The Meta-Gaussian Bayesian Processor of Forecasts and Associated Preliminary Experiments


  • Public weather services are trending toward providing users with probabilistic weather forecasts, in place of traditional deterministic forecasts. Probabilistic forecasting techniques are continually being improved to optimize available forecasting information. The Bayesian Processor of Forecast (BPF), a new statistical method for probabilistic forecast, can transform a deterministic forecast into a probabilistic forecast according to the historical statistical relationship between observations and forecasts generated by that forecasting system. This technique accounts for the typical forecasting performance of a deterministic forecasting system in quantifying the forecast uncertainty. The meta-Gaussian likelihood model is suitable for a variety of stochastic dependence structures with monotone likelihood ratios. The meta-Gaussian BPF adopting this kind of likelihood model can therefore be applied across many fields, including meteorology and hydrology. The Bayes theorem with two continuous random variables and the normal-linear BPF are briefly introduced. The meta-Gaussian BPF for a continuous predictand using a single predictor is then presented and discussed. The performance of the meta-Gaussian BPF is tested in a preliminary experiment. Control forecasts of daily surface temperature at 0000 UTC at Changsha and Wuhan stations are used as the deterministic forecast data. These control forecasts are taken from ensemble predictions with a 96-h lead time generated by the National Meteorological Center of the China Meteorological Administration, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, and the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction during January 2008. The results of the experiment show that the meta-Gaussian BPF can transform a deterministic control forecast of surface temperature from any one of the three ensemble predictions into a useful probabilistic forecast of surface temperature. These probabilistic forecasts quantify the uncertainty of the control forecast; accordingly, the performance of the probabilistic forecasts differs based on the source of the underlying deterministic control forecasts.
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