Overemphasis on forecast accuracy. Forecast accuracy is a deterministic measure, but much of the discussion of the use of forecasts emphasizes their probabilistic nature. The discussion of skill should include the concept as applied to probabilistic forecasts.


Expand the section on skill of seasonal climate forecasts: This section is only two sentences long and contains nothing that states or shows actual skill levels of seasonal climate forecasts. Yet there are some relevant sources, regarding International Research Institute forecasts or Climate Prediction Center forecasts, even though the systems have changed since those articles. Also, the Goddard et al (2006) article shows an example of seasonal forecast skill from the predictions of a large collection of dynamical models both atmosphere with predicted sea surface temperatures and coupled global circulation models, including the Climate Forecast System (see Figure 5-1).


Improve the section on observational networks and data products. This section is currently quite short, and not as powerful as the summary/recommendation point. The section doesn’t need to be long, just more specific and compelling.


Reduce the number of tables and figures:

  • F1.1 and F1.2 could be dropped or replaced by something available from CPC (a modified version of that is pasted below). Specifically, on F1.1, “lead time” is the time between release of the forecast and the start of the forecast target period. This is about 3-10 days for medium range and only 1-12 months for season to interannual forecasts. Also, the weather-climate boundary is between medium range and season to interannual, not between short and medium range.

  • Table 1.2 doesn’t add much to the discussion.

  • F1.3 is not particularly useful. The link above it leads to a potentially confusing list of products, none of them accompanied by any description. It might be better just to keep F1.4 and F1.5 and add URLs to their captions.

  • F1.6 caption should make clear that this is a “POE Map” (add URL?) or else interested parties will never find it on the Climate Prediction Center site.

  • F1.7 could be deleted. The F1.8 caption could indicate that the Probability of Exceedance graphs are based on climate division data.

  • F1.9 and F1.10 could be deleted.

  • F1.15-F1.18 all show examples of hydrological forecasts with associated uncertainties. Could they be combined into a single 4-panel figure, which then illustrates similarities and differences of hydrological forecast presentation? Or do they actually make different points?

  • F1.20 is valuable and helps make several relevant points in the text.

  • F1.25 is confusing and doesn’t add much to the discussion.

Chapter 2:
Moving Knowledge to Action

This chapter focuses on the context of decision making. Although these issues are critical, they aren't all captured in this chapter. For example, risk perceptions and risk communication strategies, both discussed in Chapter 4, are also part of the context of decision



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement