the CLIMAS project, dialogue with stakeholders clearly identified significant barriers precluding more extensive and effective use of hydroclimatic forecasts, including lack of relevant and quantifiable forecast skill, misinterpretation of forecast products, and inability to place forecasts in historical context. Qualitative aspects of forecasts can be as important as any quantitative attribute in affecting how users interpret, apply, and ultimately judge probabilistic forecasts. Significant work is needed to develop forecast products that can be interpreted easily, correctly, and reliably without the need for special training. This project applies techniques for assessing forecast performance, qualitatively and quantitatively, with the intention of helping stakeholders appropriately align forecast use with measures of forecast skill. We are also examining the impacts of misinterpretation of forecast products.