Quality of Weather Forecasts and Opportunity for Improvements

CED-78-33: Published: Jan 24, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 24, 1978.

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Information was compiled on the quality of weather forecasts and options which may be available to improve weather predictions for both short-term and long-term forecasts. Brief descriptions are provided of the organizational structure and the current method used by the National Weather Service to predict weather. The amount of appropriated funds devoted by the National Weather Service to forecast preparation in fiscal year 1978 was $96.3 million. For short-range forecasts, the Weather Service appeared to have attained an acceptable level of accuracy for precipitation and temperature in terms of national averages. The level of accuracy, however, varied for specific sections of the country. For long-range predictions, the Weather Service's present ability falls far short of being useful to planners and policymakers. Alternate methods of weather prediction, including the analog technique and the Krick method, are briefly described. Areas where additional funding could be used to improve forecasting accuracy are outlined.

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