Verification of Spatial Forecasts of Continuous Meteorological Variables Using Categorical and Object-Based Methods

Report No. ARL-TR-7751
Authors: John WRaby and Huaqing Cai
Date/Pages: August 2016; 40 pages
Abstract: Spatial forecasts from Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models of meteorological variables to support Army operations on the battlefield have become an integral part of the products available for the Staff Weather Officer to use in providing mission planning and execution forecasts. These forecasts are ingested by Army tactical decision aids (TDAs) and are fused with information on the operational weather thresholds, which impact the performance of Army systems and missions. The TDA generates spatial forecasts of these impacts for user-specified systems and/or missions. This report presents methods to verify forecast fields of meteorological variables that have been filtered by the application of a threshold, the same way as that used by the TDA. A threshold applied to a continuous variable field becomes a categorical forecast for which there are traditional and nontraditional methods for verification. This study evaluates the ability of the NWP model to predict a category of the spatial variable. Preliminary results suggest a combination of a traditional technique for assessing categorical forecasts with a nontraditional object-based, forecast-evaluation technique has great potential in assessing forecasts of continuous variables that have been filtered by the application of a threshold.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2016