Operational forecastingcenters produce regularforecasts of climate forperiods of weeks to years,called intraseasonal tointerannual timescales.These centers provideinformation on droughtconditions in the comingseasons or forecasts of theeffects of El Niño. This type of informationcan be useful to both public and privatedecision-makers, such as farmers, insurance
rms, or water resource managers. This reportsuggests best practices for the procedures andprotocols associated with making forecasts,with the goals of increasing transparency andimproving forecast quality.
Increase collaboration between opera-tional centers and the research community toencourage the exchange of ideas between thetwo cultures.
For example, operational centerscould hold workshops focused on forecastdevelopment and grant short-term appointmentsto visiting researchers.
Enhance transparency by establishingpublic archives of forecasts, comparisons of past forecasts to actual climate conditions,the measurements used to produce forecasts,and the details of forecasting models.
Archives of the inputs, outputs, and tools usedin forecasts can help quantify and identifysources of forecast error, assist users as theyinterpret forecasts to their own needs, and
More accurate forecasts of climate conditions over time periods of weeks to a few yearscould help people plan agricultural activities, mitigate drought, and manage energy resources,amongst other activities; however, current forecast systems have limited ability on these time-scales. Models for such climate forecasts must take into account complex interactions among theocean, atmosphere, and land surface. Such processes can be dif
cult to represent realistically.To improve the quality of forecasts, this report makes recommendations about the developmentof the tools used in forecasting and about speci
c research goals for improving understandingof sources of predictability. To improve the accessibility of these forecasts to decision-makersand researchers, this report also suggests best practices to improve how forecasts are madeand disseminated.
Assessment of Intraseasonal to InterannualClimate Prediction and Predictability
document how forecasts aremade using a variety of climate prediction tools.
Broaden the metricsused to assess forecastquality.
No perfect metricexists to convey all theinformation about a forecast;therefore multiple metricsshould be used.
Improving the Building Blocks of Forecast Systems
Intraseasonal to interannual forecastsystems are composed of several “buildingblocks,” including observational systems,models, and data assimilation schemes, systemsthat expand the types of data that can be usedfor a forecast. The committee recommendedimprovements to the building blocks that wouldenhance forecast quality.
Use statistical techniques to complementpredictions from models.
Statistical tech-niques, especially non-linear methods, can beused to identify errors in dynamical models,sets of equations that describe the motions of the atmosphere and ocean. Statistical techniquescan also be used to translate forecasts to morelocal scales, which can bene
Investigate and correct errors in therepresentation of physical processes indynamical models.
For example, models oftenfail to represent important processes associatedwith clouds, which can impact climate onregional and global scales. Sustained