Articles | Volume 15, issue 7
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2391–2400, 2011

Special issue: HESS Opinions 2011

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2391–2400, 2011

Opinion article 26 Jul 2011

Opinion article | 26 Jul 2011

HESS Opinions "On forecast (in)consistency in a hydro-meteorological chain: curse or blessing?"

F. Pappenberger1, H. L. Cloke2, A. Persson3,1,4, and D. Demeritt2 F. Pappenberger et al.
  • 1European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK
  • 2Department of Geography, King's College London, London, UK
  • 3UK MetOffice, Exeter, UK
  • 4Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden

Abstract. Flood forecasting increasingly relies on numerical weather prediction forecasts to achieve longer lead times. One of the key difficulties that is emerging in constructing a decision framework for these flood forecasts is what to dowhen consecutive forecasts are so different that they lead to different conclusions regarding the issuing of warnings or triggering other action. In this opinion paper we explore some of the issues surrounding such forecast inconsistency (also known as "Jumpiness", "Turning points", "Continuity" or number of "Swings"). In thsi opinion paper we define forecast inconsistency; discuss the reasons why forecasts might be inconsistent; how we should analyse inconsistency; and what we should do about it; how we should communicate it and whether it is a totally undesirable property. The property of consistency is increasingly emerging as a hot topic in many forecasting environments.

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