Research for Sources of Predictability provides a set of longer-term research goals. Although many experiments can be designed and run now, results may take several years to emerge, given the pace of scientific publication and discourse. Once some of this research has been completed, translation of the results into an operational setting will require subsequent efforts by both operational centers and research scientists. Thus, the research goals constitute a longer-term vision.

Best Practices

Lack of access to forecast and verification information and issues with communication between research and operational forecasting communities are major barriers to the improvement of ISI forecast systems. The committee recommends several steps to foster expanded collaboration, create an archive of key ISI forecast data, set standards for verification techniques, and minimize subjective components of ISI forecast.

  1. The synergy between operational ISI forecasting centers and the research community should be enhanced. A number of important activities would contribute greatly to the goal of accelerated synergy and progress. The committee recommends the following.

    • Targeted workshops focused on specific areas relevant to model and forecast improvement should be held at least annually at the operational centers. The workshops should produce actionable recommendations that result in specific plans for developing and testing new ideas for operational forecasting.

    • Scientists in the operational centers should participate actively in scientific meetings, especially in the areas of modeling and use of observations.

    • Short term positions in operational centers should be granted to academic researchers. These positions could focus on a particular scientific issue that is both in the researcher’s field of expertise and offers opportunities for improving operational forecast quality.

    • New data sets from both the academic researchers and scientists in operational centers should be made available to the scrutiny of the broader academic community at an early stage to help identify early strengths and weaknesses.

    • The development of new observations to support ISI forecasting should be carried out with the engagement of the operational centers through an ongoing dialog about the efficacy of the observing system and the need for further observational campaigns by the research community.

  1. Operational ISI forecasting centers should establish public archives of all data used in forecasts, including observations, model code, hindcasts, analyses, forecasts, re-analyses, re-forecasts, verifications, and official forecast outlooks.

    Archives of forecast information are needed by national and international operational centers, researchers, and the private sector in their efforts to quantify and identify sources of forecast error, provide the baseline for forecast assessment and model fidelity, develop metrics and diagnostics for model assessment, calibrate model forecasts, quantify and document model and forecast improvement, such as those that results from changing resolution or

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